There aren’t many words that tend to leave me running for the hills, but I’m the first to admit cardio is one of them… which is why it’s safe to say I am surprised I ended up running straight to the hills (Primrose Hills) of London so voluntarily to take on a high-intensity cardio class.
What could possibly bring such a swift change of heart so suddenly?
Two words—Trampoline cardio.
Call it an awakening of my inner child, but if there’s two things I vividly loved as a kid it was dancing and jumping for hours on end on my trampoline. So then, when you combine my two childhood loves with the fact it’s hosted at one of the hottest celebrity trainer’s in Hollywood’s studio right now—Body by Simone, I was sold.
The blonde Aussie bombshell arguably said to rival Tracey Anderson—thanks to her fun takes on high-intensity dance cardio workouts and recent rise to fame as a celebrity trainer on Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian—Simone De La Rue aka Body by Simone has recently just opened her first studio in London (my second home) which in serendipitous fate coincided with my latest visit.
Suffice to say, with such a combination of winning factors, any previous cardio resistance I had was kicked straight to the curb as I practically (re)bounded straight into the studio.
Set in the heart of Primrose Hill, arguably the new sister rival of Notting Hill, in London’s North, the new Body by Simone studio was a breath of fresh air, with all the newness a beautiful boutique studio could offer.
Upon entering I was warmly greeted by studio manager Caitriona (a fellow Aussie) who was casually sipping on her freshly made green smoothie (made by their in-house reception Vitamix) and just like that I felt instantly at home. Any cardio fears were gone.
With pastel pink, grey and white interiors and a sleek ‘Get Up And Dance’ logo shining bright ahead, the vibes were high, the space a delight, I knew this was the place I could let my guard down and embrace the fun without the ‘newbie’ fears—after all, as Caitriona pointed out, you and the dancers have too much fun looking at yourself in the mirror as you’re doing it, so whose to notice a tomato red face anyhow?
Entering the ‘Tramp Cardio’ class, I was pleasantly surprised to see only eight mini tramps in the room (translation: enough space to move and not spring onto an unsuspecting friend nearby if all goes wry!) and a super bubbly instructor with the hottest bod ever gliding over to greet me with a signature smile!
Nabbing a nearby trampoline, I then grabbed a set of wrist weights (also unexpected!) and nervously awaited my first potentially fun cardio workout.
Starting with a basic dance routine and some serious pop beats to get us in the zone, our instructor Becksy took us through a basic bouncy dance routine to get our coordination in check—think kicks, side to side jumps, back and forth bouncing etc.
From there we moved into a slightly harder dance sequence, really ramping up the cardio (while keeping it low impact, i.e. jumping low to the ground for a surprisingly higher body impact—often we think the higher we bounce the better, but for a lower body burn the less height the better apparently!) while balancing movement with arms too.
For the next track we transitioned into wearing our wristbands (that were a breeze to put on—think a watch band style set up minus the clock face) and minimised the bouncing for an arm focused workout set.
At this point I’m thinking okay, sweet, we’ve covered it all, but oh how naive I am! Abs was up next, naturally! Taking it down onto the ground we did a series of ab tracks rebounding on and off the tramp, which was surprisingly fun (imagine falling onto your back and then bouncing back up into a squat) and then moved onto glutes and lower body a little more.
By now any concern I had about whether it would be a full body workout or just a little cardio hit was fast dispelled, with us finishing in an epic two track sequence combining every move and dance routine we’d mastered to end in a super-powered cardio high energy sesh that finished with my absolute childhood delight—star jumps!
As my feet eventually landed back on the earth and the music shifted gears to begin our cool down, I couldn’t help but catch myself cheesy grinning back at the instructor. The elusive post-cardio endorphins I’d missed out on for so long had officially kicked in and that floaty ‘up in the clouds’ high was pulsating through my body.
I was officially a cardio convert again. So much so, if another class would have been kicking off I’d be front and centre jumping right on in!
As I left the class, practically hugging my instructor Becksy, I bonded with a regular client on my way out. In her pastel pink matching set, one glance at her outfit alone and you’d know she was a BBS convert but it was her story that truly cemented it for me.
Since attending the studio, she’d lost nine kilos and was the picture of good health and body goals, but it was her glow and infectious energy that stayed with me, admitting it was just ‘so much fun that it didn’t feel like a workout.’
And as a ‘traditional workout’ adverse yogi, I can truly say Body by Simone officially stole my preconceptions and opened my heart and mind back up to the absolute joy and high that can only come from cardio.
As for running though… that’s a whole other story. Bring on a bounce and beat any day!