Blok London | Clapton

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.

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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.

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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

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London’s Best Boutique Gyms

I feel like I’ve hit such a slump. Usually I’m pretty good at motivating myself to lace up my trainers and go to a run, or hit the weights. I’m stuck in a rut and really want to refresh my fitness game – I’m in dire need of a break away from my overcrowded gym.

So, if you’re like me and looking for something to boost you up this month, here are a few of my top boutique gyms that you need to train in…

1Rebel

The changing rooms at 1Rebel are sure to have graced many an Instagram feed – they’re spacious, with large bronze lockers and heated white tiled benches. They’re got two studios both close to Liverpool street which focus on three classes: Cycle (spinning); Reshape (HIIT using treadmills and benches); and Rumble (boxing). Be prepared – their classes are challenging and are the perfect thing to reignite your fitness mojo.

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Blok

You’ll find Blok in a converted warehouse in Clapton. It’s seriously swish with exposed brickwork and steal beams. The type of place you’d expect a hip restaurant to open up in, but instead it’s equipt with kettlebells and boxing bags. There are two studios, one which is dedicated to boxing and dance-fit, and the second is for yoga, barre and pilates. Be sure to try out their grueling signature class, BlokFit.

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F45

F45 stands for Functional 45 – basically training for 45 minutes. Each class focuses on a combination of bodyweight and weight exercises in different circuit. The classes are designed in a way in which everyone encourages and supports each other, which is seriously motivating. Right now you can sign up for 7 classes for just £7! Money well spent.

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Another Space

The black and white sleek decor is what got me through the door here, but what makes me want to go back to Another Space is their HIIT class, a mix of boxing and floor work. Plus the changing rooms are packed with everything you could possible need, including hair ties and grips!

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Ethos

If you tired of the divide between yoga and sports and no longer want to think of them as separate activities, then Ethos is the place for you. They’ve recently expanded into London, smack bang in the centre of Spitalfields Market. If you’ve never used TRX before, then this is definitely the place to try it. It’s a type of bodyweight exercise that develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously.

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