Five of the best fitness classes in London (and the UK)

I spent December travelling around London and trying different exercise classes (and yet still managed to put on holiday weight). The following five were my favourite…

fitness classes in london

1. Body by Simone (BBS), Camden

Founder Simone De La Rue, celebrity trainer on Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Body, began training in classical ballet at the age of three and has enjoyed a successful dance career spanning two decades. After retiring from dancing, Simone moved into the fitness industry and created the BBS method. The underlying technique is derived from dance and uses clients’ own body weight and light resistance in the form of small dumbbells and resistance bands to develop long, lean muscle. Classes are very fun, but the dance element doesn’t take away from the intensity at all — it’s hard.

2. Orange Theory Fitness (OTF), across the UK

In this class everybody wears a heart rate monitor, which is displayed on screens throughout the room. Your name will change colour as your heart rate goes up; the aim is to go into the orange and red (highest rates) as much as possible. The screens might sound intimidating, but there’s no pressure. You can customise your workout and efforts, so you get out as much as you put in. By getting your heart rate into the orange zone for a set amount of time, there’s the promise of a spike in metabolism lasting up to 36 hours.

3. The Studio Crossfit, Shoreditch

Participants perform functional movements at high intensity using a constantly varied programme. The movements are drawn from gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more. The aim is to maximise the amount of work done with good to great form, in the shortest amount of time. Classes are varied so make sure you know what you’re booking in for. I accidentally booked into an Olympic weightlifting class on my first visit, something I never thought I’d do.

4. 1Rebel Reshape, all over London

This promises to be the hardest of the three 1Rebel classes (the other two are Ride and Rumble, spinning and HIIT). Expect quick-fire rounds of high-powered treadmill sessions, dynamic weight sequences and a whole lot of endorphins. Each session sees you work hard at improving endurance with speed treadmill training and the use of weights to suit your level. It’s an intense class, but it’s fun and only lasts for 45 minutes.

5. F45 Training, across the UK

F45 Training combines elements of HIIT, circuit training, and functional training. With more than 4,000 exercises and 36 workouts in the database, they promise you’ll never take the same class twice. The specially curated cardio workouts use plyometric movements, timing and tempo to blast both your aerobic and anaerobic systems, resulting in fat burning, muscle building and metabolism boosting sessions; while strength training sessions use functional movement patterns to help members increase muscle mass, and in turn, burn more calories every day, even at rest. You can take a Hybrid class for the best of both, and a Recovery class for mobility and flexibility.

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fitness classes in london

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