Exercise becomes more central to most people’s weekly routines as summer approaches and the thought of wearing a floaty dress or a bikini becomes a reality! Having said this, the May to September period is quite a long stretch meaning that even the biggest fitness fanatics can become demotivated. In order to avoid this problem, we’ve researched the hottest exercise classes around the city that will guarantee that you break a sweat while holding your interest so that you can stay on track to achieving an awesome summer body.
Everyone across London has been raving about Psycle since it first opened in 2014. The team claims they offer a high intensity, low impact, head-to-toe workout on a bike and having tried it numerous times, we totally agree. Although a normal spinning class would tend to focus more on the muscles in one’s legs, this class also incorporates movements on the bike which engage the core in addition to weighted arm exercises. The name ‘Psycle’ comes from combining the words ‘cycle’ and ‘psychology’ to lay emphasis on the brand’s focus on the mental side to powering through intense exercise. This class definitely isn’t for the faint-hearted, but the great pumping music definitely helps you to keep going towards the last 10 minutes! View their website.
Barry’s Bootcamp has a cult following not only at its London branches but also across in the pond in New York, Miami and Hollywood. Their signature hour-long workouts include 30 minutes of interval training on the treadmill and 25-30 minutes of strength training using free weights and resistance bands among other equipment. Barry’s is well known for being extreme, but its great reputation would suggest that the results are worth it. This workout is great for people hoping to slim down and build muscles simultaneously, as the treadmill work is great for shifting a few pounds while the strength training will help to tone the abs, glutes and arms. Check it out here.
Kobox, London’s first boutique boxing studio, only opened in December 2015 but it hasn’t been off the fitness radar since. Classes combine punching work on a weighted bag with strength training that focuses on the lower body meaning that no part of the body is left untouched. The instructors promise to torch calories, improve your coordination and strengthen the whole body. We love the fun factor to this class which makes it great for those feeling unmotivated; its definitely a change up from a normal gym-based cardio routine. Website here.
Founded by celebrity trainer Helle Hammond, GymClass promises to help you achieve a sculpted body through a focus on circuits-based exercise which ensures that both the upper and lower body are being toned. These circuits keep the class interesting by breaking it up into smaller sections, meaning that (most of the time) you’re not left wandering when you’ll be allowed to stop! The circuits are made up of weights work, cycling and even some TRX training. The class is split up into teams to work on each circuit together so if you’re a newbie to more intense exercise this might be a good class to try. See their website here.
For those of you who fancy something slightly less extreme but that will still have results, try yoga, pilates or barre classes at TriYoga. These classes offer gentle toning but also focus more on mental strength and wellbeing more than the others. If you fancy this approach but want to try something that is still going to push you, why not have a go at their hot yoga which is slightly more difficult than the standard options. TriYoga has many locations in London such as Camden, Chelsea, Covent Garden and Soho meaning that it is convenient for most people across the city.Visit their website here.
us why he loves Chi
Who are you?
My name is Mario Presi, 39 years of age, Italian by birth. I come from the Veneto region (from Padova, near Venice) in north-east Italy. I grew up in Italy, and went to Catering College where I graduated in Hotel & Restaurant Management in 1995. I moved to London in 2001 and I haven’t looked back since.
What is Chef on a bike?
Chef on a bike is me. It represents who I am via my profession (chef), and my passion for cycling around the world (on a bike).
Why did you set up Chef on a bike?
I wanted to help people improve their eating habits by educating them in what to eat, and why. This is great for athletes who want to improve their performance by enhancing their nutrition, but also good for the average person who doesn’t compete in sport’s but likes to keep fit, healthy and would like to improve their way of eating.
Why Do You Love Chi’s products?
One of the products I came to love almost to the point to be obsessed about it is Chi 100% Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. I have tried and tested many coconut oils in the last 2 ½ years but Chi Coconut Oil has become my favourite. In fact, not only do I use and consume a 500g jar per month, but I also recommended to my clients and friends. You can use Chi Coconut Oil in your coffee, frying eggs or as a spread over toast.
Chi Coconut Water is also an item on my weekly shopping list, and it is by far my first choice.
You are an advocate of “clean eating”, can you tell us more?
Clean eating means avoiding foods that are processed, artificial foods, or foods that have been genetically modified. These cause stress on your body, which can ultimately cause illnesses. Whole and unprocessed plant-based foods are full of vitamins, minerals, quality macronutrients, and antioxidants that the body needs for cellular regeneration. I prefer to eat these.
What’s the story behind your cooking?
I worked for what was known at the time as Conran Restaurants, established by Sir Terence Conran and associates. I had the pleasure to work with talented individuals and amazing head chefs. I always had a soft spot for the alps and winter/snow in general. So in 2005 I decided to do my first ever ski season. I worked for Chalet Ski Companies in the best ski resorts in the Alps.
What happened after that?
On my return to London I decided I wanted to be my own boss, so I became self employed and started to work for private clients, families and corporates creating bespoke catering events. Dinner parties and cooking lessons were the main services I offered.
How did you get introduced to cycling?
My cycling career started back in 1985 when I participated at the FIAC BMX World Championships making the A Final. From there on I raced all over Italy winning 6 Italian National Titles in both BMX 20″ and Cruiser 24″, 4th place in the 1989 World Cup, Podium finishes at European Races and in 1992 a prestigious European Title. I raced BMX in Italy, until 1999.
In 2008 I joined a BMX club in London and got into shape by training hard. I started competing again and after a few seasons I won the British Championships in 2011, British National title in 2012 and a 4th place at the World Championships 2012 in Birmingham.
How did you bring your passion of food and cycling together?
My interest in food and the knowledge I gained in all my years as a professional chef, triggered an ever growing need to understand the importance of a balanced diet for athletes. In 2012, I started to read food / nutrition articles on the web and that kick started the need to know more about nutrition and WHY specific ingredients are a boost for athletes performance. I understood the importance to eat a more natural, organic (mostly plant based) whole food diet rather than a conventional omnivorous diet.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Mario! Now to share this amazing recipe with our followers…
Chef on a bike’s Clean and Super Nutritious Porridge
1 cup of unsweetened Chi Coconut Milk
1/2 organic GF porridge oats
1 pinch cinnamon
2 tsp Chi Coconut Oil
2 tsp smooth (or crunchy) almond butter
1 tsp ground flax seeds
1/2 banana sliced
blueberries / kiwis / acai berry powder / chia seeds
Pour the milk in a small non stick sauce pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Tuned the heat down, add the oats and the cinnamon and stir gently. Put the lid on and let it cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a medium to large bowl of your choice, place the almond butter and the Chi coconut oil at the bottom then pour over the porridge. Top with fresh fruit and flax seeds and enjoy this super healthy, warming, nutrient dense breakfast that will keep your body fuelled for a few hours 🙂
For more information, follow Mario: @chefonabike
to be more active
This week we have been seriously inspired by #ThisGirlCan, a national campaign created by Sport England to celebrate active women everywhere. Their aim is to encourage other women to get involved in fitness, “no matter how well they do it or how red their face gets.”
If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen the TV ad, tweets or billboards, then check out some of the great slogans they’ve been using:
You can also check out the TV advert here: #ThisGirlCan
Sport England has said that no models were used in the campaign, just women of all shapes, sizes and ages getting stuck into sport and exercise.
We think their approach has been spot on, so we decided to ask what our Instagram followers thought of the campaign and find out which sports and fitness bloggers inspire them to be fit, healthy and active.
Recommended by @lisa_s_goodman who thinks #ThisGirlCan is “mega inspiring!”
“It all began when I started sharing my food diaries and workouts on Instagram. My friends would often ask me for meal ideas and tips, and I realised I loved talking about health and fitness. I found it so motivating that I decided to start my blog, Gymbags & Gladrags.”
“Sharing my journey to a healthier, fitter body helps to keep me on track and inspires my readers to achieve their goal body. Together we work to better ourselves and I love that sense of community.”
“The #ThisGirlCan campaign mirrors what I believe perfectly. I love it!”
“I’m Polly and I’m a former PE-dodger! I was inspired to create runningforaugust when I signed up to run the London Marathon in honour of my friend August who had completed it in 2012. August was brave, hard working and outstandingly generous, and I was devastated when she had a fatal accident in 2014. I aspire to be like her every day, and I’ve found running to be the best therapy, as well as a community of support that is inspiring beyond words.”
Polly thinks that #ThisGirlCan “is an awesome campaign!”
Recommended by @louisa_troughton
“I’m a 21 year old student at the University of Warwick who is training to be an elite triathlete. Since I was young I have always been obsessed with sport and anything to do with it – whatever the challenge, I was there and I loved how sport brought people from all backgrounds together.”
“I started my blog last year to chat about my sporting endeavours, share my passion for healthy living, and to inspire and motivate others to think they “can do it too.”
“I think the #ThisGirlCan campaign is long overdue. Girls everywhere worry about image, body and judgement. The gym is supposed to leave you sweaty, not glamorous and we should all embrace it! Be proud of what you do, and who you are.”
Well said, girls! Join the conversation on Twitter and let everyone know that #ThisGirlCan