It is home to the most famous Royal family, more than 200 theatres and one of the world’s oldest subway systems, on top of all this, London has a buzzing fitness scene. If you are planning a visit you will need to know where to go to burn off all the cream teas and roast dinners. So here it is, a collection of some of the best classes London has to offer.
I have to say even if you are not a spin fan, you still MUST go to a Psycle class. They have two studios one based in Central London (Mortimer Street) and Canary Wharf. These studios are beautifully designed from the modern clean reception through to the spacious changing area and great changing facilities.
The atmosphere is upbeat and positive with all the staff welcoming you into the family.
When booking the class you will choose your bike, and my advice is to go for the back row—althought this is a class for all levels, the front row is definitely advanced.
The class takes place in a dark room that resembles a night club rather than a fitness class, and this adds to the atmosphere and the workout. It is led by a single instructor, who will talk you through the class motivating and pushing you to go beyond your limits.
What makes Psycle different to your average spin class is its connection to the music, it quite literally drives you and pushes you through the class taking you on a physical and mental journey. The instructor also has control over the lighting and so has the ability to create the perfect environment to keep you motivated for the full 45 minutes.
You will leave this workout feeling pumped, dripping from head to toe and if you really open yourself up and connect to the music you will leave more on the bike then just sweat.
Tuesday: Xtend Barre
This method originated from the US and is the brain child of Andrea Rogers, it works to bring together elements of ballet and Pilates, fusing them to give you an all body workout that will strengthen and tone.
Each class is led by one of the glamorous Xtend Barre instructors who will only use verbal cues ensuring that you remain engaged and focused for the entire 55 minutes.
The class is broken down into clearly defined sections, starting with a warm up and arm section to eliminate any signs of the dreaded ‘bingo wings’. Next is the floor section, focusing on building core strength and stability. Then to The Barre where you will plie and pulse until your muscles shake and finally an ab blast to give you a washboard stomach.
What makes Xtend different to other Barre methods is its combination of high energy movements alongside the latest chart hits, keeping you motivated and singing along throughout the class.
There is a range of different classes offered from Xtend Stick, Xtend Pilates, to Roll & Release a stretch and release class that will either have you sighing with satisfaction or crying in pain depending on how tight those muscles are.
This is a great workout that will have you leaving the studio feeling like you definitely got your money’s worth and wanting to come back for more.
A workout created in London as a way to blend the benefits of heavy bag boxing and strength training into a fun and accessible class for both men and women. KoBox is exclusive to London with its home in the centre of The King’s Road in the heart of Chelsea.
KoBox describes itself as Fight Club meets Nightclub, and this is clear when you enter the darkened studio filled with hanging black boxing bags. You will either start the class at a bag or against the wall, depending on which you chose when booking. The class consists of 25mins on the bag and 25mins at the wall, broken down into rounds.
This class is an all body fat burning, muscle strengthening workout, and the perfect way to get rid of any pent up stress or mid-week frustration. The instructor will direct you through the workout as well as provide the ultimate playlist to accompany each gruelling round.
It is a true test of your own mental stamina as it’s up to you how hard you push yourself through this workout, and if you really go for it, you will leave the studio feeling like Rocky.
Thursday: Dance Works
London is home to the West End and many world famous productions, it has a thriving dance scene and is home to several of the worlds top choreographers and dancers. As a result the city has 100’s of dance classes to offer with a large number of studios in the heart of the capital.
Dance Works is situated just off Oxford Street in the centre of the city and has a wide range of classes from Ballet to Bollywood and everything in between. All classes have an ability rating, but most can be attended by anyone no matter your experience level.
I have to recommend Musical Theatre with Jenny Patrone, in this fun and upbeat class, you will do a short warm up and some key steps and then learn a routine. By the end of the class you will feel more then ready to hit a West End stage in front of an audience of 1000’s.
It’s no secret that over the past few years the popularity of pole fitness has grown exponentially, and it is now recognized as a legitimate way to tone and sculpt the body whilst giving a lot of participants added self-esteem, confidence, and a renewed body image.
PolePeople does exactly that, the perfect evening class, you can do solo or if you really want to have a laugh it’s a great workout to do with some friends.
You will learn a series of basic moves taught by an incredibly sexy instructor and have the chance to put them all together into a short routine for your Saturday night club crawl.
Whilst you are not working out for the full hour, do not be fooled you are definitely getting a full body muscle workout and you will come away feeling your biceps and abs like never before, knowing you are well on your way to that bikini body.
PolePeople offer a range of different classes, but my suggestion is sign up for their beginners taster class, you will be in a room full of newbies which will help you relax and ensure that you have a great time.
Saturday: Aerial Yoga
Yoga is an age-old workout, practiced for its many physical and mental benefits tapping into the bodies natural energies as a way to release stress and tension whilst also strengthening and improving flexibility.
Aerial yoga also includes the added element of complete weightlessness as you use gravity to help you stretch further and deeper.
This class is located at London Dance Academy it is small, intimate and the perfect introduction to the busy weekend ahead. Each participant has a hammock-like swings with a series of different length straps hanging with it. You start the class by simply being cradled in the hammock like a baby as you relax into your breath. The instructor then takes you through a series of positions, demonstrating and explaining clearly to ensure you perform them correctly and safely. This class is a true test of your listening skills and ability to execute instruction.
You will spend half the class hanging upside down in various positions testing your trust in yourself rather then your strength and flexibility.
This class is a great way to reconnect with your body and will have you feeling open, calm and ready to take on the day.
London is a beautiful city with so much to offer if you are willing to explore. It is a place with 100’s of years of history whilst also being a fashion capital and a creative hub.
The weekends are when the city really comes to life, with Sunday mornings being the perfect time to hit one of the 1000’s of boutique cafes for the perfect brunch. So save your favourite leggings, put on your Carbon38 best finished with the Thallium Printed Parka and hit the streets.
The best way to get around is on foot and there are so many world famous sights to be seen, before you know it you will have reached your daily step target pounding the pavement.
A few must see areas are the Southbank, starting at London Bridge you can stroll along The Thames river where you will see street performers, craft fares and the perfect place to take a selfie with Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Tower of London and The London Eye.
Then head over to Hyde Park where you can do everything from sailing on the lake to playing ‘real’ football.
So there it is, your comprehensive guide to fitness in London so pack your best workout gear and make sure you tag us on Instagram hanging out in all our favourite spots.
Tash Thomas is a Carbon38 #Team38 Trainer and a Trainer at Tracy Anderson in London. Find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and use her #Team38 personal link or code NATASHATHO50 for her discount when you shop Carbon38.