Before I begin, let me assure you, this is not an article about losing weight fast before your wedding day. Instead, this is more about shaking up your regular routine (even if it’s not exercising at all) and treating yourself to something that’s unique and fun (yes, it’s possible!) that will help you to look and, more importantly, feel your best on your big day. Here are the classes that will do just that.
If you're finding wedding planning stressful, you can kill two birds with one stone by letting off steam and getting your heart beat up at Flykick. Following a formula that is all about connecting mind and body, a Flykick class consists of six sections that cover everything from cardio to stretching, kick boxing and core exercises. With different phases, the class goes by quickly and an upbeat soundtrack (think lots of Rihanna) makes you want to bop along and punch to the beat.
Great for: People who want to let off some steam (eg punch something without getting in trouble)
What to wear: Gym clothes and socks (no trainers needed)
Verdict: The Flykick set up is very slick, so I'll admit at first I was a little intimidated. As soon as the class started though, I really got into it. I'd never boxed before, but the instructors dedicated time to everyone to make sure your technique was right and to give you a few words of encouragement.
A first time visitors pack costs £27 and includes three classes and a pair off boxing gloves.
If your current exercise consists of hitting the treadmill and nothing more, then Sweat It is a great way to turn things up a notch. Taking place in a dark and music-filled atmosphere akin to a nightclub, Sweat It is a group class that combines treadmill interval training with functional strength and conditioning rig-based exercise. Translated, it means you'll spend your time between the treadmill and the floor, where you'll perform squats, push ups, lunges and more, while often using weights or resistance bands.
Great for: Brides-to-be who like running but want to mix it up a bit
What to wear: Regular gym clothes
Verdict: Sweat It is for any fitness level, but the intense atmosphere does mean you will push yourself. Even as someone who is not a fan of the treadmill, I found myself embracing the atmosphere and running faster than I ever thought I could. This class is ideal for brides-to-be who really want to push themselves and get a full body workout.
Sweat It sessions range between 40-60 minutes and are priced from £15.50 as part of a package plan, or £21
for a drop-in session.
Born out of Australia, F45 is the latest cult workout to take the UK by storm. Short for Functional 45, F45 is a group fitness class that specialises in high intensity circuit-based training. What makes this concept unique is that the exercises are not only challenging, but by working through the circuit in pairs and following the movements demonstrated on screens strategically placed overhead, the classes are incredibly diverse, ensuring a full body work out without a bored moment.
Great for: Brides-to-be looking to really up their fitness game but in a non-intimating environment. During the class everyone is doing a different exercise at each interval and following the movements on the screen, so you're free to go at your own pace without having to worry about being left behind.
What to wear: Gym clothes and trainers
Verdict: As someone who doesn't really jump for joy at the mention of cardio, I'll admit I was a little apprehensive to try F45. At first the circuit can seem overwhelming, but the instructors are so encouraging and the exercises are so varied, that it's amazing how quickly the 45 minutes goes by. And you really end up feeling your muscles the next day!
[i]F45 has over 30 studios in the UK. Memberships start from £175 per month. F45 also offers an 8 week challenge that includes a tailored food and exercise plan to help you achieve your goals. For more details visit f45training.co.uk
Immersive classes are quickly becoming the fitness trend of the moment and FLY LDN is leading the way with its London-based studio offering flow and low impact classes. The top of the range facilities are impressive, as is the 'back to basics' ethos, but it's the Flow 45 studio room's large TV screen that really wows. If you've ever dreamt of striking a yogi pose while overlooking a snowy mountain or deserted tropical beach, then this is the closest you'll get to that in London. The only downside to immersive yoga? It will most likely ruin normal yoga for you #SorryNotSorry.
Great for: Beginners (the darkened studio illuminated by stunning scenery means that no one is looking at you except for the instructors) or yoga lovers who are over the jargon and cult-like vibes of other studios.
What to wear: Gym clothes and bare feet (matts and towels are provided)
Verdict: I tried the Slow Flow yoga class which is great for beginners. While the scenery during the class was truly breathtaking, I also really appreciated how attentive the staff were. I was even offered a little head massage while in Savasana at the end!
A single class starts at £10 (for your first class). For more details visit flyldn.co.uk
Designed by New York-based celebrity trainer, Stephen Pasterino, P.volve is a low-impact fitness method that blends physical therapy, functional science and hip-opening movements to hard-to-target areas. Using bespoke equipment including a P.ball and P.band, the workout involves small purposeful movements that encourage joint mobility and activate muscles in stubborn female body parts like the upper inner thigh, lower butt and underarm. Available online and on an app, the workout also means you're free to do it where and when you want to.
Great for: People who want results but don't like gyms or are bored of the typical lunge, squat and crunch workout. According to Stephen, it's possible to start seeing results within two weeks, and for brides looking to take on a new workout regime, he recommends starting six months before the wedding for optimal results.
What to wear: Gym clothes and trainers
Verdict: I'll admit, the P.volve equipment seemed strange to begin with, but once strapped on and I started following the moves, I could feel just how effective they were. Because the moves are so subtle and more about a certain angle the workout felt quite easy when I was doing it, but I could really feel the difference the next day, especially in my abs and arms. The key, according to Stephen, is to focus on the technique over anything else.
P.volve online streaming and equipment are available on
www.pvolve.com. Sign up to stream the workout and enjoy 15 days free followed by USD$29.99 a month after.
Chances are, if you haven’t tried a barrecore class, a friend of yours has. The fitness class with a cult-following revolves around exercises with small movements, working with isometric and eccentric contractions to burn body fat and sculpt muscles. Following an instructor, you’ll work on small movements using equipment such as bands, balls, small weights and the barre. While lifting your leg or squatting by the barre doesn’t feel like you’re doing much to begin with, your muscles will be shaking by the end of it!
Great for: People who hate cardio but still want to lose weight and tone. To see results, Barrecore recommends taking between two to four classes a week
What to wear: tights and a singlet hair in a bun (for that ballerina vibe) and socks – the class is done on carpet
Our Verdict: These classes are surprisingly effective in that I didn’t get very sweaty or out of breath, but my body shook during the workout and I could feel my muscles working.
A single class starts at £18 (depending on location). For more details visit barrecore.co.uk
Aerial yoga at Flying Fantastic
If you know your downward dogs from your chaturangas, then maybe it’s time to take your classic yoga routine to the sky. Or, at least, a few inches off the ground. Aerial Yoga classes involve using a low hanging wide Aerial Sling to aid and assist traditional yoga poses, such as stretching your downward dog or backward bend even further. After beginning on the ground, you’ll then climb up the silks, use them to flip upside down, and even create a relaxing cocoon with them for your corpse pose wind down.
Great for: Yoga lovers, gymnasts and wannabe acrobats who want to work on their core and increase their flexibility
What to wear: a tight t-shirt, leggings, hair up and no shoes
Verdict: At first I was a little scared to put all of my weight into the silk sling, but once I did, and with the help of the instructor managed to flip upside down, I really enjoyed myself and the time went very quickly. I also could have stayed lying in the sling like a cocoon forever!
A single drop in class costs £25, visit Flying Fantastic for more details
FloatFit Classes from Aquaphysical
Take a mixture of Pilates and HIIT moves and add them to a floating board in a pool and you’ve got the very fun FloatFit Classes from Aquaphysical. With an instructor on land, the class features classic moves such as sit ups, squats, push ups and even burpees, all while on a floating board. While the exercises are one thing, the main focus of the class is on your balance and core as you try and avoid falling in the pool – even though it’s inevitable that you will, and all part of the fun.
Great for: People who are bored with typical cardio gym classes or people who love surfing
What to wear: a swimsuit, or gym clothes that you don’t mind getting wet
Verdict: I laughed a lot in this class! At first I was nervous about falling in the water but once it happened (and it does to everyone), I became more bold with the moves and had a lot of fun with it, all the while feeling like I was having a decent work out.
A FloatFit Class plus brunch at the Haymarket Hotel in London costs £35. Check out aquaphysical.com to find a FloatFit class near you.
Power Class at Seen on Screen
If dancing around your flat is your cardio, then Seen on Screen is the fitness class for you. Taking the famed dance routines of Beyonce, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson and more, Seen on Screen shows you how to recreate the moves and build up a sweat while doing so. While their weekend workshops and private hire options make for a fun hen party idea, their weekday classes are a great way substitute for the gym. For a bit more cardio, I tried the Power class which was like a much cooler version of your mum’s Zumba class complete with constant movement and Nicki Minaj beats.
Great for: People wanting to just have fun dancing at any type of fitness level
What to wear: Gym clothes and trainers
Verdict: The energy in this class is fantastic as it is such a very welcoming environment where everyone is keen to just jump around and have a great time. The moves the instructor, Wolfgang, showed us also looked so cool and were surprisingly easy to do.
A single drop in class costs £15. Visit seenonscreen.dance for more details.