Monday, 9 February 2015

1Rebel: A Workout Review

1Rebel is a new type of boutique gym in London, it opened it's doors in January and it's caused a bit of a stir. It's located in the heart of the city right by the Gherkin building. It was set up by the son of the guy that opened Fitness First, James Balfour, and he said the idea was to rebel agains his fathers chain like, contract only stereotypical gyms and to create something different.

When a friend suggested we go and take advantage of the free trial class I jumped at the chance. I love trying new kinds of workouts and this seemed like my kind of thing. They offer two types of classes, spinning and reshape. Both classes are done in dark rooms with night club like lighting and tunes mixed by internationally acclaimed DJ Jon White. The vibe is chic, sexy and fun. We signed up for the Reshape class with Tiago on Sunday morning and I have to say I was a little bit nervous as I made my way to the city. I am quite fit and like to train hard but this class sounded hard core with treadmill sprints paired with weight training in one.

I found a door with just a simple R and stepped through plush curtains to the reception area. I was greeted with friendly receptionists and given a large towel and a bottle of water. I headed downstairs to the changing rooms and was seriously blown away. These changing rooms are something else, super cool industrial luxe design with copper details, spacious getting ready areas with anything you might need for getting ready, blow dryers, ghd straighteners, lotions, cleansers, hair spray etc. I was looking forward to showering and getting ready there before the class had even started.

The reshape studio was dark and very cool, high tech treadmills and weight stations with dumbbells, medicine balls and exercise bands, flashing blue lights and pumping tunes. The girls and I had booked 5 treadmills next to each other which was great, we could cheer each other on and have a bit of a dance on the treadmills. The class was lead by Tiago who was energetic and fun, he seemed enthusiastic about teaching. We started off with some treadmill sprints, changing speed and incline according to our levels of fitness. You then jump off for exercises at your weight stations, then back on the treadmills and so on. The exercises consisted of step ups, jumps, squats and lunges for legs, press ups, chest press, tricep press, lateral and front raises for upper body and jack knife crunches, planks and medicine ball twists for abs. I believe we did 4 sets on the treadmill and 4 sets of exercises and a short cool down and stretch. You are also given two face towels to wipe off all that guaranteed sweat.

This photo has been borrowed from the 1Rebel website

All in all I enjoyed my reshape class but there were a few negatives as well. I thought it was slightly disorganised in the sense that we weren't told how long each sprint would last or how long we would for example be chest pressing for. If its a shorter set you can go for heavier weights etc and there is a big difference in how hard you can push yourself for 30 seconds compare to a minute. I also felt my upper body got more of a work out than my lower body and would have enjoyed more leg exercises.
I workout a lot, so to be honest it wasn't the toughest class I have ever done. I left feeling like I had fun but could have done more. This is probably partly my fault as I could have gone for heavier weights on some of the exercises. I would suggest a short explanation of how the class is structured and the length of the intervals might be beneficial at the beginning of the class.

Sweaty but happy we giggled our way to the changing rooms for a spin on their awesome make up chairs. The showers were lovely and spacious with lovely products and we took our time getting ready and taking full advantage of the beautiful facilities. I only noticed as I was leaving that they had a fridge with cool towels for after the workout, nice touch!

Check out these amazing chairs, I need one so bad.

The classes range from £17-25 depending on how many you book, so it's not cheap but it is fun, different and you are not tied into a contract of any kind. 1Rebel is definitely worth a visit, I would love to hear what you thought if you have been!

Visit the website here and book yourself onto a trial class.

Sorry I have been a bit quiet on the blog front, we have had lots of trouble with our internet but should be back on track this week.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Bandstand

As a dog owner, I spend a lot of time on the common walking him. Clapham Common has a bandstand as its centre point and it has become a bit of a thing for us. On a very chilly but sunny day we wrapped up warm, fluffy jumper and the biggest scarf I could find, and walked Nano to the bandstand. Nano loves the park, it makes me happy just watching him running around.

Coat: Zara
Jumper: JZD
Scarf: H&M
Jeans: Hollister
Boots: Cara London
Sunglasses: Missoni

The bandstand the perfect place to stop for a sit down in the sun. It's a lovely place to have a chat and share a coffee, it's perfect for people and dog watching and in the mornings it's the perfect place for training my personal training clients as it's well lit.

What people don't often know about the bandstand is that the cafe there is not just a cafe. It's a lovely Italian restaurant with delicious fresh dishes, excellent coffee and italian ice cream. It's the perfect spot for lunch, but make sure you wrap up warm as it's much nicer to sit outside.

It's called Cafe La Baita and from the outside it doesn't look fancy or overly exciting, the inside is basic with a few tables. The food how ever is always delicious. Their seafood dishes are exceptional, all the seafood is fresh from a local fishmongers in Clapham south. Their daily specials vary depending on what they got from the fishmongers that day. My absolute favourites are the spicy seafood pasta and the mussels. Simple but divine. I brought my mom here for a sunny lunch last summer and she practically licked her plate. They also do snacks such as paninis and healthy options such as grilled chicken breast with a fresh salad. I promise I will do a post about the food once the weather warms up a little.

I had a very busy week so these little breaks from work and running around help me unwind and relax. In the winter it's so easy to stay indoors snuggled up with a cup of tea or spend all day in the office without even seeing the sun but it's so important to get a dose of fresh air and sunshine, I guarantee it will make you feel refreshed and energised.