Date:5/3/15 Location: St Mary Axe, London
Following the adrenaline comedown two days after the NTC Ellie Goulding session at London’s Tobacco Dock, I was allotted a spot by email sign-up to a second NTC event at 1Rebel, the home of boutique spinning-and-running-on-a-treadmill-then-throwing-some-medicine-balls-around-ing.
With the help of Emilie (@Lovaine_), my new fitness buddy who I first accosted when asking for directions to Ellie’s workout, we battled through getting lost in the bright lights of London to find 1Rebel tucked away on a street corner, somewhere near Liverpool Street station and the Gherkin. With directions as clear as those, you can perhaps tell how I got lost. Whilst the original session was for a spin class, Emilie and I were excited to hear that we were part of the group who were offered a free Reshape class instead of the Ride session.
With our fresh white towels and free 1Rebel-branded bottles of water in hand, we descended to find stunning copper changing rooms filled with intricate coded lockers and brand new GHDs. I may have to replace pre-drinking with exercising to get full use of these expensive straighteners before a night out.
The earlier excitement soon turned to a little bit of fear as we took in the rows of workout benches and treadmills in the ‘Room of Doom’ as I now affectionally call it.
After being introduced to how the session worked by our trainer, we set about getting orientated. Driven by my goal to avoid the treadmill for as long as possible, I gravitated towards the nearest bench. Half of the group split into working the weight benches as ‘Shapers’, whilst the other half simultaneously stepped onto the treadmills to become ‘Runners’.
What followed was the scariest workout of my life, with each moment bringing about fear of what was coming next. In a good way. With the weighted sections, we were treated to stints of working with pairs of dumbbells (at weight levels of our choosing), and using the bench to perform exercises including tricep push-ups and crunches. By throwing in medicine ball and resistance band movements, the section offered a chance to utilise a variety of equipment to test every muscle and your own self-determination to pick up the heavier weight.
The difference with this class is that when you think that you deserve a wee break for all your burpies and your bicep curls on the weight bench, you’re thrust straight onto a treadmill in your recovery period whilst the halves swap over. Running at speeds 8,10, or 12, with an incline of 4 upwards, the motivation to push yourself came from the trainer’s clear orders and the group’s energy as a whole- this class was tough, but we all wanted to make it through. Mainly so that we wouldn’t fall off the treadmills, but still.
At one point towards the end of session, the lights went low to be replaced by flashing bright colours as the music grew louder. At this point, I found myself squatting in front of the treadmill and attempting to push the belt forward using the wilting strength of my arms. This class was full of surprises. Coupled with the neon lights and new moves, the session was an altogether new experience with an atmosphere of exertion and energy felt by the whole group. With precise instructions throughout and an incredibly motivating trainer, I left the Reshape class feeling in awe of what the session had crammed into 45 minutes. In addition, the sleek studio and friendly staff made 1Rebel feel like a place where your hardest efforts in the class could be treated to a high-quality cool down in the accompanying 1Rebel food bar. With a free shot of something healthy and green in hand, the relief of finishing the session and stepping out from 1Rebel into the bright lights of the surrounding skyscrapers was something else.
To feel like you’re tackling every push up and sprint along with me and Emilie without breaking a sweat, check out the @Lovaine_ Go-Pro video of our session!