When it comes to fitness classes, many of London’s gyms provide an awesome choice of workout classes. Or for those who prefer to be outdoors, there are lots of classes that take place outdoors in London’s parks and open spaces. From the gentlest of yoga or Pilates, right through to the intense, ‘get ripped’, muscle pounding of a kettlebell workout, pretty much every taste and ability is catered for.
Gyms across the capital offer classes 7 days a week. There are independent gyms and fitness centres, as well as nationwide chains such as LA Fitness, Bannatyne Health & Fitness, Virgin Active, and Fitness First, to name but a few. Most fitness classes can be joined either by taking out a gym membership, or on a pay-as-you go basis.
Fitness classes are a great way to workout, and the opportunity for a social occasion as well. You’ll be training with a group of like-minded people, and it’s a great motivator to have an instructor there, egging you on in your efforts.
9 of the best fitness classes taking place in various locations around London include the following:
This tried and tested formula is one of the most popular classes available today. This 55-minute session targets all the major muscle groups of the body, and you work out to some storming sounds to boot! It’s a workout that uses light to moderate weights, and your instructor will walk you through proven techniques that build strength, stamina and turn your body into a lean and toned booty machine. It’s a popular class with both men and women, thanks to the ability to use weights that suit your fitness levels and goals.
Forget boring hours on the exercise bike, trying desperately not to look at the clock as it counts down. Boom Cycle is all about serious calorie burning, whilst having fun at the same time. High-energy music and qualified instructors immerse you in not just a fitness class, but a complete fitness experience. And the great thing is that it doesn’t matter what your level of fitness is to begin with, because it’s up to you how hard you push yourself. If you don’t think a workout is a workout without bucket loads of sweat, then Boom Cycle is the one for you.
There’s a reason that so many people enjoy Zumba classes – and that’s because they’re so much fun. Taking the ‘work’ out of workout, this is a cardio class that combines low and high intensity moves with calorie burning dance fitness. Plus you get to enjoy some fabulous Latin and World music. And Zumba has evolved into so much more than simply a dance class. There’s Zumba Step, which combines step aerobics with Zumba dance, Zumba Toning, (does exactly as the title suggests, Zumba Gold for the older person and even Aqua Zumba for the water addicts amongst you.
Billing itself as a class that improves ‘your mind, your body and your life’, Body Balance is a combination of yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates. It incorporates bending, stretching and breathing exercises, and is great as a method of strengthening the core muscles, as well as increasing strength and flexibility.
British Military Fitness
For those who like to do their workouts in the open air, then British Military Fitness is an all round body pummelling that prides itself on variety – and provides some storming results. The classes take place in various parks around London (and the rest of the UK). And one thing’s for sure, you won’t get bored. All the instructors have military experience, as well as being qualified fitness instructors and personal trainers. You can expect something different from every class – from running to boxing, weights to team building exercises. Banter is encouraged, as well as a healthy enjoyment of friendly competition.
This is a bootcamp designed to deliver serious results. Since 1998, Barry’s Bootcamp has a string of satisfied customers, including Olympic athletes, A-list celebrities and cat walk models. This is a workout that’s designed to ‘shock’ the system into losing weight, building muscle and improving the efficiency of the cardiovascular system. The workouts last for 60 minutes, with 25-30 minutes of intensive treadmill work, followed by strength training using free weights, medicine balls, resistance bands and other equipment.
If you like martial arts, then Body Combat will be right up your street. Burning up to 740 calories in a class, this is a non-contact, punching and kicking routine that takes moves from boxing, Kung Fu, Karate and other martial arts. It’s fiercely energetic, and takes place to some of the hottest dance tracks around.
Popular with men, as well as ladies who want to improve strength and gain muscle definition, this workout uses cast iron weights to target every aspect of fitness. You hold the kettlebells and perform various different swings, presses and pulling motions. Working out in this manner is different from working out with dumbbells, because the shape of the kettlebell focuses more attention on the muscles that decelerate the moves, rather than accelerate them. Thanks to this, muscles tone, shape and increase in size.
A classic, pad work boxing class that shapes and tones, as well as improving cardiovascular fitness levels. This class involves working with a partner, and you take it in turns to either don the boxing gloves and punch, or hold the pads for your partner to make contact with. Both parts of the workout involve getting all the muscle groups working, and are great for improving endurance, flexibility, speed, agility, core stability and balance. In fact, you get all the benefits of regular boxing training, without the worry of having to endure punishing blows to the head and body.