THE BASICS: Project Fit is so new, it smells new-car new. It’s one of those hidden, unexpected gym spaces under the austere buildings just off the Royal Exchange at bank, promising to put you through your paces in a series of weight, resistance, circuit and treadmill intervals. Its aim? To squeeze every last drop of sweat you have in your body… well… out of your body, and deposit it into a sexy pool of sweat around you. £20 per drop in class, bundles and membership available.
THE BITCHES: Carly and Emma
THE CLASS: A 2 minute walk from Bank station- fancy address indeed, and not one I would expect for a gym! A hedgefund more like. I buzzed in, crept down to the stairs, and was suddenly faced with a massive YOU VS. YOUR BODY sign in apocolyptic writing. My belly flipped. This was pretty much my first workout after a week of illness and two subsequent weeks of shoving cake in my face. Right now, ME VS. MY BODY consisted of my left hand trying to wrestle my right hand out of the jaffa cake tube.
I was going to die here, wasn’t I?
It was far less of Dante’s inferno inside; I was welcomed warmly, and there at reception was my work out buddy and Hot B*tch for the evening, Emma! Emma had got to bed at 5am that morning after a night drinking hot sauce shots at a karaoke bar. This woman became my new hero immediately. I was also slightly comforted in the fact that if I was going to die, she was too, following such an epic night!
After a nose around the gorgeous changing rooms, we headed to the studio- lit up and looking ominous in red lighting. Dear god! Joel our trainer was there, ready to give us the lowdown on what to expect, and check for any injuries. I’d also splatted on my face during a run the week before (bad few weeks!) and so was morosely nursing the sort of scabby knee a 7 year old suffers in a playground. It meant I had to just watch myself during certain exercises, and Joel was happy for me to use alternatives if anything felt a bit unmanageable because of child-like injury.
The gym is set into two main spaces- the treadmills and the free floor section. We started on the treadmills. Music on (it was a consistently great set of tunes for the whole hour) Joel on the microphone (with a voice that said “get on with it” and “you’re doing great” in equal measures- a good skill that a lot of instructors don’t quite manage) and the lights started doing some funky, disco-y stuff which instantly made my brain snap into workout mode. Clever little brain. The pace was comfortable to begin with, as we got warm. The treadmill speed and incline increased until we were sweating but not dying. I looked over at Emma. I think she was trying to block out the thought of hot sauce shots.
Down to the free section- and some floor work. Although I’d managed to maintain my composure throughout the jogging, sweat was now rapidly forming on my forehead and dripping unhelpfully off the tip of my nose whilst I held a plank. Next, burpees and some weights- all in short, sharp bursts. Joel kept talking, motivating and checking in with us individually. Things were starting to hurt and the sluggish little endorphins that had lain, feasting on cake and partying in my body for the past few weeks started remembering what exercise was, and firing around excitedly.
Back on the treadmill and the incline crept up as we ran. We ended up walking up an incline of TWENTY. Yes, you read that right. Everest would be a piece of p*ss after this, I’m telling you. My treadmill had a fault and only went up to 15. Shame. But Joel wasn’t going to let me get away with it that easily- and set the treadmill next to me at 20 before beckoning me on. I looked over at Emma for support but her face said “CAN’T TALK, WALKING UP VERY STEEP HILL” so I slunk onto the 20 incline treadmill and my muscles grumbled about the injustices being inflicted upon them.
Back to the floor- and some weights and band resistance work. My weedy little arm kept being pinged back by the springy resistance band and at one point I nearly decapitated myself, much to everyone’s amusement! It was at this point I looked down to my light coloured top to notice that torso had sweated in such a way that I basically had two sweaty round patches around my boobs. It was the exact opposite of a good look. I pointed this out to Emma and she fell about laughing. Good to know even my sweat was trying to make me look like a fool today!
Last go on the treadmill and the task was to try and run a km in 5 mins. I managed 0.98km so was JUST off, but I killed myself trying to get there, and WOW was this a good way to run off the end of a hardcore class. Joel was spurring us on at the end- saying “Squeeze every last drop of effort out!” which really made me focus and work harder than I would have without encouragement.
Final stretch out on the mats left me lying in a foetal position, clutching my towel and faux-sobbing. I looked over at Emma and she was lying motionless, in shock. “This” said Joel over the loudspeaker, “is how we want you to end a Project Fit class!”
It hurt too much to laugh. It hurt too much to even whimper.
THE VERDICT: I can’t think of a better to get back into the swing of things after a few weeks of illness and over indulgence. I’m not going to lie- this stunned my body a little, but it got my focus back on track and probably burned off half of the calories I’d consumed in the previous week. This will suit you if you’re looking to get a hardcore workout and a good dose of adrenaline after a day sat staring at screens in a city environment. The theatre of the workout itself- the lights, the music and the flow of the class made it great fun, despite leaving me a broken woman. It was also great to workout with Emma and witness a hangover get literally beaten out of a person through exercise. Lady, you have my respect!
THE EXTRAS: My sweat eventually formed a little sweat-shaped heart on my top. I think it was trying to tell me it loves Project Fit?