THE BASICS: The Nike 1948 showroom hidden in a Shoreditch archway, that runs a free class timetable all week! On Wednesdays, the clothing racks get pushed back and the arch celebrates its full glorious sweaty potential by becoming a work out space! The Mother’s Meeting (a group for “The world’s coolest mums”- although they don’t discriminate against us childless types!) put on an hour long floor work class with a PT. Free to attend – just turn up!
THE BITCHES: Carly, Natalie, Jen and their crew!
THE CLASS: Jen and her fellow crew of HBs had been telling me about this work out for ages, and I admit I had trouble getting my head around it. “Completely free, every week?!?!” I had asked incredulously. It was indeed- what a brilliant idea; a fantastic way to smash the “I can’t afford a gym” excuse to smithereens, and a great way to meet other like-minded women.
I’d arrived with time to spare and said hello to the girlies who were chilling cross legged and waiting for the class. About 12 of us in total had turned up ready to be put through our paces. I had unfortunately (and somewhat clumsily!) fallen over not once but twice in a fortnight prior to this class; my knees were in pretty bad shape and being held together by an intricate web of plasters- so I declared myself injured at the beginning and just had to watch myself when it came to kneeling or bending my knees too sharply!
Our trainer was completely gorgeous and the springiest lady I have been taught by in a while. She had us doing loads of really fast reps that brought our heart rates up very fast and kept them there- I haven’t sweated in a class this quickly or continuously for a while now. I was impressed that she was managing to keep us working this hard without any equipment- relying instead on our body weight to offer all the resistance we needed to give a good, effective workout.
We were completely put through our paces during this hour- and each rep started off manageable, and then took it up a notch, before one more rendering us pretty wiped at the end of each set. I looked over at Jen at one point, my eyes pleading for mercy, and she just looked at me in a state of shock and mouthed “I’m HOT!!!” which left me sniggering as I wiped the sweat out of my eyes and tried to carry on.
I’m always harping on about this but I love working out with girls on the same mission- there’s someone there to look at you and say nothing out loud, yet their eyes are saying “WHY DID YOU BRING ME HERE? WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME? WHY AREN’T WE DRINKING WINE RIGHT NOW???!!!” it keeps me going, makes the whole thing less of a chore and more like a social gathering where you decide to beast yourselves instead of, I dunno, scoffing burgers.
One thing I also loved was the fact that a lady had turned up with her child (about school age) and he was fluctuating between staring wide eyed at all of these crazy women jumping around in a railway arch, and doing his own little workout on one of the mats- it was beyond cute and I think this proves what a fantastic resource this class is for mothers who might otherwise struggle to workout due to childcare commitments- just bring ’em along and give ’em a mat!
We completed some floor work on mats as well- crunches, lunges and press ups which left me with my nose pressed into the ground, groaning. We had a 30 second break to grab some water and I scurried past Jen to get my bottle. She looked up at me, a broken woman, and said with that dry wit of hers “yeah, welcome to Wednesdays” which immediately had water up my nose with laughter.
The class was an hour long and by the end, I felt like I had got the sort of workout I’d have paid £40 from a personal trainer for, plus I had fun too- not just the girls I knew but everyone was smiling, friendly and there was a feeling of us all being on the same mission. This class is fantastic and I’d encourage you to think about working this Wednesday night class into your weekly routine. Just leave a space for me, please!
THE VERDICT: A proper workout. And free. And full of lovely people. And fun. And you can bring your kids if you have them! Wonderful stuff.
THE EXTRAS: Happy, smiling girls who survived! (And I don’t think I am speaking for myself when I say the stairs were NOT my friend the next day….)