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Puma Faas Class – train like Usain Bolt

Kim Hookem-Smith
Yahoo Lifestyle
24 May 2012

Those finding it too hard to fit the gym into their busy schedules now have a new, speedier workout choice.

[Related story: Look good after the gym]

Based on sections of Usain Bolt’s athletic training, the Puma Faas Class is a super high-energy workout that fits neatly into 30 minutes.

Y! Lifestyle bravely donned our running shoes and headed to a class.

Turning up 90 seconds late was a bad move as this class is crammed from start to finish to get the most out of the time. We missed a minute and half of precious stretching, but launched straight into the next stretches and got right into the spirit with pumping music and an enthusiastic trainer.

Created in the US by fitness guru Brett Klika, Faas, meaning ‘fast’ in Jamaican, is chockablock with high intensity exercises, including sprints, star jumps, press ups and sit ups.  The workout uses a variety of equipment from weights to resistance ropes. Participants also work in teams (though not in an embarrassing school PE lesson way) to rotate the exercises and equipments.

Despite a similarly exotic name, it’s nothing like Zumba, and is more akin to circuit training or British Military Fitness in the types of exercise it includes, though more fun than the first and not as scary as the second.

[Related story: At-home full body workout]

And it does genuinely feel like a more intense workout than an unsupervised (and sometimes half-hearted) hour in the gym. The bursts of energy are great for fat burning and using weights helps you tone up and strengthen your muscles and core. Plus you can be in and out, showered and clean in less than an hour.

"The challenge for people will be that the workout will be tougher," explained Virgin Active's head of fitness Tim Foster. "We all know you don’t get results without putting the effort in. Training needs to be enjoyable and impactful so our fitness professionals are pushing members to work harder in these sessions.”

As a finale, out come tennis balls. Bemused, we’re told to stand on them (one at a time), giving our soles a quick massage,  then we sit on the floor and use the pressure of our weight on the ball to unknot muscles in the calves. It’s an odd approach and to be honest it doesn’t prevent post-first-class aching.

But aching means it worked, right?

Puma Faas is offered at Virgin Active health clubs, check your local club for class details.

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