With the demands of modern life, squeezing in time for a workout is becoming more and more difficult. But fear not – the new Virgin Active PUMA FAAS CLAAS has arrived.
Quick, high-intensity, calorie-blasting sessions are what we’re all demanding – and these adrenaline-pumping classes tick all the boxes. Based on training methods adopted by many the world’s elite athletes, their aim is to fast-track participants to peak fitness.
As someone that’s a) heard the hype surrounding FAAS CLAAS, and b) constantly short on time, I thought it’d make sense for me to get involved and see what all the fuss is about. And I’m massively glad I did.
“Training needs to be enjoyable and impactful; people need to see and feel progress towards their goals in order to stay motivated”, according to Head of Fitness at Virgin Active Health Clubs, Tim Foster. I couldn’t agree more. And Brett Klika – creator of FAAS CLAAS – obviously subscribes to the same train of thought. Having now done a 30-minute session, ‘enjoyable’ is the first word that springs to mind as I look back (‘impactful’ runs it a close second, thanks to my aching limbs).
The point is that because I’m aching, I feel like I’ve really achieved something, despite the fact I was showered, changed and sitting at my desk by 8:55am. Because I can feel progress being made, I feel motivated; historically I’m not a lover of gym classes – but I’ll be doing this one again next week. And the week after. And the week after that.
Quick, high-intensity, calorie-blasting sessions are what we’re all demanding.
Anyway, I digress. On to the class itself. ‘What’s it like? What do you do?’ I hear you ask. Well I’ll tell you. It’s great. And you do a LOT. For me and my ‘claasmates’ it all started with a spot of stretching (nothing too strenuous – leaving me free to enjoy the funky reggae beats playing out in the background). Our instructor was full of life, cheery, positive and loud as she guided us professionally along.
Then, when we were all limbered up, the fun and games began. The next 25 minutes was a constant stream of activity – both alone and in teams – that really made the class live up to its ‘high intensity’ billing. We used weights, we used resistance bands, we used rope ladders, we star jumped, we quickstep jogged on the spot, we shuttle ran, we pressed-up and we sat-up; all in short, sharp bursts; all the while being reminded that “winners don’t quit” and “quitters don’t win”. It was knackering. It was awesome.
After 25 minutes - sweat in eyes and with a newfound admiration for many of the people around me - the time came for our warm down. “Great”, I thought. I shouldn’t have.
Out came the tennis balls. Our fantastic instructor (who was still full of life, cheery, positive and loud) told us to pop it under our right foot and roll it about until we found a spot that felt a little “uncomfortable”. We then put our weight on it and held. Harder than it sounds. Other foot next. Then we sat down. Ball under right calf. Roll. Ball under left calf. Roll. Harder than it sounds. Ball under right buttock. Hold. Ball under left buttock. Hold. Much harder than it sounds. Much harder. But it really did relax the muscles and, crucially, it allowed me to find my breath for the first time in 15 minutes. Bliss.
And that was it. We got to our feet and gathered in the centre of the studio. We held our left arms into the centre of the circle (closer to our heart than the right, we were told) and put our fists together. “3, 2, 1, TEAM!” was the communal cry, as we flung our hands in the air. And with that I headed for the shower, full of the joys of spring.
As I went through the motions of lathering my hair with shower gel (the missus doesn’t like me “wasting” shampoo), I realised that although I felt shattered, I also felt totally reinvigorated. My workout for the day had been done - and it had only just turned half 8. As I left the club to head for work I saw a poster – ‘PUMA FAAS CLAAS. Live life in the faas lane and get fitter – faster.’ And that’s exactly what I urge you to do. I promise you won’t regret it.