Oh you’ve never heard of Skinny Rebel? That’s because it’s brand spanking new and it’s about to change your whole fitness game. Created by the people behind Train Dirty, Skinny Rebel is typically geared towards women over men, and is set apart from normal training by the inclusion of an altitude mask which is worn throughout the PT session.
Said mask only goes over your mouth and nose as it works to restrict the amount of oxygen you breath in. The point is to reduce oxygen levels in the air you breath and therefore circulating in your blood so the body makes captive changes as to how it uses oxygen as well as its available energy stores. The main benefit of altitude training is an increase in lung capacity, energy production, anaerobic threshold, mental focus as well as re-training the way you breathe.
The mask isn’t particularly uncomfortable and it reminded me of snorkelling when you need to do a few trial breaths before diving straight in. Having the mask on is hardest only at the beginning when your breathing is most relaxed and shallow as you need to put an effort into drawing breath which is slightly challenging when combined with becoming out of breath from doing the warm-up on the treadmill. Once we moved on to the first few exercises, I was beginning to adjust and by about half way through I had forgotten it was on. I must admit, I did appreciate being able to take it off during rest periods where I would make the most of not having my oxygen supply inhibited.
The personal session itself is pretty standard with a variety of exercises, geared towards working out your whole body. Exercises included things like burpees, rope work, boxing and jump squats. Navigating the stairs on the underground during my journey home was a bit of a challenge for my poor legs but the next day I felt fine, and then Sunday came. I don’t know if you have ever experienced delayed onset muscle soreness but it must be the body’s cruellest joke, there I was smugly swanning around all Saturday congratulating myself on what a fit and athletic type person I must be and it turns out I was a fraud. Any concerned readers out there will be pleased to know that I am in the recovery period now, with leg stiffness at a minimum and gains being closely monitored.
Skinny Rebel is ideal for end goal training like if you have a marathon in the horizon then altitude training is a great addition to your work out, to put your body under duress before the big event. It’s akin to wearing weights while you run and then taking them off and feeling how much easier it has become. It’s also great just to try as something new, to mix up your workout routine, and if you get comfortable with the mask there are 3 different gauges on it to make it more difficult.
The Skinny Rebel workout is available at the luxury Conrad St. James Hotel for 1-4 people. Prices are £40 per person, £35pp if you do the max 4 group booking.