First, I met my trainer, who took my weight (gulp) using not a scale but an InBody machine, a sort of electronic contraption that you stand on while holding hand grips so that the machine can pump electric current through your body. I didn’t feel any electricity, but I was a little shocked when my biometric reading came back with the suggestion that I lose seven pounds. Ahem.
Next, I moved on to the workout. First, I sat on a strange-looking bike that looks similar to a Peloton bike. My workout took just nine minutes, during which a woman’s soothing, British-accented voice (that I wish I could hire to read bedtime stories) guided me through the workout via headphones. The voice calmly explained that I was pedaling during primitive times and then suddenly… a tiger was chasing me. Corny, yes, but it did motivate me to sprint. The resistance was excruciatingly heavy, but for such a short length of time, it was totally manageable.
Total time: 9 minutes
Next, I sat on what looked like a standard weight-room bench, except there were no weights, just a paddle to press against. I used it to do a chest press, a row and a leg press. I did just six reps of each, but there was no way I could handle more—the machine actually adjusts the weight moment by moment according to what you can handle and tracks your max amounts. Unlike typical gym machines, which have resistance in only one direction, this one is engineered so that you have to push against resistance in both directions.
Total time: 5 minutes
Finally, I did a “cold HIIT” series, in which I sat on what looked like an incumbent bike and put my bare feet on flat metal panels. The trainer put compression cuffs on both of my arms and around my thighs. I leaned back against a cold compression pad that initially was—as expected—freakin’ cold, and started pushing and pulling the foot and arm pedals. I alternated periods of moving at a steady pace with intermittent 15- to 30-second sprints. Halfway through, my thighs were burning, which makes sense since this brief workout is supposed to be the equivalent of three hours of intense exercise. But hey, if Tiffany Haddish survived with a smile...
Total time: 15 minutes
Right when I felt like I couldn’t take much more, it was recovery time. I lay down on a table with that same cold compression pad on it. While the cooling soothed my burning legs, a panel of infrared LED lights—which I was told helped with inflammation—hovered above my face. With my eyes closed, I imagined I was on a pool float with the warm sun shining on my face.
Total time: 10 minutes