My legs have been getting a bit of a work out of late. Having bounded through winter in a pair of FitFlops, for the last month I’ve also been kicking off my boots and cycling through my lunch break, putting the latest and greatest in weight-loss technology to the test.
Hailed as “the most effective treatment for targeted fat loss and cellulite reduction to come on the market”, Hypoxi promises to transform your body in a matter of weeks. And with my very own posterior in need of a little toning before the summer, I was certainly excited, if not a little skeptical, as I signed up to a four-week, 12-session course.
Dreamed up by Austrian sports scientist Dr Norbert Egger, Hypoxi involves being locked into an airtight chamber as you work out (typically for 30 minutes, three times a week), and uses “vacuum technology” to increase blood circulation in your problem areas. Although there are a number of different machines developed for several different problem areas, being a typical ‘pear’ I found myself reclining into the L250 – a cycling machine encased in a pressurised chamber, designed to target fat loss on the lower stomach, hips, buttocks and thighs.
Despite the radical sounding name, there’s nothing too complicated about Hypoxi. Egger simply recognised that exercise is the key to weight loss, and that by stimulating blood flow to certain areas during exercise, fatty acids in those areas will metabolise quicker, speeding up the weight-loss process. It may be seen as a quick fix, but Hypoxi certainly isn’t an easy option and you have to work hard for your results.
Having donned my neoprene skirt – there to keep my top half firmly in place as the vacuum regularly sucks out air from the chamber, stimulating blood supply to the lower half of my body – it took me a little while to become accustomed to the strange things going on below my waist. However, once the initial surprise wears off, Hypoxi is an entirely enjoyable experience, and despite breaking a sweat, could even be classed as relaxing.
Maybe it’s because of its A-list reputation, with clients such as Robbie Williams and Cheryl Cole singing its praises, but visiting the Hypoxi studio is more like entering a spa than a gym. With magazines on hand to soak up while cycling, as well as a flat-screen TV in front of the machines and soothing scents filling the studio, I came to crave my lunchtime retreat.
But at AU$69 per half-hour session, and with only four weeks of sessions booked in, results were all important.
Fortunately, despite my skepticism, I didn’t have to wait long for results. Almost immediately, my skin became more taught, and the podgy nugget of fat above my knees seemed to disappear overnight. At the halfway stage, I’d lost over 10 centimetres from the lower half of my body, and energy-wise I was feeling great.
It’s important to note that, during your commitment to Hypoxi, there are some rules. For four hours after each session, you’re prohibited from munching on anything containing carbs (so time your sessions to coincide with your preferred meal-times), alcohol is banned and you’re encouraged to exercise on the days you’re not cycling your way to slimmer thighs.
It’s hard, therefore, to quantify the impact the compression and vacuum technology alone had on my body mass. However, perhaps that’s somewhat irrelevant. For me, Hypoxi kick-started a better body shape for my legs as a whole – something I haven’t managed to achieve with any other exercise. And the best bit? The weight stays off as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
There are 48 Hypoxi locations across Australia and New Zealand that can be found on hypoxi.com.au