I first heard about 1Rebel in London a few years ago when I was new to the health industry. From what I heard about it, I was desperate to go and take a class but never found the time.
So, when the chance to go and try a class came up this week, I had to give it a go. And whilst I was there, I thought it might be nice to review it at the same time. Here goes.
1Rebel : What I knew
I knew that it was a London based, non-membership gym. And I use the word gym lightly here. There is no typical gym floor and unless you are booked on to a class you can’t use the equipment. The team deliver group fitness sessions based around three elements. Reshape-Ride-Rumble. All these are designed to deliver HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) in a very hip way.
When I say hip, I don’t mean it in a middle aged sarcastic way either. The gym promotes working out very hard but also includes weekend specials where you can have a drink after your class and party with all the others. You can even book a hair cut for afterwards. I don’t however, offer that at Fitbox!
1Rebel : Reshape
Reshape classes are designed to incorporate time spent sprinting on a treadmill with time using weights and taking part in floor-based body weight routines. You have a partner that you swap with as you progress through the session. So, you typically spend several minutes on the floor whilst your partner is on the treadmill and visa versa.
1Rebel : Ride
Ride classes are a take on the standard spin class that you might find down your local gym. However, if you were to expect a dark room with flashing lights coupled with a banging soundtrack, you would be nearer the money.
1Rebel : Rumble
These classes take the form of a HIIT based boxing working out. Each person has their own punch bag and floor space where not only do you box, you also take part in body weight exercises designed to make you sweat buckets!
The week before I was due to travel to London I had booked and paid for 2 classes online using a “Fresh Meat” deal where I got three classes for £30. Prices do range from £20 for a single to £15.50 when bought in bulk which on the face of it, probably aren’t that much for London.
Due to a delay on the Tube, I had to make a mad dash from Liverpool Street Station and didn’t really get to take in the surroundings and the entrance of the gym until I left.
1Rebel is situated at Broadgate Circle which is a busy amphitheatre type place not unlike Birmingham’s own Arcadian Centre. The entrance to the gym is fairly discreet through which you descend a flight of steps into the basement. As you walk down, the mood changes along with the colour of your surroundings and things start to become rather urban and edgy. This theme carries on throughout and I really liked it.
As you enter the lobby of 1Rebel it almost has the feel of a post-apocalyptic cinema at the dead of night. Again, edgy but cool.
The staff behind the counter were excellent as I was flustered due to being late and could only watch as clients were ushered into the class I was meant to be in.
Damn, I had missed it!
Not to be put off, I was quickly cancelled from that class and entered onto the next available one which happened to be Reshape.
I had chance to be told about how the lockers worked, given a towel and get changed before my induction started as a “newbie”.
Before we started, I along with about ten other “newbies” were called into a dark studio and quickly told about what would happen and how the equipment worked by Ami, the instructor. She explained that we would be using two main pieces of equipment, a treadmill and a bench that could be used along with various other pieces of kit either attached or stored within it.
All good to go.
When the music started and Ami was shouting instructions through the P.A. all idea of knowing what was happening quickly vanished as I tried to keep up with others and copy what they were doing. I mean I didn’t want to look stupid.
It did however, start to make some sense after a while and I got into the swing of it.
The class was divided into timed parts during which you would spend some time running intervals on the treadmill and then swap and spend time doing exercises on the benches. This was all ably conducted by Ami as she walked up and down the aisle shouting at people to “work harder” or “just a few seconds more”.
The 45-minute class seemed to go by in a blur and before I knew it the music was turned down. I had time to catch my breath and we were taken through a short stretch routine.
I absolutely loved the building and the feel that it had. The staff were all excellent and couldn’t have been more helpful if they tried. This isn’t always the case in a lot of gyms and it would definitely make me want to go back.
There were a lot of small touches that made the visit so much better. From free towels, chilled towels to heated benches by the lockers and all the exposed copper piping in the showers it was evident that a lot of time and money had been spent trying to get things just right. And they have got things, just right.
The studio and the classes were also equally well planned. Also, as the object was to work really hard, the mission was accomplished. I was knackered by the end of it.
There is only one but and it’s this. There are only so many ways you can bundle up and market an exercise class. I will admit this class had been wrapped up in the most hip and expensive paper that you can buy. But at the bare bones of it, it was a simple exercise class not too dissimilar to the ones delivered by myself on countless occasions for my clients.
We both want the same thing, 1REBEL and I. That is to ensure that our clients enjoy our sessions, so they will come back and get healthier in the process.
It was pretty cool though and if you get chance, you should definitely give a class a go. I know I will.
Keep it simple
If you have been to 1Rebel or have any comments then please share them below.