Positive fitness: try classes

Amerley Ollennu tests the latest fitness trends, delving into the psychology of exercise to give you the tools to get and stay fit. Here, she goes back to the classroom…


Positive fitness: try classes

Recently, I've hit a wall. How foolish of me to think that I was cured of my all-or-nothing tendencies – they’ve been my modus operandi for the last 31 years, after all. I warned you all not to be too gung-ho when embarking on your fitness journey, to find things you love and to ditch weight loss from the equation, but I have, well, not failed, but faltered. I spent six months being focused, but, unbeknown to me, my subconscious had a little birthday surprise in store. You could call it the blues – that feeling when you hit a milestone and don’t feel or look the way you imagined you would, and so everything seems pointless. It’s taken me some time to snap out of it but, thankfully, I’ve just turned a corner, and here’s how… I went back to school.

Classroom antics

I’d reached the point where unless I had a session booked with my trainer, Jonathan Lomax, of Lomax Bespoke Fitness, I just couldn’t motivate myself. I had a few weeks of letting myself wallow, then Lomax suggested I sign up for classes until I felt motivated enough to train alone again.

I tried the Lomax Blast Class, from £15, which fuses crossfit-style exercises – think weight-training, body-weight exercises and cardio, plus kettle bell moves (a ballistic weight) and short rest periods. Timed intervals mean I don’t have to worry about falling behind or waiting for others to finish, but I still benefit from the group atmosphere and trainer motivation.

I started spinning at Psycle, £20, and I found the instructor made all the difference to how well I rode. Encouraging, fun and with the best music, Kaya Cansfield’s classes are my favourite and even get me out of bed on a Sunday morning! What completed my turnaround was knowing I had to work on what was going on emotionally, so I tried holistic wellbeing pass Somuchmore. For just £89 a month, members can try classes at gyms, parks and dance studios around London (they’re working on a UK-wide offering). Uniquely, it offers sessions that focus on your emotional health, too. From relaxation classes to self-esteem workshops, my brain training was extensive.

One month on…

The brain training helped me re-evaluate, reconnect with myself and, most importantly, remember why I embarked on this fitness journey in the first place. While booking workouts in advance meant I couldn’t cancel (which I was always thankful for after a great class), cherry-picking my favourite instructors helped keep me motivated and the variations ensured I didn’t get bored.

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Photograph: iStock