7 New Workouts Sweat Tested by the Women’s Health Team
© Ian Spanier
Last minute holiday blitz; an eagerness to “tone up” – no matter what's driving your desire to workout this month, spend your exercise budget in the right places.
Enter: the summer workout guide.
Recently, we navigated our way – using Google Maps, obvs – to various studios around the capital. When there, team sweat tested the new fitness classes conceived by London's fittest minds.
Ready yourself for a new way to strength train: this summer it's spilled over from the weights room into the studio with Grit, the new class by Les Mills. Further south, we encountered the best was to sculpt a strong core.
Keep scrolling for 7 classes that will help you reach your summer fitness goals.
BBG Stronger, SWEAT app
Sweat tested by Amy Hopkinson, Digital Editor
“So you know you should lift weights but not sure where to start? Enter BBG Stronger, the next gen of Kayla's world-famous workout plan. Designed to build muscle, you push through various free weight and machine exercises working in a 10-12 rep range. Nothing crazy. But unlike most standard workouts, you stop when the stopwatch bleeps, not the end of your sets. It's testing, yet manageable for beginners, and creative enough for anyone who's fatigued by classic legs / arms / full-body workout programmes. Consider this a non-scary way into strength training.”
Sweat scale: 7/10
What to wear: If you wear shorts don't forget to wear pants underneath. Worrying what view you're giving everyone in sumo squats is extra faff you don't need.
Insider tip: The workouts are great… if the gym is empty. Either go in quiet times when there's less competition for machines or train with a friend and tag team equipment.
Try int yourself: SWEAT, available from the app store. In-app purchases required.
Photo credit: @savanna__rose
Kettlebells Circuit @ Gymbox
Sweat tested by Ally Head, Digital Assistant
“If you’re not intimidated by Gymboxs’ neon aesthetic and black cages, I applaud you. Their underground workout spots pump music so loud you can’t even hear yourself think.
But actually, when an instructor is forcing you to do an extra 10 goblet squats and all you can feel is the lactic acid burning in your thighs, the booming soundtrack really motivates you. It’s hot, heavy and ridiculously hardcore. But, if you’re looking for a full body sweat-athon to release all the endorphins, the Kettlebells Circuit is a winner. The hybrid of strength and cardio training targets fat burn. Ideal.”
Sweat scale: 8/10
What to wear: Supportive workout gear for high impact and bottoms that won’t fall down mid-squat.
Insider tip: Enlist a workout buddy to share the 'no pain, no gain' experience.
Try it yourself: Membership prices from £49 a month.
Pilates @ Focus Pilates
Sweat / Zen tested by Emma Pritchard, Acting Features Editor
“Fed up of London having all the fitness fun? Then thank Ashley Gregory, fully certified Pilates instructor and Focus Pilates founder, for opening her boutique studio in the Somerset ‘It’ town of Frome. With white-washed walls, exposed floorboards, and an industrial setting it already ticks a lot of Instagram-worthy boxes, but when it comes to the workouts, the benefits keep coming. Choose from Reformer, Tower, Jumpboard and Mat depending on your mood/body’s needs. Class sizes are limited to 4-6 people so you’re pretty much guaranteed a PT level of attention any time, and they’re open to all levels. The added bonus? When you’re all done stretching and strengthening, you’re only a stone’s throw from Babington House.”
Sweat scale: 3-6/10, depending on the session.
What to wear: Fitted garments ensure Ashley can properly monitor your form – and catch you out if you’re not engaging your abs
Insider tip: Booking is essential but if you can work out mid-morning, do – the sessions are much quieter and you may be lucky to get Ashley all to yourself.
Try it yourself: £15 for Reformer, Jumpboard and Tower; £5 for Mat
Try it yourself: Introductory Unlimited Week offer from £29, focuspilates.studio
Les Mills Grit
Sweat tested by Polly Bartlett, Fashion Assistant
“This gym favourite has had a revamp; new music, new moves and an added bleep test (#throwback). In line with the last edition it’s thirty minutes of short sharp HIIT with weights but with a new focus on high intensity. The instructor promotes competition between class-goers as well as providing much-needed motivation to keep going. This one hurts; both while you’re doing it and the next day but that just shows it’s working, right? Best for those who like to feel really challenged.”
Sweat scale: 7/10
What to wear: A performance-driven brand such as Born Nouli – a new activewear label with a strong look.
Insider tip: If you’re feeling like you can’t do on, drop the weight and complete the set using with it. It’s much better to do this than just stopping.
Try it yourself: Nationwide – coming to a gym near you, soon.
Hang @ The Foundry
Sweat tested by Victoria Joy, Acting Deputy Editor
“Think Calisthenics mixed with weight training. The PT Andrew was so helpful and didn’t let me feel totally ridiculous when I was left dangling from the gymnastic hoops trying to do a pull-up (let alone a muscle-up as he so easily demonstrated to us). This gym feels authentic, unpretentious and welcoming.”
Sweat scale: 6/10 at the time, but the next 2 days I couldn’t lift my arms.
What to wear: Any gym kit – though, avoid shorts unless you want to leave with dodgy looking carpet burns.
Insider tip: The changing room is sparse: bring all your own shower bits or nip home asap.
Try it yourself: Prices start from £20 for two classes, foundaryfit.com
Lifted @ Ministry Does Fitness
Sweat tested by Maddy White, Creative Partnerships Director
If HIIT and weight training had a baby then this is it! The workout kicks off with a quick tutorial on how to deadlift before the real sweat starts: a circuit of 7 different exercises – box jumps to TRX chest presses to deadlifts – each for 30 seconds. After a 2-minute break, you go again, tackling seven new exercises. The finisher, or killer, is a partner burpee-squat jump challenge that lasts five minutes. It tests your determination as much as your strength.”
Sweat scale 8/10
What to wear: Your best gym kit – club meets workout
Insider tip: The entrance is in the alley at the back, not on the main road – a whole group of us couldn’t find this!
Strong by Zumba
Sweat tested by Florence Mitchell, Editorial Assistant
For those irked by mismatched reps and beats, this new offering by the Zumba team is for you. Not just another dance class, it's seen them design a HIIT workout before mixing electronic music which fits each movement. The extra invigoration of tailor-made sounds takes your mind off the pain of HIIT and motivates you to keep testing your limits. Beginners needn’t fear they’ll be unable to keep up with the music; instructors demonstrate modifications for all abilities.
Sweat scale 8/10
What to wear: Something you’re comfortable jumping around in. This is high tempo HIIT.
Insider tip: Don’t hold back – you’re given plenty of recovery time and will feel a real buzz if you’ve pushed yourself at the end.
Try it yourself: A nationwide roll out means you can find the nearest class at a gym near you.