Ellie Goulding is a frequent marathon runner, Millie Mackintosh works up a sweat by lifting heavy weights and Khloe Kardashian drags herself out of bed at 5am for gruelling gym sessions.
While these famous women have honed some of the most envied physiques on the planet, their workout regimes sound rather arduous to me.
Which is why – when deciding to kick-start my New Year exercise regime – I was drawn to Speedflex, a type of training that prides itself on being pain-free.
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FEMAIL’s Sarah Barns signed up to Speedflex, which taps into the trend of high-intensity training (HIIT) – short but intense exercise followed by brief bursts of recovery, pictured, squatting with a kettlebell
The 45-minute class claims to burn up to 1,000 calories, send your fitness levels rocketing and stop your muscles from feeling achy the next day, pictured left, clean and press and right, pull ups
Tapping into the trend of high-intensity training (HIIT) – short but intense exercise followed by brief bursts of recovery – Speedflex combines cardiovascular with resistance work.
I signed up to a six-week trial of the results-driven, circuit-based training concept at its London branch, located in the heart of the city.
The 45-minute class claims to burn up to 1,000 calories, send your fitness levels rocketing and – most importantly for me – stop your muscles from feeling achy the next day.
Before I began the sessions I had a comprehensive health screening, which analysed my body composition, blood chemistry and tested my aerobic fitness levels.
While weight loss wasn’t a personal goal, I told the trainer that I was keen to tone up my bum, legs and arms.
Before starting the classes, Sarah had a comprehensive health screening, which analysed her body composition, blood chemistry and tested her aerobic fitness level, pictured, weighted squats
Speedflex offers a full body workout for the clueless who usually wander aimlessly around a conventional gym, pictured left, bent over row and right, high pull-ups
Then during each class I wore a heart-rate monitor, which provided an accurate calorie-burn counter and heart-rate maximum percentage.
This is projected onto a large screen throughout the class so you – and everyone else – can track your progress.
The class takes no prisoners and seeing how hard you’re working compared to others really helps ramp up the competitive spirit.
Speedflex offers a full body workout for the clueless who usually wander aimlessly around a conventional gym.
In the smart, air-conditioned room complete with water coolers and tinted windows to keep out prying eyes, there are seven unique machines with a built-in system of hydraulics and electrics, separated by floor mats.
Each Speedflex machine offers a different exercise and automatically responds to and creates resistance levels based on the individual’s force.
They are weight-free, allowing people of all ages and levels of abilities to work in the same session, at their own pace, while exercising multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
The session is pain-free because the machines only work your muscles as they shorten. Not when they lengthen. That’s where the painful tearing can happen that leaves you with post-workout stiffness.
The classes fly by thanks to the way they are structured – four-minute circuits, with 20 seconds working at full pelt at each station, followed by a ten-second rest, before moving on to the next exercise.
While Speedflex trainers say you can burn 1,000 calories per class, the highest Sarah managed was just over 500, pictured side plank to work the core
Each Speedflex machine offers a different exercise and automatically responds to and creates resistance levels based on the individual’s force, pictured left, pull ups, and right, bent over row
Between each circuit you are allowed a calculated rest that gradually gets shorter as you near the last machine.
To ensure you leave the class hot, sweaty and red-faced, the machine work is paired with floor exercises such as kettle bells, weighted bags, step-ups and planks.
A firm but friendly instructor will spur you on during the class – and yell if you, like me, struggle to do press-ups.
While Speedflex trainers say you can burn 1,000 calories per class, the highest I managed was 550. A spokesperson said calorie burn can vary massively depending on your size and gender.
You need to do three to five classes a week, paired with a healthy diet high in protein, green vegetables and water to improve muscle tone (although it doesn’t build muscle), enhance power and speed, and improve bone density.
Speedflex was created in America in 2009 and celebrity ambassadors include ex-Premier League footballer Alan Shearer and Good Morning Britain host Ben Shepherd.
But don’t let the male advocates and bulky machines put you off – this isn’t just for men.
Speedflex was created in America in 2009 and celebrity ambassadors include ex-Premier League footballer Alan Shearer and Good Morning Britain host Ben Shepherd, pictured, sit ups on the gym ball
Speedflex is great for women as you do a lot of repetitions at a low load, so you tone rather than build muscle and the countless squats help give you a perky bum and killer glutes.
There are however a couple of drawbacks.
Speedflex currently have only five centres in the UK – London, Leeds, Surrey, Aberdeen and Newcastle.
And it doesn’t come cheap. A single session costs £30 while a monthly membership will set you back £150. If you’re doing the recommended three sessions a week, the cost will mount up.
However, the centres are very luxurious, the technology makes it motivating and the staff are incredibly friendly and supportive.
After my six-week trial my fitness levels had improved, my bottom was noticeably perter and I managed to avoid a month of aching muscles.
Fun, pain-free fitness that gets you trim and toned. What’s not to love?