The Bitch Clinic review, & what is primal movement anyway?!

MK

I wanted to do a post on this because Instagram only gives you so much space…!

The Bitch Clinic is something that has been set up by kick ass queen PT Miranda Fox, initially beginning with pop-up workshop. It currently runs throughout October as a class at Gymbox, Farringdon for #BITCHTOBER.

PS. There’s also one spot left for the class on the 20th so get over to @thebodyweightbitch and @thebitchclinic (links in bio) for tickets…!

BCWhat is The Bitch Clinic & what’s it all about?

It is a movement class (& growing community!) like no other, focused on supporting, inspiring and empowering women.

The physical aspect of the class gets everyone to move their bodies in a natural way and explore new planes of movement (predominantly using primal flow sequences), while ultimately re-wiring our thoughts around ‘exercise’ and ‘working out’, helping people to move away from the obsession with workouts as punishment or weight loss tools and giving women the confidence to embrace how they look and feel, regardless of shape, size or any other aesthetic.

You won’t hear Miranda tell you to torch fat or burn calories or hammer your body into the ground. Each class is small and intimate and starts with a moment gathered together in a circle – yesterday’s class, for example, began with a reflection on how amazing our bodies are and how privileged we actually are to be able-bodied and move the way we do. Miranda then takes the class through a warm up which also includes elements to really tune you in to how body and mind feel.

You then work through some of the movements that will later be combined into a flow sequence, with coaching from Miranda at your own pace to help you improve form and get the most out of everything you’re doing.

PrimalClasses work on a No shoes, No phones, No Egos & no bullshit policy, so everyone completely focuses in on how they’re moving and enjoys the class without the constant distraction of people filming for social media or snapping selfies mid-move (photos before and after ok of course, she won’t bite!)

The pop-up workshops also featured inspiring speakers at each session, with real women telling their stories of all kinds – how movement healed their bodies, how they left violent relationships, an incredible feminist spoken-word poet…

What exactly is ‘primal movement’?

Primal movement, the base of the class, is a way of movement that steps outside the fitness industry box of ‘lets do 10 burpees, 10 deadlifts, 10 push-ups’, and removes the limits and restrictions that so many people find put them off the standard ways of training packaged up and sold to us by gyms. It can be very individual, and utilizes much more of your body rather than working things in complete isolation (and as a result, despite looking less like the workouts you’re used to, can be infinitely more challenging as it’s working strength, balance, flexibility, mobility, and firing smaller accessory muscles that normally don’t get tapped up for more traditional movement!).

Part of the theory goes that our ancestors were super fit, physical beings (and certainly not hunched over desks!) and they didn’t need a tonne of equipment to get that way. They didn’t huddle over phones, laze in front of the TV and hunchback over computers. They also didn’t use treadmills, dumbells, TRX, bench press, barbells… They did, however, know how to use the human body to the best of its ability (so the theory goes).

Still confused?

Primal movement is:

  • a unique way of movement that doesn’t fit into a traditional fitness industry box;
  • a system of movement that uses different directions;
  • movement that often explores being closer to the ground;
  • something that encourages freedom of movement;
  • a whole-body, holistic workout;
  • a method of re-connecting with our bodies and how they are designed to move;
  • a combination of flexibility, strength, balance and stability, cardio and core work;
  • a functional movement method.

Experts, (apparently – see Metro article here), suggest it could hold the key to improving peoples’ strength and fitness at the same time as alleviating chronic lifestyle-triggered pain and illness.

Why I’m loving it and it’s changing the way I train

I’ve written before on Instagram about my experiences at the workshops, and it basically being a workout, a therapy session & a girly catch-up sesh with likeminded women all rolled into one, and there’s also the fact that Miranda is an INCREDIBLE trainer, really knows her stuff, but more importantly lives and breathes it – no bullshit, she’s straight up passionate and authentic and always delivers everything The Bitch Clinic promises.

Lately, I’ve also been advised to reduce the amount of high impact, high intensity work I do by my nutritionist (which is soooo hard for me as I love it, and it tends to get me out of bed during the week!) but admittedly if you’re living a high-stress lifestyle, sometimes flooding your system with MORE cortisol from hardcore workouts isn’t the best idea (plus it can actually impede results).

Primal movement gives me a different feeling after class. It’s not brutal, I don’t feel battered or broken. But I have broken a sweat, I’ve been challenged in new ways, I have a slightly calmer version of the post-workout high – maybe not the full on drug-like buzz of when you’ve beasted circuits, plyometrics and boxing, but a general sense of endorphiny-blissy-but-not-dead feeling of having energized my body rather than drained it of all its physical resources. Plus that’s always coupled with a sense of relaxation and being at peace with myself and my body that I don’t really get anywhere else except yoga savasana, and I definitely don’t get from putting myself through punishing sessions (NOTE: I don’t workout to punish myself EVER, but I recognize some of the higher impact high intensity stuff I love is nonetheless punishing my body, and so for optimum health I really should reduce it!)

Anyway, I can’t recommend giving it a try enough. It’s amazing, it’s challenging, and it yes, it’s totally different, and it can take a while to wrap both body and brain around it, so if you’re nervous or hesitant AT ALL, all I would say is give it a chance, don’t judge it by how tricky it can feel to begin with – and take the opportunity to totally transform your mindset and confidence in your body and yourself with The Bitch Clinic. ❤

B xoxox

Why Kobox is the [@*%£*$&] BOMB


So I’ve kind of given it all away up front haven’t I, with the title of this post?! Sorry. Guess I’m that kinda girl 😉

I have tried a LOT of random boutique classes all across London as well as the standard stuff offered by gyms all over the place… Hell, believe it or not, I used to teach Zumba and body combat at VA and David Lloyd as a freelancer (!) Classes were where fitness started for me, before I got into managing my own training. And now I’ve come full circle…

Kobox is literally THE BOMB. As in potentially the best class I have EVER done.

THE LEGALLYGYMLIVING VERDICT IS IN:

 

Star rating: 5/5 *****

Cost: £££

Instructor quality: 5/5 *****

Studios: 5/5 Chelsea, 4/5 City.

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The Lowdown

Where?

If you’ve been living under a rock in London (or if you live elsewhere and can’t get to the city to try it out), Kobox have made flesh their ‘Fight Club meets Night Club’ tag line with swanky studios in City and Chelsea – perfect locations nailed? Check.

What?

Classes  combine rounds beating the hell out of a heavy-ass bag, and circuits which include anything from burpees (Ollie, I’m looking at you!), tuck jumps, weighted squats, lunges, and more vicious challenges depending on the day!

The trainers also offer one to one training, and depending on their expertise it seems you can do different stuff… I’ve seen Wayne mention Muay Thai on the gram, for example.

Is it really THAT GOOD?

If I had to give you one reason only, before we get into it fully… Kobox obviously  have the cool space, perfect locations, a great lighting concept (no-one wants to see themselves red-faced and sweaty in full on daylight!), banging tunes, shakes on demand, gorgeous products to de-sweat yourself post-workout… but the difference with Kobox is the instructors are the BEST of the BEST.

I promise there’s not a single word of exaggeration here. Which pains me a bit, because I know what it’s like on social media – people think a positive review is bought. This post is NOT SPONSORED. I’ve paid for all of my Kobox classes like everyone else, and the one to one training session I have I won during a competition over Xmas 2017 when I wasn’t writing this post.

But the people there absolutely make the place.

They are absolute machines.

They’re approachable.

They’re fricking fierce (however pint-sized they are – don’t be deceived!)

They’re so passionate not only are they bouncing off the ceiling, but you are too by the end of class… even though they’ve made you go balls to the wall and you have nothing left in the tank!

They’re crazy knowledgable. Like, I can’t even.

And I really love that they make boxing accessible to those of us who let’s face it, aren’t going to be training for a white collar fight or actually hitting someone ever potentially, but they open up this incredible way of training so you can reap some of the benefits anyway!

I mean, of all the people you’d think would box, I probably don’t fit the mould. I’m a short-ass girl with zero upper body strength. But I absolutely love it. My fiancé got me into watching it on TV and then suggested I train with padwork at our gym, so Warren got me started. Then a friend of mine wanted to try Kobox, so we went, and now I’m literally ADDICTED.

[scroll down for more info about this session! Footage kindly provided by Ian Streetz]

Which classes?

I haven’t tried 100% of the trainers’ classes yet, but I have tried most of them. And trust me, I’ve not had a SINGLE disappointing class. They’ve all been SO GOOD.

It would be mean to call favourites, but as I’ve said they’re all super talented so a lot of it is a matter of personal style and preference – tunes will vary, style will vary, their aggressive finishers / end of class challenges will vary… so while I love them all, I would say, personally, get to Maciela and Ian’s classes (check them both out on Instagram and you can see their timetables). I actually went to Maciela’s 18.45 City class last night and it was, quite literally EPIC. She’s an absolute pocket rocket (I also can’t believe how strong, stunning and fierce she is… as well as being the loveliest mama of two!) You can find out more about personal training with her here. I’ve given some info below about my one to one training with Ian but you can check out his details here on his website too.

That isn’t to say the others aren’t all amazing too, because they are fab – I’ve had so much fun at Kenny’s, Ollie’s, Antoine’s and Wayne’s (incidentally Wayne’s was my first ever Gateway Class that got me coming back, now that I think about it!) sessions so I’d say just rock up to whatever timing works for you and give it a go.

I prefer training in Chelsea as it’s closer to home, but when I’m back at work I’ll probably be in the City more. Both studios are pretty much the same in terms of where you’ll be working out; I just like the chill out area in Chelsea, and obviously the ring is the ideal selfie spot 😉 … did you even train if you didn’t get a sweaty selfie?!

What makes it different?

As I’ve touched on, the instructors and the energy are completely off the scale. There are a lot of other great studios out there too – the boutique fitness studio / concept has exploded across London (which personally I think is amazing as there’s loads of choice!) but I personally haven’t felt quite the same vibe elsewhere in terms of enthusiasm, energy and expertise rolled into EVERY SINGLE INSTRUCTOR ON THE ROSTA CONSISTENTLY.

On a side note, the Ren skincare stuff in the changing rooms is a lifesaver, for the ladies out there [or the soft skinned blokes :P]

I think combining boxing which circuit style training means you can maximise the benefits. With the boxing, you can really lose yourself and enjoy it, and do something that is empowering for its own sake, not just to ‘burn calories’ which is a pretty joyless way of working out (in my opinion!)

Just some of the things boxing is GREAT for are…

  • stress, anxiety and depression management. I can’t tell you how therapeutic it is – complete game changer!
  • improving your body composition – the conditioning means you train for total body strength, the whole workout gives you the fab cardiovascular benefits… and the dynamite combo of cardio and resistance is optimal for your metabolism
  • confidence – almost everyone I know who has tried it says they find it crazy empowering. How can you not?
  • discipline and resilience
  • improved hand-eye co-ordination
  • & learning a new skill!

The heavy stuff

As a woman, I feel suuuuuuper passionately that girls need to be taught it’s okay to be strong (or to want to be, and to train for it!) and you can still be feminine and train in these ways.

Boxing is one hell of a badass way to do it.

*TRIGGER WARNING*

As someone who grew up part-time in a house where I witnessed domestic violence (it didn’t happen to me save the person in question smacked my head into a radiator once when we were kids; I was lucky. I’m lucky I wasn’t a victim, and I only lived in this house with this person 50% of the time, so I didn’t have to suffer exposure to it as frequently as some). Whether or not you can relate to this, there is nothing more reassuring, more therapeutic, more confidence-boosting than learning to throw a punch or two. 

While some people may disagree, I think it also teaches resilience and integrity, and it teaches you a lot about yourself.

So how much will a Kobox class set me back?

There’s a BRILLIANT introductory offer with two classes and free hand wraps for £25 for anyone trying it out so I’d highly recommend that.

Then, if you want to be more of a regular, here is where you may feel a pinch. The beauty of the system, though, is there’s no membership or contract to tie you in – you buy packages, which you can select based on your requirements. For example, you can train in City (weekends only) for £10 per class. If you buy a bigger package (£180+) you get better value, reducing it to £14-18 per class depending on your selection.

Someone said to me they find it a bit steep as it can be almost £20 per class. I mean, in my head, the amount we spend on coffees and alcohol during the week… £20 for the level of expertise you get, the intensity of the full 50 minute session and the insane calibre of the trainers is totally reasonable. They’re bloody experts in their fields, maaaadly talented, super professional…

I get if you’re a student or on a lower income it’s not necessarily the easiest of access. I’d advise, if this is the case, doing two City weekender classes (£10 each) and then buying the 10 classes for £180 package which you can use over 6 months to boost your training to more than 2 sessions a week if you want to.

One to one training

I was lucky enough to win a cheeky one to one session with the legend that is Ian Streetz!  For all his deets check his website here.

It was suuuuch a fab session, and I really recommend trying at least one to try and get to grips with some technique. Ian, despite being insaaaaanely skilled is also so lovely and helps you correct and work on your technique without being intimidating. He’s also great at answering any silly questions you have (I always have at least one haha!)

He obviously knows so much about boxing and training and is just crazy energetic, enthusiastic and passionate about what he does. At the beginning of the session we talked about options which include focusing more on conditioning, technique, or a mix of the two (we did a combination).

For my first proper session back after being ill and doing exams for a couple of weeks, when my heart rate started to climb early on in conditioning I was like oh my god will I actually survive a session haha! But then I got back into the swing of it, and I really love being challenged and pushed and taught new stuff, so it was a really really great experience!

Definitely watch this space for more sessions!

Have you tried Kobox yet, or are you already a heavyweight?! Hopefully see you there! 

B xoxo