March 19, 2015 | Posted by Stephanie Banyas
A few weeks ago, I had the great fortune to leave the freezing, cold, gloomy, Northeast weather behind and escape to the sunny, warm, happy West Coast weather (thanks to my very generous boss, a.k.a Bobby Flay). My partner in fitness Elyse Tirrell came along for the (plane) ride and one of the first things we did, after shedding our down coats and winter boots for tank tops and sandals (and eating a plateful of Cha Cha Chicken), was search out a hot LA workout. Hello, Training Mate…or should I say G’Day!
What is Training Mate, you ask? It’s a circuit based, 45 minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class that uses a combination of resistance and cardiovascular exercises. It can burn up to 1000 calories an hour and will have your body “camera ready” in no time. Ace!
Training Mate was founded in Sydney, Australia in 2009 by Luke Milton. Luke, a former professional rugby player, has movie star good looks, the body of a fitness model, and the comedic timing of a Sunset Strip comedian (he will like that description best!). After taking his class, I can add one more compliment to that list: amazing instructor. He is energetic, friendly, funny, patient and sincere. He really believes in this workout and he wants to make sure that all of his students are getting the most out of it.
Elyse and I took the Bondi Burn class, which is focused on upper body strength. Even though there are many laughs (seriously, Luke is funny!), this class was no joke. It was 60 minutes of nonstop circuit training: 45 second intervals done three times each at nine different fitness stations. Strength training consisted of tricep dips, kettle ball pushups, bench presses, burpees, pull ups, walking planks and bicep curls. Cardio was in the form of rowing (really fast) and cycling (really, really fast). It didn’t take long for the sweat to start pouring and the pain to start setting in. No pain, no gain…so cliché, but so true! The class ends with abdominal work and stretching outside in the garden -- yes, I said outside (so LA…so amazing).
During the workout, Luke is like your very own personal cheerleader making sure that everyone is doing each exercise properly and congratulating us each step of the way. He pushes you without being pushy. You want to work hard. You want to make him proud.
If Elyse and I lived in Los Angeles, Training Mate would definitely be a part of our workout regimes. Unfortunately we don’t…but if you do, or if you are visiting, do yourself and your body a favor and check it out. And tell Luke that Stephanie and Elyse said G’day!