Thursday 4th July 2013
As you may have expected, I've been to a fair few different gyms, fitness studios and leisure centres by now. Some good, some less good and some not so pretty. But, all of them offering a way to get fitter in some way (with the exception of Day 8 Scaravelli Inspired Yoga - that was an not the most productive hour I've had during this challenge). Of the last 61 classes, probably around a third have been general fitness type classes - no specific equipment, not a one-Fitivity-focussed studio, or a trademarked fitness class. And of these general fitness classes, between the circuits classes (Day 59 Mother-of-all-Circuits, Day 54 Metabolic Conditioning, Day 28 Sculpt and Tone, Day 26 Nike Training Club, Day 13 Princess Warrior and Day 11 MMA Circuits) and the outdoor bootcamps (Day 61 37º Bootcamp, Day 44 British Military Fitness, Day 40 Fit-for-a-Princess and Day 31 Sweaty Betty Bootcamp)...and such like, you might think I'm getting a tad bored of these types of classes. Variations of star jumps, lunges, squats, I thought that I'd done them all. But you gotta hand it to the Instructors at the Tokei Fitness and Martial Arts Centre - they know how to make a circuits class more exciting than...well....a usual circuits class.
Today's class was Fighting Fit Circuit, with the same Instructor Darren from Day 54 Metabolic Conditioning. The class started with a fairly usual circuits style class with 4-5 stations set-up: mini-hurdles (to be jumped over with both knees together - not stepped over!), skipping, paired sit-up medicine ball exercises, side-step taps on a bench and one more which, for the life of me, I can't remember. Not your 1-minute circuits, these were (or just felt like they were) longer intervals for each section. Surprisingly, this was the first class I've tried with skipping, despite boxing Instructor Francis from Day 16 Boxing declaring that skipping is a great way of increasing fitness and given the minimal equipment / space required, it is a wonder why more places/people don't do it.
Anyway, back to class - after a few rounds of the circuits, the fun part then began. The room was re-arranged into a giant circle of circuits, the mini-hurdles, some zigzag cones for sprint-touch, a nice empty section for burpee push-ups and an elongated section for travelling side step taps on the bench. Everyone was told to start somewhere and when Instructor Darren started the music, we start on the exercise station we're at. But, given the circle shape, you're always trying to catch up (or at least keep up!) with the person in front of you. Naturally, this also means that there is always someone hot on your heels and there's nothing like someone chasing you to make you push a bit harder.
The Tokei Fitness Centre knows exactly what it is and is not trying to be anything more or less. It's a no fuss, no hassle work-out-if-you-want-to-(don't if you don't)-place where memberships, whether for just a day or month are reasonably priced. In return, you get decent, down-to-Earth, no fuss teachers. They're friendly, open and approachable but they won't mollycoddle you. Most, if not all the teachers martial arts background and this shows through in their classes but no-one should be put off by the martial arts focus of the place - the general fitness classes they run are a pretty good workout - this class has jumped to number 2 on the calories-burnt-per-minute leaderboard, meaning two classes at this venue are in the top 5 (Day 59 Mother-of-all-Circuits at number 4)!
The Need To Know:
- Where: The Tokei Fitness Centre (www.tokeicentre.org)
- Nearest Station: London Bridge (7mins)
- When: Fighting Fit Circuits on Thurs 13.30 - other classes available
- How Much: Day membership £10 else no-contract (yay!) monthly memberships available.
The Want to Know:
- Who's it For: For those who want an intense quick lunchtime workout
- Sweat Scale: 8/10.
- Strength / Cardio / Flexi / Tone: Mainly cardio and some toning
- Complexity: 7/10
- Fun Factor: 7/10
- Changing Facilities: Toilets, showers and a sauna
- Instructor Inspiration: 7/10. Solid 7's.
- Total Time: 24mins (should have been around 40 but fat wrist syndrome stopped the watch. Again. I should start slimming them.).
- Calories Burnt: 186. Straight in at No. 2 on the calories burnt/minute leaderboard, knocking fellow Tokei class Day 59 Mother-of-all-Circuits to 4th placem ooo.
- Average Heart Rate: 142bpm of recorded time, non-recorded time was just after warm-up so figure probably a true representative of average.
- Max Heart Rate: 167bpm