Epic is a brand spanking new kickboxing gym perched on the top floor of Westborne Studios. The ethos of kickboxing is distilled into exercise classes for us mere mortals who need to be hoodwinked into pushing ourselves a bit harder. High temp cardio work is combined with circuit training, kick boxing and short burst work to get the heart, lungs and muscles working to their max.
Within about 30 seconds my heart was racing and the first beads of sweat were inching their way down my face. The warm-up and stretching were certainly active, but the short exercises went by quickly. I was shown how to punch and kick the bag correctly and then put through my paces; throwing punches, squat jumping, and ab crunching. The instructor, Marco, is an ex-kickboxing champion and emphasises the importance of getting fit rather than just burning fat. He was not impressed by my current exercise regime and let me know it.
Top marks for location; being able to look out of the row of windows over west London is a real treat, although it was sometimes quite hard to see through the rivers of sweat pouring off my forehead. Although not big, the space is nice and airy with windows that open rather than the usual hideous gym air conditioning. It was certainly a full body, hard core workout and, to be honest, a bit of a shock to my poor untrained physique. So, after 45 minutes, it probably wasn’t too far off the mark when I was accused of not giving 100 per cent. It wasn’t really what I wanted to hear though, as I lay panting on the floor in a pool of my own sweat. Next time I had to punch the bag I had great pleasure in imagining Marco’s face under my glove. He was probably just unlucky to catch me at 8am on a pre-menstrual morning.
The chopping and changing between exercises made the time pass surprisingly quickly and at an estimated 1,100 calories burnt per second it has got to be a great way to beat the bulge, especially if your usual routine consists of slow jogging in your comfort zone… guilty your honour.