Fitness Articles

What’s London’s toughest workout?

We sent one of the team down to try out five of the toughest workouts in London, with the winner to be crowned Hyde's Toughest workout

BXR - Climb to the Beat

Okay, so that’s what your muscles being cooked in a vat of your own amino acid feels like. 45 minutes on one of the most difficult machines ever invented, the VersaClimber. It’s a whole body shudderer, involving constant, energy draining cardio, coupled with the sheer mental struggle of keeping up the pace for the whole thing. Not for the faint of heart or the jelly of legs.

Calories: 554

Maximum HR: 187

Why it was tough: Relentless, repetitive movement for the whole body, with a teeny bit of rest.

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Hyde's Toughest Review

The Foundry - City Strongman

It’s not often you mix extremely heavy weights with intense cardio. Believe me, it’s a killer. Heavy sled pulls, deadlifts, fireman’s walks and massive sandbags alone are the stuff of nightmares, throw in assault bikes and SkiErgs and you’ve got yourself a truly humbling 45 minutes. Leave the fetching grey jogging shorts at home, if you know what’s good for you and your remaining dignity.

Calories: 460

Maximum HR: 170

Why it was tough: Pretty much hits you in every way possible: cardio, strength, mobility. Harrowing.

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Hyde's Toughest Review 2

Fighterfit Gym - Fighterfit Boxing

If you don’t want your face transmuted to the texture of leftover Christmas pudding, then you need to train up your concentration as well as your smashing arm. This class works on a circuit format throwing in pad work, press-ups, abs drills, planks and bag work. It’s also an hour and a half long, which is tantamount to about a week when you’re trying to dodge a considerably bigger bloke who’s been bench pressing caravans for the past 20 years.

Calories: 887

Maximum HR: 189

Why it was tough: If it was just the fitness alone it would be hard enough. The mental aspect is a whole new level of effort.

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Hyde's Toughest Review 4

UN1T - Trooper

So many exercises, so many reps, so much sweat, so little lung capacity left at closing time. Consider this scenario. Flailing around a room trying desperately to maintain a consistent level of effort while three PTs keep screaming at you to try a bit harder. The sets are timed based on how long it takes people to push a sled up and down the room four times. So if you’re slow, imagine a lot of passive-aggressive murmuring about “the newbie staying in their goddamn lane”. Or maybe not, as everyone is extremely nice.

Calories: 560

Maximum HR: 175

Why it was tough: As HIIT classes go, you aren’t going to find one as intense as this.

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Hyde's Toughest Review 1

Athlete Lab - the Super Iron Hurt House Booster

If you don’t really like cycling anyway, being put on one for an hour of intense interval and hill work will make you unhappy (ahem, me). They’re real bikes as well so you have to use the gears effectively to be able to maintain an acceptable pace – something you can see glaring at you from a monitoring screen at the front of the class. Go too slow and your name goes red until you ramp it up a notch.

Calories: 590

Maximum HR: 185

Why it was tough: It’s an hour of really tough, monitored cycling, simple as that.

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Hyde's Toughest Review 3

And the winner is..

The Foundry

Seriously, these were all some pretty damn good classes: great formats, well designed and executed with a focus on form and progression. I was kind of hoping that a couple would be a bit of a break, but no, nothing. Judging the toughest was almost impossible based on how I felt after each one, but taking everything into consideration the winner for me has to go to The Foundry for its City Strongman class. It had everything: intense cardio, strength training and the focus on correct lifting was spot on.

* All workout data taken using Fitbit Ionic

Hyde's Toughest Review 2

 

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