Thursday, 1 November 2012
The torture of the Stretching Wrack is back
It sounds ideal for short men like Simon Cowell and Jamie Cullum who may want to be taller than the ladies in their lives, while petite women such as Kylie Minogue and Lea Michele could ditch their sky-high heels if claims from a new gym class are true.
Fitness chain Gymbox say they can have developed a workout that guarantees to make you taller. They are so confident of their claim, they even offer money back to anyone who tries it and doesn't grow at least 2cm.
Fitness trainer Pierre Pozzuto developed the gym class which involves a mix of pilates, yoga, strengthening and speed work - plus a session on a scary-looking 15th century-inspired rack.
'When I told a few people, they begged me to help them grow too and that's the aim with the A-Grow-Bics class.'
Pierre said his class works by inducing the Human Growth Hormone (HGH) through repeated sprint exercises.
He said repeat sprinting also 'causes micro fractures in the bones that repair in a week encouraging them to strengthen, remould and grow.'
The rack, yoga positions and inversion exercises, such as hanging upside down from the feet, are also said to increase height 'by inducing spinal decompression which stimulates growth by increasing the fluid capacity in the spinal disks', according to Pierre.
No pain, no gain? The 15th century-inspired rack used during the gym sessions looks like a torture device
But Dr James Noake, an expert in sport and exercise medicine, told Style magazine he was skeptical about Pierre's claims.
'The discs between our vertebrae are made of tough material, with little capacity for expansion, and the rigid join structures either side of them will be resistant to lengthening,' he said.
He added that the rack was 'highly unlikely' to permanently help someone become taller while encouraging micro fractures was 'a little alarming' and 'unlikely' to be caused by speed work in those with healthy bones.
Growth spurt: Pierre claims he has increased his own height from 5ft 7 to 5 ft 9 over two years using his methods
But Gymbox insist they can add inches to anyone who follows Pierre's method.
Managing director Richard Hilton said: 'People join our gyms for all sorts of reasons, but one of the more unusual requests our trainers often receive is for exercises to aid growth. While we know this is a tall order, Pierre's techniques are head and shoulders above the rest and really do work.
'We are so confident in this class that we guarantee all participants will grow by at least two centimetres - if not, we'll happily give them their money back.'
The six week A-Grow-Bics is held at Gymbox's Farringdon, London, branch, at a cost of £200.