We experience new Les Mills fitness class Shapes, available at Edinburgh Leisure venues
I am a Les Mills devotee.
Hooray, then for Edinburgh Leisure’s January launch of two new sessions: Shapes, and Strength Development, both of which are available at various times across their venues.
Alex Smith, Edinburgh Leisure fitness manager says, “The classes have been developed as something different from Les Mills regular workouts, and we’re aiming to capture the Gen Z market, a group historically underrepresented in group fitness. However, we see them appealing to our current fitness class customers who may wish to try something new – especially our Mind/Body customers and those who are fans of weight training in classes such as Bodypump”.
I’m definitely not a Generation Z, but I do like the sound of Pilates, barre and power yoga hybrid, Shapes, so head to a 10am Sunday class at Leith Victoria.
Our session will be taken by instructor, Alex, who is teaching her second ever Shapes class on my visit. She tells us to grab some equipment - mats, bands, sliders (like big blue Smarties), and weight plates.
To a tracklist of modern house and disco (I suspect the Generation Zs in this class might know what we’re listening to) we do subtle moves that pack a lot of impact.
There are three sets of similar exercises, with a beep sound, so you know when to change to the next round of reps.
For example, there’s a hip bridge, except with the band around our thighs, that involves pulsing up and down, with or without a weight, then fluttering our knees out and in. The burn seems to go on forever, and I distract myself by watching the clouds and seagulls in the cupula above.
The blue sliders are fun. After a series of squats, we do lunges with our back foot on one of these, while doing shoulder raises with hand weights. They’re also used while we’re in plank pose. At one point, we slide both feet forward into a pike position, and I can feel my abdominal muscles jangling. This is designed to replicate the use of a reformer machine in a Pilates class.
You can ditch the equipment at any point, to take the intensity down a notch. There are also body weight only routines, including a tough lower leg lift, while we’re lying on our sides on the mat.
I do plenty of fitness classes, and I don’t usually feel much of an afterburn. Post Shapes session, my glutes, thighs and abs are aching. That’s another one to add to my repertoire.
Fitness Class Membership with Edinburgh Leisure is £43.50 per month. A single 45-minute class is £8.99, www.edinburghleisure.co.uk
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