Helena Eastham moved to Sydney in October 2018 after leaving a career on the trading floor in a bank in London. Prior to entering the world of finance, she had trained full time for Modern Pentathlon at Hartpury College before taking up a scholarship at The University of Birmingham to complete a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. After juggling a career with running over 85 miles a week with team Run-fast (a club based in London with head coach Peter McHugh), she decided to move to Sydney and immerse herself in all things sports, wellness and nutrition.
In a city where fitness classes and flat whites are the new dance floors and vodkas, it’s hard to know which workout to go for. Nicknamed ‘student grant’ at work I was the queen of finding a bargain. This means I have utilised every free pass and intro offer going on the London fitness scene and I can now share the best!
When: 6.20am Wednesday morning Core Class by experienced PT Jermaine Johnson
If like me, you think a core class is a gentler, easier way to wake up in the morning then this class will certainly shock you. It takes place in a large studio (it’s a popular class) down a side street in Shoreditch. Whilst it may not be as fancy as some of the other boutique gyms, it gives the sense of working out in a calm, clean warehouse. The class itself uses a combination of TRX movements and bodyweight exercises on a mat to activate your deep inner core muscles and actually train your core to be more efficient and stronger.
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This class isn’t about a quick fix and some sit-ups, it’s about learning to activate your muscles and ultimately train your body to limits you didn’t think were possible. By the time you’ve finished warming up, your abs will be burning and you’ll already be sweating. Jermaine usually likes to throw in some extras here and there, so you have been warned! At 45 minutes long it will leave you hurting to breathe for days!
Cost: £25 for five classes (intro offer), £17 a class after that.
Bootcamp London Fields
When: Every Saturday morning at 10am in London Fields with trainer George Pearse.
Apart from being free, the best thing about this class is it is so friendly and inclusive. You’ll definitely get a sweat on and burn some calories, but I guarantee you’ll have fun and probably make a friend to have coffee with after. You don’t need fancy activewear or equipment for this one. Just some old trainers and bags of energy! It’s different every week, but always a combination of cardio and strength work using only your bodyweight.
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From burpees to shuttle runs and press ups, you’ll be taken back to basics (George has a watchful eye for poor technique) and pushed for an hour before finally stretching it out with some downward dog. I may be biased as this was the area I lived in, but I think this class is hands down the friendliest going in London! It’s also located conveniently close to Broadway Market.
Cost: The first session/fitness assessment is FREE.
Hotpod Yoga London Fields
This quite literally is yoga in a hot blowup pod that’s been heated to 37 degrees! Throw in around 15 people and what you get is a giant inflatable filled with sweat. Sound appealing? Probably not. Well trust me on this one, it’s great. Not only will you find yourself moving further in your poses, you’ll feel like you’ve had a total workout when you leave the pod drenched in sweat but completely revitalised. To top it off, the London Fields studio is right next to e5 Bakehouse selling the best sourdough in town!
Cost: £15 a class.
If you live in Australia and you’re into your fitness, then I imagine F45 will be no stranger to you. Whether it’s a Hollywood or a Wingman these 45-minute high-intensity circuit classes will leave you with serious DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)! Since arriving in the UK, the studios are popping up everywhere, and whilst definitely on the pricier side, I can vouch that these classes are universally great.
They also conveniently offer classes throughout the day to accommodate for varying work schedules. The selling point, for me at least, is that the trainers are hot on ensuring correct technique and the screens at the front demonstrate each exercise so no matter how many stations there are you always know what you’re doing. There’s also nothing better than completing a gruelling workout as a team and team spirit is present in abundance at every F45 I have been to.
Cost: Various options but a two week trial period is usually offered.