Over the past few months we’ve tried quite a few workouts but there are some which we liked more that others. If you are bored with your workout routine and have been wanting to try something new, here's a list of our favourites:
The class is conducted in a giant inflatable pod, which actually creates an amazing cocoon-like ambience. The pod is heated to 37°C and is dimly lit by candles, so you can really switch off from the outside world and focus on your practice. The temperature is not quite Bikram hot (41°C), so you can work up a good sweat without getting that light-headed feeling.
We took a beginner/intermediate class but the asanas became pretty challenging as we started to feel the heat more. I’m a regular ashtangi and I found that class resembled the primary series with a few adjustments. Hot Pod Yoga classes last 60mins, which we found quite doable. You leave tired but not completely drained. Classes are reasonably priced at £12 and they offer various class-pass and membership options for regulars. They take place across London and in other locations across the UK.
If you want abs now, go to Barry’s Bootcamp. As a new comer to Barry’s before we began, my instructor Faisal took me aside and showed me how to use all the equipment. He said that with the treadmill I didn’t always have to go at the pace he dictated but that I did have to adjust my incline according to his instruction – no negotiating. We did 15 minute intervals on the treadmill and then 15 minutes doing floor exercises. I was very impressed with my first run as I am not much of a runner; the incline wasn’t too bad and the speed was tough but I could cope. The first interval on the floor was good. The workout was doable but I was really feeling the burn as we were working out both our arms and legs using the stretch band.
With half the class done, I was feeling pretty good. Then we got onto the second treadmill run and started at a 15 point incline! I usually never exceed 2 points and now I had to walk up 15! It was exhausting. We slowly brought the incline down, and it was hard to bring myself to run, but I did (for about a minute). Then it was back to the floor to use dumbbells and squats. After the hour was over, I was finished. If you need a post-workout fix, Barry’s has a refreshment bar in the corner when you can rehydrate or get a smoothie. Classes at Barry's cost £20.
I’d heard a lot about Heartcore before I signed up for my first class – the main thing being that they are the toughest of all reformer pilates classes around! If you’ve never tried a reformer pilates class before, the machines might seem a bit strange as they tend to resemble medieval torture devices. They have moving platforms attached to springs, which can be used to alter resistance. Heartcore have just installed some new reformer machines which are amazing! They’re extra padded which make the whole experience feel quite luxe even during your most agonising leg raises. During the class, they put you in some strange poses. One minute you feel a bit like the Vitruvian man with your legs splayed out and the next it’s like your first ever bikini wax with your limbs in an odd clam position. Once you’re used to it though, it starts to feel more normal and you can really feel your strength building. I swear my ab lines were more defined after just one hour!
Heartcore offers you your first class for free so there’s really no excuse not to try it at least once. Book one right before your beach holiday - you can’t afford to give it a miss.
Paola’s Body Barre
Barre workouts are the new fitness trend and we’ve sampled quite a few, but Paola definitely pushed us the hardest. Her class was pretty tough so be prepared if you sign up. It was a combination of ballet and pilates, but moved at a very quick pace. I did ballet at school so I was a bit more familiar with the moves than others. The hardest thing for non-dancers to learn is ‘turn-out’ so be aware that if you don’t have a dance history, it will take some time to become accustomed to some parts of the routine. We attended a pop-up session so there was no barre in the room so the class involved a pilates ring, ball and stretch bands to add resistance to the movements. Paola was very personable and encouraged us individually throughout the class by using our names. I prefer low-impact, high intensity workouts so I really enjoyed the class. Shaleena tends to choose more cardio-intensive exercises and has had no previous dance experience, which meant she found the class more challenging. Hopefully from this review, you’ll be able to deduce if the class is right for you, based on your own personal workout needs. Classes are priced at £24 but they offer a special rate for newbies - £40 for unlimited classes for a month!
Shaleena & Roshni
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