We’ve tried out a fair few of London’s all-purpose fitness studios. You know the ones, those impressively designed boutique fitness spaces for the high-flying business types that want their training in quick and smart. You’ve probably heard of Barry’s Bootcamp and 1Rebel; cool, club-like fitness spaces with dim neon lights, chiselled trainers and the kind of smooth metropolitan attitude that makes you feel like you’re training in a New York-set 80s film (we’re a bit obsessed with 80s films).
Best’s Bootcamp is the latest in a growing selection of this new studio breed. Taking over the site from previous tenants Fitness First, the studio is a pretty damn impressive sight. Possibly a bit bigger than some of its counterparts, they’ve got a hefty range of kit to incorporate into the various workouts, set out across the floor space for ease of access.
If you have been to Barry’s Bootcamp or 1Rebel before then you know the drill when it comes to the class formats. Attendees flip between treadmill and floor work at timed intervals throughout the session. In the class we went to the fifty minutes was broken down into six sections; six minutes running intervals on the treadmill, then six minutes weighted exercises on the floor (bicep curls, squats – that sort of thing). For the following rounds the intensity increased with some added incline and the speed whacked up to our max. Simple, but effective when it comes to training.
The exercise format is designed to give people an all-round workout in a short period of time. You get a bit of strength work, some muscle endurance (depending on which weights you choose), and a hell of a lot of speed work on the treadmill. The constant changing around meaning that your body isn’t given a chance to acclimatise. It’s a damn good form of HIIT training, perfect for anyone who wants their exercise to be efficient and effective.
The secondary benefit of the changing around is that it’s stops you dreading every second of it. When you’re on the treadmill, sweat dripping down your face, all you’re doing is counting down the seconds until it’s over. “If I can just get through this then all I need to do is lift some stupid weights. That’ll be easy.” Then when you get on to the weights you’re desperate to get back on the treadmill. Short periods of pain are easier to handle than one long slog. It’s the beauty of a well designed HIIT class.
Best’s is a hell of a nice set-up with some great kit. They’ve also added a nice feature in a few big screens that sit around the main room. Each screen has a camera focussed on the trainer, so you can see what you’re meant to be doing even if you’re facing the other way, or stuck behind someone very tall – something that always seems to happen to us.
Outside of the gym is a shake bar with an impressive, and extremely tasty, range of flavours. The best thing by far for us was the “Best Blast Shower”, which is pretty much a shower that has a massive fan at the top instead of water. Perfect for cooling down if you don’t fancy wandering into the office with sweat pouring off you.
Sessions range from all body workouts to some focussing specifically on one area, so you can go a few times a week without working the same muscles continually. Sessions cost £20 for a single class with bulk offers available ranging from 20 to 50 class packages. You can also pay £240 for unlimited access per month. If you fancy trying it out you can get your first session for £10 – which is worth it just to stand under the giant fan for ten minutes.
For more information on Bests’s Bootcamp, head on over to the website here.
Picture Credits: Best’s Bootcamp