THANK YOU

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came last Saturday to the TAPPED x FGB yoga class, you guys absolutely smashed it!

15876747_636559373197900_181783648989609984_n

So much concentration in the room…

 

img_8896

Breathing together ❤

Thank you to all my beginners for working your socks off and all my regulars for stepping up and guiding the class from the front row. Can’t wait to do it all again!

img_8902

Happy student happy teacher. Which one is which this time?!

Hope everyone enjoyed the goody bag and party afterwards! A huge thanks to TAPPED, Fierce Grace Brixton and Urban Fruit for making it happen 🙂

Feng x

Advertisements

Fierce Grace Review (Yoga)

Fierce Grace is my favourite hot yoga studio in London. The City branch (based in Old Street) is my home studio and I’ve adopted the standalone Brixton branch as my second studio.

Fierce Grace is a bespoke hot yoga practice with roots in Bikram but modified to include a more expansive range of poses and range of different classes. All their classes take place in a heated studio, normally around 37 degrees with high humidity. They also offer a beginner class which is “warm” rather than hot, to ease the transition for those new to hot yoga.

I’ve been practising with Fierce Grace since 2014 and during that time it’s grown to be one of the most popular yoga studios around. They have some amazing experienced teachers and are committing to supporting and growing the new teacher that come through their teacher training programme. If you’re not sure which teacher to pick, I can personally recommend Emma Croft, Mark Oram, Nina Rashid, Sara Gordon, Lisa Hong.

about-2-2

Classes

In terms of classes, there are 6 different ones available:

  • Classic: most akin to Bikram, practised with no music, 90 minutes.
  • Fierce Grace: a modified version of the Classic class with music and more inversions, 90 minutes.
  • Core: a deep stretch class, less inversions and more floor work but with deeper stretches and poses which offer advanced flexibility variations, 75 minutes.
  • The Beast: an advanced class, based on the Fierce Grace class but with extra inversions, arm balances, deep stretches and advanced backbends, some really impressive stuff! 105 minutes.
  • Fix: a condensed version of the Fierce Grace class, designed to fit into 50 mins rather than 90 minutes.
  • Wild: a yoga cardio hybrid class that involves lots of transition in and out of postures to fire up the muscles. 60 mins.

I love all of the classes but my particular favourites are the Core class and the Fierce Grace class. The Beast is also fun to try on Saturdays when I’m free, as long as I haven’t had a heavy Friday night!

classes_bottom-5-38

Prices

Admittedly all that comes at a price, and I’m the first to admit that it’s not cheap. A drop in is £17, with additional discounts for packs, monthly or yearly subscriptions. A 10 class card takes it down to around £12.50 each class (depending on which studio you are going for), a monthly subscription is around £100 and a yearly subscription just shy of £1,000. Students can benefit from concession prices which are around 20% off. Full details can be found here: http://www.fiercegracecity.com/buy.php

It is quite an expensive package and for some people it will be out of budget. The good news is that they do an excellent intro offer at £39 for 30 days of unlimited yoga, and even better, it’s on CLASSPASS!

I love the teachers and the studios so I think it is really worth it, particularly if you are paying through a bulk package rather than one-off drop ins, but try it out and let me know what you think. It’s a no brainer if you are on Classpass.

If you are new to Classpass and would like £20 off your first month, click here and here

 Amenities

Both the City studio and the Brixton studio have clean wood / plastic laminate floors, changing rooms and showers. Mats and towels can be rented for around £1 each.

The studios are equipped with hairdryers but not the full set of mod cons (a la 1Rebel). Shower gel is provided but you have to bring your own shampoo and conditioner.

If Fierce Grace revamped the changing rooms and added that “lux” spin, then I think it will take it a class above the rest of the yoga offerings in London and give it a USP. Watch this space…

www.fiercegrace.com | #fiercegraceyoga | @fiercegraceyoga

Rumble @ 1Rebel Review (Boxing)

Classpass is proving to be a great and wonderful thing. I’d always wanted to try out a 1REBEL class but was deterred by the high price tag. I got my chance with Classpass.

img_5502

Entrance to the studios

I booked into a RUMBLE class with the brilliant Lisa, a boxing gold medallist. I was sure she wouldn’t be punching “like a girl”. Upon arrival, I was struck by the slick decor and the friendly reception team. 1Rebel has three studios, one with punch bags for Rumble, one with bikes for Ride and one with what looked like treadmills and weights for Reshape.

1rebel-gym-broadgate-s261115-g-21

Rumble studio

I got my boxing gloves (£1 rental), wraps (£4 to buy) and entered the studio.  The music was pumping and the aggression levels were high (in a very good way). Lisa led us through a series of different punches and kicks, we were taught to jab, hook, uppercut, knee, roundhouse kick and side kick, all in quick succession. At the start of the session I thought it would have been nice to have a bit more time to get the hang of the technical side but actually it wasn’t an issue as Lisa was more than happy to go through them in more detail with me one-on-one at the end of the class.

We boxed for 4 minutes, then did cardio for 3 minutes, then more boxing, then more cardio, then MMA, then more cardio, then kicking, then cardio. You get the idea. And don’t think for a moment that the cardio was to recover between the boxing rounds. The cardio was a full on HIIT workout in itself containing everything from lunges, squats, burpies, press ups, planks and a combination of all of these (seemingly at the same time). The music really helped to keep me motivated and the colour of the lights cleverly changed between boxing and cardio, keeping me focussed. Bar Bikram, I don’t think I’ve ever sweated so much in a class, so good!

sb-main

1rebel-rumble-review-womens_health_uk__medium_4x3

These are promotional images, I’m sure I looked just as good…

I think that having Lisa as my instructor really helped. It was quite amazing to see how strong she was and to see that punchbag fly across the middle of the room when she struck it.

Things I particularly liked: Lisa demonstrating the punch and kick combos in the middle of the room, the fact that she moved around so that we could all see, the music, the round of freestyle box/kick and the FIERCE PLANK ROUND. Oh yes, I do love a good plank very much.

Things I disliked: The fact that I can’t quit my job and do this all day.

Finally, the facilities at 1Rebel are some of the best. Heated seats, lots of locker space, mirrors, GHD hairdryers, plastic bags for gym gear and even a fridge of chilled towels. I can wholeheartedly say that the showers were the best showers I’ve ever experienced in a gym, flat, house, actually pretty much anywhere in the UK. I’m not wealthy enough to stay in the super-luxe hotels here in London so I can’t see this statement changing anytime soon.

img_5484

Powerful showers

FullSizeRender

I definitely will be back for another Rumble class and can’t wait to try out the Ride and Reshape classes too!

www.1rebel.co.uk https://www.instagram.com/1rebeluk/ | @1rebeluk

Psycle Review (Cycle)

If you haven’t heard of Psycle then you are truly immune to the effects of snazzy marketing. The brand has become synonymous with the desires of many modern women (and men): that instant, Instagrammable post-workout selfie that will be the envy of their friends who are sitting at home, eating takeaway and browsing fitness posts.

Don’t get me wrong, I mean no disrespect to Psycle, nor criticise the brand and its ambitions. I personally think that their marketing strategies are spot on and that they are doing a sterling job at motivating “ordinary” people to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. Sure, it’s an expensive hobby and won’t be to everyone’s taste (cue the pricey onsite juice bar), but judging by how oversubscribed the classes are, lots of people are loving the Psycle package.

I signed up for the intro offer and tried two classes: Mortimer Street (Psycle HQ) and Selfridges Body Works (pop up).

 Mortimer Street with Alana and Selfridges with Kaya

Things I liked: great music, enthusiastic instructors, good vibe and well equipped changing rooms

The class had a great vice. I got the feeling that everybody was excited to be there and was having a good time. The workout is an intense 45 minute session, incorporating vigorous cycling, arm presses and weight exercises. Staff are on hand to help with the clip in shoes and setting up the bikes. We started with a warm up before cycling our way through about 5 or 6 instructor led songs, each with their own routine. Some were faster paced and designed to make you up your RPM, others were slower but was just as hard since you were encouraged to pile on the resistance so that it felt like you were cycling through treacle. We finished with a warm down and a series of stretches.

IMG_5324[1]

Ready to ride!

The changing rooms in both venues were fully equipped with everything you could possibly need. In the ladies, in addition to the complimentary towels, you have everything from Bumble & Bumble hair products to GHD hairdryers and straighteners to Cowshed toiletries to hair bobbles and grips. They even had a nifty plastic bag dispenser so that you could keep your sweaty gym gear separate from the rest of your bag. I thought that these were nice touches and definitely made the high price tag easier to stomach.

IMG_5327[1]

Kirsty and I after our first ever Psycle class

Things I disliked: weights that slid off bikes, no watt output meter, could do with more space in changing rooms and the PRICE.

There were a few minor niggles. There wasn’t a specific weights hook under the saddles which meant they were placed in the spare bottle holder. If you pedal too enthusiastically (as I did!) they may slide off mid-session and embarrassingly roll across the studio. If you’re a numbers gal like me, then the lack of a screen showing your watt output and resistance levels is a tad annoying. The changing rooms are a bit cramped in HQ, particularly given the fact that Studio 1 has a max capacity of 50.

The main niggle, well it’s not really a niggle but more of a resigned acceptance, is the price. At £20 a class, Psycle is pricey. The thing that irks me is not the headline price per class per se, but that their bulk buy packs are so lacking in value. A pack of 5 will set you back £95 (£19/class), a pack of 10 is £180 (£18/class), a pack of 20 is £325 (£16.25/class) and a pack of 50 costs a whopping £775 and only works out to £15.50/class. They’ve scrapped their buddy credit package so even if you’re happy to drop that £775 at the Psycle till, you still can’t take your friend to an odd class here or there for free. I totally understand that you get a lot for your money but at the end of the day, it’s not cheap.

I really enjoyed both classes and I’d love to carry on but the lack of a cheaper regular class option lets Psycle down.

Hello World!

Dear all / To whom it may concern / Hello beautiful people!

“If you can’t beat them then join them…”

My dear friends, I have given in to the inevitable and I have decided to become the proud another of (yet another) fitness and food blog, with the occasional frequent cocktail thrown in for good measure. Hence DETOX (fitness, though I do have a bit of an issue with categorising fitness as “detox” but hey, it rhymes) and RETOX (eat eat booze booze).

My reasons for starting this blogging adventure are multifold, ranging from finding other blogs lacking in providing the information I really wanted, loving any excuse to eat and exercise, having a huge stash of instagrammable photos, needing another outlet for my creativity outside of the daily grind and some kind of self-fulfilment and desire to share with you all the amazing fun things you can do in London to enrich your daily routines.

So here’s the plan. Feng is going to do loads of fitness-y things and eat loads more food, try to snap it up in some pretty photos, write up some funny stories and maybe even give you some useful information? And show you all kind of cute cat pictures (non-kitty lovers beware). Cat picture right on cue:

Cats on exercise balls

I’ve got a long list of places to write about already, places I’ve either already been or will be going to very soon.

DETOX: Fierce Grace Yoga, Psycle, Castle Climbing, FRAME, NTC, BOOM Cycle, PureRide, 1Rebel, Barry’s, Arch Climbing, Vauxwall, Yogahaven, BLOK and many more!

RETOX: Ceviche, Salt Yard, Nightjar, Goodmans, Flat Iron, Pix, Dean St Townhouse, Nanban, Bao, Happiness Forgets, Artesian, Dabbous, Bubbledogs, Gaucho, The Ledbury, Wringer + Mangle and even more!

Watch this space! Extra points to the tech geeks / nerds who have clocked the title reference. PEACE OUT.