THE BASICS: MoreFit offers “Small Group Personal Training” – a dedicated PT taking either individuals or only a few people at a time through their paces. They offer lots of classes in several studios, some super-centrally located for city-workers. I visited Cannon Street, and took a group class. You can get 4 group sessions for £60 as a newbie, and check out their prices here.

THE BITCHES: Carly

THE CLASS: I found this class while scrolling through ClassPass and wondering what to do with my Friday night. The words “Extreme” and “Kettlebells” were all I needed to convince me to sign up with glee.

When I found it, I headed down and was greeted with a large basement studio, where two groups were being put through their paces. I was beckoned in by one of the trainers, and crept round the edge of the class to the changing rooms.

I waited on the bench while these classes finished, and as the clock crept to 5 minutes past when mine should have  started, I realised it might only be me attending Extreme Kettlebells! My trainer told me to hop on the spin bike while he finished up with the previous group, and I tentatively led myself through a warm up.

Thankfully one girl from that previous group decided to stay on and do this class with me, so it wasn’t just me. Phew!

Anyway – and this is next bit is really difficult – I am sorry to say, I didn’t have the best experience in this class. And I have a bit of a dilemma on my hands as to how I write the rest of this review really. So, I’ve decided to keep it honest to my experience, and ask you to remember these are my personal feelings only, and you should try something yourself before judging.

Things that made me feel bad about this class: I had to lead my own warm up, and my class started 10 minutes late. I felt a bit of an outcast sitting on the spin bike by the wall while the trainer who was about to train me had quite a long chat with the previous class, meaning mine started late. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable if this was the first class I ever attended, or if I was new to exercise.

The beginning of the class started out as what felt like a sales pitch to me as a newbie visiting the studio for the first time. I was peppered with a fast and frantic pitch about how memberships cost, classes available, and other MoreFit studios in London. I felt a bit under siege to nod appreciatively and take all of this info in, instead of get started with my workout. As there were only two of us in the group and I was the only newbie, this felt a bit uncomfortable.

At times during class, the instruction was frustratingly unclear. At one point I was told “Kill it, KILL IT!” which made me really thrash myself in a burst of power, because to me “kill it” means “work harder”. What I found out it meant on this occasion was “STOP”.

When you’re training people with heavy weights like this, I think it’s important to be clear, especially when it’s someone’s first time in a class. For all the trainer knew, this might have been my first ever kettlebell class and I would have needed super-clear instruction for both safety and to help boost my confidence.

Half way though a set, I was left waiting for instruction as the trainer was busy yelling banter back and forth across the studio to a client in the changing rooms. Social plans were being made across my head.

I get it – they’ve got a community, which should be celebrated. Clients and trainers are not robots; it’s a social thing as well as a workout thing in a bespoke studio like this. But after a patchy start to the class, this made me feel isolated and almost like I wanted to put the kettlebell down and just say “Sorry, am I stopping you from getting on with your evening?”

I think this would have made me actually quite upset if I was brand new to exercise and had decided to be brave and try out this class.

When the class ended, I wasn’t even sure it had. We didn’t do a warm down, instead the class ending by the trainer saying “that’s it then” and kind of ambling off to pack up the studio. And so I somewhat grumpily led myself through a mini warm-down, because I wasn’t about let my muscles go from heavy kettlebells to cold. The girl training with me followed suit.

Things that made me feel good about this class: The actual content itself was great. Very strong bursts of heavy kettlebell work, making sure we pushed ourselves to use the heaviest weights we could, followed by rest. It was strength rather than cardio. It was challenging and I enjoyed it.

Now I’ve had a little time to think about how to write this review, I’ve boiled it down to a few factors I think were lacking, and contributed to my less-than-great experience. I think instruction could have been clearer, execution of what was otherwise a good class structure could have been better, and chatter-time could have been less obtrusive, and kept to rests between reps. The lack of structured warm-up and ommission of warm-down wasn’t really acceptible in my opinion. These are a basic safety standard.

It wasn’t a personal thing. I warmed to the trainer as we approached the end of class, but I realised that was only when he stopped giving his sales pitch, stopped sharing his opinions on our love-lives, his opinion on starting a business, his opinion on where I grew up… and just got on with talking us through technique while kettlebell crunching.

If I’m really honest – had I have paid for this class instead of gotten it through ClassPass, then I would have been pretty pissed off.

Here’s my caveat – I am absolutely not in the business of rubbishing people or their businesses online.  I am also not a nasty or vindictive person, so is in no way a personal attack on the trainer or studio in any way – I want to make it clear this isn’t intended as a picky or bitchy post where I trash talk someone’s hard work to build up a business.

However, this blog is about being genuine and honest. For over 3 years now, that’s what I’ve strived to do when I review. I like to pay for classes where I can, further enabling me to give an unbiased review. And so I am not prepared to wax lyrical about something that I wouldn’t personally want to return to.

THE VERDICT:  In my opinion, I would think carefully about attending this particular class if you’re a brand newbie. It might not be the best thing for you to try straight off. But my advice? Try it out for yourself. You might have a totally different experience. I met and saw happy clients when I was there, and I’ve spoken to others since attending this class, who have told me that they love the MoreFit and go all the time.

And if you’re MoreFit and reading this – you’ve got a great thing in terms of actual class content. This was a hugely effective workout and I could definitely feel it the next day. You just need to get people warming up and warming down, and work on the delivery a bit. Your clients clearly love you – make MoreFit more accessible to the rest of us!

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