If you live or work in London, you’ll notice that gyms have been gradually evolving. Gone are the days of ‘scary’ weights areas for men and cardio machines for females. The new gym is f*cking cool.
Dark rooms, neon lights, pumping music so loud you can’t hear yourself think and a healthy mix of males and females sweating it out before work, lunch or after work.
I tried out three hot gym classes in London and this is my review of three of them.
It definitely helped that when I tried this outdoor gym class in Shoreditch it was a beautiful sunny day. But honestly, this class was so much fun. An outdoor playground, this class was similar to Crossfit, but, without the name attached was much cheaper!
Lots of AMRAP sets including kettle bell swings, clean & press, squats, deadlifts and a little bit of running to get your heart rate up.
The fresh air and the playground feel to it made this even better. The class I was in was fairly small and the trainer took time to get to know our names and pushed us to our limits which is what you want to get out of a class.
Location: Shoreditch High Street (next to the Overgound)
Price: £16 per class
Good for: Summer, mixing up the routine, if you like Crossfit
Bad for: Rainy days
Sprints? Hill sprints? Weights? Abs? This class has it all. And OMG will you feel it.
A choice between 30 minute or 45 minute classes (always start with the 30!) I have done both and the extra 15 minutes on the longer class really takes its toll.
Alternating between sprints on a treadmill or floor work, this full body class is great for a lunchtime workout. The neon lights and club music really helps you to push through those last few reps and the instructors are great! (although I’m sure they’re 8 second countdown is more like 20 seconds).
Once you finish the class, you can refresh in their 5* changing rooms, complete with CowShed toiletries, GHDs, make up remover and moisturiser. Th great thing about booking a 1Rebel is all you need to bring is your workout gear – everything else is provided!
If you book a class at lunch you also get a complimentary shake when you leave. Winning!
Location: Broadgate Circle / 1 Mary Axe
Price: £20 per session
Good for: Lunchtime workout, full body, social
Bad for: Your wallet!
This is probably my favourite class out of all 3. A bit like 1Rebel but substitute the running with boxing rounds. This is by far the most intense workout class I have probably ever done.
The instructors are really helpful and give you an induction if it is your first time and the guy remembered my name even when I went back a week later which I thought was cool. There are 4 rounds in a 50 minute class. A few minutes of boxing, the sequence flashes on the wall so at least you half know what punches you are doing. I did the Lower Body session so this is then superset with THE HARDEST LEG WORKOUT EVER!
Bunny hops, weighted wall sits, jump lunges, sumo squats. It feels never ending. I don’t think anyone can actually complete a round without a little rest and risk being shouted at.
That’s another thing, do not do this class if you like to be lovingly coached. You will hear swear words and be shouted at to do more.
The music is insane, more grime than house but works well for all the punching and makes you feel like Rocky.
The final round is Beast Mode. I think that says it all but oh my god, you feel so good leaving! I could barely find the energy to walk back to my office but it will help your fitness levels massively.
Location: Chelsea and the City
Price: £20 per session (but you get the first 2 sessions for £25 KOBOX hand wraps)
Good for: Intense workout, Fitness levels, Stress management (all that punching)
Bad for: If you are feeling fragile, haven’t worked out in a while, constrained for time (takes 10 mins to get the wraps on, 50 minute class plus shower time)
Let me know if you try any of these classes and how you find them!