1Rebel hit the London fitness scene in 2015 amongst a tidal wave of brands eyeing up the boutique HIIT studio boom.
Its first studio opened up just a few minutes down the road from Liverpool Street station in the wake of Barry's Bootcamp's success, offering a similar format of nightclub-esque neon lights mixed with intense group workouts.
Since that launch, 1Rebel has grown to six studios around the city; its latest, a state-of-the-art venue in the centre of Angel, suggests that the brand knows what it's doing. We headed to the new location to take on the enormously popular Reshape class, a format that the website claims is "the ultimate full-body workout."
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What is it?
1Rebel's Reshape class follows the same popular format used by a large number of studio classes around the world, with each 45-minute session combining treadmill interval work with a mix of floor exercises, either using dumbbells or bodyweight alone.
The Reshape series covers three main muscle specific workouts: upper body, lower body, and full body – each of those including an abs section, so you can pick and choose the specific areas you want to focus on. You'll always have to do the treadmill sprint work though. No getting away from that.
The class setup we went to was relatively simple. For four minutes you run on a treadmill, adjusting the speed and/or incline to build up effort and heart rate, then swap with another person in the class to take on a four-minute floor/bench workout, swapping in and out for the 45-minute duration.
That floor workout will be broken up into a handful of different exercises focusing on the specific muscle groups. For us that meant movements like thrusters, bench press, dumbbell rows, deadlifts and Russian twists. Yes, it was intense.
How good is it?
The whole treadmill/ floorwork interval concept is nothing new, but the fact that there are still a lot of studios opening up each year built on that same format suggests that it's a system that works.
Like most HIIT workouts, the main focus is to train hard, train efficiently and burn as many calories as possible. A concept that a large proportion of London's fitness community subscribe to.
As studios working on that format go, 1Rebel is one of the frontrunners. The attention to detail when it comes to decor, trainers, music and studio layout is all really important when you're paying a lot for your sessions, and 1Rebel knows how to deliver a premium experience.
The tried and tested system of switching between treadmills and floor exercises works well for a number of reasons, largely because it adds much needed variety to a relentless workout session.
1Rebel has been delivering that format for a long time and the trainers know how to cover a busy studio full of people whilst still keeping an eye on individuals for form and technique.
The website claims that you can burn up to 1,000 calories in a session. That's a lot of calories and we doubt there's many people that would break 600 on an average day. We managed about 500, and we weren't slacking.
Who's it for?
If you're looking for any sort specialist strength training or focus on a muscle area, 1Rebel is probably not the place for you. If, however, you want to spend 45-minutes sweating and giving your body a general, calorie burning workout, it's one of the better options out there.
The treadmill and floor sections put you in complete control of the workout, so it's good for any level of fitness. The mix of movements and constant swapping between floor work and treadmills also make it a good option for people who get bored when training. The studio, along with the changing rooms, are about as 'boutique' as it gets, so if you like your gyms to make you feel special, 1Rebel is a good choice.
Individual pay-as-you-go sessions cost £22 with various bulk offers and monthly payment options.
To find out more about 1Rebel's Reshape class as well as its Rumble and Ride class options click here.
1Rebel now have six locations across London: Bayswater, Angel, South Bank, Victoria, St Mary Axe and Broadgate.