Fitness is no longer a chore. We’re coining it the biggest trending lifestyle choice of 2015, and by that, we mean fitness is going to become a sexy new way of life for Londoners. It’s no longer a gruelling 6am alarm clock; it’s a Friday night social affair with all the trendy trimmings.
Boutique fitness is the business! It’s time to make space in your wardrobe for this season’s trendiest functional activewear and multiple pairs of trainers; you’ll need specific kit for spinning, barre, HIIT (and the rest…).
Right now it’s all about discovering new and exciting ways to train. Here we’re covering the hottest new training methods, set to take London by storm next year. Find out what they are, why you really need to be all over them, and which studios are the game changers are for 2015.
What is it: Inspired by the lean, long muscles of ballerinas, barre training is a twist on a classic ballet class. You’ll be learning to plié, demi-plié, tuck and point! Set to more upbeat music, you’ll train like a dancer (in order to look like a dancer) and focus on extending, toning and developing the strength of a dancer.
Why you should be all over it: Muscle building moves at the barre followed by jumps, squats, pliés and other dynamic cardio exercises will really challenge your muscles in ways that your regular routine doesn’t. It’s a great way to start working on multiple muscle groups that you’re probably missing out on using in your normal routine of spinning or running, and will see you develop strength without the bulk.
Game Changers in 2015:
Xtend Barre: Having taken the US and Australian markets by storm, Xtend will be ‘seeing you at the barre’ with a brand new flagship studio in central London set to open in the first quarter of 2015. In the meantime, Xtend Barre is fusing elements of dance, ballet and pilates in an adrenaline fueled workout, in their Mayfair popup studio on Balderton Street. The Xtend Barre method strengthens, lengthens, improves flexibility and seriously chisels your body; a game changer for the London fitness scene.
Paola’s BodyBarre: Tucked away in the back streets of Fulham, we knew that Paola’s was set to revolutionise the barre technique from the day it launched. Aside from being incredibly inspirational and therefore attracting the likes of Millie Mackintosh for regular classes, Paola’s method is a game changer for 2015 and will continue to lead the barre revolution.
What is it: Gone are the days of the grueling and uninspiring spin class at your local gym. Spinning has been reinvented, arguably off the back of successful US chain, Soul Cycle, now a dynamic, cathartic and emotionally charged full body workout. London’s indoor spinning game has been upped this year by Psycle, Edge Cycle and Boom Cycle – all cottoning on to the importance of a powerful playlist and an inspiring instructor.
Why you should be all over it: The new indoor spinning style sweeping across London will get your mentally and physically charged, but it’s a results-driven workout as well. With adjustable resistance, a spin class will engage your glutes, hamstrings and core and using the correct technique can see up to 600 calories burnt in a 45 min class. It’s all about the journey and most classes will take you through intervals of hard and fast sprints, and then up out of the saddle resistance work which really harnesses core strength and stability.
Game Changers in 2015:
Rebel Ride [1REBEL]: 1Rebel, which we’ve already touted as one of next year’s Game Changers for London, is bursting onto the scene with Rebel Ride, its own indoor cycling phenomenon, which will be set to a backdrop of internationally acclaimed DJ sets and incorporating weights and bands. Chomping at the bit to get in the saddle? Us too.
Soul Cycle: There have rumors of it for some time, but Soul Cycle is set to hit London within the year… making it an official welltodo London Game Changer for 2015. The cult status cycle studio chain is going to revolutionize our fitness scene in a big way, taking an already popular sport of cycling to the next level with its emotionally charged classes.
What is it: Traditionally a class for older women looking to strengthen the pelvic floor, Pilates has recently been through a dramatic revamp, and it’s going to be a hot trend for 2015. Now being integrated with weight training and TRX in various studios around the city (like PilatesPT in Fulham).
Why you should be all over it: Pilates is well recognised for toning and creating long, lean muscles, and focusing on core strength and stability. With more dynamic variations now emerging in London, Pilates is being combined with interval cardio components to burn fat and improve cardiovascular fitness simultaneously.
Game Changer in 2015:
Form Studios: January will see the official opening of Form Studios in Notting Hill, the brainchild of celebrity trainers and power couple, Elissa El Hadj and Jeremy Abadom. Their brand new and exclusive signature workout concept, METcore, takes reformer Pilates to the next level in a dynamic 50 minute workout. Expect some very cool integration of Tabata and TRX cardio conditioning, and use of the MOTR, an innovative and versatile new piece of fitness equipment. We’ve road tested it; it’s a game changer.
What is it: Designed by US Navy Seals, TRX uses two suspended ropes with handles, pivoting from the ceiling. This seemingly simple piece of equipment is revolutionising body weight exercise. The TRX system leverages gravity, taking your press-ups, planks, pull-ups and a whole range of other exercises to a new level. It’s never been easier to have a full body workout with just one piece of kit.
Why you should be all over it: Claire Finlay, Founder of Transition Zone in Parsons Green uses TRX to train a wide range of clients. She explains… “not only does it make you incredibly strong, but it also offers everything you need from a 3D functional workout. A 30 minute TRX session two or three times a week will deliver incredible results, muscle definition, tone, increased stamina and abs of steel.” The workout builds core strength, promotes joint stability and will improve your balance.
Game Changers in 2105:
Reebok Club: The ultra trendy Reebok Club in Canary Wharf is a haven for fitness fanatic bankers in London’s financial hub. Here TRX and X Rig Training is taking a simple method and reshaping bodies in a revolutionary (but very simple) way. The Reebok Club also offer one-on-one TRX Training to get you more closely acquainted.
Transition Zone: Claire Finlay, head trainer at Transition Zone in Parsons Green, offers an incredibly challenging TRX workout that has raised the bar for this method. If you haven’t yet been to a Transition Zone session, put this one on your hiit list for 2015. Game changer.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
What is it: We’ve been hearing about high intensity interval training and its benefits for a while and it has finally really become a staple in our workout routine. By working your hardest for short bursts and using a combination of exercises, this form of training really gets your blood pumping and you’ll see brilliant results. It also means you don’t need to spend hours in the gym.
Why you should be all over it: If long stints of cardio really aren’t your thing, but your weight training is lacking intensity and doesn’t get your heart pounding, then HIIT brings together the best of both for supreme results, usually in less time.
Game Changers in 2015:
Rebel Reshape [1REBEL]: 1Rebel is set to revolutionise fitness beyond HIIT, with two class models launching in studios in January 2015. The first of these, Rebel Reshape, is based on the HIIT method conditioning and reshaping selected muscle groups. Get your heart pumping with fast paced switches between 4Front treadmills and the patented 1R workout platform; as the internationally acclaimed DJ sets you’ll be working out to.
Barry’s Bootcamp: Well renowned as an initiator of this training method, Barry’s claims to have ‘brought HIIT to its clients before HIIT was even a thing’. The signature workout includes 25 minutes of interval cardio powered treadmill routines and the same again of strength training – designed the shock the body in the best way possible to achieve incredible results. Which is why you’ll probably end up rubbing sweaty shoulders with the rich and famous. In 2015, we’re seeing an expansion with Barry’s opening a second East London location. Pumped!
What is it: While not a specific exercise, or piece of equipment, functional training is becoming a focus in more and more gyms and studios across London. Functional training can be done anywhere, any way. It involves twisting and moving our bodies in new ways, to really make the most of every single muscle. Whether that be crawling, jumping, spinning, climbing- basically going back to our primal instincts.
Why you should be all over it: Not only will functional training introduce you to new equipment you may have never even seen before, it has a fun aspect about it. Most classes that utilize functional training will focus on working in teams or partners, and no two classes are the same. It includes all the benefits of a HIIT class with a twist of adventure.
Game Changers in 2015:
SBC Experience: Russell Bateman has already made a name for himself with the controversially named Skinny Bitch Collective workout, which we’ve grown to love (and obsess about). With the launch of the SBC Experience in early 2015, this workout isn’t going anywhere and will continue to change the face of functional training – whether with Russ himself, or from the comfort of your living room.
ZUU: This fitness craze out of Australia has been snapped up by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, and will see the primal movement based program installed in more than 100 Virgin Active gyms across the UK. It gets pretty down and dirty with a host of lizard-like primal movements – designed by Australian fitness fanatic, Nathan Helberg.
What is it: You may have seen these bell-shaped weights on your gym floor or in your classes and for good reason. Most well known for being used in a swinging motion, they offer a combination of weight training and cardio, and can be swung and moved around in tons of different ways.
Why you should be all over it: With whole classes dedicated to kettle bells and coming in a range of different weights, there a great piece of equipment when you’re limited on time. A simple, two-handed kettle bell swing will work your legs, butt, core and your arms and you will certainly feel it. Swing it, windmill it, lunge, squat or row with it for a great introduction to working with weight.
Game Changers in 2015:
Quickie Kettlebells [FRAME Shoreditch]: Set to be an ultra trendy, intense workout for 2015, Frame Shoreditch are leading the movement with their 30 minute Quickie Kettlebells class which uses the whoop-ass weight to work your entire body – concentrating on your butt, core and shoulders.
Words by Lauren Armes and Taylor Fleischner