The capital has seriously upped its fitness game in recent years. No longer making do with a half-arsed half-hour on the cross trainer and a worn-out Davina workout tape, Londoners are opting for niche – but farmore effective – exercise options.
Over on the Fulham Road, you can’t move for upmarket spin studios, yoga hotspots and ambitiously priced juice bars. It’s a natural location for the south-west outpost of Heartcore, a chain of super-swish boutique gyms dealing in super-charged fitness classes, from ballet-inspired barre workouts to reformer pilates sessions.
Before I’d even tiptoed en pointe into the basement exercise studio, I was immediately won over by the changing rooms (which - trust me - isn’t exactly a phrase I trot out regularly). The feel is more high-end spa than sports centre, thanks to mood lighting, luxe fixtures and a styling space that’s stocked with hair dryers, straighteners and – crucially – hair ties.
The 55-minute barre class is a killer, mixing conditioning work on the matt with classic ballet-inspired moves at the barre. Thanks to the varied programme – not to mention the friendliness and enthusiasm of instructor Natalie – the session flies by. The compact class size means that posture and form receives plenty of attention, too – a real plus point for absolute beginners lacking in natural grace. Upstairs, you can book in for an equally demanding session on the pilates reformer – a machine that’s unnervingly akin to a medieval torture device, but delivers impressive results after just a few sessions.
New for the autumn – and a UK exclusive for Heartcore – is the heart-monitored TRX class. A combination of HIIT training and TRX suspension work, this intense session is not for the faint of heart or weak of abs. Worn below your chest level, the little monitor doesn’t just charts your heart rate - it projects the figures onto the studio wall for all to see, meaning that slacking at the back is firmly off the agenda. It’s slightly terrifying, but definitely motivating.
At £27 per class, prices are undeniably steep (this is Fulham, after all) but just a glance at the regulars proves that if you’re serious about fitness, Heartcore is more than worth the investment.
|Venue name:||Heartcore Fulham|
723 Fulham Road
|Transport:||Tube: Parsons Green|
|Do you own this business?|