Archives for category: Gymbox

Day 23: Boxing and cardio. I was on my way home from a conference on genetics (er, yep, exactly) and I could’ve easily walked straight past Gymbox on St Martin’s Lane and into the pub, but the powers from within made my feet walk inside the gym, put on some gloves, and kick the shit out of a punch bag for 60 minutes instead. #sydneybeachcountdownImage

Day 11: Weights and cardio. Must cut down on carbs and beer. And cake. Was amazed by the man in Gymbox Holborn today on the bike reading War & Peace. At one point he wasn’t even moving.  #sydneybeachcountdown

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Day four: Mix of weights and cardio in-between DJ set, meetings and teaching. #sydneybeachcountdown 1450769_10152006540536007_1384676241_n#noexcuses

In my role as Head of Digital Marketing for fitness hipsters Gymbox I decided to organise a Champion Bloggers Challenge, which took place at the Farringdon club last week. I invited along some leading female fitness bloggers (it seemed the men were too chicken to take part, lightweights) and decided to throw myself into the mix – to make them look good, of course…

The girls who took the plunge were (left to right, below), me, Elle Linton (keepitsimpelle), Emma Lax and Charlotte Thomas (lungesandlycra), Lorna Mann (dedicatedfolloweroffitness), Georgina Spenceley (fitcetera) and SYA (systyles).

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Farringdon VPT Manager Russell ’Rusty’ Clarke programmed the event, who is totally hot and we’ve all got a mega crush on him. Four bespoke CrossFit inspired work-outs were created, which consisted of: rowing, tyre flipping, sled pushing, hand release push-ups, press-ups, squats and sit-ups. Yes, tyre flipping and sled pulling. I was, to be frank, crapping myself prior to the event and grunting and puffing one’s way through a hardcore session is hardly a girl’s best look.

Round 1

The Tabata rowing section was actually alright. We did 8 rounds x 20 seconds, with a 10 second break in-between rounds. This section was judged on the calories spunked at the end of the session. I was doing pretty bloody well, joint lead with Georgina, and then I fell off like a heffalump on ketamine. Not a winning look, especially with my feet still strapped in. This ungainly sight also occurred right in front of my Gymbox boss David Cooper. His eyes rolled and he tutted: ‘No-one has ever fallen off a rower in the whole ten years of Gymbox’. Oh well, get over it. At least his chances of impressing Rusty hadn’t been foiled. With this slight set-back, I still managed to uphold third position…

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Round 2

This was my favourite section as I was able to try something new. We were to push the sled up and down the track as many times as we could, in 60 seconds. Then the same again flipping a tyre. I have never wanted to attack a spare tyre and tell it to go fuck itself with such pleasure in my life. I literally felt myself become a superhero in seconds. Very satisfying, although in the photo (below) I look like I’ve crapped myself. The sled-pushing, however, was harder than Emma made it look. She whizzed it along as if she were mowing the lawn one sleepy Sunday afternoon. I, on the other hand, made it look like I was pushing a pile of bricks through molten concrete.

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Round 3

Although this was the most intense of the session, it wasn’t as hard as I anticipated. Anything to do with lifting one’s bodyweight concerns me, as I do have the viking statuesque thing going on (blame my Danish heritage) which makes me three stone heavier than everyone else. For this section we did what is called an AMRAP ‘Cindy’ which consists of TRX rows, hand release push-ups and squats. The idea was to do as many rounds as possible in 7 minutes. This was the longest 7 minutes of my life. The push-ups were the hardest, even doing them on my knees which was actually quite pathetic. I could see Charlotte out of the corner of my eye doing full push-ups, which made me think someone was going to kick sand in my face at any moment. I was doing so badly in this round I just couldn’t help but find it amusing. Hell, wouldn’t you?

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Round 4

The last but the most knackering of the sections. Tabata sit-ups is when you touch the soles of your feet together, legs wide and knees to the floor. You pull up and touch your ankles as many times as you can in 60 seconds. Rest then do it again x 8 rounds. It is the most unladylike position to get yourself into in public – and not for ‘fun’ – but I cracked on with the job in hand regardless, and pulled off an alright 72. By the end of it my abs were burning hotter than a hooker’s snatch at a clap clinic.

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The results

OK, so I didn’t win. No big surprise there. But it was a bloody good laugh and I did OK for someone who had a good decade on everyone else. If I hadn’t slid off the rower like a whale in the first round I would’ve come in 4th.

7th – Charlotte: 107

6th – SYA: 128

5th – Lulu: 147

4th – Elle: 152

3rd – Georgina: 155

2nd – Lorna: 158

1st: Emma: 201

The Aftermath

It was a total blast, and meeting all these amazing sporty women was a real highlight of my week. Even more impressive was that our ‘quick drink’ afterwards morphed into a champion Rosé session, with Emma and Charlotte from lungesandlycra leading the way. My new-found kindred spirits. Apparently, during the fifth bottle, I agreed to join them on a relay Duathlon at Richmond Park in September…  Until next time. Hic!

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Big ups to photographer Marc Sethi for capturing the event.

I have moaned about this before – see Gymrage - but there are people I regularly see in the gym and out pounding the streets who are putting me right off my fitness groove. People are distracting me and it’s doing my head in. My concentration goes fuzzy and as the sociologist type that I am I can’t help but spend hours trying to figure out their back-stories. There really are more important things to be thinking about in the middle of the night. But what can I do? I can’t exactly leave the house with a blind-fold on or I might cause more damage than I do already – see Trip Advisor. 

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So here are the main culprits. There’s a 30-ish-year-old woman who goes to Gymbox in Holborn who works out like a mentalist – sweating profusely on the treadmill and giving it loads on the rowing machine – with the aid of full-on 80′s make-up and massive bouffant hair-do. I can’t help but stare at her, scrutinising the layers of black eyeliner and blue eyeshadow waiting for it to slide across her face and make her look more like Adam Ant than Debbie Harry. But it doesn’t. Her make-up remains entirely intact – as does her back-combed, perfectly hair-sprayed barnet – and she styles out her whole gym session with aplomb. How she does it, I have no idea. But I hate her for it. I can’t even put on a bit of lip gloss without some gross gym fluff or someone else’s hair sticking to it within seconds.

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Next up is Janet Jackson who goes running in my local neighbourhood in SE London. It probably isn’t her but she looks so much like her I have convinced myself that she’s moved into the area undercover, to get back into shape. This woman went from ‘fat Janet’ to ‘thin Janet’ within a year. As I took my usual routes around Catford and Lee High Road I would scour the streets looking for her to appear – the transformation unravelling before me. There she was, running in bright leg-warmers and a pineapple up-do, hammering the pavement with hand weights, her body fat disappearing into the ether. I still look for her but she is nowhere to be seen. She must’ve gone back to LA to record her latest single – or eat more pies. Here’s hoping she’ll be back soon.

EXCL.: Chubby singer JANET JACKSON after having an appointment with an acupuncture expert

Finally, the most recent addition to the distraction list is a woman in my local Body Pump classes. Every Sunday morning she is there, taking the same spot right in front of the mirror, and I swear I have never seen such massive breasts in my life. This fascination is not of a sexual nature – it’s blatant curiosity. A whirl of thoughts such as ‘are they real?’, ‘does her back ache?’, ‘what do people say to her in the street?’ ‘is she a glamour model?’ and ‘what would I look like with bigger boobs’ buzz around my head when I should be concentrating on my pec flys and power squats.

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But, after saying all that, it’s better to be surrounded by colourful characters than none at all. Now, where is that old granny I keep seeing chatting up the young personal trainers in the free weights room…

January at Gymbox means a abundance of new classes, so to celebrate this wave of new heart-rate raising activity I have volunteered myself to try some of them out to offer you some expert (cough) insight. The first instalment of my foray into the fitness unknown is a review of one of the favourites on the menu, simply named ‘Rihanna’. This is a work-out dedicated to the most stunning pop star currently on the market. What’s not to like?

For the full review, continue on to the Gymbox website here and for the list of new classes, check it here! 

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In collaboration with Gymbox, London’s urban running massive Run Dem Crew are launching a harder-than-nails six week training course starting in January 2013. Do you think you can do da ting?

Whether you want to train for your first race or are trying to shave minutes/seconds off that elusive PB, join RDC on the brand new Murder Mile Sessions where street lamps become spotlights, cities become stadiums, and street signs become training partners.

This is urban street running for those that don’t ‘jog’, can’t stand running loops and couldn’t care less about VO2 max. This is your chance to inject some life back into your running – the goal being to kick the dust out of and rub gravel in the face of that Murder Mile, which is to take place at the (venue to be announced) on Wednesday February 20th. Details to be announced nearer the time.

‘Unconventional ideas need unconventional spaces’ says Run Dem Crew founder Charlie Dark. ‘We’ve been long-time admirers of the Gymbox ethic and this collaboration gives the crew an opportunity to spread the word on the urban running movement while at the same time building a new running community in London. This new venture is a chance to share our ideas with a new audience and inspire people to be the best that they can be.’

The Murder Mile challenge launches on Wednesday January 9th, meeting every week, at 6.30pm @ Gymbox Farringdon. This six week course costs £69 (£40 to Gymbox members), which includes unlimited use of Gymbox for the duration of the course. Membership discounts available to those who wish to join after the course.

Go hard, or go home.

For further information and to sign up (be quick, there are limited places) please call Farringdon Gymbox on 020 7871 4549 or email hannahcn@gymbox.co.uk

For more details, go to the Gymbox site here. 

For those who didn’t know, I’m doing a Body Fat Percentage Loss Challenge (BFPLC) for Gymbox this month… This Friday is half-way mark, and I’m going to get my body fat measured to track my progress. I am intending to suck in everything I have jiggling about as hard as I can. However, I have to admit that despite a few slip-ups – a couple of roast potatoes and half a bottle of red wine may have accidentally fallen into my mouth over the weekend – I have stuck to the plan. I’ve stopped eating bread (cough, pretty much) and have cut down on shoving chocolate, beer and crisps in my gob. It’s been hard, but is getting easier.

I trained four times last week with Steve at the Holborn Gymbox. By Friday I did cry a little bit which I tried to hide from him but I think he saw. A couple of the other trainers have now started picking on me and making me do more stuff on top of the agreed training plan, such as dragging massive heavy boxes across the gym floor by a rope on tip-toes. Also when they see me about to punch the wall in floods of tears they shout ’little black dress!’ across the gym floor. They are the epitome of all evil. But despite the tears (did you know sweat is fat crying?) I have been feeling pretty amazing afterwards, even though I have to lie down in the changing rooms for 20 minutes before I can move.

My relationship with Steve is love/hate. I hate him during the 45 minutes of training and I want to hug him when it’s over. But regardless of my slightly unbalanced loathing/love of him the fact remains: trainers work. They push you to the max and the results are there: I can already feel my body getting stronger. I may be starving and sore half the time, but I’m stronger I tell you!

But now this week I am working on my own for half the time – only with Steve twice a week – which requires a lot of discipline. As we all know we just have to stop procrastinating, put the remote control (and bag of crisps) down, and get our arses out of the door. It’s a bit more embarrassing screeching ’F************ck that hurts!’ across the gym floor without the support of a trainer telling you to calm down and shut up, but sod it, no pain no gain. When we work out there’s no room for feeling self-conscious, even though some of us do. I’m determined to make this BFPLC work for me.

Today I’m going to take a rest from the programme and have just checked out the Warrior Workout at Bank (I am still recovering: excellent work-out), then back to Steve for training tomorrow morning at 8.30am. No more tears. I can do this..

Find out more about the challenge and read about all things Gymbox here. 

Hooray! Ace new work-out mix by Sophie Lloyd for Gymbox – listen to it now right here on their Mixcloud.

Any interested in submitting mixes? Get in touch!

 


I felt slightly embarrassed that when I reviewed innovative circuits class Circus Circuits last month I was hungover from throwing down some disco shapes at Horse Meat Disco the previous night. It seems a pattern is emerging as this month, for featured new class Opera Spin, my training schedule the night before didn’t consist of an early night, water and wheat fusilli (as planned) but the swilling down of lager, cocktails and vast amounts of red wine – all stuffed down with sausage pizza and fudge tart. The planned 10pm bedtime was replaced by an erratic cycle home and passing out in all my clothes at 2am.

The shame. But, despite 4 hours sleep and a revolting craving for a meat pie for breakfast (cough, no I didn’t, honest) I was determined to show all of you what can be achieved, with no excuses! It was time to grow a pair. A hangover? Pah, what hangover. Time to woman up.

As a lover of spin, Opera Spin was something else, like nothing I’d experienced before. Before the music even started I was both wowed and wooed by the studio itself – a seductive cool red space (see picture) framed by neon lights and a blurry vision of oneself in the mirrors which was most flattering (although, in truth, it might well have been the red wine haze). Once the instructor Natalie kicked off the session – putting the F in Fierce, no kidding – and the sweat started to avalanche out of my booze-drenched pores, I was filled with the fear of falling off my bike and throwing up, but you know what? I didn’t. A hardcore work-out to electro-fied Pavarotti anthems sorted me right out. I could literally feel those extra calories I’d consumed leave my body in a rejected huff. See ya!

With a bit of self-discipline and an experienced instructor that kicks your lardon pizza-chomping arse into first gear – no excuses – one’s hangover can be obliterated into oblivion and normal(ish) service can be resumed.

So the next time you stumble home pissed out of your mind and the room starts spinning around, pack your gym kit for the following day as you can spin off your hangover with a good old-fashioned military-like gruelling – opera-tunity knocks!

For the full Gymbox experience, click here

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