I’m usually the first to put up my hand when it comes to testing out anything fitness or weight loss related. Not because I’m super fit – it’s actually quite the opposite. I’m not what one would call a natural athlete. I lack any coordination required for team sports, and in general, I just hate cardio. And I also love good food. So I’m really willing to try anything that can help me maintain a healthy weight while enjoying what I love most in life (said good food).
Over the years, I’ve found exercises that work for me – barre, reformer Pilates, boxing, circuit training – but I’m always game to try something new.
Enter HYPOXI, a program that aims to help those who’d like to shave a few centimetres off their hips, bottom and thighs (pick me, pick me!).
Here’s what you need to know about HYPOXI, how it works, and if it actually worked for me. But before you read on, here is a photo of me about to get into my little HYPOXI chamber – just for fun.
There is a lot of science-y biological stuff that goes into how your body works to circulate blood and burn fat. Stuff that is beyond the realm of my knowledge, so I asked the lovely people at HYPOXI to explain in the simplest terms how HYPOXI works.
“We all put on weight in areas where circulation is poor - for women this is usually the hips, tummy, bottom and thighs, and in men this is generally the tummy and hips. HYPOXI supercharges your body’s natural fat burning system through its low impact, low intensity targeted exercise method that uses movement and vacuum compression technology to increase circulation in areas where circulation is poor,” says Lucy Moore, HYPOXI’s National Marketing Manager.
Just like most things, I was told it doesn’t work after just one session. I was recommended to do 12 sessions of HYPOXI – split into three sessions a week for four weeks.
When I got to my first appointment at the Hypoxi studio (I went to the Chippendale location in Sydney, but there are HEAPS around Australia), I was measured and weighed (only slightly terrifying), and was then taken to the first part of my session. The best way I can explain it is that I was put in a giant black vacuum suit, told to lay down on a bed, and then some cords were plugged into the suit. These sucked air in and out for 20 minutes, and it felt like I was rolling around in bubble wrap. It essentially felt like a massage and it was very easy to fall asleep during this session. The whole point of this part is to increase blood circulation and help shift some of that stubborn fat.
Then, this was followed by a 30-minute session of low-impact exercise in the form of cycling – also done lying down, but the lower half of my body was sealed in a vacuum chamber. The combination of lower body movement and the vacuum work to improve circulation so that fat burning is maximised. During this half hour I couldn’t slow down below a certain speed, and I couldn’t get my heart rate up too high, either. Was it tiring? Well, if you read what I wrote about cardio above, then yes, a little. But could I manage it? Definitely.
So this was repeated for 12 sessions – mostly done early in the morning before work – with another measurement done at my sixth session, and one at my last.
Now a HUGE part of the HYPOXI process is your diet. Here’s what I wish I knew before my first session: You can’t eat for two hours after each session, and if you’re going to eat before, it needs to be more than two hours before (given my appointments were typically at 7a.m. and I don’t love food enough to have eaten by 5a.m., I just forewent food until 10a.m. when my post-session food ban was over). So if HYPOXI is something you’re interested in doing, consider how it can fit into both your life schedule and your eating one.
It’s also important to know that to see the best results, you should follow what is basically a low carb, high protein diet. The first two hours after the food ban (so four hours after you complete your HYPOXI session) is a no-carb zone, and you’re advised to ditch caffeine and alcohol on the days you have your HYPOXI session. And, of course, drink lots of water.
Those are the dietary requirements in a nutshell, but your HYPOXI consultant can go into more detail.
Did my HYPOXI journey work? Absolutely. I lost a total of 12.2 cm across my tummy, hips and thighs, with the biggest loss around my bum.
But it’s important to know I made a lot of changes during my four weeks. On top of my tri-weekly HYPOXI sessions, I was still keeping up with my regular exercise routine (three days a week of Kayla Itsines circuit workouts), and my diet changed quite considerably. On HYPOXI days, I had boiled eggs instead of my usual Greek yoghurt and fruit for breakfast, I ate salad with lots of protein for lunch (I ditched a lot of carb-heavy vegetables like pumpkin), I had no caffeine at all, not a drop of alcohol (sorry, red wine), and then a protein and vegetable for dinner (or if I was going out, I’d try pick the healthiest option). For someone who generally eats quite healthily, this was still an adjustment.
The final verdict
There’s no doubt HYPOXI worked for me. While I didn't overtly notice any weight loss, I felt leaner, my clothes felt a little looser, and it was actually just a nice opportunity to reassess my diet and cut back on some of the things I had been over-indulging in (looking at you, simple carbs) and be more considered in what I was eating in general. Are the losses I made sustainable? According to my HYPOXI consultants, as long as I maintained a healthy diet and regular exercise, they should be. It’s now been a month and I don’t feel like I’ve gone back to my pre-HYPOXI shape. Could I have seen the same changes in my body had I just made the dietary changes and hopped on a bicycle three times a week? Maybe, but as far as I understand it, not in the same kind of time frame as with HYPOXI or to the same extent.
Is it worth investing in? If you have the time to dedicate to regular sessions, the willpower to abide by the strict diet recommendations, and, of course, the budget, I’d definitely recommend it as a kickstarter or if you’ve got a big event coming up that you’d like to tone up for (a wedding, for example).
Prices start from $69 a session, but you can find out all about the HYPOXI pricing here.
If you like the sound of barre classes, find out what I thought about doing an entire month of barre!
Have you tried HYPOXI? Or any other weight loss programs? What did you think? Please share with us in the comments below!
Image credits: Supplied