Boxing, yoga, HIIT, strength training, a 5k…
If you’re panicking about how to cram your fitness training in around a full-time job, household duties and kids, then it might be time to think about a combination class.
These are sessions that combine two (or more) different fitness disciplines in one single class.
HIIT combination classes such as HIIT Yoga and HIIT Boxing have been hugely popular for years, but now studios are combining elements to give you other time-saving killer workouts.
‘There is a massive difference between a good training session and a great workout,’ says James Griffiths, owner of Wild Training, which hosts the Shaolin Strength combination class. ‘These days people not only need to be time-efficient, but they want strength, endurance and their movement all looked after.
‘We get the greatest gain when we achieve smaller gains across all components of fitness, rather than focusing on one thing. Someone who just does endurance won’t feel as fit as someone who does a combination of strength training, body weight exercises and sport inspired activities.’
James advises classes that combine HIIT training systems with martial arts exercises (like boxing) and functional training circuits.
‘Boxing gives you the explosive cardio to focus on fast twitch muscle fibres and burn fat fast, while functional circuits such as sledgehammer work, tyre flips and kettlebells give you the endurance challenge with strength mixed in,’ he says. ‘Transitioning from one fitness discipline to another during your session not only keeps you engaged, but works different energy systems, increasing the overall shock to your nervous system and metabolism.
‘It also helps with long-term motivation, as even if you keep going to the same combo class each week, the variety it offers keeps your training interesting. This means people tend to stick to it, so they get fitter and stronger.’
Whether it’s for time-management, calorie burn, or boredom, why not think about swapping your usual class for something more challenging. Here are some combo classes worth checking out.
Pilates PT Method
Fulham and Knightsbridge
With a combination of dynamic mat pilates and HIIT, this boosts cardiovascular fitness, builds strength and definition, and improves posture. The one-hour, one-to-one session encourages mindful movement, so you can expect pilates mixed with single leg deadlifts and cardio surfer jumps (from a surfer position you jump and rotate 180 degrees in the air). Sessions from £120. pilatespt.co.uk
Shaolin Strength at Wild Training Gym
This combines classic kung fu forms like cat, horse, drop, eagle and crane stance with the Wild Training Mo-Shen system (inspired by kung fu plate balancing drills). During the one-hour session, you’ll learn the positions and build up to a combination of movements to create a more athletic flow. This boosts dynamic mobility and can benefit everyday activities like loading food shopping into the car. Single class, £14, wildtraining.co.uk
Formula3 at Third Space
Six London locations
A high-intensity circuit that is split into three stages over 45 minutes. You start with cardio sprint intervals on the rowing machine, before moving onto strength training with kettlebells and dumbbells to build muscle. The finale is an athletic power and speed session using your bodyweight. Membership from £165 per month, thirdspace.london
Matrix Run at Digme
Seven London locations, Oxford
A great one for runners who need to substitute their training, this combines drills on the SkillMill (un-motorised treadmill) with running-specific strength, balance and plyometric exercises. The 45-minute class is split into six-minute blocks where you move from powering the Skillmill, to conditioning on the TRX, followed by bodyweight exercises and moves using mini bands and balance boards. Single class, £22, digmefitness.com
F**KTIONAL at StrongHer
The combination of TRX (suspension training), kettlebells and calisthenics (gymnastics) are designed to work all muscle groups. The 50-minute class involves a round on the TRX doing rows, pikes and pistols squats, followed by a kettlebells round of moves. You then come together in (social distanced) pairs to complete a round of calisthenics like handstands and chin-ups. Single sessions, £16, strongher.co.uk
Reshape at 1Rebel
Seven London locations
Challenging you both mentally and physically, each 45-minute class involves quickfire rounds on the treadmill mixed with dynamic weight sequences. Each session claims to burn around 1,000 calories and fuses speed training with endurance that focuses on different muscle combinations for 360 body sculpting. Single class, £18. 1rebel.com
Reggeaton at Dan’s Studio
The fusion of high-intensity cardio, conditioning and dance features alongside Reggaeton rhythms (a mix of reggae and Latin music). You start with 25 minutes of choreographed dance moves using a resistance band and weights. Once you’ve mastered the routine, you complete a 25-minute functional conditioning session, incorporating things like planks and weightlifting to train and strengthen all parts of your body. Single class, £23, letsdans.co.uk
Blaze at David Lloyd
Blaze combines cardiovascular training, strength training and boxing and martial arts to give a unique 30-minute session. You start on one of three stations (treadmill, weights bench or punch bag), spend three minutes on each station before moving to the next. Repeat the three stations three times and you’re done. Exercises range from treadmills sprints, Tabata style weight exercises and boxing. Membership from £50 (joining fees vary). davidlloyd.co.uk/blaze
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