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21.08.17

London HIIT options reviewed

Sophie, who works in our London office in between running marathons and exploring London's best fitness training opportunities, has been very busy in the past few weeks trying out some of the newest and best known HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) fitness classes currently available in the metropolis. Spring is traditionally the time that everyone starts taking their fitness regime more seriously, so hopefully Sophie's research will come in handy for you (and apologies for all readers living or working outside London!).

Heartcore (Toughness: 7/10)
With multiple studios around London, they offer many different types of classes – reformer pilates, kettlebell, cyclecore (mix of spinning and pilates) and also TRX HIIT.

I opted to try the TRX HIIT class. This workout was a mixture of HIIT and suspension training, using your body weight and gravity to work on strength, stamina, flexibility and balance. After a core burning TRX exercise there was then a 2-minute cardio blast of burpees and jumping jacks before getting into another teeth gritting suspended press up, glute bridge or similar. Website: heartcore.co.uk

1Rebel (Toughness 8/10)
1Rebel claims to be the new face of fitness, a no contract, centrally located, boutique gym, and boutique it certainly is! They offer a choice of two classes here, Ride (cycle based) and reshape (treadmill based), I opted to try Reshape.

Rebel Reshape is a 45 minute class of extreme intensity, both physically and mentally. Similar to Barrys Bootcamp in the structure of the class, treadmill – floor – treadmill-floor, although the intervals were shorter and there were more of them! The class starts with 10 minutes of running, building up your speed and introducing an incline – they use Woodway 4front treadmills which are like running on top of a tank track! Then it's straight onto the 1R workout bench for squats, raises, shoulder presses and abs. It's a simple combination of a bench, dumb bells - from 4kg to 12kg. And when you think you’ve had enough it’s back to the treadmill again for some more heart bursting hill sprints to finish you off!  Website: 1rebel.co.uk

Barry's Bootcamp (Toughness: 9/10)
Barry's claims to be ‘The best workout of your life’ and with a name which preceded them from America it is no wonder that it has become so popular here in London.

Each day at BB focuses on specific muscle groups, for example Mondays are arms and abs, Tuesdays butt and legs… you get the gist. I opted (madly) to do the full body workout which happens at the weekends. The hour long class was broken into four 15 minute sessions, 15 mins on the treadmill and 15 minutes on the floor, and repeat. The treadmill part is all intervals and hills – running, jogging and sprinting uphill, and the floor part consists of weighted squats, lunges, dips and bicep curls. Website: barrysbootcamp.com

Projectfit (Toughness 9/10)
Projectfit is another no contract basis and has a similar structure to both Barry’s bootcamp and 1Rebel, with treadmill and floor sections of the workout. Their ‘You Vs your body’ warns you that mind over matter is really going to count here!

So this 60 minute class is made up of 8 minute intervals alternating between the treadmill, TRX and weights on the floor. It’s a high energy full-body workout, and they say that every class is different! The treadmill intervals were the hardest I’ve experienced in the different HIIT classes, with them really focussing on speed and incline, and very little time between moving (with very wobbly legs) between the treadmill and starting the floor exercises.  Website: project-fit.co.uk

Sophie's conclusions

  • Overall I would say that workout wise Projectfit is a great option, the classes are smaller and the workouts more varied – you really feel that the trainer is interested in what you’re doing and pushing you to your limits.
  • At both Barrys Bootcamp and 1Rebel where the classes are bigger you don’t get as much attention to technique and encouragement from the trainers.
  • If you’re looking for a work out in a top of the range, perfectly designed studio then I’d recommend 1Rebel or Barrys Bootcamp.
  • Heartcore is slightly different as instead of having cycles or treadmills, the HIIT was focused on body weight movements.

Alternatively you could just book a fitscape fitness holiday!  See forthcoming dates