29 Jan 2016

OPINION | ‘Blowing away the January blues!’

CF Commercial’s Daisy has been on a crawl around some of East London’s best…. gyms?! Read her review on four of the best places to work out in the capital…

“With January nearly gone and February firmly in sight, the allure of homogenous gym membership in a standard set-up is certainly beginning to diminish.  

I knew I needed something new,   a little different.   With new gym concepts popping up seemingly every week, I wanted to get out and have an explore”

First stop – Boom cycle, Shoreditch.

Hidden in the basement of what seems to be a relatively outdated office block, on one side surprisingly bright reception greets you with a variety of overpriced protein snacks and fitness gear available. The other side is completely different – Dim, club style lighting, banging tunes and a very enthusiastic instructor fill the room. At approximately 230sqm there are around 40 spin bikes lined up filled with fitness enthusiasts bouncing to the beat of the music.

Rousing instructors make the session more bearable, that being said it is still a spin class and a hard one at that.

Enjoyment: 5/10

Work out: 8/10

 Second stop – 1Rebel, St Mary Axe

Having heard rave reviews about 1Rebel I was keen to give it a go. Rather than signing up for another dreaded spin class I thought I would give the ‘Reshape – full body’ class a go.

I was pleasantly surprised with the industrially/metal fit out including large changing rooms with heated seats, lit up make-up mirrors, fabulous products and kitted out with GHD straighteners & hair dryers. I was almost tempted to just skip the class!

Well I am certainly glad I managed to drag myself out because the class is brilliant. The studio itself is kitted out like a club (which seems to be the norm these days?) a row of treadmills on each side with a work-out weight area in the centre. The class combines a running programme & weight training,   taught simultaneously to a rallying soundtrack.

Motivating instructors and general good vibes, I can see why this gym has been named GQ’s “King of Gyms”

Fun: 8/10

Work out: 10/10

Third stop – Project Fit, Cornhill, Bank

Claiming to burn ‘Up to 1000 calories per class’ this was a must-try for me. Located in the basement beneath a dental surgery and down a side-street in Bank, I turned up not knowing quite what to expect! With a similar fit-out and vibe to that of 1Rebel the dimly-lit basement includes a protein shake bar, with small (and not as well-equipped) changing & shower facilities. There is one studio with a raised level for the “treaders” whereby half the class take part in HIIT (High-intensity interval training) on treadmills using a mixture of hill climbs, jogging and sprinting, whilst the other half of the class work in the centre on a mixture of ‘body transformation exercises’ with the use of weights. The sessions generally see each half spend 5 minute rotations on each half for a total of 60 minutes.

Having experienced the class during different stages of fitness I can say it is not one for the fainthearted (or un-fit). For those who are more intermediate/ advanced this is a great class that is really challenging, where the instructors really motivate you to push to your limit.

Those extra 15 minutes were certainly testing, you needed to be motivated to last the full hour!

Fun: 7/10

Work out: 10/10

Fourth stop –  FRAME, Shoreditch

I was keen to try out the ‘Frame Rave’ class as it was highly recommended by a friend. The three of us went along on a Friday night, feeling all the strain of a hard week! The studio is set beneath a railway arch on New Inns Yard. The waiting area was packed with a crazy mixture of people waiting to do yoga, boxing and street jazz.

When it came to the class we were happy to find a fun mix of people, not too overly fitness keen doing crazy dancing to drum n bass! The instructor encouraged us to dance “Like we do at ‘The Rave” and even gave out prizes to the best dancers! I won a tub of glow paint! I was exhausted afterwards and definitely burnt a few calories!

Fun: 10/10

Workout: 9/10

Final Verdict:  Reluctantly (I did have fun at them all!) 1Rebel, St Mary Axe would have to be my winner.  A supreme class, the whole experience was brilliant and well thought-out.  I am excited to explore more gym concepts!

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