“Just blood-pumping, mind-clearing Cycle, HIIT and Yoga whenever you want,” proclaims Another Space, one of London’s hippest fitness boutiques – the no-contract, no-joining fee sister to The Third Space.
I walk into the Covent Garden gym – all Crittall windows, and loft-space aesthetics designed by Goldstein Ween Architects – and am greeted by a smiley reception team whose finely honed limbs suggest they mean business.
I head to the natural fitness food bar to make my own shake and peruse the collection of “fit, fearless, feminine” gym kit while I wait for my Alkalime with kale, avocado, lime, banana, dates, cashews, vegan protein and almond milk. The nutty, energy-boosting concoction primes me for a trio of 45-minute classes, which I am attempting back to back.
First up, Hot Yoga with Chris Magee. He selects a playlist spanning electronic house to country ballads while our class of 20 adjusts to the 35-degree heat. A blackout screen descends over the window, shrouding us in darkness.
We start with 10 minutes of gentle breathing before moving on to a dynamic vinyasa sequence. There are planks aplenty, and demanding double chaturangas that Magee makes us hold for what feels like an age. My shaking limbs are apparently a “good thing”.
We work through warriors, crescent lunges and side planks. By now I’m juddering (and sweating) uncontrollably and I practically collapse as we transition into the meditation sequence accompanied by the soothing sounds of Shanti (Peace Out) by MC Yogi.
Next, it’s HIIT with action sports hero Sophie, a surfer with blonde tresses and abs of steel who promises to turn our group of 10 into lean, mean fighting machines. When she’s not training in London she’s a freesurfer, sponsored by the Roxy surf and snowboard brand, and running women’s fitness, surf and adventure retreats in Portugal.
As Sophie shouts instructions over a fast and furious garage track, it’s like being in a nightclub. We get into pairs and take our positions on the floor; I work through a set of challenging, fast-paced, high-intensity strength training that includes hurling sandbells (a cross between a sandbag and a kettlebell) across the room, punishing plank holds, burpees and jumping jacks, while my partner does battle with a boxing bag.
After five minutes we swap over. We switch three more times before we all claim a boxing bag, and jab, hook and punch to our hearts’ content. An electrifying playlist spurs our session. By the end, my arms ache… but I leave feeling like a badass.
Cycle is with choreographer SJ Aboboto who has performed with the likes of Kylie Minogue, Gwen Stefani and Kanye West. We embark upon a cardio blastto R&B and hip hop tracks with pumping bass lines.
We cycle at varying speeds, both standing and seated, and work in moves such as taking our hips back and forth in time with the beat, doing press-ups on the handle bars to work the upper body, and incorporating hand-held weights to work our biceps and triceps. We end with a challenging sprint. I’m pouring with sweat.
I shower off with Cowshed products and slip into the night.
The Bottom Line
This is a cool space with a packed diary of classes that aren’t for the fainthearted. I found each of them challenging and they left me aching in all the right ways the following day.
The spin class in particular involved some of the toughest cycle choreography I’ve ever experienced. But it is the emotionally charged playlists, instructors’ energy and nightclub lighting that make this space so special; it’s a sensory overload that really did take me out of my body to somewhere new – I left feeling euphoric with my endorphin levels soaring.
Spa Junkie, aka Inge Theron, is the founder of FaceGym. She pays for all her own travel, accommodation and therapies. Follow her on Instagram @spajunkiechronicles