Who said women were the weaker sex? Certainly not us, or the girls at new outdoor class Woman Up.
It’s always tough when you go to review a class and you’re already friends with the instructor. I mean what if you hate it? What’s the protocol do you just say ‘that was great thanks’ and never speak of it again?
Luckily, when I went to Woman Up last week, run by our mate Frankie Holah and fellow PT Tasha Keating, I actually really did love it. Like lots. Phew, friendship saved.
So what is Woman Up then?
Woman Up is a new high-energy class for women (obvs), which comes from the East London Spartanfam movement. It’s based on using your own body weight to get great results and there’s also a focus on learning tricks on the bars so chin ups, pull ups, all those things that sound ridiculously scary but once you learn the progressions absolutely aren’t!
When I turned up to the class on Clapham Common I wasn’t too sure what to expect but first things first was a bit of a chat while we waited for some stragglers. Yep, I’m definitely down with that. Classes are kept pretty small so you get to know one another and Frankie and Tasha can really focus on helping you with your form.
We started with a gentle warm up before moving into a circuit. It was tough! Not impossible tough, you work to your own ability, but definitely enough to really challenge you. There were push ups and burpees, jumping squats, sit ups, planks and lunges but the best bit was the partner work. Piggy backs and wheel barrows, some very tricky backwards wheel barrows, conjoined squats, jumping over each other. Loads of stuff that makes you laugh so much you forget how hard you’re working (and yep, you definitely are working). There was great camaraderie in the class and everyone was encouraging each other to push that little bit harder.
After the circuit, and just before I thought I might die, we moved over to the new bar workout area on the common. It was a lovely warm evening and there were a few other people using the bars, in particular a group of guys who had a speaker and were blasting out some pretty cool tunes (god, I’m so unhip) that provided a great soundtrack as the sun went down. Splitting into two groups we took it in turns to crawl over and under bars – any class where I get a bit mucky I am very happy – press ups balancing on bars in the air (!), and also those dreaded chin ups and pull ups.
I will quite happily admit that my upper body strength is a bag of pants. Weak as a kitten. But with the use of resistance straps that help support your weight, some points on technique (and maybe a little bit of lifting from Frankie) even I managed to do sets of chin ups and pull ups. Yay girls!
If you would like to try Woman Up we have a Summer of Sweat pop-up session this Thursday 11 September. The cost is £7.50 but because we love you, if enter the code ‘thankyou’ you’ll get a £2 discount. See you at the bars! Book here
To see all other Summer of Sweat pop-up fitness events and discount passes visit summerofsweat.co.uk