Hey guys and girls,
Anyone that knows me, knows I’m really into my gym classes. Whether I’m sweating it out at an evening spin session or trying a new yoga studio on the weekends, I just enjoy the buzz of working out in a group. Here are some of my fave classes in West London.
My first experience of Barrecore was back in Bristol quite a few years ago. However, my memories of the class are still pretty vivid. It has to be one of the most painful exercise classes I’ve ever done, but also one of the best. My second experience in London was much the same. The movements that you do in the class are so simple and small that anyone looking in would thing you are barely moving a muscle – but boy are they wrong! With every tiny pulse you do, your muscle fibres are on fire and according to the instructor, if you get the shakes, even better! Despite feeling like I wanted to give up during most of the exercises, the teacher kept me focused and I got through it in one piece. This is the perfect class if you don’t need to lose weight but you want to be long and lean (think body of a Victoria Secret model).
Just on the edge of Holland Park, this studio has a very London cool vibe about it. I was half expecting to see a Made in Chelsea cast member hanging out in the café post-sweat sesh. I embarked on one of their cycle classes and I LOVED it. The bikes come with individual screens so you can see exactly how fast you’re going, how hard your resistance is, and how many cals you’ve burned. I managed to blitz over 400 calories in a 45-minute class and I was pretty chuffed with that. I’m keen to go back to try out one of their other classes soon (they also do classes like circuits, TRX and yoga).
This is a new spin studio that’s recently popped up in Westfield, and as Westfield is pretty much on my doorstep, I thought I would give it a go. The concept behind the brand is that the classes take you from sunrise to sunset – and as you ride along you can see different city scenes on the screen behind the instructor. It is a little bit cheesy, but I actually love all of that. The instructors are brimming with personality and really help to motivate you. There were many stages when I thought I couldn’t do it, but their inspirational words of wisdom got me through.
I’ve reviewed a whole load of spin classes, including FirstLight Cycle and Core Collective, for Absolutely London and you can READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
My love for Les Mills Body Attack classes started back in Bristol. The only way I can describe it to a newbie is that it’s like aerobics on acid. It’s a high intensity work out which involves lots of star jumps, high knees, burpees and even tuck jumps. But it’s all choreographed to music so once you get into the rhythm of it all, it’s so much fun. If you’re not good with your left and right then I’d probably say this class isn’t for you as the changes of direction can be quite quick sometimes. Every time I’m at Body Attack, I find myself grinning from ear to ear, as there’s such a ‘we are all in it together’ feel. You won’t leave without feeling on top of the world – trust me.
I had a leaflet through my door about the Frame studio in Hammersmith and they were offering a free trial, so I used my pass to try a reformer pilates class. With the likes of Millie Mackintosh and various other celebs posting pictures of themselves on a reformer, I thought I’d like to get in on the action. Having done normal pilates before, I knew this wasn’t exactly going to be easy. Within the first five minutes of the class my friend Jenna and I were making eyes at each other – eyes that read ‘OMG HOW HARD IS THIS ALREADY?!’ but despite the shakes, we gritted our teeth and made it to the end of the class. Put it this way, I can see why these celebrities have incredible bodies, because the reformer takes no prisoners.
Now, I love doing yoga, but it’s not really my thing. Simply because I don’t dedicate enough time to it, meaning I’m not that flexible. But still, I really do enjoy a good old stretch. So, when I signed up for a MoveGB trial and saw that Hot Pod Yoga was listed on there, I jumped at the chance to try it. I’d never done hot yoga before and I had heard horror stories about sweat dripping everywhere and near-fainting experiences, but you know – I like a challenge!
As soon as I stepped into the pod, the heat hit me like a wall of hellish humidity and I already had visions of me flailing around after just five minutes. However, your body does kind of adjust to the climate and the heat really helped me stretch out my muscles more. When I emerged from the pod, I was relieved to be breathing cool, fresh air again but I did have that post-exercise buzz for the rest of the day. I can’t wait to go back again as I loved it so much.
I’ve long been a fan of Instanity. I’ve never tried the workout DVDs, but I’ve been to a lot of classes. You really feel like you’re getting a good workout each and every time you go, as taking it easy really isn’t an option. If you’re attending an Instanity class for the first time, be prepared for a lot of tricky moves that really get your heart rate going – think one legged burpees, high-knee sprints, jumping squats and air jacks. What Insanity has taught me is that no matter how much your body hurts and how much you really want to give up, if you just hold on in there, you can actually do it. And that leads me on perfectly to one of my life mottos: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!
As well as these firm favourites, I’m still keen to try F45 and Crossfit, so watch this space.