As I walk towards the entrance of Fitness Freak’s pop up rave, I stride past a lengthy queue assuming it’s nothing to do with the exercise class I’m headed to, until I realise that the queue is full of neon-clad people who are ready to rave. There’s a huge sense of anticipation and people have really gone to town with neon face paint and brightly coloured headbands and leg-warmers. This is not your average aerobics class.
As we enter we are handed two glow sticks. Naturally, everyone puts them around their neck, but as the class starts we are told to hold them in our hands. With the lights down low, a DJ on stage, and glowing neon everywhere, this really does feel like an authentic rave experience.
With all this going on, I wonder whether the class will provide a good workout as well as being fun – as anyone who’s ever been to a Legs, Bums and Tums class will attest to, this is a hard balance to strike. But Fitness Freak has created a unique exercise experience: at no point do I want this class to end (unlike some I could mention – I’m looking at you, Spin class). And why would I? I’m dancing with glow sticks in hand to ’90s classics like Set You Free, Rhythm is a Dancer and I’m a Dreamer.
Though there is the opportunity to freestyle, the class has a solid structure to it, which incorporates cardio and conditioning. Throughout the session we build up a routine which includes moves such as The Superman, Stacking the Shelves, and the classic ‘Big Fish, Little Fish, Cardboard Box’.
The class is a full hour and at the halfway mark I realise that we’re in for some serious conditioning – I’m talking squats, lunges, jumping lunges, pulses – and lots of them. Although it’s hard work, the environment that you’re in makes it much more enjoyable than in your bog-standard conditioning class.
Personally, I think a rave exercise class is something that everyone needs to experience – even people who don’t like exercising per se would struggle not to enjoy this. Oh and did I mention that the cool down is done to the Spice Girls’ I’m Giving You Everything, followed by protein ice cream from Wheyhey?
As the class wraps up, everyone is sweating, feeling slightly nostalgic for the ’90s and buzzing on some serious post-exercise endorphins. There’s just one question going through my mind: why don’t all exercise classes use glow sticks?
Fitness Freak takes the monotony out of the gym by offering classes in locations across London, which include the likes of TRX training, Piloxing (pilates and boxing), and acrobatics. Following the success of their pop up raves, they are now running a weekly rave class which you can book through their website.
This Fitness Freak Pop Up Rave took place on 17 and 18 September at:
1 Judd St
Tel: 020 7974 5633