Cardio Sweat by BXR


What they say:
At Sweat by BXR our Cardio room utilises the VersaClimber; this will be Europe’s first ever dedicated ‘group’ VersaClimber session – A machine that mimics the natural motion of climbing. It is a 75-degree vertical rail with pedals and handles. There are a number of variables that can be tweaked including handle height, stroke length and resistance.

Reception area

What I say:

As Europe's first ever dedicated VersaClimber class, the brand new Cardio Sweat by BXR, recently opened in Marylebone, has been receiving a LOT of attention. Having already used the stand-alone VersaClimber machines many times at Third Space London, I was fairly familiar with the concept - but a full 45 minutes of it? I was in for a new challenge!

Wall imagery - if only I looked like this in silhouette form!

But what even is a VersaClimber?

OK, so a VersaClimber is basically a machine that combines a lower body stepper and upper body climber to provide you a full body workout. Consisting of a 75 degree vertical beam with handles and foot peddles, alongside a dial to alter resistance, not only are you pushing down and pulling up with your feet, but you're also mimicking these movements in your arms, thus providing a full body, calorie blasting, session.

The VersaClimbe

Got it... I think! So what does the class actually involve?

With three different versions of the VersaClimber class available - The Vertical Climb (an endurance and distance based workout), HIIT Climb (using heart rate monitors to work on anaerobic threshold levels) and Climb to The Beat (a fast paced interval style workout with varying tracks) - it was the latter we decided to try out.

Just incase you needed it, the mirrors WILL remind you to SWEAT!

Going into the studio, we were set up on our machines and, as the lights dimmed and the music blasted, we began our workout! Similar to a spin class, the music is loud and the tempo is strong, wih different tracks leading us through different variations and focuses. Switching from upper, lower and full body burners, moves included arm balances working to engage the core, squatting down low to burn the quads, and speed climbing which raised the heart rate and burned the arms. The great thing about training on the VersaClimber is it's ability to condition the entire body, everything from core, leg and upper body strength, to flexibility, speed, endurance, and power.

Sounds intense! I don't know if I'd manage....?

OK, so don't get me wrong, the VersaClimber is tough - it's both a mental and physical challenge. In studies, the VersaClimber was shown to ramp up heart rates higher than the treadmill or rower, whilst maximizing participants VO2 Max - the volume of oxygen you use when exercising, thus working through energy stores and burning calories.

Screen to track your stats

However, if I'm completely honest, I didn't find the class quite as intense as I had expected. Burning about the same amount of calories I would in a spin class, sure, I put in the effort, but I felt like the sweat dripping from my forehead was more a result of the heat in the studio - not necessarily a reflection of my work!

Smiling through the sweat!

Now, I know it's totally up to each individual as to how hard they work in class and I fully agree, but I was a little disappointed that we didn't use the  resistance dial once, meaning rather than mixing slow and heavy muscular endurance tracks, with light and and fast cardio tracks, the workout felt a tad monotonous. Whilst the instructor, James, was good and certainly committed to maximizing the calorie burn, he stayed on his Climber at the front of class the full time. Had he have stepped off even just a couple of times to walk through the class, not only could he have corrected any bad form (especially for us first timers), but also could of spotted anyone slacking and given them that extra push!

Oh, but everyone else has been raving about it?!

I know, right?! I'm not saying the class wasn't a good workout, because it absolutely was - I did climb over 6,000 ft in 45 minutes after all! Plus, unlike a lot of my favourite treadmill pounding classes, as the VersaClimber is low impact, it burns calories and strengthes muscles without overloading the joints, therefore minimizes risk of injury and stress.

But the buzz, I feel, is less down to the actual workout, and more a result of the studios, changing rooms and amenities:

Female Changing Rooms

Because let's face it, this place is pretty sweet.....

Just so pretty

There's even a sauna - a rarity for a pay as you go studio!

Choice of tepid or chilled water, and code secure lockers - no need to worry about carrying a padlock

Sure is! Bet they must do some good post workout shakes too?

Of course - this is BXR we're talking about, they don't do things by half! With their very own Joe & The Juice café located inside the gym, the menu has been specifically designed to focus on the increased protein needs of the athlete. Pre and post-workout shakes, healthy salads and sandwiches, even a hangover cure juice, you've no excuse not to nail your session!

All about the refuel opp!

Joe & The Juice

Ha, sounds good! So all things considered, would you go back? 

I would. Whilst I thought the VersaClimber class could be better with a few minor improvements, it was still an enjoyable class, however at £30 a go it is pricey! For my next visit, I'm keen to try out the other 'Sweat' Class options - Skills, a boxing inspired HIIT session, taken by my previous Another Space Fav Courtney aka thehiitman - or Strength and Conditioning, using dumbbells, kettlebells and TRX Suspension training to build muscle and sculpt the body. Who's coming with?!

S&C Studio

Find out more info and book onto a class by visiting . Hope to see you there!


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