Titled the “King of Gyms”, 1Rebel has cultivated a strong following and tremendous presence in the London workout scene. As I was travelling to London for a week, I was looking for a way to keep up with my workouts and get a sweat sesh going. There were plenty of options for me to choose from: commercial, brand-name chain gyms or smaller boutique studios, each with their own vibe and personality.
After a nifty bit of research, I decided to go for classes at 1Rebel. They are a pay-as-you-go studio where you purchase class packages and you’re not tied down by the hassle of memberships. Their studio concept and luxurious facilities were the reason why I decided to purchase a package with them.
Their classes are all high intensity where you will maximize your effort during a short period of time, so that you can get in and out of the studio quickly and burn a ton of calories during the process. 1Rebel offers 3 types of classes across their 5 studios: Ride, Reshape and Rumble. The whole process is really easy and you can get your classes booked before travelling and arriving in London. I simply created an account on their website, purchased a package and paid using my credit card, and booked my classes 1 week in advance!
How Much Does It Cost?
I lucked out as they were running a special promotion for 3 classes during the time I was there. I was able to get 3 classes for £39! If you are on a short-term visit or wish to try out classes, I would recommend opting for the packages priced at £19, £18, £17, £16, £15 for 5, 10, 20, 30 and 50 sessions with varying lengths of validity. 1Rebel has also introduced their Rebel Passes, which are monthly recurring packages for those already hooked on their classes. These packages can be cancelled at any time.
Check out the packages and passes that they offer here.
1Rebel has 5 locations throughout the city, namely at Broadgate, St Mary Axe, Southbank, Bayswater and Victoria. Different studios will offer different classes, so you will need to check where the Ride, Reshape and Rumble classes are offered. Each studio location has their own character and the facade of the studios are different, but remain consistent with the 1Rebel brand.
The facilities on offer truly live up to their name of the “King of Gyms”. You get big fluffy bath towels for your showers after your workout. Speaking of showers, there are plenty of stalls for you to hop into, all decked out in an industrial look. You’ll get smaller towels to wipe away your sweat during the workout sesh (trust me, you might be needing more than one!) and you get to cool down with cold towels neatly hidden away in retro SMEG fridges! I was seriously impressed by what was available!
There are also plenty of blowdryers and stations for you to get ready for work or if you’re heading out after your night class! If you’re like me, you might need plenty of space to store your numerous belongings. Fret not, they have big lockers available for you to stow your stuff away during class. What I really liked about the studios? They offer filtered water on tap in the studio and if you forget your bottle, you can borrow a reusable, metal one from the front desk! It’s all part of their efforts to reduce single-use plastic.
The Fitness Experience
With 3 different classes available, you’re likely to find one or two or all of the classes to your liking! If you’re into fast-paced and challenging classes accompanied by pumping, curated songs, 1Rebel is definitely for you. Here’s a breakdown of the classes they run:
Accompanied by awesome music and high-energy instructors, Ride is a 45 minutes cardio fest. Except that time flies really fast, guaranteeing that you end up dripping in sweat in the best possible way. I booked myself into a morning class on a weekday and was surprised to see quite a few attendees! The atmosphere of riding in close quarters (mimicking a pack) helps you get into the zone really quickly.
I found it easy to focus on my workout and push myself by turning the resistance up. The instructor’s playlist was great and helped me get through the tough parts of the workout. I expected different combinations of pushes, pulses and tapbacks, and was not disappointed. The variety made the ride engaging and everyone was slogging it out (in style) to the finish line. For this class, you’ll be given cycling shoes or cleats that help you work harder with each pedal stroke. These shoes help you engage the right muscle groups so strap on the pair of shoes and get riding!
Dive Into Grey Tip: For an amazing experience, be sure to book in a ride at Bayswater. The Ride studio is one I’ve never seen before, with spectacular lights, sound system, three levels of bikes and a raised instructor platform.
Full-on. Intense. Challenging. Those are the three words I would use to describe the Reshape class. It might sound intimidating but if given the chance, I would be willing to put my body through the workout again. This was one of the hardest HIIT workouts I’ve ever done and I struggled to keep up with the regulars. I think this is a workout that you will need to get your body used to.
During the workout, you will alternate between weighted or bodyweight exercises at your station and running on the treadmill. Your instructors will provide cues as to the exercise you’ll be doing or how fast you should be running and on what incline on the treadmill. As this is a HIIT workout, you’ll be alternating between all out running on the treadmill and brisk walks or jogs. Things get progressively harder, with you increasing the speed at which you’re running and you’ll be thankful for the pumping bass and fast beats in the class as it distracts you from the hard work that you’re putting in.
Disclaimer here. I could not keep up with the running speeds (due to a combination of factors such as jetlag/travelling, not wearing the right shoes and not being that fit) and dialed down the speed by 1 each time. The workouts are brutal and specifically designed to keep your heart rate way up so that you burn as many calories as possible. By the end of it, I was lying in a puddle of jelly legs and sweat.
Rumble is touted as a boxing-inspired workout, giving you a chance to throw a couple of punches and build lean muscles in the process. With many celebrities and models picking up boxing and crediting their toned physiques to the sport, it’s no surprise that boxing gyms and boxing-inspired sessions have skyrocketed in popularity.
Don’t worry if you have no prior boxing experience! You’ll soon pick up the basic moves and will be throwing your weight behind those punches. Like everything else at 1Rebel, it is a HIIT workout and there will be different rounds with a variety of exercises (such as the dreaded burpee) for you to get your heart rate going and refine your technique. So get your wraps and gloves on (available for purchase and rental at the studio) and Rumble your way to a leaner body!
The Final Verdict
I thoroughly enjoyed my 1Rebel experience and it was a great way for me to chase away the jetlag and lethargy you feel after a long flight. 1Rebel provides an awesome fitness experience and it’s an excellent way for you to mix up your workouts without being tied down to hefty gym membership fees. There’s premium facilities, a big community feel (just check out their Instagram stories!) and good instructors that will push and inspire you.