My parents moved to London over 30 years ago – back when you wouldn’t be caught dead in Shoreditch after dark, and when Clapton was an elephant graveyard. But these days, it’s painfully hip.
Blok London is a workout studio which I’ve been dying to try out for some time now, and thanks to ClassPass, I finally managed to book myself into a session. It’s housed in a converted Victorian tram depot in Clapton. It’s got two studios, and both of them retain the buildings original industrial features, with boxing bags hanging from the steel beams.
Each studio has its own specialism – one decided to boxing and high-intensity interval training, and the second space is for yoga, barre and plates. Don’t expect to find any treadmills or fancy machines here, it’s all about the classes and stripping things back to basics.
I tried their signature class, BlokFit, which is strength and conditioning based. The workout was led by trainer Kenny, who started the session with a 5-minute warm-up of jump squats, lungees and burpees to get your heart rate going.
BlokFit is a circuit-based class, and we worked our way around 9 stations, performing each exercise for a minute in total – the first round was focused on our lower body and the next, on our upper body. We used a range of equipment from battle ropes, TRXs, kettlebells, medicine balls, plus there were some bodyweight exercises thrown in.
Once we completed the lower body circuit, we were put into pairs – one of us skipped for 20 reps, whilst the other completed a plank shoulder tap for 20 and then we switched. Dropping it by 4 counts after we had both completed both exercises.
After the upper body circuit, we partnered up again and hit the same format, but this time performing mountain climbers and high-plank to low-plank pushups.
The class was pretty rammed packed for a Sunday, which meant the instructor spent most of his time reminding us what we were meant to do at each station, rather than correcting our form.
It’s definitely a hard class, and if you’re not used to lifting heavy weights (as their lightest kettlebell was 15kg), you might struggle. It definitely challenged me to do exercises I wouldn’t usually include in my circuits.
Each class is priced at £14, or you can invest in a pack, but they can also be found on Class Pass.
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Blok London, The Tram Depot, 38-40 Upper Clapton Rd, Lower Clapton, London E5 8BQ
*Photos courtesy of Blok