Gravity classes at Heights Health Club in Burgess Hill
PUBLISHED: 15:42 09 May 2014 | UPDATED: 15:45 09 May 2014
I've never been one for heights, but I was assured that Gravity classes have nothing to do with any altitude, so I agreed to give them a go.
My suspicions were further raised when I found out that the venue for this trial was Heights Health and Fitness, in Burgess Hill.
Thankfully the name of the gym is a reference to its first floor location – which in my opinion is a huge plus. The last thing that you want when sweating it out on the treadmill is for an old school friend to wander past and wave at you through the window – oh, the red-faced shame. But there is no chance of any such thing occurring at Heights.
The idea behind a Gravity class is that you work every single muscle in your body, because you are holding yourself up above the ground on a Total Gym machine whilst doing whichever exercise you decide to do – and there are over 200 to choose from. All the resistance is provided by your own bodyweight via a cable pulley system – between one per cent and 62 per cent of your bodyweight to be precise – so you can move seamlessly between exercises, keeping workout times to a minimum. So the vital bit as far as I was concerned was, it’s a short workout (we’ve all got busy lives, let’s be honest), and yet it’s effective.
The 30-minute sessions are much more exciting than many traditional workouts, if exciting is the right word – you get all the fat-burning and toning benefits of weightlifting, but without the heavy weights. I thought this was quite novel and yes, exciting.
The Total Gym equipment can harness your bodyweight at 22 different inclines to vary resistance via a moving ‘glideboard’, on which you can sit, kneel or stand, and a cable pulley system. To the inexperienced gym-goer like myself, this means that you are on something akin to a sliding ironing board, and you hold onto two handles, which feel a bit like you’re repeatedly pulling a door towards you, as they have weights which can be adjusted to suit your needs.
Difficulty can be varied to suit the fittest athlete or the absolute beginner, and the exercises can even be tailored to those recovering from injury or with limited mobility. Gravity classes, are fast-paced, fun (yes, it genuinely is quite fun) and extremely effective at toning the whole body, improving cardio fitness, building long, lean muscle and increasing flexibility.
Apart from the novelty value, I liked the fact that you can work out by yourself, or join a class – and attendees of all levels can work out together. The staff at Heights are both helpful and knowledgable, and are fully trained to operate the Total Gym equipment. I would certainly recommend giving this a go – especially as there’s no risk of vertigo.
Heights Health Club, 49 The Martlets, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 9NN; 01444 239444; www.heightshealthclub.com
Closer to home?
Like the Gravity system, TRX Suspension Training utilises the weight of the body for a complete workout. Personal trainer Susan Taylor runs sessions in Eastbourne and Hailsham. Classes are also run by Boxercise Bootcamp in Brighton and Hove.