Thursday, 3 December 2015

Working It - Train Dirty London's Skinny Rebel Workout

I'm always looking for new things to try fitness-wise and unless it involves swimming or a ball I'm unlikely to say no (friends who I have played tennis with will understand). When Train Dirty London got in touch about their new Skinny Rebel workout which takes place at the luxious Conrad St James Hotel I read "luxury five star hotel" more than I read "full body workout wearing an altitude mask" and said yes.

skinny rebel workout
The gym is small but has everything you need for a full body workout.
As long-time readers will know, I ran the marathon this year - something about running 26 miles helps your "can do" attitude a little - and I'm regularly in the gym for 7am yoga and spin classes so I wasn't expecting this to be too tough. I was wrong. Very wrong. Five minutes into the workout all luxury was forgotten as I found myself attempting to do a "bear crawl" (about as glamorous as it sounds) backwards on the floor of the gym while my breathing sounded like Darth Vader with a cigar habit and my face turned a lovely shade of bright red. The mask makes it a lot harder to fill your lungs with air and so even a simple exercise becomes challenging as your body tries its best to work with a reduced oxygen supply.

skinny rebel workout
The ropes look like fun but my weak arms maybe didn't agree...
Complete lack of glamour aside, this was an awesome workout. I've got to a place where I definitely feel in my comfort zone with the workouts I do and the combination of the mask and having a PT to push me to my limits made it really challenging but also super satisfying. Dean, my trainer and a former professional rugby player, struck the perfect balance between being encouraging and really pushing me in the final seconds of each move - sometimes I find it hard to motivate myself for that final push and having a trainer is invaluable in these moments.  I used the breaks between sets to ask a lot of questions about the workouts, the target audience and the science behind the training - while taking the opportunity to breath unlimited quantities of lovely air before the mask went back on!

skinny rebel workout
The altitude mask.
Reassuringly, no one who has tried the workout so far has found it easy but it's not just for the super fit - as the sessions are personalised the workout can be tailored to your own fitness level. While I don't doubt my legs' ability to keep me running my arms are laughingly weak and so we focused a lot on upper body but it was all (just about) do-able. The workout is currently targeted towards women and with sessions taking place between 7am and 7pm during the week and 10am-1pm on Saturdays it can definitely fit into your schedule. The private gym means that no one can see you huffing and puffing away with a maximum of four participants per session you know you'll be getting the most out of the workouts rather than being at the back of a packed gym class!

skinny rebel workout
Post work-out selfie - yes, my face is the same colour as my top! 
The workout itself was simple - a warm-up of high-knees, lunges, and bear crawls followed by sets of planks, treadmill mountain-climbers, rope work, squats, burpees and sprints on the stationary bike. By the end of the 45 minute session I felt like I'd worked out for far longer and the next day my muscles were definitely still feeling the effects. The Skinny Rebel workout can burn 1000 calories in 45 minutes, works every part of your body and over time will increase strength and endurance. Whether you're new to exercising or  want to be challenged, the workout definitely shocks your muscles and was genuinely a fun way to spend a Saturday morning!

What's your favourite workout?



  1. OMG you're so brave! I've seen pictures of people doing this and it terrifies me!! I love the fact you called this a fun way to spend a Saturday though, I need to stop being a lazy bear and get my ass bear crawling instead!!
    Elle Bloggs

  2. This sounds terrifying but well done you for trying it!

    Maria xxx


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