When travel is frequent, life is full and time is limited, maximising the occasions you do have to workout is an absolute must. If you don’t feel the burn, leave a class drenched in sweat and ache the next day, does it really even count? For those of you seek pleasure in pain, our guide to the world’s toughest workouts is for you. From gruelling resistance and velocity training in London to athletic interval classes in New York and intense calorie-torching cycle sessions in Paris, these workouts are not for the faint-hearted, but they will certainly guarantee you a banging sweat session that will have you feeling like superwoman.
It is said that the naturally slim and sophisticated women of Paris need not break a sweat to maintain their svelte form. However, it is a sign of the times when one of the cities fastest growing workout trends is an intense indoor-cycling session involving weights to sculpt and tone the entire body. Enter Dynamo Cycling, Paris’ answer to the Los Angeles Soul Cycle phenomenon and the new place for the cities most fashionable women to been seen in well-styled athleisure early on a weekday. Dynamo’s 45-minute workout is described as “a voyage to test determination and give calories a serious beating” and while it may not offer the kind of total physical annihilation you find in the Los Angeles equivalent, this studio is certainly your best bet for a genuinely challenging sweat session in Paris.
When a New York workout studio has a reputation for being more difficult than Barry’s Bootcamp and Soul Cycle, you just know it’s got to be torturous. Founded by trainer and fitness model Alonzo Wilson, Tone House is where fitness enthusiast assemble to break through physical barriers and unleash their inner athlete. Tone House’s movement training focuses on the utilisation of the entire body and rather than isolating specific muscles or exercising in a stationary spot. Expect to start with a motivating group chanting session, cry through a punishing series of exercises and leave feeling exhausted but euphoric with an endorphin high that lasts for days.
Core Collective is a stylish boutique studio near High Street Kensington in London. Founded by entrepreneur, Jason de Savary, Core Collective is the new place for London’s social elite to train and be seen sweating it out in the latest designer activewear. Purple lighting, deep-house music, and a modern, industrial-style lounge area are just a few of the aesthetic pleasures that make this studio a stylish and unique place to train. Core Collective’s Velocity class is our pick for the most intense total body sculpting session in the city. In just 45 minutes you will move through a circuit of athletic interval training with each exercise lasting between 20-40 seconds followed by a 20 second rest period. No matter what your fitness level, Velocity is guaranteed to really put your stamina, endurance and strength to the test.
F45 is 45-minute circuit-based strength and conditioning class founded by Sydney-based celebrity trainer Luke Istomin. It is based on high-intensity, interval training where participants rotate between stations and execute functional exercises using a range of equipment including kettle bells, resistance straps, sandbags, battle ropes, sleds and medicine balls. Sessions are brutal and incredibly fast paced; not one second is left unaccounted for with a system of 45 seconds ‘on’ and short 15-second rest periods between. When it comes to working out, image conscious Sydney-siders do not mess about so expect to be pushed not only by the instructor, but also by the calibre of hard-core fitness enthusiasts in your class. From professional footballers, to celebrities and sports models, F45 attracts some of the fittest people in the city so you know that the results of this class are well worth the pain.
When it comes to fitness classes in Los Angeles, Soul Cycle stands out as one of the most punishing, spin studios in town with a legitimate cult following. It is not unusual for devotees of this 45-minute endorphin-raising class, to organise their entire lives around the Soul Cycle studio timetable – a testament to the addictive nature of this fat burning workout. Soul Cycle is after all, much more than a spin studio, it is a social scene, a community, a lifestyle and to some, a form of therapy. The atmosphere of a class at Soul Cycle is what really makes it extraordinary, everyone is there to push their limits through calorie-blitzing rides which are said to burn up to 700 calories per class.
Ibiza is known for attracting sun-seeking party people to its glamorous shores, but it is also a popular destination for those seeking an active, healthy escape. The Body Camp is the white isle’s latest luxury, holistic lifestyle transformation retreat that offers its guest total body transformation through a militant seven-day fitness program. Head coach Rick Parcell, who is a world-class Mastermind and Transformation coach, developed the weekly program to push guests out of their comfort zones through a variation of workouts including hiking, early morning runs, weight training, HIIT cardio and poolside circuits. This stylish wellness retreat is set in the stunning Can Batista villa, surrounded by the lush rolling hills of northern Ibiza – so while your body will be in pain, you can take some pleasure in the beauty of your surroundings.
BeCycle is Berlin’s first studio combining indoor cycling, barre and power yoga. This 45-minute cardio workout is said to burn up to 600 calories through a mix of interval sprints, high resistance and hand weights to fire up your heart rate. Set to thumping hip-hop, house and pure pop beats curated by local and international DJs, BeCycle’s club-like atmosphere is what makes the intensity of its cycle sessions bearable. The studio’s barre and yoga classes have also been developed specifically to strengthen and elongate muscles and are a great way to stretch out the body after a gruelling ride. You can also reward yourself with a little post-workout retail therapy and browse the latest activewear collection on display a BeCycle from Copé Active.