Primal Series 'Core' at LA Fitness


What they say: Accept the challenge of transforming your abs and torso. Stability, reactions and strength are the name of the game as you develop a strong core.

What I say: With the name of the class being 'Core', I was expecting a full on abs blast, but little did I know that class would actually work the whole body from the neck to the toes - apparently essential for developing a strong core overall. Seemingly it's not quite as simple as doing 100 sit ups for abs of steel - I don't know if that's a relief or not!

What we did: The class was set up into 6 different stages, with each person working at a different zone before moving on to the next.


First up was the Surge bar. Filled with water, we had to press this up, to the left, to the floor, to the right, then back up again, in a box like motion - working the shoulders from all angles.


At the next stage we performed press ups on the bosu trainer. A dome shaped rubber hemisphere attached to a rigid platform, this device adds a little wobble to your workout, which amplifies any exercise you perform on it by engaging the core.


Then on to kettlebells. This exercise was meant to be a squat, swinging the kettlebell up to a shoulder press, however with my leg injury I got away with performing just the shoulder press. But don't think I was let off lightly - it burned!


Fourth piece of aparatus was the medicine ball, used for a squat press and throw. Heels grounded, we brought our knees into a squat position, then driving through the heels to a jump, throwing the ball up as high as possible. Sticking to the regular squat on this exercise, I admit I was let off a bit more lightly here, although was slightly disappointed to miss out the jump and throw - it looked really quite fun!


Nearly there, it was on to the dumbbells for  shoulder raises. Not being let off with my usual 'trick' of a bend in the arms, we were to raise these straight out to the side, really working into the lats.


Finally, it was back to the bosu ball for the bosu box jump. Harder than it sounds, this involved going stepping on and off the bosu ball at four different points, going right round the perimeter. A killer on my already tired abs, just trying to keep my balance!


Intensity: 7/10
With the exercises being performed as a circuit, your body was kept under pressure at all times. To add even more intensity, there a 30 second 'surge' exercise performed in between each station - which could be anything from crunches, to squats, to press ups... not so fun when you'd just finished the chest set on the bosu ball!

Instructor: 8/10
Not an instructor I'd seen in the gym before, but I hope to see some more of him! He was very clear in his explanations of the slightly more unusual exercises, and was also great at explaining some alternative exercises I could do so that I could still participate fully in the class despite my injury.


Amenities: 4/10
As I've said before, LA Fitness doesn't quite compete with the luxury toiletries offered in some of the boutique gyms I've reviewed, but at the end of the day it's a gym - not a beauty parlour! So as much as I like my Malin & Goetz toiletries,  LA Fitness focus on what a gym should... a great workout!

Value for Money: 9/10
This is where LA Fitness really comes up top. Offering different membership levels at varying rates, prices begin at only £30 a month. Given this includes full access to the gym, swimming pool, and a timetable packed full of classes, it's fantastic value, especially taking into consideration many of the boutique classes around London will cost you £20 -£30 for a single hours session.

Would I go back?
Of course! Having now tried 'Strength' and 'Core' from the exclusive LA Fitness Primal Series program, I've still to give  'Renew', 'Perform' and 'Conditioning' a shot. Watch this space!

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