It’s been a while since I posted a workout class review – I’ve focused on running and built myself a gym program – but it was exciting to try the latest fitness trend that’s landed in London and I think I’ve found something that’s right up my street.
Enter the swanky new BXR London tucked away in quiet Marylebone – on first impressions it’s bold and beautiful. Strolling downstairs it feels instantly intimate. Check in, window shop the latest kit range, eyeball the menu at Joe and the Juice for later then head on into the open plan changing rooms, lockers a plenty, fluffy towels stacked high, GHDs ready, a row of showers filled with luxury toiletries and even a cute sauna room.
Enough of the frills, I was here to sweat.
I’d lured Stephanie along to share the sweat fest but may have forgot to mention exactly what we were in for. Although the title suggests boxing – good guess, BXR – we entered the Cardio room, a darkened room akin to Barry’s Bootcamp etc. lit with LED lights and rows upon rows of Versa Climbers, 16 in fact. Not heard of these torture machines? Let me introduce you.
The Versa Climber – according to the makers – is the only piece of equipment you need for a full body workout, combining upper and lower body exercise into vertical climbing motions. Although each machine is a stand alone piece, in a class environment led by an instructor, each session focuses on conditioning, endurance and performance, while working shoulders, back, glutes, hamstrings and calves so you really feel the burn.
The structure of the class is similar to a spin class – think Boom Cycle, Psycle or Ride Republic – with a warm-up track followed by individual tracks focusing on key areas, such a core, upper body and firing up the glutes. Just like a bike, the machines are simple to use – simply place one foot into a pedal and strap loosely, followed by the other, and then grip the handles.
Keeping your head up and hips pushing forward, but not tilting the pelvis out of alignment, are key to good posture throughout the workout and to ensure you’re engaging the correct muscles. In certain tracks the instructor will vary the hand and body positions to engage particular muscle groups so it’s important to listen in and watch closely if it’s your first time.
The class – called Climb to the Beat – is a 45 minute sweat inducing session and I think after a few times, getting the hang of the technique and your own range of movement, you could really implement it into your training. It’s also no impact, so perfect if you want to maintain your cardiovascular fitness during injury, and perfect if you’re training for hilly or mountainous terrains as the machine really mimics the motion of climbing and using the best muscles to do this efficiently.
Overall a great workout and I really enjoyed doing something different, just to mix up my training. Classes aren’t cheap though at £30 a pop, but you can make use of the introductory offer if you’re a newbie with 2 classes for the same price. Worth it? I guess I got the same workout climbing Boxhill five times on Friday evening but I’m not sure if everyone is that dedicated (/mad!) Definitely something to try though and let me know how you get on!
Is the Versa Climber your new best friend? and BXR the hottest hideout in London to be spotted?