Ginger Orange Guide to PHIIT
Fulham’s North End Road is known for it’s fruit & veg stalls, hollering market traders and shop windows filled with piles of sticky baklava but now, thanks to PHIIT London, it’s also where you go to get yourself a killer body.
Co-founders Lindsay and Aleksa opened PHIIT in January this year, aiming to give Londoners access to a complete, dynamic and full-body workout, under one roof. Their basement studio is equipped with MOTRs, Reformers, TRX suspension trainers, kettle bells, medicine balls and a serious amount of positive energy.
We rocked up to PHIIT for a 7.15am class, feeling rather pleased with ourselves for getting out of bed so bright and early. As we arrived, the studio doors swung open and out piled a class of grinning, sweaty PHIIT goers who’d already finished their early morning workouts and were off to seize the rest of their Fridays. It might have only been open a few months but PHIIT already has a dedicated tribe of followers.
Lindsay welcomed us into the studio and introduced us to our MOTRs (movement on the roller) – the piece of equipment that we would be using for most of PHIIT’s HYBRID class (their signature combination of HIIT, resistance training and Pilates). The MOTR is a long, firm foam roller with resistance bands attached and is designed to challenge balance, core, strength and agility in a functional way. It might have looked like an instrument of torture (and may have felt like it a couple of times during the class!) but the MOTR is one amazingly effective piece of kit.
We started out with a gentle warm-up of walking up and down the length of the roller. As our proprioception improved and the exercise became easier, we started to relax… and immediately fell off: for this class we were going to have to be 100% focused and engaged (no running through shopping lists in our heads while doing an apathetic squat!) From balance exercises we moved to strength – grabbing the straps at the front of the MOTOR to add some bicep curls and straight-arm raises to our lunges and, just as our muscles were becoming fatigued and shaky, it was HIIT time: fast rounds of squats with a kettle bell, burpees, mountain climbers and plyometric leaping lunges. … Wow. We then went straight into more resistance exercises that allowed our heart rates to come down while making sure our muscles toned and burned.
As Lindsay led us through our class, with new sets of Pilates, resistance and HIIT exercises in each round, it became obvious what makes PHIIT so special: not only does your every muscle get strengthened and lengthened and the balance element of the MOTR mean that you have to be fully engaged at all times but, due to the small class sizes, you get plenty of personal guidance – making sure you do the exercises correctly, get the most out of each one and can never ever hide!
Lindsay is an indefatigable powerhouse of positive energy – cheering, driving and encouraging the class – making you believe that you really can do that tenth plyometric low squat jump and land softly and with control on the roller. The awesome mix of motivation and killer exercises meant we worked our backsides off and left the class with a huge sense of achievement along with our stronger, longer and leaner bodies.
Written by Martha
**PHIIT offers three signature classes: Hybrid, Killer (pure HIIT) and PHIIT Pilates (a dynamic pilates class using the MOTRs and Reformer beds) as well as offering yoga and weekend ‘Fight Clubs’ where you can punch and kick your way to a mean body. **