Getting in shape for summer and losing those winter pounds can be a right bore. The monotony of a treadmill, being intimidated by fellow buff Barbie gym goers 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 doing with your mates instead of having to drag yourself to after work with a long face.
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. (gymbox.com) 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. (hydrofit.co.uk) Fit factor: 2/5
3. A-Z of Dance
Another of one of Gymbox’s offerings is it’s diverse choice of dance classes. From ragga dancehall to twerking, it’s not like going to a proper dance school where too many wannabe pros in leg warmers make amateurs feel unwelcome. Our favourite was the RnB music video style grind-athon every Tuesday at the Bank branch. A teacher who loves sass, Britney and wriggly hips makes for a brilliant (but hard!) work out. Lots of repetition also means even the most awkwardly limbed participants don’t feel left behind. 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
5. Circus Fit
It’s a fact that nearly everyone has dreamed of joining the circus and becoming an exotic vagabond at some point. However, the reality probably isn’t nearly as romantic as we think, with lots of animal poo and putting up tents. So Gymbox have helpfully come up with a way of experiencing the best bits. Circus Fit involves trapeze, aerial hoops, ropes and silks in the safe environment of a studio. Great for core, conditioning and incorporating plenty of body weight exercises…next stop is Cirque du Soleil! Fit factor: 4/5
Think drumming meets Haka meets aerobics. This class uses lightly weight 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 beats and you feel just a little bit badass 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 next time you’re….. (Gymbox).
This one is just for your bum. Half an hour of intense deep squats with a weighted barbell and stomach crunches with plates. The short class time means it’s perfect for doing on your lunch break but don’t be fooled – it’s not easy. Be prepared to ache the next day. However, within a month you’ll see results and have the peachiest of behinds. Fitness factor: 3/5
8. Four to the Floor
This is a new one and already a favourite. It’s 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. Gymbox provide knee pads so the old joints don’t get too battered and it’s a great way to unwind after work. Fitness challge: 2/5