Last week I took on a bit of a different challenge – there was no running or in fact that much cardio involved – with 7 classes in 7 days at UNIT in Fulham.
UNIT is a group training studio with an emphasis on training as part of a team while feeling supported during dynamic workouts and helping you push to your maximum effort. Each workout is team-orientated and competitive but accessible to all, and you’ll never get complacent as each one is different.
So could I keep up with 7 different classes in 7 consecutive days? In short, yes. Just.
Which was my favourite workout? and would I return for more? Read on…
Monday, 7am, PB
PB – Personal Best – mixes strong compound lift exercises with HIIT training, so we started with some heavy lifting with both the upper and lower body then moved onto a four station interval session of rowing, SkiErg, burpees and weighted sit-ups.
Tuesday, 7am, Legion
Legion – a group of people in great numbers – in which the class and studio space are split into upper and lower body-focused exercises. We worked in pairs to progress through the stations, 3 sets at each, trying to increase our weights over the sets. This morning the sled defeated me.
Wednesday, 7.30pm, Yoga for Athletes
A blissful reset after two hard classes to start the week – and a scheduled interval session at the track on Wednesday morning (8*600m, 2min recovery) – this was the perfect way to end my Wednesday. The class began with a simple flow to warm up and then focused on yin-like poses and stretches to lengthen and ease the muscles and fascia.
Thursday, 7am, Force
Force – a strength based workout for the whole body – with 16 stations to challenge us, 3 sets, 30 seconds on, 20 seconds off. All the equipment used – assault bike, battle ropes, kettlebells – for annihilation of every muscle group.
Friday, 6.10pm, Regiment
Regiment – a military style cardio workout – where I was pushed to my maximum after a tough week and sweated it all out leaving nothing behind.
Saturday, 9am, Trooper
UNIT’s signature class to kick start the weekend and it was a killer – with no set timings we worked our way around the stations for the time it took one pair to push that damn sled 4 times down the track. The pressure! and even more so – if anyone was caught slacking, burpees were on the menu.
Sunday, 9am, Yoga for Athletes
The perfect way to end my 7 day challenge. I ran to the studio, practiced with the lovely Liz, then ran off up to Wimbledon Common to cheer on some runners. The class was even better than Wednesday’s with the perfect balance of flow and stretches and a little bit of headstand practice thrown in.
All in all…
My favourite class was Trooper – it really felt like a team effort and everyone pulled together to push each other to their best. I also loved the yoga classes, and I’m pretty picky when it comes to these so for a strength focused studio I was impressed.
The instructors are also great. Before each class they demonstrate all the exercises and are on the floor giving encouragement for the duration.
The best thing about UNIT? The structure. As a newbie the workouts are simple enough to pick up and once you’ve been a few times, even though each class is different, the format is the same – station demos, 3 minute warm up, the main body of the class, cool down stretch. The screens around the room show you what exercise you should be doing, even if you forget, as well as a countdown timer so you can track how long you’ve got to go.
It felt so good to shake up my usual running routine and focus on some strength and conditioning for a week, and I’ll definitely be using a few of my favourite moves during my own workouts in the gym. You can’t beat the group atmosphere and buzz of a UNIT class though so if I’m ever in need of a pick me up or a refresh I’ll be back for more.