For the first time ever, this Christmas I was looking forward to being healthy. Yes, really. Some of you might know already that this year has been massive for me in terms of fitness, and I love that feeling of being in control of my body so much that I was keen to keep up momentum through the festive period. So when I saw that Carly Rowena was hosting a Killer Christmas Workout on the run-up to Christmas, I just knew it would be the perfect way to start the season right.
On Wednesday 21st I hopped on the train to London, ready to get my butt kicked. But first things first – I swung by Hershesons Braid Bar in Topshop Oxford Street to get my hair into workout mode. I’d not been to Hershesons before, but it was dead simple – take a look at their braid ‘menu’, decide which one is for you and then walk away fifteen minutes later all braided up. I went for the Double Trouble as it looked most durable for a sweat-fest, and it lasted all night. At £15 for fifteen minutes I’d definitely recommend Hershesons – braids are quite tricky to get right on yourself, and it’s a great way to try out a different style for future hair inspo.
Then it was time to head to 1Rebel for the workout. 1Rebel has been on my list of must-visit gyms for a while now – it’s been all over my Insta recently so I was really looking forward to working out there. It was even better in real life, all industrial interiors and mood lighting, which makes you feel like a gym-going badass even before you start your warmup. (One top tip though – when you grab yourself a locker, make sure to remember the code you put on your lock. Don’t get overexcited about the fact that you just ran into Carly Rowena on the stairs and therefore forget the code within seconds of locking it, meaning that you have to go and ask very nicely for the master key after your workout. At least I wasn’t the only one!).
After a quick pre-workout Boomerang (of course) we hit the gym with Carly. She popped us into two groups, with half of us doing HIIT running on the treadmills and the other half doing weighted exercises in the middle of the room, swapping over in-between sets. I started in the running group and loved it – I tend to just run a steady 5k when I get on a treadmill so it was awesome to try a different approach, changing elevation and switching up speeds. I’m definitely going to incorporate it into my 2017 gym seshes!
Then we moved on to weights, which ended up being my fave part of the workout. Although I’ve been lifting for about a year now, I’d never actually done it in any kind of group setting – I’m nervous about form and I always worried that people would judge how I was lifting, what I was lifting, how hard I was finding it etc. I even found it difficult to do exercises in front of even one other person in the gym, which was fairly crippling and almost led me to quit a couple of times. Carly’s videos are actually one of the main reasons why I kept at it, improving my form through her advice and trying to get inspired by her confidence. It wasn’t until I was there at 1Rebel, surrounded by other fitness-loving ladies and actually being taught by Carly that I realised how far I’d come – I felt excited, rather than nervous, to push myself with some of my favourite exercises and and keen, rather than scared, to try new ones, even though I might do them wrong or fall over. It was so lovely to be in such a supportive environment, and it definitely meant I worked harder!
After the workout we headed upstairs for a smoothie (that’s right, 1Rebel also has an awesome cafe) and to have a chat with Carly. It was so much fun to get to know everyone and ask Carly all those burning fitness questions in a relaxed setting, and the perfect way to round off the evening. I also got to have a bit of a fangirl moment and a selfie with Cat Meffan, which was awesome! After one more photo opportunity it was time for me to drag my butt back to Bristol, so I grabbed a goodie bag and headed for the tube. I spent most of the train journey home delving my way through the lovely things inside – they were the best early Christmas present and will definitely kick start 2017.