Normally when we go and review a studio, we head over for one class, see what it’s like, then write it up. We went a bit mad with Project Fit though and ended up doing seven sessions over consecutive days. Good for you because it means you get a pretty damn extensive overview of the place. Bad for us because it was actually really tough. By Sunday we could do very little save for eating Chinese on a settee, watching Flatliners and generally groaning quite a lot.
Why the hell did you do seven consecutive days, you oddballs? We hear you shouting at the screen. Well, there’s an offer on over at Project Fit at the moment which means you get a week of unlimited classes for £32.50, which, considering an individual class costs £20 (it’s cheaper in bulk – more about that later), seemed like a damn good opportunity. The only problem is when someone looks at you with wry smile and says “bet you can’t do it every day.” Because there’s no way we’re letting a challenge like that go. Seriously. Even if it does mean we have to radically reorganise a week of other activities to make sure we make all the classes.
But enough about are panful inability to turn down a challenge. Let’s talk fitness.
Project Fit is a similar concept to classes like Barry’s Bootcamp or 1Rebel. You have a room half full of treadmills and half full of various floor-based equipment. The idea being that people taking part in the class can switch between floor and running sections at the command of the instructor. This serves a couple of purposes. Firstly it makes for a much more rounded session; effectively covering cardio and strength & conditioning all in one go – Londoners love a super efficient workout session, what with their high-flying, jet-setting lives. Secondly it breaks up the session into manageable chunks. The constant jumping between various exercises and running drills means that you counting down a few minutes instead of a full 45-minute session of similar activities.
The format works exceptionally well, which is probably no surprise considering how popular similar sessions have become. People will naturally seem to veer towards either the running or the weights, finding one much more manageable than the other. For us it was the running. After five minutes of various floor exercises or TRX, all we wanted to do was jump onto the treadmill. It was like a break for us, even pushing as hard as we could was better than the alternative. For others there it was the opposite. And as we all know, training in something you are less comfortable with, or you find a lot more difficult, probably means your body is going to find it tougher. Which generally means your body is less adapted to whatever it is. This is where all that conditioning comes in.
We may be playing the running section down a bit here. It’s really actually quite tough. Mixing speed drills with relentless hill sprints is completely exhausting. Especially if you’re not a fan of running. But man alive does it churn through the calories. The website claims that you can burn up to 1,000 calories a session, which is one hell of a bold claim for a 45-minute to 1-hour class. To test it out we wore our fancy new Polar M600 throughout the whole week. Okay, we never hit 1,000, but on two occasions we got to 750, which is ridiculous for an individual class that involves 50% floor work. Definitely far higher than we expected to get.
There are some sessions throughout the week which focus entirely on one exercise method. So one half will spend the whole 45 minutes on the floor, the other will spend it on the treadmills. Which is good if you’re trying to focus on a specific area, instead of opting for a general workout. We did find it a bit trickier from a mental aspect though, especially as we chose 45 minutes of floor exercise (seriously need to work on our muscle endurance).
After a full week of sessions, the classes are consistently well planned, with the different trainers offering variation across every single workout, even over consecutive days. It’s not easy either. There’s a fair bit of skill involved with planning and controlling what are effectively two different classes happening at the same time; with the trainers sticking to timelines flawlessly to ensure the various switches and sections are carried out perfectly.
Oh yeah, we finished all seven days. Really enjoyed it actually. But if we’re being completely honest, we wouldn’t advise it. Seven days of HIIT classes is pretty damn demanding on the body, and the benefits of doing that without rest are probably quite tenuous. No, you leave the stupid, unnecessary bravado to us. We really don’t want you hurting yourself. For £32.50 it is an amazingly great value for money offer and well worth taking up so you can se what it’s like.
We ran a 5k a week after the sessions and knocked a minute of our PBs. So that’s a pretty good sign for all you runner out there.
For more information, and to find out about the different costing options available, head over to the website here.