THE BASICS: A hour long, 1:1 personal training session with Kate in an open plan East London gym, matched to a woman’s strength and stamina capabilities, but without scrimping on any of the hardcore workout (i.e. you still get to wear boxing gloves and feel like a bad-ass). Introductory session is free, with tailored follow up packages available. Kate teaches around London, this class took place at London Fields Fitness.
THE BITCHES: Carly
THE CLASS: Kate who runs FormFitness had been in touch on Twitter, to invite me to try out one of her PT classes. I was delighted to accept! I have only had one previous PT class and it was nothing short of sweaty brilliance. Although the idea of 1:1 training can seem a little intimidating (nobody to hide behind), I was definitely up for it; a whole hour of undivided attention from a a qualified trainer who could encourage me and keep my technique in check. Yes please!
I arrived at London Field’s Fitness gym- one of these cool quirky gyms that seem to be popping up under big roomy railway arches around London lately. Lots of people filtered in after a muddy bootcamp around London Fields, and ahead of me, a class of people in the main studio space were hitting each other with sticks. This place was quite mental. I liked it instantly.
I saw a little face at the back of the gym that I recognised from Twitter- it was a cute little ball of happiness waving at me.
Kate bounded up to me as I approached and was delightful in her welcome. She was happy and friendly, and made me feel at ease instantly. Definitely a good sign!
I was suffering from the previous night’s workout, and Kate promised to be “not as mean as she was planning to be”! We started with warm ups- me stepping up and down whilst we had a chat about Project Hot Bitch, FormFitness and exploring East London. We were working out in a corner of the gym, and ahead in the main area was a hula hoop class.
After lunging was skipping to get my heart-rate up. Kate touched on the concept of something I am getting interested in- HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). In short, she said that any cardio/muscle toning combo of a workout gets both calorie burning and muscle conditioning fired up in unison, leading to far better results for overall fitness.
After skipping, Kate got the boxing gloves out. I’ve only boxed once before and was really happy to get another chance to put some gloves on!
We went through the 4 basic moves we’d be using that session- and boxed for a looooong time. Probably about 47 hours if I had to be exact. To begin with, instead of using my body to power through each punch, I was stopping short when I hit the pad Kate was holding.
As I became a bit more fluid on my legs, I was able to use my body rather than my arms to imagine punching through the pads, which gave me a lot more strength and power. It also hurt my arms a lot more. These arms were made for lifting spoonfuls of ice cream into my mouth- anything else and they go into shock.
In between boxing sequences, Kate had me doing burpees and squat jumps. I was really struggling with these, and I was shamefully slow at them too. It really kept me going (and is the sign of an awesome PT) when Kate got down next to me to do the same sequences, counting down with me and supporting me through my sad little squat flumping.
She was kind and encouraging, but still made me do all of the floor work- torturous but surely why you sign up with a PT in the first place! She wasn’t going to let me slack off!
Next- kettlebells. Yesssss! I hadn’t ever used these before, and so Kate showed me how to use them to tone the bum and thighs. Which, oddly, means swinging them with your arms…
Nope, it didn’t make sense to me either. But once you get your arms swinging like a pendulum and your pelvis doing a bit of thrusting action, it works perfectly. And WOW do the glutes burn! Kettlebells literally kick yo’ ass.
We ended the session with more floor work, including the most patheticly slow downward-dog to plank sequence I have ever managed. In my defense… no, I have no defense. I was just exhausted! Kate was lovely about it though, and we had a laugh at my shaking jelly arms as the session ended.
I ambled off in the direction of home, sweaty, delirious with endorphins and happy, where I made myself a nutritious dinner of microwaved macaroni cheese. Don’t judge, I couldn’t do anything more strenuous than peel off a lid and press a timer.
THE VERDICT: This class was incredibly hard work, but I loved working out under Kate’s guidance- she was encouraging and lovely, whilst still making me work to the end of a sequence, and pushing me to achieve the goals she’d set. Perfect PT etiquette. She also altered tasks to match my abilities once she’d worked out my level of fitness, which I really liked too. I felt supported yet challenged. Don’t let this tiny, smiley lady fool you. She is a frikkin’ machine!