This morning I was delighted to have the opportunity to try out Infratrainer, a completely new way of working out. Using a combination of an exercise bike and an infrared sauna, Infratrainer provides a unique experience, unlike any other exercise programme I have done before.
I’ll admit to feeling nervous and a little apprehensive before my session. Still, I was immediately put at ease by the warm welcome I received from Monika (the brains behind the idea, along with her partner Giuseppe) and Ildiko, whose calm presence is like an air steward.
Monika showed me to a private changing room where I found a basket with everything I would need. She explained that I would need to strip down to just my sports bra and pants, although a bikini is an acceptable alternative if preferred. You then apply a special cream to accelerate fat burning on your problem areas. There is a choice of an alternative cream that specifically targets cellulite if that’s your issue. Monika provided me with a plastic bag with legs to ‘slip into’ and left me to get ready.
Slipping into a plastic bag is not part of my usual routine on a Tuesday morning, but nothing ventured, nothing lost, and let’s face it, not the strangest thing anyone has ever done in the pursuit of beauty!
Socks are not to be worn, and I was left wondering what to do with my feet as the plastic bag was sealed at the end. The instruction was simply to put my feet inside the plastic bag and then into my shoes which, to be honest, felt more than a little weird but is ‘because you sweat a lot.
Suitably suited, and laughing a little self-consciously, I rustled my way back to Monika, who introduced me to The Infratrainer. If I had any idea of what it would entail at all, then all I could envisage was one of those waterbikes that were popular about five years ago, but this was nothing like that. You lie on the bike in a reclined position with your feet on the pedals and pull the sauna around you until you are completely enclosed in a kind of a cocoon. Once you are completely comfortable, the equipment is fired up, and you start to feel the heat. You can adjust the heat to suit your preference and have it either hotter or colder, and then you simply begin to cycle.
It is worth noting that it isn’t a race, but rather the idea is to get into a slow and steady rhythm that will put your body into fat-burning mode. Plus, in my opinion, going too fast would not be sustainable or recommended under the conditions. Wearing my Fitbit, I was able to monitor my progress and keep myself in fat burner mode. You are strongly advised to drink often and believe me you will need it.
The device is equipped with an integrated tablet with YouTube, Spotify, and an internet browser installed, which allows you to pretty much do what you want during your session. Some people like to take their minds off exercise entirely. I chose to watch an inspirational Brené Brown talk to keep me motivated.
Lying there and pedalling at a steady pace, I sweated, and then I sweated, and then I sweated some more. Monika’s team kept a close eye on me and popped in from time to time to check I was okay and remind me to keep drinking. Weird though it all felt, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the heat wasn’t so intense as to make it uncomfortable. The pace was enough to let me know that nothing was being strained or forced, although I was moving my body. A huge benefit of this type of training is that it is very gentle and is ideal for anybody who has problems with their knees or joints. The reclined position helps with the lymphatic system and, because lymph only moves upwards through the body, it helps get it moving. The lymphatic system is your body’s waste removal, so this is a good thing. The infrared sauna is thought to help support the natural detoxification processes in the body, improve relaxation, aid weight loss, boost circulation and improve sleep, amongst many other benefits.
My session lasted for 50 minutes, and when it was over, Monika gave me a scented moist towelette (similar to what some airlines give you). The towelette slowly cools your body down. It’s important to take the time to allow yourself to readjust, as the sudden change in temperature can make you feel unwell. Monika kindly brought me a cup of cold mint tea to sip as my body cooled down too.
Once I ready to move, Monika showed me to a shower room complete with luxury toiletries and a big fluffy towel. It felt so good to peel off the sweat-soaked shrink wrap and jump into a deliciously cool shower.
I cannot begin to tell you how amazing I felt afterwards, my body was glowing, and I feel like I looked absolutely radiant. The whole experience was like a mini pamper session. Everything provided simply enhanced the experience, from the basket provided to carry your personal effects between the changing room and shower to the luxury products right down to the Kusmi tea. I thoroughly recommend you give it a go, and it’s an experience I look forward to repeating again and again.
More information and bookings can be found at www.infratrainer.lu and you can follow Monika and her team on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Infratrainer-Luxembourg-100854035405067/ ) or Instagram (https://instagram.com/infratrainer_luxembourg?igshid=kxe596iu6yvl )