Everyone’s talking about 1Rebel as the latest gym concept: strength and sweat meets glamour… so I booked myself in to see what it’s all about.
They currently have two London studios, offering 3 types of classes:
- Ride (spinning based)
- Rumble (boxing based)
- Reshape (treadmill and weights based)
I booked in for a full body Reshape class and hot-footed it up to their studio next the the Gherkin to sweat it out with the City folk.
What They Say:
The New Face of Fitness. High intensity group training. Three ways to play: Ride. Rumble. Reshape.
I was booked in for Reshape – here’s the blurb:
45 minutes of physical and mental intensity. Exertion that you never thought possible. This highly intensive group experience is designed to condition and resculpt selected muscle-groups. The latest Woodway 4Front treadmills and the bespoke and patented 1R workout platform will help mould your body and break your barriers.
If you follow @1Rebeluk on insta you quickly get their vibe… it’s hard work but it’s glam and glossy. All dark backdrops, neon lights and aspirational pics of strong and sassy women working out with perfect hair. I kinda wanted to hate the place… but I had a blast.
Stepping inside, the gym immediately felt warm and inviting and had an uplifting vibe on an otherwise grey Monday evening. I was greeted by a friendly receptionist who explained where to go and what to do.
Before I talk about the workout, it would be remiss not to mention a couple of other things this gym offers:
Stylish cafe. Offering a really decent range of healthy meals and shakes/juices; I would probably pop in just for a coffee.
Blowdry bar. Seriously. Get your sweat on then glam up before you leave… perfect if you’re likely to be papped on the way out and don’t want a dishevelled mane. They cater for men’s cuts too.
The space itself is delectably designed; bare warehouse-style ceilings, copper piping and stark white tiling. Two walls of Hollywood-lit mirrors in the changing rooms were equipped with driers, ghds and more beauty products than I’d know what to do with. The studio itself was small and dark and felt like a nightclub; this seems to be the fitness theme-du-jour.
The room was set up with 20 treadmills along the edges and benches in the middle, each with sets of dumbbells neatly stacked underneath. The format of the class was 3 sets of high intensity intervals on the treadmill (hill sprints, speed, and self-powered sprints) interspersed with dumbbell and bodyweight movements – bench press, step ups, lunges, shoulder press, plank holds and, my favourite, burpees.
Our instructor, Zoe, kept things moving from start to finish, calling out suggested scales (beginner, intermediate, advanced) for each movement. This workout is as hard as you choose to make it – you could cruise through or get some serious intensity going. I aimed for the latter, natch.
I can’t remember the last time I stepped on a treadmill and this was the first real test for my broken foot. I was a little tentative on the first round, but was sprinting pretty hard by the end and my foot felt great! It was nice to get a different stimulus and I definitely got a good workout. You can choose your weights on the bench so that’s totally scalable too. There wasn’t much time between movements and I had to switch mine up a couple of times, but you’d probably get the gist of which weights to use for which movements after a couple of sessions.
We finished off with some tabata style bursts and a cool down. The class flew by and I was pretty impressed with the volume of high heart rate intervals and muscular endurance they’d managed to cram in to 45 minutes. As we piled out of the studio the next class was queuing up to get in – this place is clearly popular and with 40 people per class and 3 studios it’s got a busy vibe.
The changing rooms afterwards had the feeling of a girls’ get together before a night out. Hair, make-up and laughter filled the room. A couple of girls I chatted to said they come here because they know they’ll get a great workout and then they can sit and catch up over a blowdry or juice.
1Rebel have done a great job of making their gym a destination, not just a place to workout. The session itself was as hard as you want to make it. It might be a little intimidating for complete gym novices and there’s not really any opportunity for individual coaching, but if you know roughly what you’re doing you can get a great workout.
I felt a little bit like the workout was a factory line, timed to the second, but that’s probably exactly what most city-dwellers are after – cramming in maximum training between the end of the working day and the start of the night ahead!
All in all – a great blowy workout in a sleek environment. I’m be keen to go back and try out their Ride and Rumble classes too.
Where: 1Rebel, St Mary Axe
Cost: £20 one off session, packages available
How to book: www.1Rebel.co.uk