Getting fit and shedding any amount of pounds can be a right bore. The monotony of a treadmill, smug gym Barbies and just being smelly, hurty and sweaty when you’d prefer being in a beer garden – none of this is fun.
But it needn’t be a drag. Increasingly gym and fitness experts are coming up with more unconventional ways to sweat it out, to make exercise fun and something you look forward to instead of dreading.
So from pre-breakfast raving to cycling underwater here are some of the most bonkers ways to beat the bulge.
Lasers, glow sticks and excellent Nineties house music anyone? With a mini trampoline? Gymbox’s rave classes are probably one of the most insane ways to get fit. It’s 45 minutes of bouncing, spinning and easy to follow choreography in a dark room with thumping bass and a mini lights show. What’s not to love? It’s sexy and sweaty and not one person leaves without their mood drastically improved. Fit factor: 2/5
Imagine being able to combine your twin interests of bubble baths and spinning. No? Us either – but now you actually can. Hydrofit, which started in Paris, claims to reduce cellulite with the added benefits of hydro-massage and chromotherapy (a centuries old practice that supposedly balances energy). All the while smashing 300 calories in 30 minutes. At £30 for half an hour it’s not the cheapest of hobbies but it’s definitely one to try, especially if you’re feeling a bit creaky. Fit factor: 2/5
3. J to the Beat
This is one of Gymbox’s dance offerings and is one of the most fun and positive dance classes in town. Sassy and sexy, it’s supposed to evoke London house club vibes and it definitely does. It’s kind of like being in a Pussycat Dolls music video without Scherzinger elbowing you out of the way. And most enjoyably, it’s doable. The pace is moderate and lots of repetition also means even the most awkwardly limbed participants don’t feel left behind. Moody mood lighting adds an extra layer of protection for anyone feeling bashful and the teachers are encouraging and really, really fun. Fit factor 3/5
4. Lucha Libre
Throwing your opponent to the ground while wearing a sweet cape and mask combo – surely that’s the dream? Lucha Libre – Mexican wrestling with a load of theatre thrown in – is a fantastic way to get fit, improve coordination, flexibility and er, audience engagement (if that’s your thing) while laughing your head off. Sessions are weekly in east London and last three hours – in no time at all you’ll be a badass ‘luchador’ – ARRIBA! (luchabritannia.com) Fit factor: 3/5
Think drumming meets Haka meets aerobics. This class uses lightly weighted drum sticks to basically beat the sh*t out of the floor while using squats, leg raises and some pretty tough core exercises. It’s set to some sweet rock n roll and you feel kind of awesome doing it. It’s not an easy class though, it really challenges your stomach muscles and thighs but think of how rad your bum will look. (Gymbox)
7. Four to the Floor
This class is grindy, sexy and just a little bit silly. Perfect for increasing flexibility and if you want to feel like you’re in a Toni Braxton music video. It’s a floor based choreography class to slow jams and works your abs and glutes splendidly. Lots of hair throwing and faux sultriness too. Gymbox provide knee pads so the old joints don’t get too battered and it’s a great way to unwind after work. Fitness challenge: 2/5 (Gymbox)
Say what now? A class that consists of straight up snoozing? Yes. For 45 minutes stressed out workers, parents, or anyone really can snuggle up in a bed (alone, mind) at David Lloyd gyms and have a lovely uninterrupted 40 winks. The class is full of single beds, atmospheric sounds and a temperature that boosts calorie burning. Sounds like a dream..
Fitness challenge 0/5
9. OCR training
This is for maniacs who want to be on Gladiators or do the Tough Mudder challenge. Monkey bars, ropes, scaling things and sprinting with 75kg weights that almost rip your arms out of their sockets. And the teacher is quite mean too…but it’s part of the charm (I think). When I asked for a leg up to the quite high bar he just said ‘no, find something to stand on’ and walked off. That learned me for being girly! It’s a high intensity, serious class and you will need to be quite dextrous and strong. But practice make perfect and those obstacles won’t finish themselves. Fitness level 4/5 (Gymbox)