Turn those ‘back-to-school’ vibes into a ‘back-to-training’ commitment. Maybe that means buying yourself a brand new Lululemon set or investing in your first pair of On Running trainers. It might mean replacing your tired old kit bag with a chic North Face backpack or jacket that you can wear while cycling to the office/cafe/gym.
But really, September should be a time for fresh, pressure-free starts. So many of us choose a form of exercise that we don’t even really like and stick with it for years – wondering why committing to a fitness regime has to be so hard.
This autumn gives us a chance to change that. The gyms are back open, events are happening and there’s never been a better time to try new ways of moving. January is so loaded with pressure and fitness fads (to say nothing of the whole ‘new year new me’ and weight loss rubbish) that it makes starting a new regime impossibly hard. September? Well, that’s a time for starting again, yes – but also improving and tweaking stuff that already works.
With that in mind, here are the Strong Women team’s favourite workouts. Who knows – perhaps they might inspire you to try something different.
Booty Builders at PureGym – Alyss Bowen, social media editor
My go-to workout at the moment is Booty Builders at Pure Gym. It’s basically a class that focuses on how to strengthen your legs and glutes and looks specifically at how to use equipment and learn the correct form for things like barbell squats and glute thrusts. It’s brutal but in the best way possible.
Boxing at Kobox – Chloe Gray, senior fitness writer
A boutique boxing session at somewhere like Kobox is my go-to when I need a motivation shake-up. Having someone else tell me what to do pushes me harder than I would by myself and sets the tone for the rest of my workouts. Oh, and the anger-releasing punch bag combinations, coupled with strength-based floor work, makes my body and mind feel great afterward.
Chest, Back & Abs at Barry’s Bootcamp – Miranda Larbi, Strong Women editor
If there’s one thing I’m guilty of, it’s running all of my runs at the same pace. Going to Barry’s, however, forces me to sprint, climb and push myself on the treadmill. When that light goes down and the room turns red, I know that I’ve got to really dig deep and run as hard as I can – visualising how that’s going to help me on race day. I love how they give everyone speed options too, so you can work as hard as is right for you. The floor work breaks are equally as brutal but you leave feeling like you’ve accomplished something special (the upper-body focused sessions are great for those of us who tend to do a lot of lower body work outside of the gym). It helps that the trainers all seem to have impeccable tastes in music.
Weightlifting and swimming at Virgin Active – Amy Beecham, writer
Weightlifting has always been my go-to workout, but I lost a lot of strength during lockdown when gyms were closed and found it really demotivating. Now, for the first time in years, I’ve started coupling my strength workouts with swims. It’s a great way to get out of my head, shut out all the noise and focus on just moving my body. Changing up my usual routine has definitely re-inspired me to see fitness as a journey, and not something linear.
Spin at 1Rebel – Andrea Williams, Health & Fitness Partnerships Director
I love the adrenaline rush that comes with the loud music, low lighting and high levels of sweat. The use of resistance on the bike means that you can challenge yourself as much or as little as you like with a mix of climbs and sprints. The music is always banging and I love the incorporation of a few vibey dance moves that are thrown in there – 1Rebel spin sessions aren’t your average cycle class. I find you can really get in the zone and focus; you don’t think about anything whilst you’re in there.
Keen to get stronger this September? Join the Strong Women Training Club and start training today.
Miranda Larbi is the editor of Strong Women and Strong Women Training Club. A qualified personal trainer and vegan runner, she can usually be found training for the next marathon, seeking out vegan treats or cycling across London on a pond-green Tokyo bike.