How’d It Feel: Sproing’s philosophy is “train hard, land soft.” The machine itself looks a bit like a backward treadmill, only instead of a moving belt beneath your feet, you have a soft stationary pad reminiscent of a camping air mattress (in fact, that’s what the founders used in their very first prototype). You’re attached to the machine via a harness that allows you to run in place and that also contributes to the low-impact nature of the class.
Arguably more important is how the class didn’t feel — painful. Typically, after 30 minutes of strenuous, “actually no, I cannot do another burpee, because I don’t have a drop of energy left in me” exercise, I wobble home on aching knees and strained shins. When I clipped out of the harness and returned to solid ground, there was the feel-good burn and fatigue that comes with a good workout but no aches to be had.
What It Helps With: Runners will appreciate that the Sproing Trainer was designed with them in mind as a way to build endurance and strength without the pain that can come with pounding the pavement. This is a low-impact workout that gets your blood (and sweat — lots of sweat) flowing.
What Fitness Level Is Required: Everyone’s max intensity is different, and the nice thing about classes that focus on heart rate zones is class-goers can customize to their fitness level. If certain skills are more difficult for you than others — say, for example, you loathe planks of all varieties… ahem — there are ways to change up your positioning on the pad to utilize the Sproing’s harness and take a bit of the strain off your body while still completing the exercise.
Would We Do It Again: Definitely. This would be a nice supplement to my regular running activities as a way of building endurance and strength while also giving my joints a respite.