Anyone who has ever seen Jennifer Aniston knows that girlfriend works out, and hard (you don’t get those abs at 49 by showing up to Pilates twice a week).
Jen – like Hilary Duff, Lady Gaga, Jessica Biel and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley – is a devotee of Rise Nation, a new super high intensity, full body workout that burns up to 800 calories in just 30 minutes.
800 calories in 30 minutes? Sign me up.
I do reformer Pilates three times a week back home in Australia so I’m feeling fairly confident as I enter the sleek lobby of Rise Nation’s flagship West Hollywood gym.
This confidence is shaken as I see the previous class file out – I’ve never seen more fit people in one room before, and worse – they all look completely destroyed.
My misgivings only increase as I am escorted into the studio where dozens of bizarre looking apparatuses are set up in a dark room. The machines are Versaclimbers, a mountain climbing simulator invented in Switzerland in the 1980s and recently brought back from the dead.I strap my feet into the foot thingys, grab hold of the hand posts and practice the climbing action which works both your upper and lower body. It’s actually easier than it looks and I am very lacking in coordination. After some practice moves, I stand still and watch apprehensively as people with the bodies of professional athletes file into the room.Russell, our ridiculously muscular instructor enters to cheers from the group and cues up his custom tunes (music is a huge part of Rise Nation workouts and every instructor has their own playlist).It’s go time. Russell kills the lights, darkness falls and the madness begins – for the next 30 minutes I very seriously wonder if I will live to see the end of the workout.
As the music pumps and neon lights flash, Russell leads the class through an absolutely punishing series of high climbs, sprints, high-low combos and more sprints. It is basically like climbing a never-ending ladder to hell. There is no rest. There is no mercy. I have never sweat so much in my life and at one point, I wonder if this was what a heart attack feels like.
But the harder Russell works us, the more the other participants whoop and cheer (I don’t. I kind of hate Russell in this moment. Plus I have no spare breath for cheering anyway).
And then, suddenly, it is over. And there is sweat everywhere – literal puddles of it around every machine (there are two cleaners tasked with mopping it all up at the end of each class).
So does it work? When my heart rate finally slows down, I feel incredible – those post-workout endorphins make me feel giddy and I feel like I can do anything. Except walk back down the stairs to the lobby because DAMN.
To delay descending the stairs I chat to Russell, our indefatigable instructor. Not so long ago he was just another devotee, who ended up attending so often the manager suggested he just work there instead.
“It is extremely addictive,” he tells me. “It’s the first 30-minute high intensity full body workout in LA and so we get a lot of celebrities, because it works and it’s easy to fit into a busy schedule.
“People come back-to-back and we’re often completely booked out. There just isn’t another workout like this out there.”
I finally make it down the stairs and hobble off to nearby Moon Juice, like any other self-respecting celebrity (Gwyneth Paltrow is a HUGE fan).
It was the hardest workout I’ve ever done, and while I’m half-dead, I also feel strangely alive. And if the bodies of all the regulars are anything to go by IT WORKS.
This might be the start of a beautiful friendship.
Rise Nation has just opened its first Australian location in South Yarra.
For more information about the weird and wonderful fitness classes on offer in West Hollywood, visit the West Hollywood Travel + Tourism Board.
This article originally appeared on whimn.com.au and has been republished here with permission.
If you found this interesting, you should read our comparison of Orange Therapy, Barry’s and F45, and how over-exercising might be sabotaging you.
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