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Leigh Crymble
2 minute read
13 Mar 2014
10:00 am

The Lo Down: Ready, sweat, go!

Leigh Crymble

Hailed "the greatest workout ever", S.W.E.A.T. 1 000 has caught the attention of the South African fitness industry and is growing in popularity.

Pictures: Supplied.

Want to lose 1 000 calories in just one exercise class? Well, according to S.W.E.A.T. 1 000 enthusiasts; you can. I put them to the test at the opening of their new Brooklyn Mall branch in Pretoria.

A one-hour action-packed class

Specialised Weight Endurance Aerobic Training first came onto the fitness scene in 2000 when brothers Paul and Andrew Rothschild teamed up with fitness expert Steve Uria to design a workout that would target all of the body’s muscle groups.

What makes a S.W.E.A.T. 1 000 class different, and perhaps so popular, is the combination of high-intensity cardio with strength training (think kettlebells and resistance bands). Add to the mix a (very) vocal fitness instructor, loud music, and the occasional lumo-themed session and you get an exhilarating whole-body workout.

S.W.E.A.T. 1 000 is aimed at people of all fitness levels, I’m told before my class, but don’t be fooled: to get the full 1 000-calorie burning experience, you have to give it your all. Which means it is absolutely exhausting.

During my inaugural S.W.E.A.T. 1 000 experience, there were a few times when I contemplated remaining face down on my mat rather than return to the treadmills – which are custom built, by the way, to incline to a 30 degree angle to burn three times more calories from fat.

Picture: Supplied.

Picture: Supplied.

Trend sweaters

Local celebrities who have joined the S.W.E.A.T. 1 000 craze include Boity Thulo, Lalla Hirayama, Mika Stefano, and LeAnne Dlamini, who credits losing the weight from her pregnancy last year to the classes. Hayley Owen, a brand ambassador, is also a big fan of the workout and attends three classes a week.

Alternating between treadmill sprints, dumbbell raises, and theraband stretches, I was (literally) put through my paces during this one hour, 60 minute, 3 600 second workout. Did I pass out? Nearly. Did I burn 1 000 calories? It sure felt like it.

But, as my sister Tegan – a human kinetics and ergonomics graduate – points out, 1 000 calories per session is a bold claim. Burning calories should never be the gold standard in exercise, she stresses, rather fun should be. Luckily then, that in between all the sweat, the vibe in these classes is just that.

Keen to combine fun and fitness yourself? Visit to find a S.W.E.A.T. 1 000 branch near you.