Sweat it up at the City’s best HIIT classes

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It has been several years since HIIT (that’s High Intensity Interval Training) burst on to the exercise scene in a fit of burpees and squat jumps, and the sweat-fest among London’s fitness fanatics is showing no signs of slowing down.

HIIT’s method of short, sharp bursts of intense activity interspersed with brief periods of recovery has become almost universally acknowledged as one of the most effective ways to trim down, tone up, and get fit fast while actually spending less time in the gym.

It’s a workout tailor-made for the City’s toned and time-poor, which is why there are so many on the timetable. Here’s our guide to the best HIIT classes in the Square Mile.

Barry’s Bootcamp

The original HIIT class from hell (well, actually Los Angeles) Barry’s Bootcamp has developed a cult-like following over the last 20 years, with everybody from Harry Styles to David Beckham spotted sweating through the signature sessions that claim to burn up to 1,000 calories. The hour-long workouts involve 25-30 minutes of interval cardiovascular treadmill routines mixed in with 25-30 minutes of strength training, or you can skip the run and double up on the weights section. The timetable is focused around specific body parts (Monday is arms and abs, Wednesday is chest, back and abs, and Sunday is full body) and trainers switch up their routines to ensure no two workouts are the same.

How much? £20 per class or £180 for a 10-class pack.

Where can I try it? 2 Worship Street EC2A 2BH barrysbootcamp.com

Another Space – HIIT

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Another Space HIIT classes combine boxing and bodyweight floorwork.

One of three workouts offered at this slick new boutique facility behind Bank Junction, HIIT classes combine boxing rounds with floorwork to tone and condition while ensuring some serious afterburn. Half the class is pummelling a punchbag with a simple series of jabs, crosses and upper cuts while the other half takes on a series of high intensity circuits using bodyweight and saddlebags to ensure a big range of motion. Most classes are 45 minutes, but there are 60-minute sessions with a section dedicated to boxing technique so the fast pace of the class doesn’t leave you lagging on form.

How much? £20 per class or £160 for a 12-class pack.

Where can I try it? Another_Space Bank, 40 Coleman Street EC2R 5EH anotherspace.london

Related content: Tried and Tested: Another_Space Bank

F45

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F45 franchises have popped up in Liverpool Street and Tower Bridge.

If the bodies on Bondi Beach are anything to go by, the Aussies know a thing or two about working out, which is why this fitness craze from Down Under is emerging as one of London’s fastest growing. F45 (or Functional 45) is high-intensity, circuit-based group training designed to burn over 750 calories per session using a combination of strength and cardio.

There are 27 workout systems that focus on different areas and incorporate more than 3,000 different exercises so you will never do the same session twice. ‘Flamingo’ is a team-based cardio session that will get your heart rate up, while ‘Romans’ combines resistance and functional movement training to activate muscle mass and encourage afterburn. Circuit rotations depend on the workout but expect a 35 to 45-second burst of movement followed by 15 to 25 seconds of rest. Huff, puff, and repeat.

How much? Memberships start from £200 per month for six months.

Where can I try it? F45 Liverpool Street, 80 Middlesex Street E1 7EZ f45training.co.uk/liverpoolstreet

Related content: Aussie HIIT craze F45 arrives in Farringdon

1Rebel – Reshape

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The bathrooms at 1Rebel’s St Mary’s Axe studio are among the best in the City.

Like Barry’s, 1Rebel’s Reshape classes combine stints on the treadmill with bench-based strength and conditioning exercises that leave no muscle untouched. Instructors have timings down to the second as runners take on sprint and incline intervals, while ‘shapers’ sweat through upright rows, chest presses, frog jumps, squats and other body-busting moves. It’s 45 minutes of fresh torture, but worth it for the fast results and post-workout showers in what are hands down the best bathrooms of any City gym (and many homes and offices). Think chilled towels, heated seats and vanity mirrors straight off a film set.

How much? £20 per class or £180 for a 10-class pack.

Where can I try it? 63 St Mary Axe EC3A 8LE 1rebel.co.uk

Psycle – Strength

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Psycle introduced Strength classes as part of its 360-degree approach to health and fitness.

Soho-born spin brand Psycle cycled across to Shoreditch in July last year, launching barre, strength and yoga classes along the way to offer a “360-degree approach to health and fitness”. While cardio-based spin classes remain the core offering, the 50-minute ‘Strength’ sessions are growing in popularity for their serious conditioning potential. Trainers combine kettlebell, dumbbell and bodyweight exercises to blast your metabolism, improve functional strength and increase all your markers of fitness in the most efficient way possible.

How much? £20 per class or £180 for a 10-class pack.

Where can I try it? 17-23 Whitby Street E1 6JU psyclelondon.com

Digme – Matrix

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Digme’s Matrix classes incorporate running, strength and

Another spin-based fitness brand to introduce HIIT, Digme’s Matrix classes have been developed around three fitness fundamentals; Run (cardio), Condition (strength), and Move (flexibility). Condition and Move components are a combination of weight training and functional movement exercises, while the Run element makes use of the SkillMill; a non-motorised curved treadmill designed to turbo-charge your cardio. Move up the incline and find the belt slipping away faster, increasing your speed, then fall back into the flat middle to maintain your pace and build technique.

How much? £20 per class.

Where can I try it? Blackfriars Railway Station, Queen Victoria Street EC4V 4DY digmefitness.com

Related content: Richmond spin studio Digme makes its mark in the City

Gymbox

There is a class for just about every type of gym junkie at fitness factory Gymbox, but HIIT workouts in the aptly named ‘Sweat Drench’ category are among the most popular. HIIT the Deck is a 30-minute session of tabata-style bodyweight exercises with a specific focus on leg work to get your heart rate up and maximise fat burning potential, while Metcon introduces kettlebell swings and cleans to work your whole body at 100%.

How much? Monthly membership packages vary by studio.

Where can I try it? Bank, 71 Lombard Street EC3V 9AY; Farringdon, 12a Leather Lane EC1N 7SS; Holborn, 100 High Holborn WC1V 6RD; Old Street, 201a Old Street EC1V 9NPgymbox.com