Forget cardio, these days it’s all about pumping iron to get your dream summer bod. See which 5 classes make our hit list

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When it comes to working out the majority of us women have tended to stick to cardio type activities, and avoided anything weights based for a fear of ‘bulking up’ or developing a magnified meat head. More recently however, thanks to a bevy of Instagram snaps showing honed and toned celebrities pumping some serious iron, there’s been a rapid increase in women turning to weight lifting exercises to achieve a better bod. Indeed, an activity that was previously shunned by female gym goers and trainers alike has now become the designer workout du jour.

Everyone from Miranda Kerr and Karlie Kloss to Millie Mackintosh and Rita Ora have been spotted swinging kettlebells and squat pumping to get in lean, mean shape. And, when they look as good as they do, we’re pretty that’s testament to it being an effective and efficient form of training.

Instagram: @mirandakerr

“Lifting weights increases your lean muscle mass, which is how you achieve that toned and svelte look,” says celebrity trainer  Dalton Wong . “It also improves flexibility, posture and decreases the risk of several bone diseases.” In short, you’ll be getting firmer, stronger and slimmer without ever having to step on a treadmill - what a dream.

So, to help get you started on the building muscle bandwagon here’s our roundup of the five best iron pumping classes across London.

1. Fitness First Free Style Group Training Strength

For a class that works to build total body functional strength, muscular endurance and promote lean muscle mass, head down to a Fitness First branch to one of their free-style sessions. Combining Dynamic Movement Training exercises with strength-based loads on a 45 seconds work to 15 seconds rest ratio, the trainers will have you using the bosu, dumbbells, TRX and bodyweight exercises to help you buff up a sweat. No two classes follow the same pattern and the high intensity nature of the exercises means classes are a quick and simple 30 mins - perfect for slipping in some toning time during lunch.

Book your first class for free here  here

2. Stacked at Equinox

If you’re looking to switch up your circuits then  Equinox’s  seriously Stacked class is for you. Involving two circuits with six different exercises, expect to be put through your pumping paces with sand bags, bosu’s, squats and box jumps that will push you to the absolute max. Fast paced and constantly challenging this class works to hit all of those hard to change areas with resistance, melting the fat away to reveal lean, taut muscle.

Book in for a class  here

MORE GLOSS: 12 ways to stay motivated to keep fit

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3. Gymbox Ripped and Stripped

For a truly upbeat way to boost up your braun a trip to Gymbox’s Ripped and Stripped class is uber fun and utterly empowering. Accompanied by the ultimate workout playlist of big, bold tunes this class will see you lifting, pumping and bench pressing barbells, dumbbells and pretty much anything heavy to give you a defined and chiseled body. There’s no mercy here so you’ll be lifting until you can lift no more - but the results are so worth it.

Book in for a class  here

4. Speedflex

Using futuristic anti-gravity resistance  Speedflex  machines, this class aims to target your shorter muscles and create a leaner, stronger frame, with minimal muscle soreness the next day. With your heart rate monitored throughout, an energising team atmosphere is encouraged as you work both individually and in pairs around a circuit of different machines. This is a new spin on weight training that’s neither intimidating or daunting, it’s all about toning up and getting fit without bulking up.

Book in for a class  here

5. Crossfit London Basic Barbell

For those of you looking for a more hardcore hit, then a session to Crossfit is sure to satisfy your want for weightlifting. In their basic barbell class, attendees are put through a full hour of dedicated strength training that’s broken down into upper body and lower body exercises involving moves such as deadlifts, push/pull movements, barbell rows and many more. With no other areas of conditioning taking place in this class, it’s a pure homage to heavy lifting.

Book in for a class  here

Check out our guide to the best workouts without weights here

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