HIIT – Another Space

Another Space in Covent Garden is designed to provide class-based workouts to those who don’t fancy finding a workout plan and slogging it out in the gym. Gyms are great, but sometimes having someone push you harder than you could push yourself is needed to get the results you want. The ‘gym’ itself is absolutely beautiful – all white walls, clean lines, lots of greenery and a food/smoothie/juice bar. Included in the price of the class is everything you might need for a workout, from towels to shampoo and conditioner (Cowshed, no less), as well as boxing gloves, cycling shoes (cleats and all) and you can even pre-order a smoothies to be waiting for you in the fridge when you get out of the class! Another Space is from the same people as Third Space, which you might remember me reviewing before. It has the same feel, although it is smaller (yet somehow more spacious).

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Another (beautiful) Space entrance, Covent Garden

Another Space provides three types of class: Spinning (called Cycle), HIIT and Yoga. The HIIT class (the one class I have been to there) is described as “toning strength exercises with high-energy punchbag work, firing your metabolism to burn extra calories for hours”. It combines Muay Thai with boxing for the punchbag exercises, and high intensity body weight exercises for most of the floor exercises. The class was split into two, so the floor space wasn’t too cramped, and so that we got a punch-bag each. However, I was told by my friend, (a frequent visitor to the club) that the maximum capacity was around 17. We only had 10 in there, and as the space isn’t huge, this filled out the room – I think 17 would have been difficult to fit in comfortably!

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The HIIT room

The class began with stretches and a quick warm-up, before the class was split between the punch bags and floor area. Each group was given an exercise to do for a minute, before moving on to the next exercise for another minute. Every 5 minutes there was a minute break while the groups switched to the floor/punch bags. The exercises were tough, and probably a bit unfair to those who don’t work out a lot – 180-degree rotation jump squats for a minute aren’t easy for anyone, let alone a fitness newbie! The instructor (@Jayrayfitness IG) was fantastic, encouraging everyone in the class to get the correct form/body stance and to really go at it. The great thing about HIIT is it does give you rests, allowing a bit of recovery between exercises so the next minute can be as intense as the one before.

Good for:

  • Fitness addicts who are bored of the gym/want to mix it up a little
  • Workaholics who don’t want to be taking a huge bag of towels, food etc etc around with them all day – you can get everything there!
  • Anyone who wants a full body workout
  • If you need to workout in the morning/middle of the day and want to leave looking like you’ve just come out of a beauty salon, not a gym (GHD straighteners and hair dryers, cowshed moisturiser/shampoo/ conditioner/body wash and deodorant all free!)

Less good:

  • If you don’t enjoy being shouted at (although I doubt this happens in the Yoga classes). This class is quite bootcamp style in the teaching methods – if you want results, you have to work for it.
  • The cost – these are PAYG classes, and at £20 per class, it’s not something everyone can afford regularly. Recommended for the occasional workout boost.

Cost: PAYG £20 per class – no membership required.

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Boxing – Third Space

Third space is the epitome of luxury gyms in London. I attended the gym in soho, just south of Carnaby Street. As I walked in, I did wonder if I’d got the right place – apart from being surrounded by scaffolding, the entrance was more like the entrance to one of those whole foods cafés, welcoming me in with acai bowls and vegan smoothies.

The staff at the desk were lovely, and showed me around the club before donating me some hand wraps (necessary for the boxing session) and showing me to the changing room. I know you’re here to hear about the class but MY GOD what a changing room. Like all great gyms, it had plenty of space, towels, hair dryers, hair straighteners (that’s when you know it’s a swanky gym), a sauna, a steam room and lovely showers.

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View of Third Space, Soho from the 3rd floor (photo from Third Space website).

On to the class.

I have never done real boxing before, so was intrigued to see how the coach, Keith, would handle being with a complete newbie. We started the class with some warming up, before learning the basic moves (1, 2, 1, 2), demonstrated by Keith and others who had been there before. The class was small enough for everyone to have a go with Keith several times before the end of the class, to check on technique as well as have a professional sparring partner. The class was as much technique based as fitness based, and although it wasn’t as tiring as most of the classes I do (probably because it mainly focussed on arms), it certainly got me drenched in sweat within about 10 minutes. We also split the session in two, completing some abs and legs exercised in the middle to give our arms a rest whilst keeping out heart-rate up (yay calorie burn!).

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Sweaty Flora post boxing session (ft. the ThirdSpace sprinting track)

The class was 45 minutes in total, with about 30 minutes of that spent boxing (drills and sparring). By the end I was very hot but with plenty of energy to continue exercising (the perfect time to check out the pool, or the other 3 floors of beautiful gym equipment).

Good points:

  • If you fancy looking hard-core whilst getting a workout, boxing is for you!
  • This class could definitely substitute your arms day. Mine are still shaking 4h later
  • This is a quick way to get your heart rate up in the lunch break or after work, or the great start to a longer workout.
  • I had SO MUCH FUN – I was really smiling by the end, which rarely happens in a class!

Less-good points:

  • Despite leaving me shaking, I had recovered within about 10 minutes of the class, and left wanting a little bit more of a workout. For me, this class was more about having fun, whilst getting my heart-rate up, a little bit like going trampolining – it’s great fun, good exercise but not crazily tough on the body unless you’re really good.