Here’s a workout that can put your old gym routine to shame. Level 5 Fitness in Boca Raton brings you the Fitwall, a single standing machine that uses your bodyweight to tone and strengthen.
A single class on the Fitwall, which lasts about 45 minutes, can work out more than 600 muscles in your body, says owner Jim Woolard. That’s a big difference from the five or six muscles weight lifting and other common exercises focus on.
The workout is intense — Woolard recommends participants only go three times a week to allow sufficient recovery time and keep your body from going into overdrive — but it does produce great results in as little as a couple of weeks, he says. You’re also using your own weight for each exercise, reducing your chances of getting hurt.
Here at Boca Mag, we were curious about how Fitwall works. So we sent three staffers to test out this new fitness method. Check out the video from BocaMagTV and read on to find out how their experience went.
Michelle Ferrand, Editorial Intern
Fitness Level: Novice; Occasionally, I like to go running and I take the stairs when I can.
Pros: It isn’t a time consuming exercise, the gym has a fun atmosphere, and they monitor your performance to make sure you don’t hurt yourself.
Cons: If your hands get sweaty, it becomes a little harder to grip onto the Fitwall
The experience: When we first walked in to Level 5 Fitness, I was extremely nervous but excited. Reason being that I knew I was out of shape considering I haven’t really exercised in a while –– but I do try to take the stairs, if that counts. When we met the owner, Jim Woolard, I blurted out ‘I hate exercise.’ Why? I don’t know but he looked at me weird and wondered why I was even participating.
Between talking and hooking up our heart rate monitors to the computer, we really only did 15 minutes of actual exercising as opposed to the full 45. But for 15 minutes of exercise, I have never worked so hard in my life. We did several different exercises on the Fitwall, including modified squats and pull ups, and did chest presses and lunges with suspension cords attached to the Fitwall as well. It doesn’t sound like much, but I was feeling the burn in my legs and arms. It was also hard to keep good form while doing the exercises. Every so often, Jim would come up to and make sure I was in good form which makes the exercise that much harder.
My hands were slipping off the Fitwall from the sweat and it was hard to keep up with my more active co-workers, but despite it all, I just tried focusing on my breathing and forget what was happening around me. Every now and then, I would look up to check my heart rate and was shocked to see that I made into the red zone –– it happened like three times. At one point, Jim asked me to stop so that my heart rate would go down.
Overall, I really liked using Fitwall because I felt good about working out my body and wasn’t overly exhausted. Because I was so into the exercises, I wasn’t worried about other people judging my pathetic workout skills. At the end, I burned around 360 calories in those 15 minutes and was pretty sore in my arms and thighs the next day. I also liked that they recommend going three times a week for 45 minutes, because it's easy to fit in a busy schedule - especially since I'm balancing a full class load and work. I might regret saying this, but I can’t wait to go again.
Recommend to a friend: I would (and I did).
Stefanie Cainto, Web Editor
Fitness level: Moderate. I hit the gym anywhere between two to five times per week (mild cardio, focus on strength training), practice yoga at home and attend occasional bikram yoga or barre courses.
Pros: Intense and efficient. Watching your heart rate go up is extremely motivating. It makes you want to push yourself and work even harder.
Cons: It really tests your forearm strength - I’m sure this goes away as you take more classes, but the first time is a killer. You also get the please-just-let-me-lie-on-the-couch-all-day feeling after.
The experience: A couple of hours before the workout, I receive a message from Jim. He asked how many people were coming to try out the Fitwall.
“I just wanted to grab some Gatorade for everybody,” he says. “Just in case …”
I cringed. Uh oh. Is it really that hard? I withheld this conversation from my fellow staffers in fear of them backing out on me. Maybe that was a bad idea, but I don’t think any of us have stopped raving about it since.
The workout was nothing close to a joke. It worked out muscles I didn’t even know I had, all while testing my coordination and ability to keep proper form. In about 20 seconds, the Fitwall managed to raise my heart rate higher than it goes after 10 minutes on a stationary bike.
Almost three hours after a 10-15 minute session, and my arms still felt like jello. Seriously. It was a struggle to type. Twenty four hours later, my lats were completely sore and it hurt to lift my arms above shoulder height. I’ve spent more than an hour at the gym in the past and haven’t gotten results like that.
But I guess I shouldn’t have expected any less from a workout that has me doing donkey kicks as I tiptoe on a three-inch step and grip a metal bar a few feet higher.
Will I be back? Definitely. But I’ll admit I’m just as terrified as I am excited to see what a full 45-minute workout can bring.
Recommend to a friend? I’d recommend it to a stranger.
**Level 5 Fitness offers a free two-week membership for all new members and has two locations in Boca Raton. They’re located on 101 Plaza Real South – Suite C, Boca Raton (East Boca) and 9858 Clint Moore Road – Suite C128-9, Boca Raton (West Boca).