I’ve always been a little sceptical of exercise regimes that claim that you don’t have to work hard to get results, which is why when I first heard about HYPOXI, I didn’t really think something that seemed so simple could actually work.
But after a month-long regime, I have to say that I’m firmly on the HYPOXI bandwagon!
So what is it? HYPOXI is best suited to people who feel like they've tried endless sessions at the gym or pounding the pavement only to find they can't shift those stubborn spots. Women especially are prone to holding extra weight on our thighs, lower stomachs and bottoms (ammiright ladies?), so HYPOXI targets those areas.
The brains behind HYPOXI, Austrian sports scientist Dr Norbert Egger, realised that if you could stimulate blood flow to a specific area of your body, your fatty acids would metabolise faster in that area, making you lose weight and reduce cellulite more effectively. He also figured out that exercise could speed up the process so came up with the idea for the HYPOXI machines which stimulate circulation to problem areas using high and low pressure vacuum technology. Nifty eh?
I did the recommended 12 sessions over four weeks and loved it.
There are four machines—the HDC machine (ideal for people with cellulite/water retention), the S120 (ideal for fit or 'apple-shaped' people looking to target trouble spots), the L250 (ideal for ‘pear-shapes’ or people with cellulite) and the vacunaut (ideal for men and women with excess weight around their stomach).
Each of my sessions included 20 minutes in the HDC machine, followed by 30 minutes in the S120 machine. You can just use one of the machines but the results are accelerated when you combine the two— and you’re still in and out within an hour which is perfect if you’re struggling for time!
The HDC was definitely my favourite. It involved laying down in an astronaut-looking compression suit and being plugged into a machine that sucks out all the air from inside the suit. The suit has 400 cupping chambers that work on areas such as the stomach and the thighs, while alternating between positive and negative pressure. It kind of felt like a giant octopus was grabbing my body but in a really nice way if that’s possible? The first time I used this machine I felt a little claustrophobic as the suit gets very tight, but once I was able to relax, I really enjoyed it.
After 20 minutes of this (where I would often doze off it was so relaxing!), it was time to work up a sweat on the S120 machine. This involved have two heart monitors strapped on to me—one just under the bra and the other on one of my thighs, before helping me into a compression “skirt” which zipped up just under the bust.
Once I was on the machine, the skirt clipped into a hood that came down and covered the lower half of my body in an airtight pressure chamber. Inside the chamber, there are pedals (just like a stationary bike). This was nowhere as intense as a normal exercise class but the S120 is definitely a workout. For 30 minutes, I had to peddle away, keeping myself in the ‘fat burning zone’ which I could constantly monitor on the screen in front of me (each person’s fat burning zone will be different according to their measurements). While I did have to concentrate on staying in the zone, it was easy enough to flick through magazines or watch TV at the same time. Winning!
There are a few strict rules that follow each HYPOXI session. For four to six hours after a session, you are not allowed to do any exercise or eat carbs (otherwise they are what will be burned off, not your fat cells). HYPOXI also recommends you go easy on the sugar and alcohol and eat well which will help with your results.
After a month of HYPOXI, I noticed my skin texture was much firmer plus I definitely felt more toned all over (which was pretty amazing considering all of the festive fun I was having in December!)
The program isn't cheap, but speak to any loyal HYPOXI devotee and they will tell you it’s worth it!
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Image credit: Louise Coghill