Week 23: Regiment at UN1T

I’ve heard a lot about UN1T since they opened their two London studios earlier this year. I believe their London Bridge site was previously an F45 studio (see my F45 review here) and they’ve kept the best bits while creating their own brand with their own style.

I booked in to their Fulham studio for a “Regiment” class on a Friday evening

What They Say:

There is an athlete in every one of us, but it takes the right environment to break through your limits. Our team-oriented, group training facility is supportive and dynamic, helping you achieve the unthinkable in our state of the art studio.

We focus on movements we use in everyday life by getting the body to move more dynamically increasing your lean muscle mass resulting in astonishing transformations.

Sessions are team-oriented, competitive and accessible for all!

My Experience:

With all the places I try, I often struggle to choose which class to go to. At UN1T, each day of the week is a different session. The names of the classes are all along the “we train as one” theme, with names like Ally, Trooper and Legion. They cover a variety of functional movement, with resistance training, bodyweight and traditional cardio moves all being incorporated over different time and rep ranges across the week. I opted for Regiment, described as “a cardio frenzy… pushing you way out of your comfort zone”… it sounded right up my street!

The studio in Fulham is practically local, and it was nice to be able to just hop in the car for a short drive. The gym is nestled between the bustling bars of Wandsworth Bridge road and I parked just around the corner, incidentally on a street my Dad lived on back in his 20s… I love the little snippets of history you feel everywhere in London… not just the Houses of Parliament and blue plaques, but the little things too. I can picture him mooching down the street back in the day with his flowing black locks and flares… it probably wasn’t as swanky around there back then!

The gym: as I stepped down the stairs to the basement studio, I was greeted by a huge “WE TRAIN AS ONE” logo on the wall… I felt immediately welcome!

I was warmly greeted by the friendly receptionist, who showed me around and gave me a towel… telling me I’d need it, with a knowing smile! Over the next ten minutes a stream of cheery folk trotted in. The class was close to full with about 20 of us, half girls half guys. Before we started, the lead coach, Mathew, called us into a big line, congratulated us on turning up for a hard gym sesh on a Friday evening and told us what to expect… apparently this is one of the toughest classes they run, excellent. He told us in no uncertain terms to give it everything we had and everyone seemed up for it.

The class comprised 12 stations, each of which we’d work at for two rounds of 30 seconds work/15 seconds rest, repeating the whole circuit twice. The kicker was that we had to work HARD for the first 20 seconds, and HELL FOR LEATHER for the final 10. We worked in pairs, each pair starting on a different station. I was the only person without a buddy (no pity, please!) and then a friendly girl waved at me from the ski erg station “let’s start here… no way I’m going straight from the airdyne to the ski erg” she said. I couldn’t agree more; I liked her immediately!

Aside from the airdyne (for those who’ve never used one, just know this: it may look like a bike, but it’s basically a whole body assault that gets harder the faster you go… a mere two minutes on this thing can leave fully grown men in a sobbing heap on the floor), the exercises included a real variety of stuff, including banded squat jumps, trx pull ups, bear crawls, donkey kicks (surprisingly brutal), kettlebell deadlifts, push ups and burpees – which I’m pleased to say were of the proper chest-to-floor variety! The two coaches provided clear demonstrations of all of the moves before we started and the gear was all set out ready for us. We did a quick three minute warm up and then got cracking on the main event.

Throughout the workout, big screens on the wall showed how many seconds work/rest we had left, how many total stations we had left, and what the upcoming exercises were. As we got to the final 10 seconds of each bout, Mathew blew a whistle and we had to go as hard as we could… I LOVED this approach; it’s all too easy to check out with a few seconds left on the clock! The variety of exercises was great… 30 seconds of leg assisted pull ups gets bloody hard by the end, but straight after that we were on to a different body part so there was no need to rest! I pushed myself pretty hard – good job the music was loud as I’m sure I emitted at least a couple of “why am I doing this to myself?” sobs midway through!! That said, all of the exercises were scalable, and if you needed to stop and rest, no-one would shoot you! The first full circuit was over in a flash, and after a quick 60 seconds we repeated the whole thing again. I liked knowing what was coming, and it really did speed by. We finished on the airdyne, and I was a red-faced, sweaty mess by the time that was over!

There were high fives all round, the music switched from high tempo to chilled out vibes, and we did a nice long stretch before heading off into the sunny weekend… half the class diving straight into the bar next door, perfect!

In Summary:

Hard, varied circuit training with a bunch of fit, friendly people. What’s not to love? You can clearly see the F45 influence, but this definitely has its own stamp. The studio is sleek, clean and new. If you fancy a protein refuel there is a pre-order shake bar, as is de rigour. If post-workout beer is more your style, there are plenty of local haunts to service that need too!

Where: UN1T Fulham, SW6

Cost: £20 for a 7 day trial, then £20 single drop in (packs available) and monthly unlimited membership at £240

How to book: www.unitlondon.co.uk

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