Hypoxi: what it is, why I’m doing it, and why I love it.

I was recently awarded Hypoxi Brand Ambassador of Australia by her majesty The Queen of Ungland. (Similar to the Queen of England, but more fictional.)

It’s a role I’m proud of and here’s why: I really like Hypoxi. It works for me. I first tried it whenI reviewed it for Harper’s BAZAAR back in 2007 and I fell for it pretty hard. So I was more than happy to partner up with them.

Hypoxi, for those who have not heard of it, is a form of lightweight training designed to shift fat from those VERY stubborn areas of fat on the body. Using some spacey, hi-tech machines and some fetching neoprene attire, Hypoxi combines gentle exercise with vacuum pressure, and is suitable for any level of fitness. It’s perfect for those who are otherwise fit and healthy but cannot, no matter what, ditch the fat from this area.

(Here are some handy FAQs that might help.)

For the majority of women, and certainly me, the target areas would be the arse, lower abdomen, muffin top and thighs. No matter how much I train or how well I eat, some jiggle and wiggle persists around these areas. It doesn’t consume me; I’m happy with my body, but it feels unfair that I do all the squats and drink all the green tea and use all the firming lotions and still, it remains untoned.

And that’s where technology can help. And where Hypoxi comes in. It works JUST on these areas, it cares not to take away bulk from areas like the boobs, which is usually the first place it goes. Just these problem bits! The bits you want to tone and shrink. (The last time I did it was just before summer and I was back into my tartiest Ksubi denim shorts before the four week program was complete: success!)

Hypoxi is notoriously hard activity to articulate – I strongly suggest you go into a Hypoxi studio and have a poke around if you’re curious – but if there’s one thing I’m okay at, it’s chess.

Also, explaining Hypoxi.

In a nutshell, the machines stimulate circulation to the areas discussed above using high and low pressure vacuum technology. You do light exercise as this is happening, cycling or walking on a treadmill, staying well in the fat-burning zone (NOT cardio). During the half hour workout and the hours following, your body stays in that fat burning mode, and since you have all that circulation gushing to those areas, THEY are the areas the fat will be burned. You are told not to eat carbs for 4-6 hours after Hypoxi, and for VERY GOOD REASON: If you eat carbs, THEY are what will be burned off, not your fat cells. So don’t do it. Not worth it. Have some bloody chicken salad instead. And no booze. Do the right thing; see the results. Simple. (Eat carbs before your session instead.)

What I wanted to achieve from this program:

I had a baby four months ago, and once he moved out of his tent, he lazily left it fully assembled. I have the pooch, in other words. Mums know about the pooch. Also, could do with some toning after four months of cake because I am breastfeeding and playing to the myth I have 500 spare cals a day specifically for cake.

Now. For matters I will explain in full detail in another post, I cannot exercise. Can’t even walk more than 10 minutes, in fact. This is because I have Osteitis Pubis and chronic pelvic instability, something that kicked in around week 20 of pregnancy, and saw me on crutches for the last five weeks of it. It’s a REAL fucker, to be blunt, and I am seeing many specialists and doing heaps of boring rehab to get better. Alas, going for a run or getting back to bootcamp is not an option. A stroll to the post office is even a bit of a mission.

Hypoxi, however, is zero impact and extremely gentle. I was given the OK to do it from my Osteo, and it has been wonderful to feel like I am at least doing some form of exercise, as soft as it may be. So, if you’re injured you can still do Hypoxi, is the headline.

What I have been doing:

The recommended 12 sessions over four weeks. Each Hypoxi session I do 20 minutes in the HDC machine, followed by 30 minutes in the L250, three times a week. You CAN just use one machine (the L250 or S120), but the results are said to be 30% better when you combine the two. (Thankfully it’s quick enough that I can take Sonny if I need to and he will sleep at least 40 of those minutes.)

The HDC is kind of like a lymphatic massage, or cupping. It’s recommended to do before you use the other machines because it accelerates the results, and offers particularly good results on cellulite. It involves laying down in a very strange astronaut-type suit, (in loose tracky pants and a singlet; no shoes) with small hoses attached to it that attach to a small robot-looking machine, and then the suit fills and un-fills with air to the point of olvely tight suction, and small little cups inside pop onto the problem areas like a massage. I love it. It’s very relaxing. Lots of women sleep. I make overdue phone calls. Here’s a relaxed brunette showing what happens.

Then it’s onto my 30 mins in the L25o. This involves putting my shoes back on, and also popping on a neoprene skirt, which zips up to just under your boobs, and then, as you lay down on the machine, seals from that skirt down into the pressure chamber. (See the visual aid… This “lid” will then close on this happy blonde woman so that her legs are no longer visible and there is a sealed off chamber for the vacuum to work.)


If I wasn’t injured I would probably use the S120 which you are seated upright and cycle on, as it’s most popular for younger, fitter types, whereas the L250 can be used by all fitness levels. I work up a light sweat in the L250, but nothing you need an urgent shower for afterwards. Many dames change and head straight back to work.

So that’s what it is, and how you do it, and why I’m doing it. I am about to complete my program, and will proudly reveal my results once I’ve been measured.

I reckon I am probably a fairly good case study, if I may be so bold as to say, because:

A) I cannot do any other exercise

B) I am breastfeeding six times a day, and as such I am always hungry for carbs, ALWAYS, even when I’ve just had some carbs, and am certainly am not on any form of lean and clean diet (although, placing my professional beanie on for a second, I think Hypoxi is a terrific reason and impetus to start a cleaner diet and a new exercise routine – think of how amazing your results could be!)

C) The results are quantifiable. You are measured at the start, and every four sessions, and then at the end. So there’s no fudging it.

D) I don’t put my name to shitty products or services that don’t work. Except for that one time Slimy Sal paid me $40 to be in his used car yard commercial.

More soon, you gorgeous rascals!

PS There is a swish competition Hypoxi has going on, where if you sign up for Hypoxi you could win a $10,000 holiday to Yasawa Island Hotel Spa and Resort in Fiji. Faaaaancy!




Responses to this drivel: 10 Comments
Responses to this drivel ( 10 )
  • Margie

    Oh I remember that hunger from breast feeding. I could not get enough food into me. Even at night whilst feeding I was stuffing my face with scones and cake my lovely mother had made for me. I even remember scoffing Bircher muesli at 0330.
    I could exercise and remember my first run when my son was 11 weeks. Maternity bra plus a crop bra. It was the most liberating run I have ever been on. No baby attached!!

  • Peachy Keen Mumma - Jess

    Hi Zoe, you got me all interested in this when I saw your weird Instagram pics! Ha. I have had debilitating back pain for 14 years and can only do very basic stuff at the gym too. As a result I can’t shed weight easily. The best I did was having a baby then Breastfeeding, amazing work out. Holy shit. Lost Kilos from it, and my mind. Now he’s 14 months , no boob and I’m back to flab. Thanks for your honesty on this. I’d be really keen to give this a go. I wonder if private health covers it … 

  • Dana

    Gosh I’d love this, but it’s really expensive 🙁

  • Kate

    OMG I have pelvic f@&@ing instability 
    I used to be grey hound thin now after 2 kids in three years I’m 20kg heavier… I can’t finish what I want to write coz one is cloning in me & the other screaming

  • Laura

    Sounds amazing! I also had pelvic instability during my pregnancy and it’s horrible! Are you going to do a blog post about it? 

  • Nat

    Honestly if it was you recommending this I would’ve scoffed. But I’ve done my trial and I start sessions next week! Hubby is aghast.

  • Jayde

    I gave the free trial a go and loved it as I hate high intensity training. I found Hypoxi to be much more enjoyable as there isn’t any impact on my joints. I would love to sign up to a program but the price is steep. I will have to get saving though as I think it does work to shift those stobbern problem areas I’ve had since pubity! 

  • Dee

    Hi just wondering what your results were like? Thanks

    • Kate

      Hi Dee,
      Just reading this old post and I’ve just completed 4 weeks of Hypoxi (using the L250 3 times a week). I’ve lost 2.7kg & 25.2cms from my waist to thighs. My waist, butt & legs are looking a lot firmer & feeling smoother. I’ve got another 2 months to go & excited to see what the final result will be.

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