Concept Studio in Seapoint
I was treated yesterday to a very different kind of training at the Concept Studio located in the new Point Mall in Seapoint, Cape Town. The studio is on the 3rd Floor of the building. The focus is on running and cycling at high altitude, as well as core work.
The lovely manager, Kate, made me feel right at home and showed me around explaining how the studio works as well as taking me on a one-on-one session in the cycling studio and then a little core workout.
When I first heard high altitude training, I assumed I would be given an elevation mask and would be exercising with that on (something similar to the photo below that I just quickly grabbed off google); but to my surprise there were no masks involved.
Instead, the cycling and running studios are regulated to a certain elevation (up to 3000 metres); when I trained yesterday the elevation was set to the maximum ( 3000 metres) above sea level and let me tell you, it makes a crazy difference to how your body reacts while training! I‘ve always considered myself in pretty good shape (but definitely not a cyclist) and after training for just under an hour at the studio with Kate, I can happily tell you I am utterly exhausted and my muscles are feeling the burn! Luckily I am heading off to a massage shortly.
A little snippet of information I got off their website says “the Cycling Studio is a 75 square meter sealed studio fitted with a sophisticated oxygen management system. By altering the oxygen content within the studio we are able to simulate altitudes up to 3,000 meters above sea level.”
Ed: so they starve you of oxygen to simulate the experience of high altitude? That’s why we Vaalies can run 🙂
The studio proudly boasts 14 state of the art Wattbikes which are meant to feel like a proper road bike and not just a stationary gym bike. Each bike is linked up to a big monitor which shows you your cadence and power output. This is where you can regulate at which intensity you cycle. Simply put, the harder you pedal the higher your level and energy spent will be.
It is definitely a little more complicated than that but Kate made me feel right at home and excited to try this out – I did have difficulty trying to stay at any intensity while cycling.
What are the benefits of altitude training?
Well, training at higher altitudes (such as within the concept studio rooms) improves the working capacity of your muscles as well as the efficiency thereof. In short, higher altitude has less oxygen in the air and to compensate for the decrease in oxygen, a hormone in our body (erythropoietin (EPO)) triggers the production of more red blood cells to assist in oxygen delivery to the muscles.
So if the prospect of moving to Gauteng is too much to bare, you can always check out the website and find more information on why you should train at altitude with the Concept Studio.
The Concept Studio recommends 2 training sessions a week for 3 weeks at altitude. Please check out their website for further information on how to join in the fun! The Concept Studio offers various classes for all fitness levels! So there definitely is something for everyone.