In the latest spin on fitness, Ministry of Sound have transformed one of their booze vaults into a functional training studio. Is a fusion of clubbing, cardio and post workout drinks the next big thing? I was excited to find out.
There are a variety of classes on offer over the course of the week, and I opted for Friday night’s “Showcase” – a full body HIIT session.
What They Say:
We are a social fitness movement without all the pretentious implications. We’re for real people. We are community, coming together to move our bodies, sweat our faces off, and feel great. We’re throwing out the usual rules, having fun with wellness, and showing that there’s nothing wrong with loving carbs as much as cardio. So put down the kale, pick up a cocktail, and get ready for a new type of gym-ing experience.
We’ve been part of British club culture for 25 years, so we know how to party. And we know there’s a parallel between clubbing and working out, so we combined them. Ministry does Fitness knows how to get you into your element, the come up, euphoria and the cool down. With big bass, big beats, and an even bigger sound system and the help of our coaches, we’re giving you powerful, intense and fun workouts.
The entrance to the gym is a bar in the railway arches behind Ministry of Sound’s iconic club. I actually walked straight past it at first as thought there must be a side entrance for the lycra-clad.
On arrival, I checked in at the bar, and was told to hang out there until called through. The 6pm Friday night class was fully booked and the room was full, mostly of 20-something girls ready to kick their weekend off with a sweat. As you wait, you can peruse the drinks menu; protein and nut butter blends side-by-side with cocktails… you can pre-order either to be waiting for you after class.
The girl behind the bar called us through and we headed back into the vaults, where music was already pumping and the lights were low.
Our instructor, Laura, was ready with a fistpump as we entered the room and got to explaining how the sesh would work. We split into groups of 3 or 4 and were each assigned one of seven stations around the room. Essentially this was a high intensity circuits class, and we moved around the stations 4 times, with the movements varying halfway through (so 14 movements in total). We spent 50 seconds on each station with a 20 second transition to move to the next. The stations included a wide variety of compound movements, from slam balls to self-powered treadmills, kettlebell swings to trx squat jumps. Right down the middle of the room was a black astroturf track with heavy prowlers (my personal fave!).
This session is accessible to all abilities and you could make it as hard as you want – if you need to take a station easy no one’s going to judge you; if you want to hammer it, that’s cool too. I was aware of the people in my group but, because everyone’s on their own station, it did feel a bit like being in a club with your group of mates while other people are doing their own thing.
The mix of movements was great and I liked the way we did each one twice before switching it up. As I stepped some box jumps (legs and lungs like jelly after that prowler!) all of a sudden the barmaid was right there next to us, joining in and cheering us on!
A huge timer on the wall counted down each interval and showed us how far through the session we were, and Laura’s energy was on fire throughout. 40 minutes went by in a FLASH, and we were cooling down before I knew it.
The music was – no surprise – spot on. Right when it was getting hardest a new beat would lift you up; euphoria to cool down, they have it nailed.
At the end of the session we had a big, sweaty group hug and chanted Ministry’s badass mantra about working hard and loving life. The human body is like a big chemistry set; mix together uplifting music, high intensity exercise and smiling faces and you create an endorphin high which will leave you feeling on top of the world.
If you want to carry the night on from there, the changing rooms are fully equipped with hair-dryers and ghds, so you can glam up for the night ahead post-sweat.
As I headed off into the night, I felt like I’d had an awesome night raving without a drop of vodka passing my lips – and all by 7pm! That is my kind of night out!
Clubbing without the come down… I really think they are onto something! No white powder and pills here… unless you’re talking protein powder and BCAAs. This is an awesome way to start the weekend – you will come away sweaty, smiling and elated. Highly recommend!
Where: The Arches, SE1 6DD
Cost: £14 one off session, packages available
How to book: http://www.ministrydoesfitness.com