Transition Zone in Parsons Green is one of the coolest gym spaces I’ve ever come across. So it’s fitting that they’re on point when it comes to the latest in fitness technology. Their HiPer Zone classes are where exercise meets technology, ensuring an optimum workout… and they are tough
Words: Victoria Purcell
The HiPer Zone – or High Performance Zone – is where exercise and technology come together. This is the next generation of workout where your own heart rate is what motivates you. Because it’s tracked throughout the session. And broadcast to the room. Yep, we can see you there, in the corner at the back, slacking off…
Except the classes here aren’t like that. They’re small enough that everyone gets the attention they need (some of us require a little gentle prodding when battling with those battle ropes). And you move in a circle around the equipment in the centre of the gym. So really, there’s nowhere to hide. Community fitness is the aim – you work alongside, not against, your teammates.
Using state-of-the-art heart rate monitoring technology, your output is assessed in real time data, both individually and as a team.
The only person you’re battling with is yourself to ensure you’re constantly bettering your previous achievements. Your heart rate is right up there on the screen, so you can see if you’re performing within the target parameters.
After the 45-minute session, you’re emailed a detailed breakdown of how well you performed and what you achieved so that you can track your progress, set new goals and get faster, stronger and more powerful.
HiPer Zone classes are designed to deliver an optimal performance fitness experience. Using state-of-the-art heart rate monitoring technology, your output is assessed in real time data, both individually and as a team. The trainers can then detect anomalies – whether that’s people under or over performing – and adjust the class accordingly.
The difference between the three workout templates lies in the details: your heart rate zone, the focus of the class and your work/rest ratio
There are three workout templates to choose from: Endurance, Speed and Power. Each class follows a specially designed circuit based format using battle ropes, a squat rack, wall-climbing ladder with pull up bar, jump boxes, kettle bells, weighted squats, punch bag and more. The difference between the individual workouts lies in the details: your heart rate zone, the focus of the class and your work/rest ratio.
I tried out an Endurance session, designed to improve overall base fitness, burn fat and increase EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, otherwise known as calorie after-burn). The aim is to keep your heart rate in the orange zone, at a minimum of 70%, and work steadily through your two rounds of 90 seconds on each base with a 30 second rest period between each station. The intensity is moderate and the focus is on stamina.
I found the session hard. Effective. Enjoyable. But hard. I do two weights classes a week, either run or cycle regularly and fit in yoga and Pilates when I can. This is not me boasting. This is me saying this is a great class. The Endurance class is pegged as the entry level class, so you certainly need to be a regular to progress to the Speed and Power sessions.
I did go for it though. My heart rate measured at an average of 80%, peaking at 95% and I burned around 500 calories, according to my data. This was my first session though, and the team warned that the data may not be that accurate on your first sessions as all the parameters are set to averages (height, weight, age). After the class they will asses this with you and alter the parameters if they think your stats are a bit off.
I did go for it. My heart rate measured at an average of 80%, peaking at 95% and I burned around 500 calories,
In a Speed session, the focus is on keeping the pace up and the intensity is high-to-medium, working for 60 seconds at each base with a 45 second rest period between each station. Your heart rate should be at 80%. In a Power session, you’re really going great guns. The focus is on explosive actions and the intensity is high, working for 40 seconds and resting for 30 seconds on each station. Your heart rate should be at 85-90%.
These classes are for those who really want to see a difference in their training. If you have an event coming up, say, or your normal routine has plateaued, this will certainly fire up your training regime!
Transition Zone, 17 Heathman’s Road, Parson’s Green SW6 4TJ; 020 7736 2070; transitionzone.co.uk