I am often asked by my clients how I train and how often. The truth is, often it’s a workout in itself to get workouts into my week.....
Recently I have been vocal about how important it is to unfollow those social media accounts that do nothing but bring your self-esteem down. I have unfollowed several accounts recently, and I wanted to share those accounts that I genuinely love to visit regularly. (Yes they are all female- but this is purely a coincidence!)
There is SUCH a huge array of studios in Central London and with more studios opening in London on a seemingly weekly basis I wanted to share with you the ones that I use personally use,to help me ensure I can fit workouts into busy weeks.
1) Ride @ Digme
I can honestly say that the classes at Digme have absolutely revolutionised the way I approach my workouts. (full disclosure- I am currently undergoing training as part of their instructor team but rode here for a long time beforehand!) The stats board may understandably be off putting for some, but for me it ensures that I am committed for the whole class, with little place to “hide” as the class intensifies! I always leave the classes on a high and aware of where I can make improvements next time. Your ride stats are emailed to you even before you have got back to the changing room, ensuring that you are able to track and record your progress. An absolute must for keen spinners- but be aware, that this is not a rhythm ride style class and is all about the cycling with no upper body “choreography”.
2) Matrix @ Digme
As well as offering incredible ride classes, Digme also offer Matrix- their “boot camp style” class. There are four Matrix concepts on offer, Matrix (full body style workout) Matrix core, Matrix run and Matrix Meta. The reason I prefer these classes to other similar classes at other studios is that they are much more technical and focused on actually progressing both your technique and your fitness- not just giving class participants a “total beasting” which is my common issue with many boot camp studios. By no means are these classes easy, but each time I come away feeling stronger, accomplished and motivated to continue progressing.
3) Beat @ Digme
I am very aware that this is the third entry for Digme… but for me they really are one of the leading studios in London! As well as ride classes, Digme offer Beat classes which are music led to encourage riding to the beat along with upper body movement. For me- the beat classes here are a million miles away from other rhythm ride classes in London. The head trainer Jamie (who is an unbelievable instructor) has devised a class profile that ensures a full and methodical workout whilst injecting SO much fun into it! Unlike other studios, each bike has a screen so you know exactly what resistance you are working so you get an effective workout rather than just guessing throughout the class, and there is no weights track which allows the focus to be purely about riding. The data screens that are used for the ride classes are turned off, making this class a great option if competitive rides aren’t your thing. (Also, a shout out to one ten here also- their Nirvana class is epic!)
4) Reshape @ 1Rebel
I’ve been a fan of 1rebel for several years now, and I often take their 45 minutes Reshape class during the day after my morning PT clients. For me, 45 minutes is the perfect class length for me as I can fit it into my schedule and know that I can give maximum effort for that time. Classes run frequently throughout the day and the reshape classes are always full body workouts which again works well for me. Personally I also feel that the changing rooms and the amazing array of products for participants to use are pretty much up there with the best in London (but they do get RAMMED at peak times, hence why I try to go during the day) They now have expanded to four studios and as well as their original base in St Marys Axe they are in Broadgate Circle, Bayswater and South Bank and also offer Rumble (boxing based class) and a ride class.
5) Reformer Pilates @ Bootcamp Pilates
Bootcamp Pilates have several studios across London- I use the one located on the Strand. Pilates and Yoga is something I am really trying to ensure I fit into my weekly routine and this centrally located studio makes that much easier for me. The studios are based around reformer Pilates, which for me as a fan of heart raising workouts is an ideal mix of ensuring I focus on my strength and breathing technique whilst also feeling like I have had a solid workout. This class is certainly that and honestly, I find these classes probably the hardest ones that I do as they are still pretty new to me. I love how |I feel afterward- strong yet calmer at the same time and they are fast becoming an essential part of my week. Wonderfully knowledgeable and approachable instructors help to make the experience enjoyable, and they offer both beginner and standard classes. Highly recommended!
All the pricing and timetable info for each studio I have mentioned can be found on the websites as linked above. Have you tried any of them? Which other studios would you recommend?
If you follow me across my social media channels (twitter and Instagram) you would have seen me travel to Bilbao, Northern Spain last week with Bkool fitness. I’ve recently started working with them as part of their instructor team and I honestly couldn’t be more excited to have joined them!
Bkool are a global leader in the indoor cycle market and already offer cyclists a variety of innovative products such as turbo trainers, the revolutionary smart bike (the resistance automatically adjusts to your workout- no more gear turns!) in addition to a whole library of online cycle routes that provide riders with the opportunity to ride routes from all over the world from their own home/gym bike.
Bkool have recently moved into the home fitness market- and that’s where I come in! Along with my fellow instructors Laura, Oscar and Jamie we have all filmed 30 and 45 minutes cycle workouts that you can try out at a time that suits you. If you have a Bkool smart bike all you need to do is start riding- the power zones are pre-set and the bike will adjust itself automatically (this can be overridden manually if required) Alternatively, a heart rate monitor that can be connected with Bluetooth can also be used to assist with staying within the correct zones.
I have taught spin classes for several years now (I’ve written previously about how nervous I get before I teach) but despite my nerves, it’s something I really love to do. I love interacting with my riders and feeding off their energy- and that’s the first huge difference I found with teaching classes for Bkool as I only had cameras to interact with. It certainly took me a little while to get used to it and in the end I found myself pretending the crew were my riders and I was doing a normal class. It certainly helped that the studio lights meant I couldn’t see the crews faces….
The other (hugely appreciated) change was that rather than having to remember the whole class as I would usually have to- it was right there on the monitors in front of me. This inevitably meant a lot of prep before I went to Bilbao as I had to source, compile and edit music and then write and upload 12 full cycle classes which took a considerable amount of time- but was more than worth it. Often the nerves I feel are related to ensuring I can remember my class plan and it was such a nice change to have that pressure lifted.
The whole experience certainly took some adjustment. I haven’t ever been in a professional filming environment before and it took me a little while to relax and feel comfortable in the studio. Riding with a full face of makeup also felt odd and as I was sat on the bike underneath all the lights with three cameras pointing at me waiting for the countdown to start my first class, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to pull it together and deliver my class. However, somehow I did it and by the end of the first day I started to feel much more at ease and I could feel my class delivery improving dramatically.
I learnt so much during my first trip with Bkool, and I was hugely privileged to have the opportunity to work with Paco Gonzalez and Kim Forteza- two absolute giants of indoor cycling and I will absolutely be bringing everything I learnt back to my classes in London. I’m excited to continue my journey with Bkool, and looking forward to heading back shortly to create more content!
If you fancy trying out my workouts, check out Bkool.com and register for a 7-day trial. After the free trial, unlimited classes are just £7.99 per month. Let me know what you think!
Feel the fear….and do it anyway.
If you follow me across social media, you will already know that I am huge advocate for training both myself clients in a non-aesthetic focused way. It can take a little while for mindset to start to shift (thanks, diet culture) but when it does the results for both our physical and mental health can be incredible.
Those who know me, work with me and follow me on social media know how strongly I feel about diet culture- and I hope this post provides some background as to the reasons why. Those reasons have continued to evolve over the past few years e.g. continued fatphobic articles, fitness and nutrition “influencers” spreading utter nonsense, but I remain truly passionate that no woman should have to worry about anything other than her and her baby’s wellbeing during and after pregnancy.
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