New Workout Fitwall Is Balls-To-The-Wall Burn

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6H7A3261Photo: Courtesy Of Fitwall.
Sick of Spin class? Over sweating buckets at Bikram? Kinda scared of Crossfit? We’re right there with you. So, whenever we hear about a new workout — especially one that promises to boost our booties, tone our thighs, and not bore us to death — we’re all in. Such was the case with Fitwall, a new, high-tech workout on a, well, wall.

Fitwall’s stations look sort of like a 7-foot-tall, metal bookshelf, where the racks act as handles and foot rests. And, we had to try it to believe it. The company's motto is “Train Smarter,” which it backs up with some serious gaming technology. Each station comes equipped with an iPad and a heart monitor, which members strap on to see their individual data display.

“We accumulate all of the metrics — which we call the ‘F Factor’ — exertion, recovery and movement,” says Clif Harski, Fitwall's director of training and national head coach. A larger screen in the back of the room displays the metrics for everyone in the class. “It’s by percentage so that members can compete in a positive way,” he says. "It’s really more of a tool for the instructors so that we can keep an eye on everyone in the class.”
6H7A3399Photo: Courtesy Of Fitwall.
When the class begins, the iPad streams a video of Harski and his wife, Amy, performing the exercises so that we can follow along without losing momentum. “The gamification aspect of Fitwall also shows your workout history and your progress,” Harski says. “It encourages you to compete against yourself.”

In total, over 900 different exercises can be performed on the wall — which means it has full-body cred. Our workout incorporated cardio, flexibility and strength training; For 40 minutes, we climbed up the wall like tree frogs trying to escape from a giant lizard.

First up: The perfect pull-up. Hanging onto one of the top shelves for dear life, we used our arms to lift our body weight. Then, “Cowboy Squats.” With thighs rotated outward and legs perched on a mid-level shelf, you drop your butt down and then bounce back up. We did three sets of ten very quickly. It got our hearts racing and glutes burning while making us look like Madonna's backup dancers (so we thought, at least).

Next up were some ab-burning hops. Hopping from shelf to shelf and alternating foot placement seems like it would target your leg muscles. But, this actually strengthens the core which — we can attest — is engaged nonstop in order to maintain stability and balance. And, the exercises kept on coming. Let’s just put it this way: There wasn’t one part of our body that wasn’t shaky and spent when we left.
Fitwall_LaJolla-59Photo: Courtesy Of Fitwall.
“This is the future of exercise,” says Harski. “It allows you to train holistically, rather than body part by body part.” We’ll give him this: It’s more than you can do on a stationary bike. And, the next day our legs felt the pain. (Good pain, of course.)

Currently, Fitwall has two California locations – one in La Jolla and the other in Solana Beach. A New York studio is expected to open by the end of this year. Classes will cost about $20 with monthly membership going for around $175.

Maybe we’re off the wall — but we can’t wait to climb back on.