Thursday, 12 February 2015

Fitness: 1Rebel Review

After hearing a lot of buzz around the opening of 1Rebel I was not one to shy away from the challenge. I was compelled to try out the new fitness revolution for the modern age, especially with one of the studios so close to my office. I was excited to see that when you sign up online 1Rebel offers you a complimentary 1st session to try their service. As I already pay a hefty gym membership I really appreciate offers like this as it lets me review the experience before having to commit, which is perfect as the whole thought process behind 1Rebel is a modern approach with no subscription or membership fees. All you do is choose a package (a number of sessions) and use these up as you wish (though of course the more sessions you purchase the more cost effective it is).

I opted for a 30 minutes lunchtime full body Reshape session. Although these sessions are short (given all the classes are the same price) they do come with an added benefit of a Roots and Bulbs lunch or juice, which is ideal for me when popping out of the office!

I attended the 1Rebel studio on St Mary Axe (almost opposite the Gherkin) and after being given a large towel and chilled bottle of water on arrival descended to the changing rooms and studios underground. The changing rooms are among the best I have seen – smart, roomy lockers with no keys needed (and definitely no £1 coins in sight), modern brass accents, plenty of mirrors, GhD appliances and clean showers with a good range of complimentary products. I was impressed!

The Reshape class studio is split into work benches (with weights underneath) and treadmills (these were fantastic and so easy to use). We only had 4 people in our class so we had one each, but the idea is when classes are full people alternate between benches and treadmills. I understand that space in the City is at a premium, but even with so few people I could imagine the studio getting pretty full. For me personally the mat space between the benches was a little small. I wouldn’t like to be doing inchworms face to face with anyone so I would have preferred a little more room (though I appreciate I have been somewhat spoiled by my home gym where I usually have a whole area to myself). 

With one instructor keeping an eye on people using various equipment (and in club style darkness) I think it may be easy to get lost in a full class, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for complete beginners. If you are just starting your fitness journey and need to learn basic exercises with good form I think this class may be confusing as it is very fast paced. However, as I had done all the exercises before I felt pretty confident – it was still a challenge, but having learned the correct way to do them my main test was to repeat or hold for the right amount of time. As we had a small class we had plenty of attention and encouragement from the super energetic Melissa, but I guess it just depends on the popularity of your session!

Throughout the class we switched from various programmes on the treadmill (warm up jog, run, sprint, incline sprint and dynamic mode of pushing the treadmill yourself to pick up speed) to plyo work such as squat jumps, weights such as bench press and lunges with dumbbells, cardio building burpees and core strengthening dynamic planks and leg raises. The class was mainly HIIT with short rest periods so my heart rate was up throughout the full 30 minutes - burning 350 calories. Melissa was fantastic at giving us tips or encouraging us to run that bit faster or hold that plank a few seconds longer and the loud music and club atmosphere kept it fun!

After a quick shower and change I grabbed my complimentary Roots and Bulbs lunch and was back in the office with a nutritious meal, a rush of endorphins and more than a slight flush to my cheeks!

As someone who works out regularly I think these classes are great fun and a fantastic way to get a quick workout in during the day, especially if I have evening plans. I find that exercise is absolutely the best stress relief and even after 30 minutes you feel the difference. 1Rebel has fabulous facilities and a super convenient location if you work in the City and I would definitely recommend checking it out whether you are looking to shape and tone up for the summer, or fit in some exercise around your busy day without giving up your evenings or having to get up at the crack of dawn. There is also a Rebel Ride class if you are a fan of spinning. There’s nothing to lose as the first session is free!

There are various offers available at this introductory stage if you want to purchase sessions

If you mention my name you can get a 20% discount off either a 10, 25 or 50 pack on the website using the code IWANTMORE. Alternatively there is a special offer where you can get 20% off 50 sessions and £200 worth of Charli Cohen sports-luxe range with the code 50shades.

Let me know if you try it and what you think of 1Rebel. You never know... I may be on the treadmill next to you next lunchtime!

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