1. The Dealer
The exercises you do are determined by the turn of a card
Your future is written in the cards. The Dealer is a 45-minute group exercise session involving functional exercises such as burpees, kettlebell swings, squats and rows. So far, so normal. But the twist is, the exercises you do, the order you do them in, and the number of reps, are all determined by the turn of a card.
The instructor has a giant deck – bit like Play Your Cards Right – each suit representing a different move. When we tried it we seemed to pick an inordinate amount of burpees – unfortunately, the rules of the game state no folding so we had to do them all. Arse.
Where to try it: Gymbox
2. Mudder Maker
Signed up for an obstacle race this summer? Starting to s**t yourself about getting round? No fear, Mudder Maker is here.
Exercises include playing catch with a ball that emits random electric shocks
A collaboration between Virgin Active and Tough Mudder, the 45-minute sessions work on fitness, strength, balance and agility – so you can ace the giant hay bales and monkey rings on race day.
During the class you work in teams to tackle obstacles specially devised for the sessions. These include crawling around like a bear while pushing a water-filled drum, pulling a tyre with your teammates sitting on it, and playing catch with a ball that emits random electric shocks. Sounds insane/inspired, sign us up.
Where to try it: Virgin Active
3. SURFSET Fitness
With all that paddling, popping up, and balancing, surfing is great for improving balance and cardiovascular fitness, and developing lean muscle. Which is all well and good if you live in California.
SURFSET classes are held on wobbly mounted surf boards that make it feel like you’re on the water
Luckily, for the landlocked among us, SURFSET classes have hit these shores, allowing us to experience all the benefits of riding the waves without getting seaweed down our pants.
Big in America, SURFSET classes are held on wobbly mounted surf boards that make it feel like you’re on the water as you hold poses, balance, and generally blitz your stabiliser muscles and core. There are only a handful of classes so far, but we're predicting many more.
4. FREESTYLE FITNESS
According to NASA, just 10 minutes of trampolining is equivalent to half an hour of running
This. Sounds. Awesome! Held in Air Space – Europe’s largest trampoline park – FREESTYLE FITNESS mixes trampoline exercises, parkour and freestyle jumping. According to NASA, just 10 minutes of trampolining is equivalent to half an hour of running – so expect serious results.
Designed by acrobat and parkour star Sam McFarlane, the one-hour session is a thorough workout. "There's no denying it's hard work," says Sam, “but it’s good fun too – which is what keeps people coming back. It's a full-body workout with a real focus on core strength, balance and cardiovascular work. Expect sore abs and bums afterwards."
Other trampoline parks such as the brand new Oxygen Freejumping in London also offer trampoline-based fitness classes.
Where to try it: Airspace
5.Outdoor Group Training from Fitness First
When is a gym class not a gym class? When it’s not actually in the gym.
The classes take place in special outdoor training areas, while London clubs can enjoy the swanky surroundings of the Royal Parks
Fitness First are taking their workouts al fresco this summer with Outdoor Group Training at selected clubs. The 45-minute classes will take place in special outdoor training areas, while London clubs can enjoy the swanky surroundings of the Royal Parks.
The full outdoor programme consists of five different sessions including high-intensity interval training, circuits and OCR – a class that uses resistance exercises, running and natural obstacles to help you train for an obstacle course race. There’s even something called Breakout, where you have to sprint as far as you can in 15 seconds – extra points awarded if you catch the instructor.
Where to try it: Fitness First