I think June in London is always damp verging on wet. As soon as the words ‘Glastonbury’ and ‘Wimbledon’ are mentioned it starts to rain or drizzle or precipitate in some way or the other. But to make things a whole lot better Create Victoria, in Cardinal Place just by Victoria Station are hosting a week of amazing fitness events to celebrate the start of tennis fever and the fact they they will be screening matches live (there will be deckchairs and bars on Cardinal Place’s roof). Called Wimbledon Workout Week, I was able to go to the first three days of events – a speed session on Monday night, dance aerobics on Tuesday, yoga on Wednesday morning and a tennis-inspired HIIT session on Wednesday evening.
Monday – Track Life with Gymbox
Initially this was supposed to happen outside but was moved inside when the heavens opened up on Monday morning. But the afternoon the sun was blazing but by then it was too late, I had packed a long sleeve, thermal top thinking we’d be training in the rain! Instead I was just the most ridiculously dressed person in the whole class. Near the end of the class I looked down and I had sweat stains on my stomach – that’s how much I sweated, so thank you Gymbox!
After a group warmup (using the grid like patterns on the floor as an excellent guide) it was time to be split into groups and begin the circuit. There were seven stations:
- Cheek to cheek – standing on the sport with weights in our hands and perfecting the motion arms make when running. The perfect from is from your cheek to your butt cheek, hence the amazing name!
- High and low burpees – with the low burpees it was all about getting your chest to the floor and with high it was all about the speed
- Mountain climbers followed by froggies. I think the froggies killed me.
- Fast feet in ladders – with each round we changed the number of steps increasing and decreasing, all the while hoping to be as fast as possible.
- Sprints – the room was split up with pillars which made perfect sprinting distances
- Sprinting with resistance bands – I think this was by far my most favourite station. In pairs, one person had the resistance band around their waist and the other person was holding them back. Then it was all about running as fast as possible with the extra resistance of a person holding you back.
- Shuffling diagonally from cone to cone before running back to the start and doing it all again.
There was sweat dripping down my face, my hair was stuck to my forehead and my inappropriately thick top was drenched. All of that made for an excellent and very fun session.
Tuesday – Dance Aerobics class with Lorraine and Maxine
Aerobics was my first introduction into fitness (hands up if it was the same for you). It all started with The Mothership getting video cassettes from cereal box tokens – one was a stepper workout and one was aerobics. The Fathership has very fond memories of watching his wife and his two very young children doing aerobics in the sitting room – we even had him joining in every now and again. Sister and I would also accompany the Mothership to her weekly classes and these have always stuck in my memory as some of the safest places ever full of sweaty, laughing women having the time of their lives. I had no idea if Dance Aerobics with Maxine Jones would be like that but just reminding me of those wonderful childhood memories made me very excited to try it.
There are so many things I want to say about this class but I will start with something Maxine herself said before we all started to dance – if you leave here with a hairdo then you aren’t doing it right. My hair was everywhere except on my head. Maxine’s tunes were epic, dance moves ON POINT and the whole hour just reminded me how much I love clubbing. But this, very specific kind of clubbing: in sunshine with amazing women and energy and epic dance moves.
Wednesday Morning – Open Yoga with Triyoga
This was the class I was most looking forward too since yoga is my new love (it really helps that I am getting better at it). This class was held in the same place as the Gymbox class and the view was of Westminster Cathedral. Led by Bianca from Triyoga, we were all given Lifrome mats to use which we were then also allowed to keep!
Compared to the usually yoga class I go to every Wednesday morning I found this one to be much slower. This is not a criticism because I could feel my body being pushed to hold the pose, to breathe, to remain steady and centred. I actually really enjoyed the change of pace and teaching style. And, even though I only used the mat once I am pretty sure I have found my new life partner.
At one point in the class we were in a high plank position before jumping with the aim being for our heels to touch our bum. Bianca cam up next to me and gently held my just under the ribs titling me a little forward. Before I knew what was happening I was doing a handstand! No one had to pull my legs up or hold them up. I can’t wait to get the confidence to do this myself.
There was a part at the very end where we had to concentrate on our breathing. I find meditation quite difficult but Bianca talked through not only what our inner eye was but how we were supposed to ‘see’ it and for the first time it made sense to me. I was able to concentrate on that the whole time rather than have my mind drift off in all directions which made me feel so proud of myself.
Wednesday Evening – Balls and Bands with Frame
This was a tennis inspired HIIT class with Frame using tennis balls and resistance bands to really make the muscles burn – there was one move called The Skullcrusher with resistance bands which made my arms want to cry. The sun was shining again so brilliantly this class was also outside. I love HITT classes because they are always about the most amount of energy being expended for the shortest amount of time. Lunges, burpees, core twists, planks, jumping – we did it all.
This is the second year when I have taken advantage of the events Create Victoria put on and I loved every single second. I don’t live in Victoria but work so close and it is always so wonderful to meet people and do things in my local area. Thank you Create Victoria, for the amazing classes, the goodies, and the wonderful smiles!