Fitness is a very particular business in London. Particular because you have so much choice in where to go, that you can pretty much pinpoint the perfect place for you. For some people that’s a massive weightlifting gym full of blokes in vests, for others that’s a personal training session in a little park. It’s important though. If you don’t choose the right place you’ll probably end up dreading it; the end result being a negative view of fitness altogether. Which inevitably means you’ll never want to go.
Evolve is what we would call a ruddy nice fitness studio. Nice because it has a sort of homely, friendly feel to it that you don’t normally get in a larger gym. The trainer duo that run it, David and Ashton, have a pretty damn impressive back story when it comes to fitness. Ashton was a semi professional footballer and David an international Rugby League player. After that they went on to become trainers in various guises, working with a list of people who include James Haskell, Professor Green, Eliza Dolittle and Peter Crouch to name just a few. So yeah, they’re CVs check out pretty nicely.
The first thing you notice about the Evolve Studio (the 353 is the door number by the way), is how inviting it is. A beautifully clean little two-floor studio just down the road from Putney and Fulham. There’s a wall of photos from all the clients stuck up near the entrance, a list of client goals written on a board and the equipment is nicely spread out to make for a spacious class area. It makes you feel like you’re walking into a nice modern coffee shop as opposed to somewhere that you’re likely to be swearing under your breath in the moments to come.
We headed over to test out their Sculpt class, a 55-minute circuit session focussing on strength and conditioning (the other class format is called Ignite, which is a more cardio heavy session). The format was relatively simple, working in pairs we moved around a series of exercises performing three sets before rotating around to the next one. Exercises combined strength training (goblet squats, thrusters, TRX), core work (ab rollouts, sit-ups) and functional movements (bear crawls, burpees, kettlebell swings), to produce, as you’d expect, an all round strength and conditioning workout.
As always with the smaller group workouts, there’s a heavy focus on form and movement, something you seldom get in larger gym class sessions. Ashton wandered around correcting everyone as the class continued, something that is as valuable for the veterans as it is for the newbies. Sure, you can push yourself to the limit in classes every day, but if your form isn’t right or your performing exercises inefficiently, you’re probably wasting a hell of a lot of your effort, not to mention the fact you’ll probably get injured.
By the end of the session we were covered in sweat, as usual, but it wasn’t because we’d just been made to do burpees for 45-minutes. We’d carried out a pretty exhaustive full body workout, and been corrected on form a fair few times (yeah okay, we hate that… but we know it’s for our own good).
As well as the two class formats, the Evolve guys also run individual personal training sessions and and a smaller group training option.
Memberships cost from £95 a month for two weekly group sessions (£135 for unlimited). Individual and smaller group session costs can be found out on the website here.
Picture Credits: Evolve 353