I was lucky enought to be invited by the wonderful XBODY Christchurch to try a workout... I was super interested in this following a rib injury I had incurred. I had inflammation of the fascia and tissue surrounding my ribs (this is called costochondritis) and it was quite painful to exercise. Actually, scrap that. Excruciatingly painful. Going to the gym and carrying on with my training (necessary given my goals this year) was not happening... I needed help quick smart.
So why would I be trying to exercise with terrible pain... naughty, naughty I hear you say. Well, there is a whole lot of research out there that suggests a thing called micro stimulation of the muscles by electrical pulses can help with this kind of injury - especially areas such as the ribs that don't have a heap of blood flow. Well, at this point I was ready to try anything!
So it looks like it does in the picture! I turned up and had a consult with the wonderful Denita, was asked to change into the super sexy undergarments you must wear underneath the "Lara Croft" suit you see in the picture here (*sarcasm* ... they are not sexy but you need to wear them to ensure that the electrical impulses conduct and that you are protected from the suit). Following the dress up part of the exercise, I went in to begin my workout.
They are quite kind to you at XBODY - they wet the little patches inside the suit with warm water (so you don't freeze!) and this ensures the electricity conducts properly. You are then strapped into the suit. We had previously discussed my goals for the session, my injury and why I was there so I felt really listened to - quite important for a first session.
They start the electrical pulses low - they go on for 4 seconds, then off for 4 seconds. You then work with your instructor (Denita for me) and you work out how high you want each area of your body to pulse. This is awesome as it means you work with what your body is capable of and what is going on for you right then and there (ie, injuries, energy level etc).
Word of warning - this is NOT the time to be meek and mild. You have to tell your instructor what you are feeling. As Denita said - she isn't in the suit so can't feel what you feel. If you are uncomfortable - bloody say it (as I did when my abs got quite sore about 3/4 of the way through the workout... Denita turned the pulses down!).
Once you are at a comfortable level, you then begin the 20 minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout - 4 secs on, 4 secs off for every exercise. You end up breathing in time with the 4 second slots - when the pulse in on contracting your muscles, you breath out. And when the pulse is off, you breath in.
As I said above, XBODY works with what your goals are - for me, it was to try a full body workout and not be in pain. And I can tell you - I got just that! No terrible chest pain - this was the first time I exercised in weeks without any pain, yet a full on HIIT workout complete with sweat, swearing and muscle soreness! I was doing squats, lunges, tricep & bicep exercise and even abdominals (hence my ab soreness during the workout!).
My butt (and pretty much the rest of me too) was sore for around 4 days afterwards - such was the intensity of the workout. I was super surprised at the effectiveness of it all and also how heavily I was breathing! SO COOL and everyone should DO IT!
This is German technology that has been studied - so you don't have to worry about being harmed in the process. So effective for rehab because you can control the contraction of the muscles and increase blood flow to those areas that require it but still maintain comfort.
Watch here for a video explaining more.
Denita swears that 2 sessions of this a week is guaranteed to take you to the next level sports wise - and I'd tend to agree given what I have experienced. Unluckily for me, no one in Wellington, NZ has this technology.
For anyone who is travelling to Christchurch and wants to try - I have been given an awesome deal -
ENTER THE CODE 'ROAR' AT CHECKOUT USING THE BUTTON ABOVE