High-intensity | Boxing | Full body | Sweaty | Uses Weights
Class - HIIT
Instructor - Mila Lazar
Suitable for – Boxing lovers, or those who have no experience but are interested in trying it out
Fitness/Workout level - Intermediate
Length - 45 minutes
Equipment – All provided
Perks - Tough workout, great instructors and excellent facilities
Drawbacks - Pricey. Advance booking essential
Cost - £20
Location - 4-10 Tower Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9NP
Website - https://anotherspace.london/
Stylish, new boutique fitness studio, Another_Space, opened their doors in the heart of Covent Garden in May 2016 and their in-vogue classes have been growing in popularity ever since. Lured by a great Timeout offer (1 class + free smoothie for a mere £12) and some welcome peer pressure from two of my fellow gym junkies, we signed up for Mila’s HIIT class one Saturday morning.
After a warm greeting by a svelte Lululemon-clad receptionist, I took a moment to admire the minimalist white décor before locking eyes on the smoothie bar, which boasts an inviting refuel menu to service all your post-workout needs. I pre-ordered the Berry Blast with vanilla whey and almond milk whilst ignoring my growling stomach; if anything was going to get me through 45 minutes of HIIT it was the smoothie, followed shortly by brunch. The thump of heavy-duty boxing gloves atop the reception desk disrupted my reverie and reality sank in; I was about to get beasted.
The HIIT studio, reminiscent of an underground lair, is seemingly terrifying; a very small, dark room with dim blue lighting and black punch bags hanging ominously from the ceiling. Later I’d be thankful for the low lighting, as my complexion was to turn a deeper shade of red at regular 5-minute intervals, culminating in crimson.
In no time at all our instructor, Mila - who can best be described as fierce - split us into two groups, cranked up the volume of the drum and bass soundtrack to blaring and began the class. After a fast 5-minute warm up involving burpees, high knees and jump squats to rocket our heart rates, one group began various boxing combinations on the punch bags while the other attacked the gruelling floor exercises, with an occasional sandbag thrown in for good measure. Each block lasts 4 minutes; 4 exercises for 45 seconds with a 15 second rest period in between. Helpfully there is a screen on the front wall with a timer, so from the depths of fatigue you’re invited to take a cursory glance at the clock to confirm that yes, you’re not mistaken; there are still 30 seconds of the exercise remaining though you’re moments away from keeling over.
Thankfully there’s no time for contemplation. The class is high-intensity and fast-paced with a focus on power, endurance and speed - you’ll be surprised at how quickly 45 minutes passes. This is not boxercise nor is it a standard HIIT workout. The combination of dynamic, high-intensity floor exercises, quick transitions on and off the punch bag and minimal rest periods push your fitness levels to the limit, burn maximum calories and make for an intense full body workout. Serious kudos to Mila who takes no prisoners and is lurking in the wings ready to pounce if she detects even the slightest notion that you’re not putting in 100% effort – don’t take it personally.
After 30 minutes of what I deem sheer upper body annihilation, you’re a quick cool down away from a shower, a smoothie and a lie-down in a darkened room; preferably not filled with punch bags and loud music. If you manage to drag your exhausted, sweat-doused shadow of your former self to the changing rooms you’ll enjoy the luxury shower facilities complete with Cowshed products, ghds and Another_Space branded carriers for disposal of your damp gym gear. What’s more, your smoothie will be ready and waiting for you on your way out. The Berry Blast was a delight, as was my friend’s Chocolate Chief made with raw cacao, dates, frozen banana and Himalayan pink salt.
Conclusion: The class is a great taster for those who have never boxed before (like myself) and if you’re prepared to go all out in the effort stakes (or Mila is yelling at you), you can be sure of an exhilarating full body workout. The HIIT / boxing mash-up is a winning combination, and team this with passionate instructors and first-rate facilities, it’s not one to be missed. If you’re unsure about boxing I’d suggested opting for a cheaper first-time experience, so you don’t waste your money on a class you might not enjoy.
Details: Another_Space offer three different classes – HIIT, Yoga and Cycle – and a timetable of around 16 sessions per day, though fewer on a weekend. Pioneered by the CEO of sister company, Third Space, and the founder of the highly recommended spin class, Psycle, you can be safe in the knowledge you’re in good hands. The studio is located on Tower Street, a 3-minute walk from Leicester Square Underground. The classes are pay-as-you-go with no joining fees and no memberships. Credits are £20 per class, or you can book a block of 10 or 20 for a decent saving. There’s also an introductory offer for 2 class credits + 1 buddy credit for £20. Do be aware that you must book a little way in advance, especially for a weekend class, as there are limited spaces and they book up fast.
Picture Credits: Another_Space