November 25th 2020
How the hardcore train to get fit
April 1st 2015 / 0 comment
Which workouts and gym classes really deliver? We take a look at the fitness regimes of seven in-the-know beauty editors…
Trying the newest exercise classes and road-testing the latest fitness trends is all part and parcel of being a beauty editor. However, when the deadlines have been met and articles filed, what workouts do they come back to for keeping them in shape?
We asked seven beauty editors for a glimpse into their training regimes to find out about the people and places they count on for delivering long-lasting results and keeping motivation levels high. From Pilates to yoga, spinning to cardio, here’s what the people in-the-know have come to regard as the workouts that work best for them.
Beauty & Fitness Editor, Women's Health
“I aim to get my exercise done in the morning because if I leave it to the evening, life inevitably gets in the way. I get up at 6am and head to my local gym. I lift heavy and follow Mike Matthews’ Thinner, Leaner, Stronger plan which sees me doing compound exercises such as weighted squats, deadlifts and chest presses – it’s really made a difference, I’ve dropped a dress size since I started lifting.
This year and last my focus was very much on running – I completed the 2014 Virgin London Marathon in 3:55 and finished my 500 day Runstreak (which had me running at least a mile every day). So now I’m open to some new challenges - I did a Duathlon in September, which was really fun; I find if you have a race/challenge to work towards it gives you an incentive to exercise!
As well as lifting weights I have started boxing at a place near my flat. It’s proper sparring rather than circuits or just randomly punching a bag, which I like. I’m really into high intensity workouts - indoor cycling at Boom; and of course Barry’s Bootcamp is brilliant if you want something hardcore but fun. Classic yoga isn't really for me - classes like Taboga (Tabata and yoga) at Nordic Balance and SUP Yoga at WakeUp Docklands are ingenious and the types of classes I love to balance out the more intense side of my training. I try to work out six times each week – I usually give myself Saturdays off.”
Online Editor, Women's Health
“Until this year, when it came to getting my sweat on I'd always lace up my trainers and channel Forest Gump. That was until I met the Lomax guys. Training both my body and mind in weights, I came to realise that using heavy pieces of kit could have you back in your skinnies before the month was out, turning kilograms of wobble into muscle with much less huff and puff. Weekly, I now don a weight vest, jabbing, uppercutting and right hooking during Ripper classes that pack a serious punch (pun intended). Numerous butt busting burpees and lean-leg-promoting lunges top off each session.
There's no gimmicks just streamlined and straightforward training. It's killer, but so is the gin that I refuse to give up! If the weekend has been really heavy I add in a Psycle class too. It's serious ass-kicking cardio and I always leave on a jello-legged high.”
Beauty Editor, InStyle UK
“I've always been a runner, committing to 5 to 7km runs three times a week for years, until about two years ago when I hit a wall and simply lost all motivation to run. I was also doing pilates on and off for years but when I stopped running I got more and more into pilates and now go to twice weekly dynamic pilates sessions on the reformer, switching it up between my two favourite local studios in Fulham – Bootcamp Pilates and Heartcore. I swear it has changed my body shape more than any amount of running has ever done.
In the last year, I've managed to keep my fitness regime pretty consistent – once a week I spend an hour with my personal trainer Christina Howells, founder of thatgirllondon.com, an amazing online workout video website, and body sculptor extraordinaire. She switches up our weekly sessions with a mix of weight training, kettlebell, TRX, animal flow (where you perform primal movements using your own bodyweight) and cardio sessions (skipping and lunging on the treadmill is much scarier than it sounds!!) I swear it's this bespoke medley of exercises that has given Christina her name for sculpting the best butts and legs in town - without having to work out like a man! I do like to switch up my routine every now and then so I'll throw in a spinning class at Psycle or Boom once every two weeks and am open to trying any new exercise fad that comes along (I signed up to a six week course of boxing classes when I first started my job at InStyle when boxing rings were the new 'it' fit class).”
Editor-in-Chief, Get The Gloss
“Two years ago I decided to make fitness and health a priority, so I schedule it into my diary and don't move it unless World War III is about to break out. It has changed my life.
I train twice a week with Steve Mellor owner of freedom2train.com. We always train outside in the park doing circuits, HIIT, resistance training and boxing. I love it, and never ever miss a session. Steve pushes me way harder than I would ever push myself on my own.
Sometimes I also box with Daza Usher, he's a pro boxer and owner of Bicester Boxing Club which is a spit 'n' sawdust club near where I live. It's not Boxercise! It's more Rocky type drills of rounds of boxing in a ring against pads, sit-ups, boxing on punch bags, burpees etc, it's such a brilliant workout because you're twisting, using your upper arms, back and core all the time. There's also a real skill to it and you have to concentrate. When I first started I could barely punch with my left arm - now Steve says he gets a sore shoulder with my mean left hook. (I love that!)
I also am a member of Bannatynes gym so I love to go for a swim when I can and I use the gym for core exercises (I have a routine of matt exercises I do), sometimes I might do a class like spinning or Body Pump. I probably train 3-5 times a week (normally four). I think the key is mixing it up so you don't get bored of the same thing. It's also vital to get used to going even when you don't feel like it. As they say 'Noone ever regretted a workout!'” If I don't train for more than two days now I start to get twitchy!
Online Beauty Editor, Cosmopolitan UK
“Inspired to discover my cardio 'thing' I recently found myself in Barry's Bootcamp limbering up next to Ellie Goulding which only served as a red-faced reminder that I'm not a natural on the treadmill. I loved a challenging visit to elite exercise class SB Collective, which puts the fun into getting sweaty, but the high intensity class that I find most addictive is Psycle. The UK's take on LA's cult-cardio brand Soul Cycle has got the best spin soundtrack and the friendliest teachers who have nailed the knack of delivering a full-body workout without thigh-bulk.
However, my real exercise relationship is with pilates and yoga - both of the dynamic variety. I do 'reformer pilates' on those crazy-looking bed contraptions, my favourite studio is TenPilates (they have great, energetic instructors). Yoga is anywhere a mat fits - often my living room. I subscribe to Yogaglo.com where any time of day I'm virtually transported to their Californian studio. It’s changed my life!”
Assistant Beauty Editor, Sunday Times Style
“I used to be obsessed with running (and I mean marathon obsessed). I would pound the pavement until my trainers wore through - an expensive hobby! About three years ago I discovered yoga through my then boss (who is herself a qualified instructor) Kathy Phillips. It has changed my life and the way I think about my body. I try to practice three times a week at Equinox and if not there, then at Triyoga in Soho or Chelsea. I’m very flexible anyway, which makes me look like I’m advanced but actually flexibility can mean that you’re prone to cheating and that often your upper body is quite weak.
It took me a while to figure out what kind of yoga was best for me and Kathy always says “your teacher finds you,” so it’s important to try lots of different ones. I prefer a Vinyassa flow style (Chris Salton and Leah Kim are amazing teachers) as it’s a good workout but the slower forms teach you so much about endurance, discipline and learning to slow yourself down. I love wearing Wellicious yoga clothes when I exercise - they are so comfy and I have a Swarovski crystal yoga mat from them that I practise on at home! Love it!”
Senior Beauty Editor, Marie Claire
I work out with my PT Si Tate three times a week (he kicks my butt and makes me lol). When I'm not with him, I do a combination of spin classes and HIIT sessions at the gym. I'm totally over the faddy expensive classes that people get obsessed with, especially in London. I think back to basics is the best; so there's a super hard boxing class I try and go to in Islington that's in a proper boxing gym. You can smell the sweat as soon as you walk in, and they tend to be full of people who actually WANT to workout to get fit, rather than Barbies prancing about showing off. I go between 4-8 times a week at the moment. And, my biggest tip would be to buy a foam roller. They stop the morning after burn that comes from doing too many squats or spin classes!”