It’s said that when one is bored of working out in London, one is bored of life. Well, that may not be the exact expression, but one glimpse at this summer’s influx of new studios and introduction of exciting new concepts and you may be tempted to change your mind.
Cult exercise favourites including spinning, yoga and HIIT have been given a functional twist; each haunt strongly encourages constantly challenging mind and body with multiple disciplines to keep it guessing and avoid falling into a dreaded workout rut. As important as it is to find ways ways of moving your body that you truly love, it’s just as crucial to mix things up on the regular to ensure those endorphins are flowing each and every time you get sweaty.
With this in mind, we’ve taken it upon us at AH HQ to round up and review some of our favourite hangouts that guarantee to keep you on our toes each and every time.
UN1T: London Bridge
The Un1t London Bridge family were kind enough to have us down for a full week of sessions that fused both cardio and strength, pushing us to work at a level we didn’t even know capable. Without fail we ended every session in a sweaty heap on the ground and breathless with a beetroot face that wouldn’t disappear for a good few hours after.
The ever changing class structures alternate daily between HIIT and resistance-based training, and have been cleverly curated to work and rest the right muscle groups throughout the week. Not to mention, the short interval times and quick changes between stations kept our minds engaged enough to avoid wasting any time focussing on how much pain we were in!
While speed and agility were encouraged on the cardio days, a slower pace was taken on the resistance days as we were motivated to lift heavier and with more control. These sessions are invaluable for those who have yet to step into the weights section at the gym, as the trainers are always on hand to ensure correct form is performed and injury avoided. Don’t be fooled by the lower intensity of these classes, we emerged just as sweaty if not more than from the cardio sessions!
Un1t have such a wonderful community vibe that seems to be lacking from many of the city’s studios where people simply zip in and out with their head down. The trainers really make an effort to get to know you and learn about your past training history to ensure that you really get the most out of your workouts.
This is definitely the closest we have felt to getting a personal training session in a single class. For those seeking to expand their training horizons and be challenged to another level, this one’s for you.
Psycle London: Shoreditch, Fitzrovia & Canary Wharf
Speaking of community vibes, there’s nothing quite like being part of the Psycle family. Come rain or shine, the heavier and more stressful days to those when we feel on top of the world, no other workout makes us feel more energised, lighter, and just generally like a new person than a spin class here.
So you can imagine our excitement when we heard of the newest haunt opening up in Shoreditch with brand spanking new yoga, barre and HIIT classes taught by our favourite spin instructors. While the misconception that spinning leaves regular riders with bulky legs being thrown out the window, we still believe in the importance of shaking things up in the studio. Fitness should never feel like a chore, and with the diverse concepts available at the new Psycle, there’s little chance of this.
Our top tips? We recommend hitting the barre with Sinead for a strength based workout that will leave even the fittest amongst us with jelly legs and burning abs, a signature Psycle ‘Yoga Fix’ session with Gemma and a HIIT class with Kevin and Ollie for a serious cardio burn
Dare you do the quadruple?
Another Space: Covent Garden
Tucked away behind always buzzing Seven Dials is the beautiful Another Space. Since opening a last Summer, the studio offers a trio of heart pumping workouts: HIIT, cycle and yoga with the likes of Steffy White and Annie Clarke. Our favourite without a doubt is their quick fire lunchtime 45 minute HIIT session.
This one for sure isn’t for the faint hearted; upon arrival you are given a set of boxing gloves immediately indicating that this is HIIT with a twist. The session is divided into three rounds: speed, power and explosive, with each round being split between the punch bag and conditioning exercises on the floor. Expect mountain climbers and high knees on command, tension relieving sandbag throws and some seriously intense glove-to-bag combos before an all out two minute finisher that will leave you marvelling at your own strength.
No visit is complete without a refuel at their smoothie bar. We love the Berry Blast blended with coconut water and a scoop of Neat Nutrition vanilla vegan protein. It’s so good that we’ve been known to skip the workout altogether and pop in for one as an afternoon pick me up!