We’ve known about GymClass for a while over at The Allrounder, but the fact that, until recently, their only studio was in Holland Park, meant it was a bit out of our way for a class. Not a problem now though, as they’ve just opened up a brand new venue over near Liverpool Street. And trust us, it’s a pretty damn impressive location.
Set up by Helle Hammonds, a woman ridiculously well-known across the fitness scene, GymClass offers a selection of HIIT classes across it’s two locations. With sessions focusing on full body workouts or, if you want to hit something in particular, a range of tailored sessions targeting specific body parts (like glutes +legs or upper and+ abs).
We were, rather nicely, invited over to try out a special class over at the new location hosted by Helle herself. After a chat with Helle (she’s really nice), we had a little tour of the two-story space. Upstairs is a light, open area full of pretty much any equipment we could hope to find, and downstairs is a much darker, neon little HIIT workout studio fitted with stuff like punch bags, assault bikes, sleds and a little DJ booth. Both come together to make for one of the more spacious studios we’ve been to. Looks pretty damn nice as well.
After following GymClass on Instagram for a while, and checking out their rather impressive looking trainers on the website, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t a little bit concerned about the 45-minute class. Especially considering Helle was taking it. But you know us, we like a challenge.
The session was a combination of HIIT warm up exercises followed by a full body circuit utilising various bits of equipment. This was stuff like pull-ups, sled runs, bag kicking, box jumps and, the always horrible inclusion of assault bikes. After we finished a couple of rounds of that, we then went back to the floor for an ab session and a hell of a lot of burpees to finish.
As with any studio HIIT workout, it’s not so much the exercises that are the most important part, but the way the trainer manages to motivate the class. Helle, as you probably expect, is damn good at it; running around shouting encouragement and making sure everyone is doing the exercises correctly. Basically if a trainer manages to make you work hard and enjoy yourself, whilst not turning the session into a 45-minute slog of pain and clock watching, you know they’re doing a damn good job.
So, covered with sweat, we finished the class feeling pretty good, even got a high-five from Helle as we wandered over to pick up a chocolate milkshake (and ruddy nice it was too). It was tough, trust us, but seemed to go by pretty quickly. Which is exactly what you want. The mix of actually strength training and cardio type exercises meant it was a thorough workout as well. We definitely felt some leg DOMS the next day.
And, as we like to be thorough, we even nipped over to the Holland Park studio as well to see how that sizes up. Although it’s not as big as the Liverpool Street one (there’s just one room there), we could see why it was successful enough for the team to launch a second location.
Prices for GymClass start at £15 for an introductory pass and £27 for a normal pass, but they have a load of options for unlimited usage and bulk pass options. Head over to the website here to find out more.
Picture credits: GymClass