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Survival of the fittest: London's hottest fitness classes

Not all exercise classes are created equal. Check out our pick of the ten hottest places to box, spin and downward dog in London right now

Written by
Matilda Egere-Cooper

1. FitBeat with At Your Beat

Those who like to dance like no one’s watching are hot-footing it to At Your Beat. There you’ll find sassy, pop-up dance classes inspired by pop music’s biggest stars – Rihanna, Drake, Bey, you name it… Aimed at all levels, the calorie-busting Fit Beat session is just the ticket because it combines HIIT with a series of easy routines. So not only will you sweat buckets, you’ll look like a boss while you’re at it. Now put your hands up! Various locations. From £10.

2. Fitness & Conditioning at Bloodline Gym

Bloodline Gym doesn’t have the polish of a fancy-pants boutique studio, but that hasn’t stopped Hackney locals flocking to this no-frills Saturday morning circuit class above Palm 2 in Clapton. Whether you’re a Thai boxer in training or a fitness newbie, the one-hour class is a brilliant slog. There’s a bit of everything – bodyweight training, core work, cardio – and the friendly regulars and trainers are happy to help you out if you’re stuck. The fact that the first class is free doesn’t hurt either (although your abs might). 152-156 Lower Clapton Rd. Clapton Overground. Saturdays 11.30am. £12.

Endurance at Ministry Does Fitness
  • Sport and fitness
  • Gyms and fitness centres
  • Elephant & Castle

Since they’re masters of sheer euphoria, Ministry of Sound’s foray into fitness was always going to be a total win – especially as they know a thing or two about big tunes. So, for clubbers devoted to long hauls on the dancefloor, Ministry Does Fitness offers Endurance: a 45-minute circuit where the aim is to go hard or go home for as long as you can, with minimal recovery. Extra vibes come from the studio’s mega sound system and instructor/MC Beefy, who likes to spit a few bars every session. Party on! Arches 80 and 81, Newington Court. m Elephant & Castle. Wed, various times. £14.

Cycle at Another Space
  • Sport and fitness
  • Gyms and fitness centres
  • Seven Dials

Unless you’ve partied on a bike with Reynold at Another Space Covent Garden, you have not lived. The sassy instructor’s relentless energy coupled with years as a pro dancer adds up to one helluva class. It’s full of awesome choreography and soundtracked by piping-hot hip hop and EDM. Reynold doesn’t suffer slackers either – though it all comes with a heavy dose of love and support that’s bound to leave you buzzing. 4-10 Tower St. m Leicester Square. £20. 

Reformer Pilates at Frame
  • Sport and fitness
  • Yoga and Pilates
  • Shoreditch

Fitties who like to Instagram their workouts (we’re not judging) love getting sweaty at Frame. It’s often name-checked as a great, sociable place to feel the burn, but the popular reformer pilates classes are also nothing short of #motivation. Beginners are well looked after by instructors who take the time to help them get acquainted with the intimidating reformer beds. You have to complete three basic classes before moving on to an intermediate, but at least this is one studio that’s got your back (literally). Branches in King’s Cross, Queen’s Park, Shoreditch and Victoria. £20.

6. Yoga with Fat Buddha Yoga

Fat Buddha Yoga has made its name as the spot for fun classes that just go with the vinyasa flow. So think less airy-fairy and more moving to the groove, thanks to down-to-earth instructors and a soundtrack of bangin’ beats. A typical sesh focuses on balancing, breathing and giving the body a good old stretch. Scoring extra cool points, it’s popping up everywhere from rooftops to boutique hotels. Yoga that doesn’t take itself too seriously? We’ll strike a warrior pose to that. Various locations. From £12.

  • Health and beauty
  • Nutrition
  • Clapton

When Blok opened last year, much was made of the fact that it had a bone-broth bar. Sure, that’s cool and all, but scratch that: this seriously swish gym in Clapton is simply a brilliant place to work out, especially if you like a bit of that ol’ jab, jab, punch. The gym launched a 2,000-square-foot boxing space earlier this year, where you’ll find intense, one-hour classes run by former boxers. Look out for Paul, who calls everyone ‘champ’ and lets out an evil laugh when he’s putting participants through their paces. He’s brill. The Tram Depot, 38-40 Upper Clapton Rd. Clapton Overground. £14.

8. Pole Dance at Kelechnekoff studios

Kelechi Okafor is an actress, personal trainer and twerking ledge who’s spent the past few years teaching Londoners how to do it properly (hint: you gotta put your back into it). Nowadays, it’s her empowering, badass poledancing beginner sessions that are all the rage. The 90-minute classes teach newbie swingers how to spin, climb and do tricks with the aim of becoming body confident. She’s setting up a new site in Peckham that opens on August 7. Sojourner Truth Centre, 161 Sumner Rd. Peckham Rye Overground.

  • Sport and fitness
  • Liverpool Street

A cheeky nod to the tough fitness classes at Barry’s Bootcamp, Reshape is a challenging HIIT session in a dark, sweaty, multi-equipment room nicknamed the ‘torture chamber’, for obvious reasons. But horrible it ain’t. Think 45 minutes of fun and speedy intervals, where you switch between exercises on a treadmill and a bench. The music-fuelled classes are taken by an excellent crew of trainers (try Kim’s) and by the end of it you’ll be left sore but not sorry. 63 St Mary Axe and Broadgate Circle. £20.

Ride at BOOM Cycle
  • Sport and fitness
  • Cycling
  • Holborn

‘Grab a drink, towel down and fix your hair’ is the fierce mantra you’ll hear over the course of a fast and furious ride at Boom Cycle – especially if it’s with spin queen Bangs. The ponytail-whipping instructor’s classes are famously epic, as she brings comical and motivational bants to a class soundtracked by everything from old-school garage to Tina Turner. Her classes sell out pronto, but keep an ear open for a hip hop ride in August. Branches in Holborn, Hammersmith and Shoreditch. £18.

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