Featured, Group Fitness Review, Lawrence Price, Lifestyle

Oxygen Freejumping: Group Fitness Review

May 22, 2016
Oxygen Freejumping-Lawrence-Price-FafitSake-Review-Jumping

 

I’d stepped back in time, to one of those kids parties where there was joyful mayhem all around me. Everyone had permanent beaming grins etched into their faces as they ran around endlessly bouncing from one installation to the next.

Red glowing faces, sweaty T-shirts, the odd hilarious human collision.

But I wasn’t at a kids party and I hadn’t been cast back in time. I was still thirty two and all the people around me were proper real life adults in their 20’s and 30’s…welcome to Oxygen Freejumping!

Oxygen Freejumping Group Class Review

Oxygen Freejumping Group Class Review

 

As a modern day fitness practitioner…

…I am well read and experienced in observing the onset of rigidity that comes with adult life in todays world. Both physical and emotionally. Simply put, many adults today suffer from mobility, postural and back issues that inhibit their physical functions and/or stress related anxiety problems that alter their emotional functions by tipping hormone levels south of ideal.

As a coach I am…

…well versed in helping adults to find more physical range but dealing with emotional balance, while linked to physical wellness, can be more tricky.

It was extremely uplifting to see so many grown ups stepping back in time and remembering what it was to be carefree as they embraced their inner child.

In my opinion more adults should put aside time for ‘playtime’ each week and what better place to do this than at Oxygen Freejumping…the trampoline park!

But I wasn’t there for playtime myself…

…I had some serious work to be done as I was attending their signature fitness class ‘Airborne Fitness’. It’s comforting to know that after 10 years as a fitness professional there are still many first time experiences to be enjoyed within this ever evolving industry… and this was certainly one of them.

The Air is Better Up Here - Oxygen Freejumping Review

The Air is Better Up Here – Oxygen Freejumping

Getting to grips…

….with exercise whilst being bounced many metres into the air was very new to me and the concentration required to gain control in this new training environment was certainly doing my co-ordination and proprioception plenty of good.

We all spend so much time loaded up with weight it felt great to enjoy ‘weightlessness’, other benefits include lymphatic drainage… always useful.

Our class was taken by a great fun loving instructor who made it both fun and focussed as he took us through a whole series of build up moves to allow us to get acquainted with the trampolines before the really sweaty stuff took off. By adjusting height and frequency of the exercises we were soon embroiled in a workout unlike any other. Knee tucks were combined with toe grabs, half summersaults and mid air rotations with each impending landing and take off ensuring the mind remained focussed at all times.

The session sparred back and forth between tuition of new moves and periods of high energy. Then we finished up with some core work, which was of particular interest to me as it highlighted one of the class USPs – with no solid backrest the core was really isolated and by the end my abs were screaming for mercy. Mission accomplished!

* To keep some consistency within my series of reviews on London’s top group fitness venues I have devised a rating system that I will apply to every experience I have – hopefully this will help you to decide what venues would best suit you. I love being a ‘fitness tourist’ myself and would encourage you to have a little exercise roaming in your life too…

Oxygen Freejumping

Oxygen Freejumping

With that in mind, here is my rating system being applied to Oxygen Freejumping.

1: Training Environment/Atmosphere: Fun, fun, fun. It’s all about the fun. Fun.

2: Coaching Style: Relaxed and yet informative – I certainly learnt plenty of new moves during this class. Above all our trainer was such a lovely guy!

3: Equipment: Um….trampolines. Lots of trampolines!!!!

4: Bedside Manner/Customer Service: Friendly and efficient.

5: My ‘Knack Factor’ – Sweat…a lot of sweat! I give this a steady knack factor of 6/10…its not really about the extreme fatigue, its about the freedom of movement. And the fun…did I mention the fun?

In summary – Rediscover your inner child and laugh your way through a sweaty workout unlike any other. Plenty of health benefits to be had…just don’t underestimate the power of laughter. Fun times.

*Oxygen Freejumping London is based in Acton.

Featured, Group Fitness Review, Lawrence Price, Motivation

London’s Best Group Fitness Venues Series: KoBox

April 21, 2016
IMG_1649

KoBox is pretty new in town. Situated just off The Kings Road it’s not unreasonable to assume that they may have opened their doors to allow the beautiful people of Chelsea to sleekly move about, whilst not kicking up too much of a sweat, or creasing too many designer workout garments, whilst partaking in one of their boxing themed workouts.

In fact, in a part of town famed for high fashion KoBox have been the cleverest of designers by taking good old fashioned hard work and tarting it up to resemble something very new, sexy and on trend.

 

Gliding through the doors into KoBox…

…you would be forgiven for lulling yourself into a false sense of security at the façade of clean and crisp interiors backed up by highly attentive and friendly customer service. But gently lift the veil and instead of a sweetly smiling Sloaney pin-up you are met by a snarling beast ready to attack you head on! Be prepared for a fight!

 

As I walked into the training chamber…

…I bumped into my good friend Pete Pallai, director of myPilates London, as he was walking out. Now Pete is a fit guy, a former two-time Olympian and ex rugby player he has plenty of experience in pushing himself to the limit with his training. Nowadays he keeps himself in fabulous shape by combining his advanced knowledge in Pilates with high intensity cross training routines in the gym.

‘How was it?’ I asked noticing that Pete had lost some colour and was drenched in sweat.

‘Tough. Very tough.’ He replied.

Seeing Pete in this state focussed my mind to the task at hand. Clearly this wasn’t going to be a quiet stroll down The Kings Road, a walk in the park…you know what I mean!

 

I shuffled nervously over to my allocated station number on the wall and looked around to get my bearings. The room was packed with other gym goers looking to get their end of week Friday fit-kicks at one of the hottest new tickets in town. Each person has his or her own station number. This guides them to their starting point either on one of the suspended boxing bags in the middle of the room or on the perimeter wall which is where I was initially stationed. My station was brimming with all the kit you would ever need for a full body conditioning workout – multiple bungees hanging on the wall, med balls, weighted plates, dumbbells, etc.

 

The session kicked off with trainer, actor and all round pocket rocket Jay Brown bursting into character. He didn’t relent for the entire next hour which is a bit of a blur but I will do my best to recount it…

 

Koko Box - Fitness Review Fafitsake

Ko Box – Group Fitness Review Fafitsake

The session closely resembled a sports conditioning session…

…the type I remember well from my rugby days when your coach is having marital issues and wants to take it out on the team. Timed periods of around 2-3 minutes (it felt like 2-3 hours) when you have to repeat as many reps of the same action as possible before moving on to the next exercise and finally looping it all back together via upper and lower body circuits. Ouch.

 

For competitive ex sports people such as myself and Pete this is a recipe for ‘can’t walk for 3 days syndrome’ as we push ourselves to complete failure for many of the rounds. For others with more of a preference for the ‘self preservation’ approach, your luck runs out at KoBox. Trainer Jay makes a point to name and shame anyone who drops to their knees or elbows in surrender before the clock has counted down. Rest mid set at your peril!

If you’re expecting an easy ride of dip in, dip out under Jay Brown’s watch then think again.

Ok this approach might not be everyone’s cup of tea but…

…it sure as heck motivates you to keep pushing through the pain barrier – something that is very hard to do training by yourself. With late arrivals being commanded to do punishment burpees in front of the ‘class’ I found it immensely refreshing in a commercial environment – again more nostalgia from my rugby days. Beyond all that, this approach was a great icebreaker. Firstly it meant no one was under any illusions that we were all there to work hard and secondly it meant that we could all nervously giggle together as a bunch of strangers all about to get hot and sweaty together.

 

The content of the session itself utilised solid and familiar exercises such as…

…burpees, squat jumps, plank variations, boxing combos, etc all using the kit at our disposal. Each exercise has to be repeated as many times as possible during the allotted time period. This means that even very simple exercises become hellish – if you’ve ever tried squat jumping non stop for 3 minutes then you’ll understand the pain. If you haven’t then I suggest you get some practice in before your first session at KoBox!

At the end of the first section on ‘the wall’ it was time to move onto one of the stylised boxing bags hanging from the ceiling. The initial relief of a change from the circuits by my wall station was to be short lived.

With Jay prowling around, eyes like a hawk, barking out his orders and pursuing anyone who was taking the easy option, the bag soon became a focal point for my quickly dwindling energy levels. The fantastic thing about boxing is how raw it is. It appeals to a deep primal urge to hit things (or is that just me?!). Within the KoBox environment boxing combos start to flow as part of a trance like state – music, lighting and the energy of the room contributing towards a final fitness climax explosion. Then a pause, some rest and the satisfaction washes over you.

 

*To keep some consistency within my series of reviews on London’s top group fitness venues I have devised a rating system that I will apply to every experience I have – hopefully this will help you to decide what venues would best suit you. I love being a ‘fitness tourist’ myself and would encourage you to have a little exercise roaming in your life too…

 

1: Training Environment/Atmosphere: High energy and unforgiving…no easy ride here! Swapping back and forth from the wall to the bags adds some good variety and means the training environment is ever changing. A good ploy to make you work harder!

 

2: Coaching Style: A spade is a spade just as a dumbbell is a dumbbell…if you catch my drift? If you’re not working hard enough you will be told straight!

 

3: Equipment: You get some lovely free wraps when you join…perfect to practice your sparring between KoBox sessions! All the other equipment is state of the art from the hanging boxing bags to the hygienic open-palmed boxing gloves. It’s great to see bungees and med balls making an appearance too!

 

4: Bedside Manner/Customer Service: Everyone at KoBox is extremely welcoming and couldn’t be more helpful. From getting the run through pep talk from reception before your first session through to the post training chat with your trainer – everyone there is on your side! So go smash it!

 

5: My ‘Knack Factor’ – how knackering was it? Like most things in life, you get out what you put in. If you try to match all the training instructions you will hit a knack factor of 10/10 regardless of fitness level…it’s all relative isn’t it! Even if you’re superwoman you’ll hit your max rep ranges at each time, which will take its toll. Yes, 10…its 10!

In summary – Never mind the b*llocks…here’s KoBox. Good old-fashioned hard work reinvented with a shiny new sheen to it. It’s deceiving but it’s also oh so satisfying.

Featured, Group Fitness Review, Lawrence Price, Lifestyle, Motivation

London’s best group fitness venues series… Local Motion Studios

March 22, 2016
Local Motion Group Classes London Fitness

How far have we been taken from our Homo sapiens origins?

In a recent chat with Simon from Local Motion Studios he raised the point that present day humans rarely touch the ground. He has a point. We tend to roll out of bed, pop the work shoes on and ‘on with the day’…the day being spent locked into a peculiar position in the shape of an office chair that is. Which makes me think of another saying from another fitness guru…’sitting is the new smoking!’.

They might be onto something here…

Being ahead of the curve can be both a blessing and a curse.

A blessing in that you are paving the way for the future, a curse in that not everyone gets you. In an ever evolving fitness industry it is important to identify and destinguish between the needles fads and much needed trend developments. Local Motion Studios believe they are a part of the latter, I feel inclined to agree.

There is certainly a lot of change occurring in the fitness industry nowadays.

Gym floors are being cleared out of heavy bulk machinery to be replaced with free weights and functional kit. The present day goal of many fitness clubs is leaning more and more towards breaking down the rigidity of modern working life and separating man from machine…not plucking him or her straight from the work desk computer only to pop them onto another treadmill or chest press juggernaut in the gym during their free time.

Quite right too…rigidity is the enemy, movement the goal.

Therefore this current trend fits in line with creating space and encouraging us humans to move more freely as nature intended. Local Motion Studios have taken this to the next level with a series of classes on Calisthenics, Animal Flow, FloFit, Parkour, Broga…and much more. ‘The aim is to create awesome human beings who can adapt physically to complex environments at a moments notice. Isn’t this ultimately what we should be training for?!’ Asks Local Motion Studios founder Simon Stratton.

Reception at Local Motion Studios

Reception at Local Motion Studios

It is here where Local Motion Studios sit slightly ahead of that curve.

They are not only seeking to mobilise their clients but to also provide strength and adaptability at a moments notice as a tool for day-to-day existence. In today’s modern world how far have we been taken from our Homo sapiens origins? Should focussing inwardly on ourselves be the prime goal when considering our fitness development? Or…do the biceps on that creatine tub look too good to resist focussing your goals on?

For my experience of Local Motion I popped along to their Animal Flow class coached by Rachel Thompson.

Let me talk you through it…

Fitness Studio Wandsworth, London - Local Motion

Fitness Studio Wandsworth, London – Local Motion

First thing was to get those pesky modern age shoes off and to start getting intimate with the floor. In a low crouched squat position we started to warm and prepare our bodies for the ensuing class – with so much ground contact on all fours we paid a lot of attention to mobilising our wrists and preparing them for weight bearing. As a coach myself I’ve learnt how under-prepared the wrists of so many can be. Sitting at a desk all day lightly tapping a keyboard with limp wrists doesn’t lend itself to our evolutionary design intentions; surprise, surprise. So if you fall into this category I recommend that you start strengthening those wrists…you’re gonna need it for this class!

Animal Flow has been designed around 2 main elements – adoption of set positions, with allocated animal names, and the ‘flow’ of movement between achieving each position.

The animal names are more than just a branding tool, they enable clear instruction from the trainer to the group whilst the flow of movement creates a class with constant weight bearing through ever changing planes of movement. The end result is very energy sapping I can assure you.

Once the warm up finished it was time to learn some of the animal positions. Some clear and concise coaching points from Rachel enabled me to achieve positions I would have been unconfident with before the class.

From the starter ‘beast’ and ‘crab’ positions right up to the more complex ‘scorpion’ poses I was already challenging my joints and muscles in ways that are worlds apart from most gym routines.

Fitness and wellbeing classes - Membership options

Fitness and wellbeing classes – Membership options

Then the tricky stuff started…

Having become familiar with a handful of animal positions it was time to link each one up in a sequence of continuous flowing movement…hence the name ‘Animal Flow’.

After 5 minutes I had moved confidently from steady warm up to sweaty brow and looking around me I wasn’t the only one feeling the heat.

After 10 minutes of constant movement a ricochet of groans developed in the roam followed by an outpouring of relief at the first water break.

The class continued like this for its duration – ever more complex patterns of movement from ‘beast’ to ‘crab’, from ‘crab’ to ‘scorpion’, from ‘scorpion’ to ‘travelling ape’ and much more. With the end of each sequence I noticed how a huge sense of satisfaction washed away any muscle burn and kept me enthused and excited about what I was achieving. These flow-patterns challenge the mind as well as the body and I found myself emerging from deep concentration each time we finished a segment of the session.

Due to the enjoyment of the unique movements involved and focus on all the learning that takes place in this class the hour flies by … then it hits you. This class is extremely energy sapping. Surprisingly so. I’ve now done a few Animal Flow classes and each one has left me completely wiped out – which is great!!!

Local Motions Above Planet Organic

Local Motions Above Planet Organic

*To keep some consistency within my series of reviews on London’s top group fitness venues I have devised a rating system that I will apply to every experience I have – hopefully this will help you to decide what venues would best suit you. I love being a ‘fitness tourist’ myself and would encourage you to have a little exercise roaming in your life too…

1: Training Environment/Atmosphere: A world away from strobe lights and heavy bass-lines. This is a smart environment that lends itself to the development and practicing of ones individual skills by ‘exploring the awesome potential of the human body through movement’. With few places like this in existence (ahead of that curve remember…) you get the feeling that this is a real hub for gifted coaches and practitioners of natural human movement. PLUS…LM Studios is perched right above Planet Organic – what better environment for some pre training goodness or post training recovery!?

2: Coaching Style: A relaxed and knowledgeable style that allows you to feel at ease enough to try some new moves whilst gaining insight from people who clearly live and breathe ‘natural movement’.

3: Equipment: There is a Personal Training suite adjacent to the group fitness studio with all the kit one might need including a bespoke training frame. BUT this is about group fitness…for these classes all the equipment you need is YOU…which means the equipment is pretty frickin awesome right?!

4: Bedside Manner/Customer Service: Ok ok…so I know this is another venue where I happen to be besties with the head honcho, Simon Stratton. So let me be honest…its hugs on arrival…not sure if this is company policy but I lap it up every time.

5: My ‘Knack Factor’ – how knackering was it? It’s hard to explain this one…as mentioned before, every Animal Flow session I do completely drains me. Its an hour of constant weight bearing in every position imaginable! Sure it’s not aerobically punishing like some group workouts, but this one WILL get ya. Mark my words. A knack factor of 8/10 with an aftermath that should be enjoyed firstly in the Planet Organic café downstairs re-energising over a super greens juice followed by your sofa (recommended).

In summary – a unique place to up-skill your unique human abilities. If you want to experience a new dimension to the fitness industry and improve the way you move in the process then this is for you. A sneaky peak at the future of gyms perhaps?!

All, Featured, Group Fitness Review, Lawrence Price, Motivation, Music

London’s best group fitness venues… 1REBEL

March 4, 2016
1 Rebel London Group Fitness Review Series

As many of my PT clients will know..

..I love a good fitness analogy. I invent quite a few and steal plenty off other good coaches too. Allow me to introduce my ‘fitness coin’ analogy; it’s a simple one; imagine your training consisting of 2 sides of the same fitness coin. On one side there is ‘energy output’ whilst on the other side there is ‘controlled environment’.

Ideally you want your fitness coin to be nice and balanced.

Your ‘controlled environment’ training often takes place in the gym (but not necessarily). It is based around a series of particular movements, at calculated loads, to achieve a particular desired outcome that often revolves around improving physiology and/or targeting the growth of specific muscles.

Your ‘energy output’ training focuses on just what it says on the tin…expending energy (for various goals e.g training for an event, improving endurance, increasing aerobic capacity, burning fat, etc). The intensity can vary – it may be something as simple as taking the dog for a walk or using the stairs at work instead of the lift. Moving up the scale the middle ground may be enjoying a countryside cycle or doing some hill runs. The higher end of the scale is your high intensity training that sits near the top of the pyramid. This is where 1Rebel proudly sit as they get participants to do the hard work that is SO hard to do alone.

Finding the motivation, the direction and the energy to train the top end of your energy output is not easy.

1Rebel have pieced together the puzzle and have presented it in the form of what feels like a party…my kinda party.

IMG_5476I popped along to their RUMBLE class that focuses on boxing. With just the bag and my boxing mitts in the way of equipment I wondered how much variety there would be during the session…it turns out a lot!

The session started with a quick warm up and a few pointers on boxing technique. Very soon the heart rate was up…along with the sound system. Relentless punching, kicking and even slapping variations on the bag were offset with floor work. Just when the arms and shoulders were giving up, in came the squat jumps, mountain climbers and more…too much to mention. Awesome.

Wave after wave of clever boxing and bodyweight combinations surged onwards under a veil of strobe lights and deep dark beats.

Half way through..

..things started to get really tough but the atmosphere both inspired and motivated. Looking around at everyone else working so hard in the shadows whilst punching to the relentless beats, I found myself enjoying the pain. If I were to try and achieve the same levels of energy output alone in some quiet room it would be tricky, maybe impossible – it’s easy to see why so many people keep flocking back to 1Rebel for more punchy portions and to get their kicks.

* To keep some consistency within my series of reviews on London’s top group fitness venues I have devised a rating system that I will apply to every experience I have – hopefully this will help you to decide what venues would best suit you. I love being a ‘fitness tourist’ myself and would encourage you to have a little exercise roaming in your life too…

With that in mind, here is my rating system being applied to 1Rebel:

1 Rebel Training Atmosphere

1 Rebel Training Atmosphere

1: Training Environment/Atmosphere: I hope I painted a clear picture on this one – this is what 1Rebel do!!!! A very cool place to get sweaty (if you’re hip and down with the kids like me of course), you could turn up feeling like the last thing on earth you want to do is exercise…pretty soon you’ll be high wired and smashing it like a goodun!

 2: Coaching Style: These trainers are highly energetic and motivating, they must sleep well at night that’s for sure. Coaching is done at a fast pace to keep the momentum of the class up so make sure you’re on your tippy toes and reeeeeady to RUUUUUUUMBLE from the start!

3: Equipment: You get your own inner glove wraps upon arrival for your first session, which is a nice touch. The boxing mitts themselves are high quality and comfy…they make you feel pretty invincible too. It is clear 1Rebel have put an emphasis on high quality spec throughout their gyms and this is clearly evident in the quality of all the equipment on show.

The details go right down to the towels – if you want a chilled towel sure, just help yourself from the towel fridge! Again, nice touch.

 4: Bedside Manner/Customer Service: One word springs to mind…’ONNIT’!!! Clearly taking their cues from the highly regarded gyms of New York you can expect customer service with a smile…before you then have your ass served to you. With a smile.

My Knack Factor

My Knack Factor

5: My ‘Knack Factor’ – how knackering was it? My Instagram video shows me crawling out of the session, quite literally. Was I exaggerating???? Well you’ll just have to get your pretty self down there to find out won’t you! If you like working hard expect a knack factor of 8/10…with room to push up to a 9 if you’re feeling particularly beastly (boss being a dick? Get down to RUMBLE. Simples).

In summary – One of ‘THE’ London atmospheres to train in. Feeling punchy? Get swept away into a high-energy workout in a cool environment with cool people…just like me (I keep saying that even though its unfounded). Go hard!

Ps – There is also the option of the RIDE class, which is designed around spinning.

All, Featured, Group Fitness Review, Lawrence Price, Lifestyle, Motivation

London’s best group fitness venues… W10 Performance

February 24, 2016
Tom Eastham2-W10-Performance

 

W10 Performance Review:

W10 Performance pride themselves on their signature ‘semi private’ group class…having been a Personal Trainer myself for 10 years I was keen to check it out and see how they juggle the quality of content and coaching with participant numbers that average around a handful at a time.

What I discovered was…

…a series of systems that enable the trainer to coach more than one person at a time a structured session whilst also diversifying the session to suit the individual where appropriate. With this combination of group energy and bespoke consideration where relevant it is easy to see why people are touting this formula as the future of PT.

Tom Eastham-W10-Performance2

Trainer Tom Eastham reviews the W10 Performance system that allows individual coaching elements to take place during group classes

The content of the session is very similar to that of a Personal Training session in that it builds up to the main exercises/working-sets via a series of progressively more challenging prep sets. For me these prep sets revolved around a kettlebell complex of Romanian deadlifts, goblet squats and kettlebell swings. Integrated into this was a sequence of mobility moves that focussed on a long serving problem area of mine…my adductors.

Once my groin was mobilised, my glutes were firing and my core nice and tight we moved onto the main working sets…some heavy lifts on the trap bar. A massively energy sapping compound movement that challenged me within a strength rep range of 4-6 for 4 sets.

I’m not ashamed to say I was feeling slightly wobbly by the time this was over. Just as intended.

 

 

Moving forward…

…the session took me into some shoulder exercises that were completely new to me. Using a battle rope I had to press both ends above my head without the rope touching the floor as it looped around the base of a power rack and back towards to me. This had the effect of working my posterior shoulder muscles as I had to pull backwards whilst pressing above my head using the regular shoulder press muscles. To add a third dimension the pressure was always on as I had to keep the rope off the floor throughout the rep. Being a W10 Performance workout there was another twist. Counting down from 10 rep sets to 1 rep sets I had to perform 5 pull ups as ‘recovery time’ for my shoulders between every shoulder press set. Or was it the other way round and my shoulder sets were a rest from my pull ups?

It was hard to tell at this point as everything felt like it was working in overtime as each muscle group screamed at me for a little more rest.

It’s a little bit easier to dig deep when you know you’re onto the finisher exercises but equally likely that pure fatigue will have the final say as I repeatedly hit failure on my last 2 rounds. I was coached and encouraged through this. Tom would suggest 3 deep breaths before another attempt and each endeavour only counted if it was a full rep displaying complete range of movement. Needles to say I collapsed over the finish line with that heady mix of emptied-tank disorientation combined with deep satisfaction at what I had just achieved.

As for the quality of coaching…

…okay I may be a little biased with this one. Some of you may know that I am a good friend of lead trainer Tom Eastham, in fact we were housemates at university and have played rugby together since we were 19. I haven’t allowed our tight bond to distort my admiration for his work…it is impossible to deny the facts when you see a man in his prime delivering coaching sessions in the top 10% of what you will find in London. If you think I am exaggerating then become one of his clients…you will soon thank me.

To keep some consistency within my series of reviews on London’s top group fitness venues I have devised a rating system that I will apply to every experience I have – hopefully this will help you to decide what venues would best suit you. I love being a ‘fitness tourist’ myself and would encourage you to have a little exercise roaming in your life too…

Lawrence-And-Tom-W10-Performance

With that in mind, here is my rating system being applied to W10 Performance.

1: Training Environment/Atmosphere:

The environment is an honest one with a raw but clean feel to it. The proactive atmosphere is achieved by gritty rock beats on the sound system coupled with purposeful body language from members and staff.

2: Coaching Style:

The first thing I noticed when I attended my class was the manner in which members started going through their prep exercises prior to kick off. They weren’t simply going through the ‘warm up’ motions you see in so many gyms but were in fact performing varying movements specific to their personal requirements. For instance, I had a lovely chat with the lady next to me as she got to work on the foam roller. To me these are all clear signs of a well coached and well informed group of people. When the session itself started it was clear that there were eyes on my every move and yet I had plenty of space and freedom of practice. When I needed direction it was there, when I needed encouragement it was there, when I needed space in which to work it was granted. As a PT myself I understand the requirement for the appropriate doses of each, it was a delight to receive such attention and consideration in a group training environment.

3: Equipment:

W10 kit their gym out in a style not too dissimilar to a good Crossfit Box although that’s where the comparison should stop (It’s a lot cleaner than most Crossfit Boxes for a start). Appearances can be deceiving and while they make the most of the benefits that can be found from training with Olympic bars, power racks, kettlebells, gymnastic rings, SkiErgs, etc, there is a very different feel at W10 to that of a Crossfit Box.

4: Bedside Manner/Customer Service:

These guys are seriously welcoming and warm. You really get the sense that they want everyone, of all levels of ability, to feel at home and comfortable in their training environment. If you’re starting out you will be guided with respect and encouragement, likewise if you are an old hand you will find an open atmosphere to develop strength and hone your skills.

5: My ‘Knack Factor’:

How knackering was it? As you can see on my Instagram video I was taken to full fatigue with my pull ups on my ‘finisher exercises’ (just the casual 50 pull ups in this instance) this was of course done via some heavy sets around 150kg on the Trap Bar…you do the math! Knack Factor was a deep anaerobic 9/10. (ie lifting or pulling anything else would have been rather impossible when it was finally over. I left just about enough in the tank to walk to the tube and refuel).

In summary – Quality coaching combined with efficient programing systems in a clean and honest training environment. You WILL make progress with W10 both in terms of physical development and training knowledge.