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Health and the City Weekend Workouts

Stephanie Ross, in conjunction with Virgin Active BARBICAN S

Stephanie Ross Photo by Ravi Juneja

tephanie Ross details some of the weekend classes available at Virgin Active Barbican for those of us who are too busy – or perhaps too exhausted – to manage them during the week. As can be seen there are a wide variety which can suit anyone’s exercise needs.

Long work hours? Young children? High stress levels? Weight gain? Not enough exercise?

No time for weekday exercising, what about weekend workouts? Until 9.30pm on Friday a quick swim, fast walk on the treadmill or ten to fifteen minutes on the rowing machine, followed by a relax in the steam room or sauna can recharge the batteries and start the weekend on a healthy note.

Get the exercise done early. Enjoy more energy with the rest of your day.

One suggested short workout from 8am on Saturdays and Sundays is a quick swim (pool is pretty quiet first thing) or some other cardio activity, then take advantage of the 9am Powerplate 20 minute Fast Class (9.15 on Sunday) –suitable whatever your fitness level. It’s usually a small

group of two to four people with an instructor – sometimes I’m the only person – it’s like personal training without the price tag. You can still be home by 10am in time to wash the breakfast dishes if your family are committed strangers to a bottle of fairy and a pair of marigolds.

The weekend Fast Classes with an instructor are underused, make the most of them and build them into your own program.

Other 20 minute Saturday Fast Classes: Punch at 9.30am and Triathlon 1pm (works muscles that support the joints for running, swimming and cycling). Sundays: Powerplate 9.15am, Circuit 2pm.

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For further information contact Geraint Jones on: Tel: 020 7382 1820 Email:

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One of the best fat-burning low impact cardio classes is RPM (cycling) -Saturdays 10.15-11.00am with Claire. For bike set up stand next to the saddle, it should be just above your hip bone to enable knees to bend about 20% when cycling. Some instructors recommend handlebars to be the length of your forearm’s from the saddle. Core muscles work harder when handlebars are as high as the seat – but best a bit higher for back problems. As you pedal use more leg muscles (calves, ham- strings, glutes) by pointing your toes down and pulling your foot back when it reaches the bottom. At first it’s harder in trainers than in cleets – but persevere. Keep abs tight to tone more.

Tony kickstarts Saturdays with a huge rush of circuit training endorphins in Boxfit 9.15-10am and Bootcamp 10- 10.45am.

An uplifting workout before a lunch party and popular with both men

and women, is Zumba with dancer Amy - Sundays 10.30-11.15am.

Pilates conditions and realigns just about everything, Lavinia Rouse runs a popular Pilates mat class Saturdays 10-11am – suitable for all abilities – and a small reformer class for personal training clients afterwards. If you have any injuries I recommend booking private classes with her

For wonderfully revitalising Hatha Yoga, join physiotherapist and yoga teacher Andrew Walker on Saturdays 11am to 12.30pm and Sundays 10.30 to noon. Jeannie does

Iyengar Yoga with Jeannie is deeper and more meditative on Saturdays 4pm-5pm. Jeannie lives locally and takes private bookings too. (

For free-weight strengthening and conditioning choose Body Pump 11am-noon on Saturday’s with dancer Adrian, who also runs Step noon-1pm. On Sundays Jonny takes these classes at 2.30-3.30pm and 3.30-4.15pm. Yes, you can do them after an early Sunday lunch and enjoy the afternoon/evening with renewed energy.

Work on stamina, strength and flexibility - well-timed to fit in before an early evening out – at Will Power and Grace 2.30pm-3.30pm. It’s a fantastic, challenging bare foot functional-based cardio class, suitable for ladies and gents of all fitness levels, taught by dancer Esther.

Virgin Active Barbican is open from 6am to 10pm on weekdays and 8am to 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

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