THE BASICS: This is the younger sibling of the growing 1Rebel empire- under Broadgate Circle. Two types of class to choose from, Reshape (HIIT; weights and cardio) and Rumble (boxing). Classes are £20 for a drop in, although they get cheaper if you buy bundles. For Rumble– you buy the wraps on your first visit (£4- yours to keep) and rent gloves (£1) every time you go.
THE BITCHES: Carly
THE CLASS: The lights are low and there are flecks of sweat liberally sprinkled on the floor around me. We’re listening out for the “ding ding ding!” sound at the end of this track, signalling the end of this round of jabbing at the 80kg bag in front of me. I am dying. No other word for it, dying.
Despite the unbelieveble amount of sweat I’m managing to produce, I also feel like a some kind of boxing version of Lara Croft- hot as hell, quite frankly. That’s just what the new boxing concept Rumble studio at 1Rebel Bishopsgate Circle does to a girl, I guess.
Building on the momentum of their super sleek, high spec Ride and Reshape gym by the Gerkin, this smaller sibling is just as slick, hidden under Bishopsgate Circle (back of Liverpool Street station). Offering two kinds of class- Reshape and Rumble, I opted to try out this new boxing concept.
The room is a circle- with what must be more that 40 boxoing bags suspended from the ceiling. The overall look is impressive- despite yourself, you start doing your ringside walk as soon as you enter the darkly lit arena.
“Look at this bag. Stare it down. Get going at it.” Our trainer instructs us to start jabbing at our boxing bags over the intro track, while dramatic thunder cracks and the sound of rain pounds over the stereo. This is what I call pre-class atmosphere.
I’m hooking, I’m jabbing, and I’m circling my bag. I’m ready to fight this, my new enemy, for 45 solid minutes.
The class itself maintains the atmosphere- there are sections of bag work, floor work and cardio (tuck jumps, burpees and mountain climbers). Instructions are given from the teacher standing in the centre and showing us the next move while circling her own bag.
Each section of the class is perfectly synced with the soundtrack which is mixed to the point of giving you goosebumps. The end of sections is signalled by a boxing “ding ding ding!” which is a nice, simple touch but pushes the atmosphere up higher still. It’s clever. It’s really clever.
The studio layout, the soundtrack and choreography, the class, the lights and the instruction feels more like being in a boxing ring than any other boxing class I’ve tried. Boxercise this isn’t. Being one of many in a grizzly forest of boxing bags and sweating, focused people keeps you working incredibly hard. You’re totally focused on your own A-Game, but you can feel the energy of everyone else around you which is just great.
And after the class? Just what you’d expect of a premium workout space- the 1Rebel changing rooms with their heated seats, free towels and toiletries that we’ve gotten used to. We get so spoiled on the London fitness scene.
One last mention- the wraps. They were like spongy gloves with a length of material to actually wrap around and stabalise your wrist, before you slid your hands into the borrowed boxing gloves. Wraps will set you back an extra £4 for your first class, but you get to keep them.
They were fine with me, but then I’ve got spidery thin fingers. I’ve heard that a lot of people have found them uncomfortable- so much so, the ladies behind the sign-in desk told me that 1Rebel will be changing the supplier of these wraps, and if you’ve got a pair, you can simply swap them for a pair of the new version. Great to know that they’re listening to feedback and responding to what their customers want.
You set the bar high, 1Rebel. You set the bar very high indeed.