High intensity interval training, or HIIT as it’s so known, is claimed to be one of the most effective forms of exercise when it comes to fitness and weight loss, so it’s no surprise that gyms across London have been making this class a permanent (if not prominent) feature on their timetables over the past few years. Here, we round up a tried and tested selection of those on offer.
Looking for something a little less intense? Read our list of the best yoga studios in central London here.
Offering the perfect (if not hardcore) fusion of punchbag boxing and interval training, HIIT at Another Space is the workout you simply can’t predict. Switch between the bag and the floor, where one week you’ll be lifting weighted sand bags between burpee sets and the next you’ll be performing reps of a bespoke kind of crunch you never knew existed. The room is dark which is a godsend and the timer at the front of the class provides the perfect encouragement as reps are short. 45 minutes later, your endorphins will be running high and you’ll feel like you’ve earned that protein shake from the smoothie bar. One to bookmark if you’re looking for impactful results and a true sense of achievement.
Another Space, 4-10 Tower St, London, +44 20 7534 2999
It’s boxing that forms the core of Mayfair-based BXR’s training method and classes on the timetable range from strength and conditioning to circuits with the additional option to work one-on-one with a personal trainer. You must be a member to workout at this elite studio, which boasts Antony Joshua and Victoria Secret model, Sara Sampio as part of the clique. But trust us when we say, it’s worth the extra commitment. BXR is proud of the trainers with whom it works and there’s a confidence in quality here. Workout wise, each session is carefully scheduled to benefit the next, but start by booking in to a Body Conditioning class and get ready to adopt techniques used by athletes to develop your energy system, raise the heart rate and ultimately, sweat. If you’re keen to test the waters before signing up then you’re in luck – they’ve opened Sweat by BXR, a ‘pay to train’ studio situated one floor below which offers Strength and Conditioning, Cardio and Skills as mainstay timetable entries.
BXR, 24 Paddington St, Marylebone, London, +44 20 3146 3436
If you’ve not yet heard of Barry’s Bootcamp then, quite frankly, we’re not sure exactly where you’ve been hiding as it’s potentially Instagram’s most celebrated studio (the likes of Harry Styles have been spotted in the central London branch). Launched in 1998 in L.A. and thanked by many-a fitness fanatic for bringing its concept to the UK, it was the first gym to team high energy rounds on a treadmill with body-sculpting strength training using weights. The timetable is focused around specific body parts (Wednesday is chest, back and abs, for example, and Sunday is full body) and trainers switch up their routines to ensure no two workouts are the same, keeping your body and your mind alert and challenged whether you’re on your first or your 101st session.
Barry’s Bootcamp, 163 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London, +44 20 7387 7001
Positioned in a select few affluent London areas and offering not just a gym but a health club, Third Space is the fitness phenomenon with all the trimmings; a laundry service, an integrated medical center and at times, a live DJ to name but a few. Each studio has been individually designed to inspire its members and instructors are of the highest caliber. When it comes to classes, the timetable boasts over 130 per week, including Ultra Shock Circuit, which involves HIIT training and 5-10 different stations that get progressively more challenging as the class continues. Also equipped with a pool (an unusual find in London) and a pilates studio, it’s a real all-rounder.
Third Space, 67 Brewer St, Soho, London, +44 20 7439 6333
Psycle’s initial concept was based solely on spin and the Mortimer Street and Canary Wharf branches still focus on this discipline within their timetables. The newest addition to the portfolio, however, is Shoreditch, which mixes things up a bit with barre, yoga and of course, HIIT sessions slotted into the mix. What sets this workout aside from the others in our line-up is its incorporation of TRX suspensions that use your own bodyweight as resistance. If you’re new to the concept, it’s a great way to test the waters as it makes up a small yet perfectly proportioned part of the session. One more point to note: this is an inclusive class – the mats are laid out to face each other as opposed to the mirrors – and there’s an element of (dare we say it) fun to the session. We promise you won’t leave without a smile on your face.
Psycle, 17-23 Whitby St, London, +44 20 3150 2958
Not dissimilar in concept to Barry’s Bootcamp previously mentioned, 1Rebel’s Reshape class is designed to work your body in ways that offer visible results both in fitness and muscle tone. With sprint and incline intervals on the treadmills as well as body-sculpting exercises on the floor, no muscle is left untouched. Instructors are particularly impressive here, as they execute timings to perfection, switching between guiding the ‘runners’ on the treadmill through their 3-9 minute sprints and the ‘shapers’ on the floor in their body or dumbbell weighted exercises. At the end of the interval, you switch disciplines, and so on. Sessions focus on upper body and abs, lower body and abs or full body, so expect muscle isolation and focus within your sets.
1Rebel, Broadgate Circle, London, +44 20 3876 8719
Perhaps one of the most exciting new concepts to launch in London and a haven for those who thrive on mixing exercise with a social element, Sweaty Betty’s new flagship store on Carnaby Street is not only a mecca for all-things lycra but it’s also got its own in-house studio boasting an impressive timetable that features some of the city’s most well-respected fitness names as mainstays. For a HIIT workout with the promised reward of Farm Girl’s infamous avocado toast at the end of it (they’re positioned just two floors above the studio) then book in to Equilibrium’s TRX Spartan session which mixes strength, power, agility, speed and endurance and uses body weight suspension as its main method.
Sweaty Betty, No. 1, 1 Carnaby St, Carnaby, London, +44 20 7287 5128
The F45 concept was born in Australia and has since proven to be such a success in London that studios are soon set to open in multiple new locations both in the capital and across the UK. Perhaps a little daunting upon first glance, there are 27 different types of workout on the timetable but what you really need to know here is this: each class fuses HIIT with circuits and functional training. In essence, you will feel the burn. If it’s specifically circuits that you’re looking for, we suggest the Firestorm or Hollywood sessions, each of which is comprised of such a vast number of stations and exercises that if you’re struggling to find the passion for one (and you just might) you’ll be on to the next before you know it. Not for the faint hearted, you’ll sweat, you’ll ache, and most of all, you’ll feel the benefits of your training.
F45, 114-115 Tottenham Court Rd, Bloomsbury, London, +44 20 7388 7240
Add a bit of variety to your workout schedule. We round up the best barre classes in London here.