How To Pick A Gym Class

by Olivia Cox August 9
Olivia Cox, Travel, Portugal, Croatia

When I was writing for Marie Claire magazine, it used to baffle me how all the editors managed to stay so skinny when presented with a seemingly endless diary of coffee dates, lunches, aternoon teas and canape-ridden evening events. Turns out, they couldn’t. Instead, we now swap indulgent breakfast meetings for a 7.15am class & shake, and press events are as likely to be a 5k jog as they are a three-course-er. And from what I hear, most industries have gone a similar way. Even friends in banking claim to now forego boozy lunches in favour of double-legs day.

All of which conspires to encourage the launch of a miryad of fitness boutiques, and frighteningly over-populated class timetables at the old faithful chains.  Plainly said, just about every gym that e’er there was now has new classes on a weekly basis. It’s. Hard. To. Keep. Up.

So I tried a load out for you.  Here’s the best classes in London gyms right now.

Olivia Cox, asics, run the tube, fitness blogger,

Versa Climber at Sweat by BXR
What is it – low impact, high intensity cardio
Why it’s different – Sweat by BXR is the only place in Europe you’ll find this class. Burn up to 22.3 calories per minute (compared with the usual 13-14 in other cardio classes)
Don’t forget – A change of clothes – there’s a reason they called this place sweat
Great for – Shredding body fat and building muscle without bulking

Shred at Fitness First London Bridge
What is it – Strength & resistance training, with ‘active rest’ intervals of fun things like burpees
Why it’s different – A rare blend of just about everything – speed, high-intensity, resistance, endurance, dynamics.. And a killer playlist
Don’t forget – It’s kind of assumed you know how to assemble basic bar weights. So maybe swat up if you don’t
Great for – Toning without getting bored

Punch at Virgin Active
What is it – 12 rounds of 3 min bursts split between boxing drills on the bags and strength training in a cross-fit format
Why it’s different – You actually get taught the boxing basics
Don’t forget – Your own wraps
Great for – Making the time go quickly

One LDN Tower Hill
What is it – Cross-fit class at the latest branch of One London
Why it’s different – All the equipment you will ever need is neatly enclosed into your space. And OCD sufferer’s dream
Don’t forget – It’s useful if you already know how to deadlift
Great for – Competitiveness – you basically try to out-rep everyone else. Sweaty AF


Lomax Blast at Lomax
What is it – Similar principle to One LDN in that you have your own little pod with everything you need, but also totally different. For starters, you work in pairs and use a TRX loads
Why it’s different – Foam rollers feature. Which is a love / hate situation
Don’t forget – Save enough time to chill in the cafe afterwards. It’s where the PTs hang out and the shakes are mega. Which is two solid reasons to get involved.
Great for – Cheaters – Classes are intimate so you can’t get away with slacking

Semi-Private PT at Duo Chelsea
What is it – Basically what it sounds like. The attention of a PT, less of the cost
Why it’s different – Duo is a PT-only gym, so all the class teachers are also PTs. Which mean they are super-nails on form
Don’t forget – Your small dog. A steady stream of pups come and go, and Poppy the mini maltipoo tends to hang out in the office
Great for – Fitspo – the trainers are HOT

Barry’s West
What is it – thurs Barry’s in London, frequented by the head trainer’s dog
Why it’s different – If it’s not broke don’t fix it, so classes are the same as other branches. But. The changing rooms are NEXT LEVEL (they have Dyson hairdryers – IRL)
Don’t forget – to order your shake pre-class. Last-minute additions are frowned upon
Great for – people watching (through the sweat) – Harry Styles and David Beckham are said to be fans

Psycle Shoreditch
What is it – Same drill as before, this time east
Why it’s different – Spin classes that place emphasis on psychology, exercising your headspace as well as your body
Don’t forget – The p is silent. So you just pronounce it cycle. Don’t worry, I didn’t realise either
Great for – Clearing your head and releasing endorphins

Olivia x

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