The Silverton

How The Body People brings fitness to Eastwick And Sweetwater

Muti-purpose venue near Stratford and Hackney Wick is Chloe Redmond’s first movement studio

Chloe Redmond, entrepreneur and owner of The Body People – a young woman with long dreadlocks in a black top in front of a green, gold, black and white geometric wax print fabric
Chloe Redmond, entrepreneur and owner of The Body People

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“The Body People is my baby,” said Chloe Redmond.

“She’s my first experience of owning a studio – a place where I could bring all forms of movement together, fitness, aerial disciplines and dance.

“But I also wanted it to be a space where you can mix and blend – focus on spoken word, photography exhibitions or rehearsals, for example – a place that would be multi-faceted.”

And The Body People in East Wick And Sweetwater – a residential development on the western edge of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – is just that. 

Pale green silks hang neatly braided from the ceiling, squares of wax print fabric in green, gold, white and black hide exercise bikes from view and golden poles run floor-to-ceiling in readiness for forthcoming acrobatics.

Everywhere there’s wood, splashes of colour and foliage.

For studio owner Chloe, it’s a dream made real – the culmination of 14 years working as a dance and fitness instructor in and around her native Walthamstow.

Chloe Redmond, wearing a khaki tracksuit with a crop top raises her hands in a fitness studio while participants practise Pilates movements on the mat
Chloe teaching Pilates at her studio in east London

starting to move

“I’ve always moved,” she said.

“I’m dyslexic and have certain processing disorders that meant I was classed as a dumb person at school. But I was strong and fast.

“I was really fortunate to be supported by my parents and to be able to do everything from gymnastics to athletics and dance.

“I graduated as a filmmaker, but I decided teaching people dance and fitness was what made me feel alive – it took me to another level.

“When I came back from university, I thought I ought to do some dance classes.

“When I couldn’t afford my gym membership any more – they said that they’d heard I taught and that, if I were to teach classes, I’d get access for free.

“So I retrained. I just love seeing people’s eyes come alive when they feel good and experience that confidence.

“Also, you get applause at the end – you don’t get that in every job.”

A woman tries out aerial silks at The Body People. She is wearing a purple top and grasping two lengths of green silk suspended from the roof
The Body People offers a wide range of classes including aerial silks

finding a spot for The Body People

“When you’re just a teacher on your own, running around to other gyms, you’re limited in what you can do,” said Chloe. 

“That’s why I started looking for a space.

“I knew I wanted somewhere I could pull communities together, somewhere I could put my unique black woman’s touch on – a place I could make beautiful the way I wanted it. 

“But I struggled to find somewhere – I had so many offers rejected in Walthamstow.

“Then this place came up and it made sense, being in the middle of Stratford and Hackney Wick.

“You’ve got the old and the new here, which is important to me – those born to the sound of Bow Bells and people who have moved out of the City.

“It’s really nice to be a part of creating this new community. 

“We’ve had a lovely reaction from the local residents who live above and around us.”

A woman practices pole dancing on a brass pole hanging upside down with her hear loose
Pole dancing is available at the Eastwick And Sweetwater venue near Stratford

interior vibes at Eastwick And Sweetwater

Since opening the doors in November, Chloe has unquestionably put her stamp on the place, creating a backdrop packed with personality.

“It’s important to me that people come in and see a well-seasoned place – we have hot sauce in the fridge,” she said.

“I didn’t want it to be bland, sterile or stagnant because that has been my experience in some places.

“It was a concrete shell, and I wanted to keep something of that in the studio.

“But It was also important to me to get my Africa-print fabric from a Nigerian woman in Liverpool Street and to include items such as masks and fans that have been in my family from Ghana or Kenya for years.

“My background is also English and Irish and I wanted a place where people could walk in and feel a black woman’s touch.

“That’s in the textures of the plants and the things I’ve put in here.

“We’ve got boxes and baskets for people’s belongings while they train instead of lockers, to create a woody, earthy feel. 

“Then there are bolsters for Yoga made by my mum, Jo Redmond.

“One thing I do know is that when other black women come here there is this connection – a moment of things looking familiar to them.” 

A group of people participate in a spin class on exercise bikes at The Body People
The class timetable also includes spin sessions for cardiovascular fitness

building The Body People timetable

At the core of The Body People’s offering is its class timetable, with a wide range of sessions on offer.

“You can be up on the ceiling, down on the floor, on a bike, working out on a mat or moving to music,” said Chloe. 

“What you want to do depends on their interests and background.

“Some people may come in and say they’re bored with the gym – that they want something exciting and different and want to do it with a group of people led by an instructor.

“For them, we might recommend the more exotic classes like aerial silks or pole dancing. 

“Then there are people who are pregnant or who have just had a baby and want pre or postnatal classes, which we also offer.

“Some people have become die-hards and this studio is now their second home.

“Others just fancy a nice mixture of things like a step class, which is much more dance-like than it was back in the day – a lot less robotic.

“We also offer dancehall and commercial dance for those who want that variety.

“When designing the timetable, I wanted a full spectrum, imagining someone who would be able to come to a class every day and do something different.”

A group of people participate in a step fitness class wearing workout gear and trainers
Step classes are on offer at the venue

living the dream in east London

“I am a very sensitive and emotional person and I feel it’s important to champion more women who are business owners and in touch with a full range of emotions,” said Chloe.

“I’ve had moments where I’ve been in tears – happy and sad – times feeling really chuffed with myself or frustrated with the little things.

vBut I have to keep going – life isn’t perfect.

“There have been some really lovely moments where I’m teaching a Pilates class and thinking that, 14 years ago I started this kind of movement, knew I wanted my own place and now I’m in it and it’s beautiful and lovely.

“For the most part it’s a really happy experience.

“Every morning I walk in and say hello to my baby – the studio – and she speaks back to me when the music plays.

“Everyone who comes in feels they have come into a tranquil space – it just feels safe and inclusive.

“While I don’t have a favourite class – that would change daily – I have had some very special moments teaching Pilates when it’s felt like things have come full circle.

“I remember feeling nervous and anxious in the earliest days of teaching Pilates at my mum’s health practice in Walthamstow, but also that I loved it – supporting others.

“I knew then that I wanted my own place, not just for Pilates, but for dance and fitness too. 

“I’d always kept my eye out for spots which were coming up, and teaching here – 14 years later – means I’m getting my dream.

“Now I just want to keep doing what I’m doing.”

An image of The Body People studio which has a brown wooden floor and concrete walls with silks hanging from the ceiling and foliage down the walls
The Body People is a multi-purpose studio space between Stratford and Hackney Wick

need to know – The Body People

The Body People is located in Copper Street at East Wick And Sweetwater and operates a varied timetable over seven days.

Standard single session prices start at £13.

Memberships start at £146 per month, with full gold membership covering all classes in both E20 and Walthamstow is £162 per month.

Find out more about the studio here

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: How Third Space Wood Wharf expands the brand’s offering

Club will add Reformer Pilates, hot Yoga and gym capacity for Canary Wharf members to explore

An artist’s impression of the pool at Third Space Wood Wharf

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Third Space Canary Wharf is vast.

Its facilities, spread over three floors above Waitrose in Canada Square, include an expansive Crossfit-themed training area, a combat zone with a full-size boxing ring, a climbing wall, a swimming pool, fitness studios, a dedicated mind and body space and that’s before you even get to the weights and cardio machines. 

Billed as Europe’s largest luxury health club, it boasts an unrivalled selection of classes featuring everything from treadmills and Olympic weightlifting to bodyweight HIIT, kettlebells and callisthenics. 

Pick pretty much any exercise trend and, if it promises serious benefits, the Third Space’s Canary Wharf facility will pretty much have it covered.

Like Barry’s? then Third Space has Sweat X. Prefer spinning? Choose Hardcore Cycle or Just Ride. Enjoy Crossfit? There’s Yard WOD and so on. 

It’s not unusual to have more than 45 classes timetabled on a given weekday for members to choose from – all included in the monthly fee.

Soon, however, that won’t be all they’re getting.

The Wood Wharf branch is set to open later this year

Third Space is set to open a new branch on the estate, with access for Canary Wharf members at no extra cost.

Located at 15 Water Street above Dishoom and Tribe Canary Wharf, Third Space Wood Wharf will be spread over two floors. 

The club is essentially an extension on a second site to the facilities already on offer in Canada Square. It will have its own fully-stocked gym floor and swimming pool, but also a series of new classes..

“We have a great offering already, but the idea is that if a member can think of a type of class they’d like to do, then it should be available across the two sites,” said Gillian Reeves, head of group exercise at Third Space.

“There are a couple of things Canary Wharf doesn’t offer that Wood Wharf will, completing our full suite of facilities.

“We’ll have dedicated studios for hot Yoga and Reformer Pilates. 

“They will be great spaces and we can’t wait to welcome our members into them.” 

The Wood Wharf branch is expected to open in early summer, with preparations well underway. 

The Wood Wharf branch will include a hot Yoga studio

“It’s massive for Canary Wharf,” said Alex Barsby, the new facility’s dedicated general manager.

“With both sites taken into consideration, it’s such a fantastic offering.

“The idea is to deliver extra facilities to what we already have at the existing site without duplicating too much of what’s already there.

“There will be more capacity – there’s a fully equipped gym with Eleiko free weights, a sled track, professional lifting racks, Pulse pin-loading machines with digital screens and cardio machines.

“Upstairs, there will be beautiful changing rooms where members can relax, unwind and get ready before venturing out into the city.

“There’s a 20m pool with a hydro pool and unisex sauna and steam room facilities, which is something new for the club on the estate and will be ideal for couples. 

“There will also be poolside loungers and an experience shower that people can use after coming out of the sauna or steam room.

“Being above ground, there’s lots of natural light with windows all round the club, which is really fantastic and gives it a lovely feel.”

While the extra capacity will be of obvious benefit – especially to Tribe hotel guests, who can use the facilities – the chief attractions are perhaps the two new studios and the possibilities they bring. 

A Reformer Pilates studio will host a range of classes

While Third Space Canary Wharf offers a programme of mat based Pilates classes and Yin, Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga at ambient temperatures, Wood Wharf will expand significantly on these.

“We’ll continue with all those classes,” said Gillian.

“But these new spaces allow us to offer more.

“The hot Yoga studio will be heated to between 32ºC and 35ºC – a really lovely temperature. 

“We know from our other clubs that some people really want to escape to a warm place where they can feel that they’re sweating a bit. 

“It can feel a bit more challenging because you have the heat to contend with and that puts your body under greater stress.

“The fact it’s hot and that you have to move and breathe, means you need to work with your mind – to use all the tools that your practice has taught you to focus on the positions. 

“To keep things straightforward we’ll be programming the same forms as in the ambient studios but there are variations because we don’t dictate to our teachers the approach they should take. 

“Everyone who teaches at Third Space has years of experience and the classes differ based on the way that they have been trained in Yoga.”

Perhaps the most significant addition to Third Space’s offering, however, is its decision to include a Reformer Pilates studio at Wood Wharf.

Third Space Wood Wharf will be included with membership at Canary Wharf

“This equipment is commonly used in smaller groups or one-on-one, but we’ve found there’s growing demand for bigger classes with lots of Reformers,” said Gillian. 

“The challenge was to keep the authenticity of Pilates when creating these larger classes.

“To do that, we needed an expert and we found that in James Shaw who has been teaching for more than 10 years.

“He has a wealth of knowledge and experience and he’s really passionate about Pilates – he’s devoted his life to it. 

“He’s developed our signature classes and we’ll be running Fundamental Reformer Pilates, Traditional Reformer Pilates and Dynamic Reformer sessions. 

“We’ve dropped the word ‘Pilates’ from the last one, because it’s really movement exercises on the equipment and looks quite different from the traditional system, but members love it.

“We’ll also be offering Tower Pilates classes, where participants will work with the structure at the end of the equipment.

“It’s a really nice addition, as it’s a different way of working with the resistance springs.” 

Alex added: “Third Space is an investment in yourself – the return you get can be life-changing.

“We really pride ourselves on the fact everything we do is member-assessed. 

“We love this feedback and use it to constantly improve what we do and to provide what our members want.” 

Membership at Third Space Canary Wharf, which will include the new Wood Wharf club currently costs £212 per month.   

Find out more about Third Space here

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: How Sweat By BXR is offering free introductory classes

Crossrail Place fitness studio’s Wharf Wellness session is booked up, but there’s another way…

Sweat By BXR trainer Gareth Thoo

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The free Sweat By BXR session – set to take place at Crossrail Place Roof Garden as part of Wharf Wellness – is now full.

But don’t let that put you off investigating what the brand has to offer.

The pay-as-you-train studio, located in Crossrail Place itself, is currently offering free sessions to those new to its offering – so anyone who wants to can try one out.

Sweat is a sister business to BXR – a boxing focused gym that takes fighter training as its jumping off point for fitness.

The Canary Wharf facility offers cardio workouts in its VersaClimber studio, strength and conditioning sessions and boxing-inspired exercise as well as Pilates-based classes.

“It’s one of the world’s first elite boxing concept gyms,” said Gareth Thoo, a trainer at both BXR and Sweat By BXR, who regularly runs sessions at the Canary Wharf facility and is set to take charge of the Wharf Wellness workout.

“The great thing about Sweat By BXR is you have three things to really focus on – cardiovascular exercise, skills-based boxing training and strength and conditioning.

“While most of our clients are not looking to become professional fighters, they are being coached by people who have fought in the ring and know what it takes to get there.

“The training techniques are very practical but they’re also accessible to everyone.

“The classes are open to all levels and people with lots of experience, or none, will get something from them.”

Sweat By BXR offers boxing-inspired classes and VersaClimber sessions for cardio

Originally from Australia, Gareth knows his stuff.

Having trained in mixed martial arts as a youngster, a passion for boxing saw him compete as an amateur and a pro for six years. 

But, following a number of injuries, he decided to use the knowledge he’d already gained to become a personal trainer and combines that with working for BXR and Sweat.

After four years working in the fitness industry in Manchester, he’s now brought his skills and expertise to London.

“There are many benefits to the training on offer here – building strength and making changes to your body composition, for example.

“Then there’s cardiovascular and the boost to your mental health too.

“For people who have desk jobs and spend a lot of time sitting down, the workouts can help counteract the effects of a long day in the office.

“Then with the skills sessions, it’s also nice to be learning something while you’re training.

“These will always start with basic footwork – how to stand and how to move around, which are such important parts of boxing.

“Then they cover techniques like basic punches – straight punches, hooks and how to implement those in combinations, while working the bag effectively, as a boxer would strike it, hard, fast and very precise.

“People might feel, especially if it’s their first time boxing, that a boxing gym could be an intimidating environment.

“But it’s our job as coaches to make sure everyone feels really welcome.

“Clients might not know initially what their goals are so we structure the classes in a way where we teach the basics very often as everyone needs to know them.

“Whether you’ve been coming for two months or two years, we’ll be drilling those in, but there will also always be new things to learn.”

In addition to boxing skills, Sweat is known for its VersaClimber sessions – a machine that mimics the motion of rock climbing and can be used in time to music.

“Those are tough classes,” said Gareth.

“Two minutes into my first one and my legs were burning, but it’s a really great session, a trademark. Climb To The Beat is fantastic.”

Music is something Gareth also relishes bringing into his sessions, putting together bespoke playlists for his workouts.

“It’s about creating a high-energy vibe when I’m picking the tracks,” he said.

“Music is such a massive part of my classes.

The VersaClimber is a piece of equipment that mimics the action of climbing

“For me there will always be a bit of hip-hop and some bassy house. In any of my classes, you can pretty much guarantee there will be something from the Notorious BIG and Kendrick Lamar.

“Another favourite is an Australian DJ and music producer called Fisher, who people may have heard of.”

In addition to the obvious attraction of the soundtrack, Gareth said the key reason to train at Sweat was the breadth of the offering.

“This isn’t just running on a treadmill and punching a bag – there are so many class concepts and you can do something different every day of the week,” he said.

“There’s a real option to mix it up, with a cardiovascular workout one day, a boxing session the next and then maybe a strength class.

“Then, on top of that, you can incorporate sessions where you learn some serious skills and that’s really what makes it a great place to train.”

Wharfers interested in having a go can download the BXR app and book a free class using the discount code CLASSONUS – terms and conditions apply.

Introductory VersaClimber classes and SweatBox sessions cost £30 for three and £40 for four respectively.

Sweat is located on Level -2 at Crossrail Place in Canary Wharf.

Find out more about Sweat By BXR here

Wharf Wellness is set to take place across the Canary Wharf estate

FIND AN OFFER

While many classes for Wharf Wellness are now booked up, the festival is also a celebration of stores and retailers on the Canary Wharf estate with the a number of businesses running offers across the four-day event from Sept 27-30, 2023. Here’s our pick…

>>Randox Health

Get 15% off all health checks at the Cabot Place clinic booked during the duration of the festival with code WHARFWELLNESS.

>> Stretch Inc

Enjoy 20% off any assisted stretch at the Canada Place facility over the four days. Just mention WHARFWELLNESS when making an appointment.

>> Pure

Recently reopened at Cabot Place, the restaurant will be offering 50% off its new Nourish Bowl range. Those with a reusable cup can also get £1 off barista-made drinks.

>> Kiehl’s

The Jubilee Place store will be offering 20% off all products as well as 25% off a £100+ spend. Offer runs Sept 22-Oct 1.

>> Farmer J

The lunchtime favourite will be offering 20% off click and collect orders on the Wharf with code FJAUTUMN20.

>> Urban Greens

Have promo code WW20 ready at the till when you visit the Bank Street store and you’ll get 20% off salads.

>> Le Chalet Cryo

The Canada Place facility will be offering more than 40% off its Cryo and Hyperbaric Therapy starter packs with code WHARFWELLNESS.

>> Atis

Challenging even the might of Farmer J as the Wharf’s most popular lunch, this salad-focused mini-chain is offering a fifth off bowls with code WHARFWELLNESS.

>> Weather And Palette

Head over to the Jubilee Place store for 10% off all skincare products and treatments for the duration of Wharf Wellness.

>> Malmin Dental

The private clinic on South Colonnade will be offering 10% off Invisalign treatments purchased during the festival.

>> Rituals

The Jubilee Place store has 25% off selected products for Wharf Wellness. The offer is valid  on a maximum of three items.

>> Get A Drip

Last but not least, the Cabot Place clinic is offering free Vitamin D testing to visitors.

Download the Canary Wharf app for full listings and updates

Read more: Sign up for the Santa Stair Climb at One Canada Square

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: Why Third Space has introduced Sound Bath classes

How relaxation sessions fit with health club’s high energy programmes to offer members time out

Third Space master trainer Clare Walters conducts a Sound Bath class

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How often do we get the opportunity to take an hour for ourselves?

The modern world is busy.

There’s information overload. We, as individuals, have the ability to be in touch with more people now, than at any time in human history.

There’s more content from media sources – social and traditional – all with ideas, advice, entertainment and distraction, screaming for attention than ever before.

We can be at work 24-hours a day, pretty much anywhere in the world. Phones can even be used in the shower.

It’s all an endless, demanding torrent of stuff. That is life in 2023.

It’s also, perhaps, why Third Space’s Sound Bath sessions are proving so popular.

With its Canary Wharf branch the largest luxury health club in Europe – arranged over three floors above Waitrose in Canada Square – it boasts a grand list of facilities.

There’s a climbing wall, an enormous functional training space called the yard, a boxing ring, a swimming pool and that’s before you even start digging into the extensive free weights, resistance machines and cardio options on offer.

Participants can lie on their backs or sit on chairs for the sessions

There’s also a densely populated timetable of classes with names like Sweat X, Hardcore Cycle and Speed Fiends, keenly focused on helping its members get a serious sweat on.

“We do that really, really well – those high energy sessions when you look at the breadth of that offering,” said Gillian Reeves, head of group exercise at Third Space.

“There’s a whole plethora of options – strength classes with weights, HIIT classes, cycling classes – which is brilliant for overall health. 

“Then you go towards things like Yoga, which can also be high energy with practices like Vinyasa.

“Then at the rest end of the spectrum we have Yin Yoga, which is really popular here because it’s much slower and people know intuitively that they need to stretch.

“But we thought: ‘Why stop there?’.

“Let’s keep going and offer something beyond that.

“People, especially in Canary Wharf, work really hard and have very active lives. There’s lots going on and they really need that balance with rest and recovery.

“We decided to put on some trial Sound Bath classes and the waiting lists were really big – the demand was there, people wanted to do it and it confirmed what we were thinking.”

The Canary Wharf club is currently offering hour-long Sound Baths twice a week on Monday evenings and Saturday afternoons – but what actually happens in a class?

“It’s our way of offering peace and meditation to balance out all the activity – work, stress and exercise – a time once a month or a fortnight to find some stillness,” said Gillian. 

“We think it might be seen as the least intimidating form of meditation – there’s something intuitive about sound and music.

“People really relate to that and so they’re prepared to give it a go – they aren’t faced with complete silence for a long period of time.

A series of instruments are used to produce the sounds

“You can turn up wearing whatever you want, because essentially you’re just lying down or, if preferred, sitting on a chair.

“We want you to be really comfortable on the mat so there are bolsters and blankets.

“There’s an introduction from the teacher, which deals with safety – the practice is not recommended for people with mental health issues, those with metal plates around joints or women who are pregnant, unless a doctor has said it’s OK.

“Then there’s a general overview of the class so people know what to expect.

“At launch, all of our teachers will use a common structure with a variety of instruments, but this will evolve over time.

“The classes will start either with a gong or crystal bowls and there will usually be a crescendo towards the middle of the time.

“Then there can be a fade out with some chimes to finish.

“Sometimes a teacher will stay at the front the whole time, and sometimes they’ll walk around the class with small percussive instruments.

“At the end there will be silence and then some recorded music to signal the end of the session.

“What people will get from a class depends on them and their intention. For some it may be more spiritual and for others it’s relaxation.

“It might be a physical rest or allowing yourself to be still for mental health – if you just want a lie down, then that’s great.”

Third Space’s Yoga teachers have undergone extensive training with musician Tim Wheater and sound artist Cherub Sanson – the former a pioneer of sound healing in the west who has been engaged in it since 1982.

The club’s classes make use of crystal bowls from Cherub’s brand Cherebella.

The classes use crystal bowls from Cherebella

“Because of the vibrations of the different instruments that we use, it will shift people into more of a theta brainwave state – on the cusp of wakefulness but deeply relaxed,” said Gillian.

“It has a similar effect to practising meditation and has a lot of benefits for reducing stress and anxiety.

“Our bodies are really clever – if something needs repairing or healing, then they can do that. If we’re not running around and doing stuff, then they have the chance.

“Deep sleep, where the body produces delta brainwaves, is really good for us too – people who have participated in the classes have said they sleep better after a Sound Bath.

“The main thing is for people to come with as few expectations as possible – with an open mind, a sense of curiosity – and see what happens.

“As with everything we do at Third Space, our hope is that members feel better.

“With Sound Bath, they should feel good, more relaxed and calm.

“Like all holistic practices, attending a session won’t mean all the problems in your life are magically better, but it can certainly help.

“You might be having a bad time and find your perspective shifts, you could have a great thought or come in with a problem that you’ve solved by the time you leave.

“So far the feedback has been really positive.”

Find out more about Third Space Canary Wharf here

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: How Barry’s is set to offer free classes for the Wharf Wellness festival

Fitness brand will be offering indoor and outdoor sessions in the Red Room and Canada Square

Barry’s instructor Zoe Rogers – @zoehrogers on Insta – image Matt Grayson

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Wharf Wellness is set to arrive across the estate with free classes, taster sessions, talks and discounts over four days.

Taking place from Wednesday, September 27, to Saturday, September 30, 2023, the festival will feature a multitude of Canary Wharf-based brands including Third Space, Feels Like June, Mallow, Nuffield Health, Bobbi Brown, Randox Health, Love Open Water and recently launched padel tennis club Padium. 

Ahead of the event, however, we’ve decided to focus on Barry’s, which will be running three taster sessions – one outside on the sand of the pop-up beach volleyball courts in Canada Square Park and the other two in its Red Room studio on the lower level of Crossrail Place.

Zoe Rogers is the instructor tasked with leading the outdoor session. Originally from Essex, she discovered the Red Room having moved to London to go to drama school.

“I’d been involved in fitness one way or another since my teens,” she said.

“I actually started out selling gym memberships through cold calling – it was absolutely horrendous.

“I heard about Barry’s on the grapevine and this thing they do called ‘Hell Week’ – seven classes in seven days.

“Living in London, I couldn’t afford to go very often as a student, but I could afford to do Hell Week every single time it was on. 

“So, I’d be at drama school, save up my pennies and go and do those seven sessions.

“I remember my first class so vividly – it was with a trainer called Alex Castro and it was phenomenal.”

Zoe will lead a session for Barry’s in Canada Square for Wharf Wellness – image Matt Grayson

Zoe ended up taking a job front-of-house at Barry’s in Canary Wharf, while continuing to pursue a career as an actor.

She then decided to train as an instructor – a role she’s now been doing for two years.

Splitting her time mostly between Soho and the Wharf, she’s also taught classes on the main stage at Pacha in Ibiza.

From noon on September 28, Zoe will be in command of a 50-minute class for 60 on the sand in Canada Square Park (with mats to protect participants).

“We’ll have big speakers – participants will hear me out loud and the music will be pumping,” she said.

“We’ll have long resistance bands and mini bands to work the glutes and the legs and I’ll be running a total body workout – we’ll hit absolutely everything.

“The great thing about Barry’s is it gives you a fantastic structured workout that you know is going to do the job every time. 

“The product is flawless and with the tunes, the atmosphere is fantastic, it’s almost like being in a club when you’re in the Red Room.

“Then there’s the community, which is very important to people who have just moved to London or to the area.

“That develops organically and it’s something I’m personally really grateful for, as I’ve made some great friends.

“No-one can really define what they mean when people talk about ‘The Barry’s Feeling’ but there’s this buzz that just makes you want to come back for more.

Zoe became an instructor after working front-of-house at Barry’s – image Matt Grayson

“It’s magical, everyone feels it at the end of a class and that sense of community is beautiful.

“You don’t have to think – we do the work and you can just rock up and put in the time.”

Fellow Canary Wharf instructor Craig Waters will be running the Barry’s session at 9am in the venue’s red-lit studio for Wharf Wellness.

Originally from Nebraska, he found his way to Barry’s through Yoga, Pilates and cycling classes before training with the brand. 

He said: “It will be the classic Barry’s experience.

“Every day we have a different focus, so you can get all your muscle groups taken care of over the course of a week.

“For Wharf Wellness, I’ll be teaching a chest, back and 

abs-focused class.

“It’s an upper body workout using different types of rows, dumbbells, both heavy and lighter weights, as well as resistance bands to cycle through those muscle groups.

“Then, as a way to give your arms a bit of a break, we have core-focused abdominal exercises.

“Classes are typically spent half doing interval-based runs on the treadmills and half doing exercises on the studio floor.

“That means you get the best of both – it really is the best workout in the world. 

“You can start off either on the floor or on the treadmill and then go back and forth.

“While running, your instructor will give you options for your speed with different patterns on incline and velocity.

Barry’s instructor Craig Waters – @craigmwaters on Insta – image Matt Grayson

“These can be tailored to an individual’s needs or preferences, which means everybody can participate.

“For people who are new, it’s about getting used to the instructions as there’s lots of activity in the room.

“It’s a nightclub vibe, the lights go low and the music goes loud, with every instructor allowed to select the tracks they like to bring their personality through.

“You might have someone who plays techno and drum and bass or, like me, who prefers fun pop remixes so people can lose themselves.

“I sing along in almost every class – it’s about enjoying the moment.”

Craig said that while Barry’s workouts were tough, people at any level of fitness could benefit from them.

He said: “The workouts are hard, so I always tell people doing it for the first time to pace themselves and go at a rate that works for them – to enjoy it as much as they can. 

“People feed off each other’s energy, which is why group fitness, for me, is the best way to train.

“Personally, I get more out of a session when someone has put it together – it’s also a great way to hang out and meet people too.

Craig will lead a session in Barry’s Red Room studio at Crossrail Place – image Matt Grayson

“My main thing is that I don’t ever want someone to come out of a class feeling defeated. We celebrate whatever happened.

“It’s always the case that what you did was amazing.”

A third Barry’s class will take place on the Saturday, with times set to be confirmed this week.

Throughout Wharf Wellness, brands such as Atis, Pure, Farmer J, Urban Greens, Le Chalet Cryo, Rituals and Space NK will be offering a series of special offers and discounts. 

  • Full details of all these, other events and how to book classes will be available exclusively on the Canary Wharf App from Wednesday, September 6, 2023.

Find out more about Wharf Wellness here

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Deptford: How Baldr CrossFit is creating a safe space for everyone to exercise

Gym in Deptford’s Childers Street sees David Caetano and Ben Wilson offering multiple options

David Caetano, pictured, and his partner Ben Wilson have launched Baldr CrossFit

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We wanted a name that represented bravery, humility and honesty,” said David Caetano, co-founder of Baldr CrossFit in Deptford’s Childers Street.

“It’s named after the Norse god Baldr because I lived in Norway for about four years and my mum is still there. 

“Everything Baldr does is good, but he doesn’t brag about it, so it’s representative of what we’re trying to create here.”

The virtuous son of chief deities Odin and Frigg, is a firm favourite in Asgard in contrast to the deceptive Loki and bombastic Thor, often because of his calm sweetness – not perhaps the most obvious allegory for the sweat and grind of a south-east London CrossFit gym.

But Baldr’s whole reason for existence is to do things differently.

“Above all, this is an inclusive space,” said David, who founded the gym with his partner Ben Wilson, opening the doors earlier this year.

The Deptford gym has a wealth of of equipment for members to use

“People come in, see the Progress Pride Flag hanging in the window and feel comfortable. This is a place for everyone.

“I came to London from Portugal at a time where there was still stigma around being part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Here, there was anything and everything.

“I became comfortable with my sexuality about three years ago but what I’d noticed was that, when you go to gyms, there wasn’t always representation there. Some do have it and, as soon as I’d walk in, I’d feel safe.

“At Baldr, because we’re LGBTQIA+ we’re more outspoken about this and so people are happier being themselves, speaking about their partners and things like that.

“I really felt there was a need to create something within fitness to change the conversation so we’re not talking in terms of men and women, but about individuals.

“The way we do that is to get away from CrossFit’s weights for men and women and just talk about percentages when we come to the bars and levels of resistance.”

Baldr is located around 10 minutes’ walk from both Deptford and New Cross stations and offers a range of classes for up to 10 people.

Alongside its core CrossFit offering these include weightlifting, gymnastics and Capacity, a barbell-free class designed to improve an individual’s ability to recover from high intensity exercise.

Monthly memberships start at £159 for three classes a week. There are also drop-in packages starting at £20 for a single class as well as small group and one-to-one personal training.

Baldr also offers free trial sessions to new clients so they can get a feel for what the gym offers.

“CrossFit is all about functional movement,” said David.

“Every time you squat, you’re sitting on a couch. The idea is that everything you do in the gym can be transferred to the world outside.

“What we’re trying to do with our programmes is to hit those functional movements so that when you’re 80, you can get off a chair without having to roll over or needing someone to help you.

“We constantly vary the sessions across seven areas of exercise so people will never get bored. The idea is an all-round one so members can say they can lift weights, run a mile and do a certain number of pull-ups.

“We keep the group training small, so we have 10 max in a group, and this makes sure that everyone gets attention in the session, and they get a little bit of personal training in a group setting too.”

The gym is located in Deptford’s Childers Street

With Ben, who works for Deutsche Bank looking after the business side of operations, it’s an offering squarely within David’s area of expertise.

“I was always into fitness and wanted to be good at everything,” said David.

“I originally came to London to study architecture, but sitting in front of a computer all day wasn’t really what I was looking for.

“I started doing CrossFit and then decided to train as a coach – that was about seven years ago.

“After working at my first gym and helping to run it for a few years, I joined Third Space in 2019, working in Canary Wharf. 

“The CrossFit gym taught me a lot about running a small fitness business, while working at Third Space enabled me to look at the bigger picture – the language we use in classes and the impact this can have on members. 

“I was also able to take a lead and get involved with developing new coaches and instructors, so that experience was really key for this project.

“Ben’s background is in business, finance and accounting, so he handles that side of things whereas I’m on the product side, looking after coaching, development and what we deliver for our members.

“This is perfect because it means we don’t cross over when we’re working together.

“We live close by and were aware there was nothing like this in Deptford, so we started looking to see if there was a space up for rent.

“Then Ben put together a business plan, looking at the area and why Baldr might be needed here – asking what the brand is and what its target audience will be.”

The pair found a space vacated by a fashion manufacturer and set about kitting it out with gym hardware, gender neutral toilets and, of course, the big pride flag.

The gym has been conceived as a safe space where all are welcome

The dream for Baldr is to expand with gyms in a number of parts of London and perhaps beyond.

David said: “We would like to have several locations so that we can attract people living in different areas. 

“We are aware gyms can be quite intimidating, especially for people not always comfortable with their sexuality, so we like to chat with them and point out it’s their space, their workout and that we’re here to support them.

“We want to make sure that everyone has a good experience in the community and make sure they get that one-to-one experience in a group setting.

“We are loud and proud, so if you need a space like ours, then we are here for you.”

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Canary Wharf: How personal training at Third Space delivers the right results

Eliter personal trainer Tim Hart talks focus, science and goals as he puts our writer through his paces

Third Space Canary Wharf elite personal trainer Tim Hart

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SESSION TEST

Imagine driving your expensive car to a garage, paying a fee and then being let loose on the tools to fettle and prod at your vehicle in the name of maintenance.

Unless you already have a fairly decent body of knowledge, it’s unlikely such activity will yield positive results except in the most basic of jobs. 

Now consider how different that is to taking your body – a vehicle you’re born into and will ride in your whole life – to the gym.

Sure, there’s plenty of equipment there, but how well do you really know how to use it? Crucially, will you be doing more harm than good? The logical step is to seek help.

Members at Third Space in Canary Wharf, in addition to an induction session with a trainer, essentially have two avenues to explore in this regard.

There’s an extensive timetable of group classes.

But for those really looking for something bespoke, there are the personal trainers offering one-on-one sessions.

An hour-long session with elite personal trainer Tim Hart was enough to convince me of the benefits of such sessions.

Trained in nutrition and health science, he has a wealth of experience in helping people to reach their goals, tackle physical weaknesses and prepare for intense expeditions.

Consequently, when I told him I wanted to address a bit of knee pain on the right hand side, he was well-qualified to suggest some relevant rehab exercises to improve strength and stability around the joint. 

Following a few mobility drills, he soon had me skipping up and down the gym’s track, then leaping sideways from foot to foot, struggling to hold my balance while he watched for signs of instability.

From there, we went to work the core, chest and arms by using moves on a cable machine to ensure all of my body was involved in the exercise.

Then came a series of side-to-side squats with a bar and single leg deadlifts.

During every exercise Tim was constantly keeping an eye on my form, offering corrections and encouragement to ensure I was learning the right movement.

He also explored  the range of motion to identify exactly where any discomfort in my knee was occurring – a process that enabled both the modification of the exercises and a far greater awareness of my capabilities than before.

At the end of the session, I left with an arsenal of moves designed to work the affected area without damaging it – a programme that has since seen a big reduction in pain and a great increase in confidence.

That focus, really, is the power of personal training.

It allows, more than any other form of exercise, an ability to address specific issues or goals in detail with the effects multiplied by subsequent, dedicated sessions. 

Personal training sessions are charged as extra to membership. 

Third Space Canary Wharf is very well-equipped, but how best to use its facilities?

FULL FOCUS – TIM’S THOUGHTS

  • >> For Tim, who has more than a decade of experience in the health and fitness world, the key to good personal training is putting his clients’ goals front and centre:
  • >> “From my perspective it’s to provide some science and solid theory behind the process,” he said.

“Your goals will always be your targets, and there may be some worry that a personal trainer is going to hijack what you’re looking for and all of a sudden you’ll be doing exercises you’re not interested in.

“My advice is to find a good personal trainer to start with in an establishment that will have a high calibre of individuals and professionals working in it.

“A client’s aims should always remain the focus and as a customer, you should look for an efficient scientific method being used by the trainer that you feel streamlines the process of really getting to where you want to be.

“For example, if it’s a knee injury and you want to lose weight, then the theory will combine quite nicely by finding exercises that will facilitate a reduction in pain and aid recovery, but will also get you to lose body fat as well.

“Your trainer should not be putting their own goals on you, but be using science and theory to optimise your own goals and help you achieve those results.”

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Poplar: How Canary Wall is offering climbing sessions from £6 near Westferry DLR

London Climbing Centres’ east London bouldering facility includes a training room and Yoga studio

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“New climbers are always surprised by the warmth of the climbing community – spend an evening on the mats and, if you’re ready for a chat, after an hour you’ll have made a bunch of friends,”  said Sara Petersen, manger of London Climbing Centres’ (LCC) Canary Wall.

Located near Westferry DLR station under a series of railway arches, the facility offers an extensive range of bouldering walls including one outdoors.

There’s also a training room, a Yoga studio, a cafe and a gear shop on-site.

Bouldering is a sub discipline where climbers take on short, often demanding challenges using holds on walls that are less than four metres high. 

Deep crash mats underneath provide safety instead of ropes and harnesses, allowing complete freedom of movement. 

Fitness-wise, climbing offers a comprehensive all-body workout helping to build strength, flexibility and endurance.

Then there’s the mental challenge of working out the best ways to move to reach the top.

The complexity of the challenges, which are typically colour-coded and graded for difficulty, also has another benefit.

Bouldering can be a sociable activity

“In bouldering, climbs are trickier, both physically and mentally, to complete than in roped climbing,” said Sara. 

“That’s why we call them ‘problems’. You’ll need to rest and assess each climb before tackling it, which is when conversations with those around you typically strike up.

“Usually you’ll end up working out the problem together.”

To help foster that community Canary Wall, which opened its doors in August 2020, offers a calendar packed with social climbs, induction sessions and friendly competitions. 

“For work colleagues and businesses, the centre also offers social events, team building and corporate membership deals.

Sara said: “We’re always thrilled to introduce climbing to those who’ve never tried it before. 

“It’s always so exciting to watch someone discover their new favourite sport during their first ever climb and know that we’ve helped grow the community just that little bit more.”

Standard adult day passes at Canary Wall cost £15 at peak times, £11 for off-peak and £6 for super off-peak (9am-11am on Sundays).

First-time climbers receive a discount card that can be used to claim 50% off a second visit and half price shoe hire, a five-entry pass for £47 including shoe hire and 10% off climbing shoes at LCC shops. 

Monthly memberships cover access to all walls run by LCC with prices for off-peak deals starting at £55. 

Punch card packs are also available with £240 for 20 climbs, bringing the price down to £12 per session. 

Canary Wall, which is located on Trinidad Street in Poplar, is open weekdays 6am-11pm and 9am-9pm at weekends.

Canary Wall is located under a series of railway arches

Read more: How Barry’s is challenging east London businesses

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: How firms can compete in The Battle Of The Wharf at Barry’s

Barnd is challenging businesses to a two-week contest in February at its Crossrail Place studio

Barry’s is challenging local businesses in Canary Wharf

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what’s all this?

Barry’s in Crossrail Place is hosting a competition for businesses based in and around Canary Wharf.

tell me more

It’s called The Battle Of The Wharf and takes place over two weeks in February.

how does it work?

Teams of three or more people from a business or organisation take part in as many classes as possible at Barry’s Canary Wharf between February 14-28, 2023.

what’s involved?

For those who don’t know, Barry’s is home to 50 or 60-minute exercise classes billed as “The Best Workout In The World”.

These take place in a crimson-lit studio called The Red Room and are based around high intensity interval training using treadmills, dumbbells and bodyweight.

what will happen?

Participants can expect to burn up to 1,000 calories per session under the guidance of instructors, who curate potent playlists of uplifting beats to spur people on.

is the Battle Of The Wharf for anyone?

First timers or Barry’s regulars are all welcome to sign up for the contest.

Teams of three or more can compete, but the bigger the team, the more chance of winning

who wins?

The team with the most classes taken wins both glory and two weeks of complimentary walk-in classes. That means the bigger your team, the more chance of winning. 

are there terms and conditions?

Participants must be signed up for classes to count. All classes must be taken at Barry’s Canary Wharf in Crossrail Place, using the registered email address for the contest.

Businesses can sign up for The Battle Of The Wharf here

Read more: How Dishoom Canary Wharf is all about a story

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: How those hitting the gym can achieve their goals with balance

Third Space mind and body master trainer Clare Walters on the physical and mental benefits of exercise

Third Space mind and body master trainer Clare Walters

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Will 2023 be the year it happens?

That the resolution takes and the good intentions are converted into consistent, positive action? 

January and February are traditionally the months of busy gyms as, for whatever reason, people decide to get fit, lose weight, gain muscle, improve their endurance or boost flexibility. 

But, how to achieve those goals and develop a habit that will stick beyond the arrival of spring?

That’s where Third Space mind and body master trainer Clare Walters can help.

Along with her colleagues, her role is to help the health club’s members take the steps they need to get where they want to go.

“Our message for 2023 is all about training for life,” said Clare. “It’s the idea that everything you do in the gym supports what you do outside it.

“At Third Space we provide facilities where you can train every part of your body.

“But it’s not just the physical, it’s also about training the mind and about the restorative side of things.”

Billed as the largest luxury health club in Europe and spread over three floors of the building that houses Waitrose in Canada Square, Third Space Canary Wharf isn’t short on space or amenities.

There are free weights, a swimming pool, a climbing wall, saunas, steam rooms, ranks of cardio machines, a combat zone, weights machines and a vast Crossfit-inspired training area called The Yard. 

Third Space Canary Wharf is currently undergoing a major update

That’s before you even get to the hundreds of classes every week – all included in the monthly membership. So how best to navigate such a wealth of options?

“The best thing you can do if you’re coming into training or returning to the gym, is to get as much guidance as possible,” said Clare, who trained as a dancer before embarking on a career in the fitness industry.

“You’ll see people on social media promoting crazy workouts and doing 30-day challenges. They can be great as a gateway into fitness but they are only ever the start. 

“You want to be training to make your life easier, whether that’s with the aim of climbing a mountain or just running after your kids in the playground.

“In my classes I use the example of my mum. She’s retired and she loves hiking.

“She was struggling on the hikes to get over stiles, so I’ve given her barre exercises and Pilates for strength, flexibility and stability.

“It’s about working out why you want to train – whether your goals are aesthetic or fitness related. I think having longer term goals really helps.

“They make you realise you don’t need to go hell for leather – you don’t want to start with a marathon if you’ve not been running before. 

 “It’s the same with any type of training – pace yourself, get expert guidance and speak to the instructors for advice.

“They will be able to suggest classes that will help.

“For example, a high intensity class will be very fast-paced with larger movements designed to switch on the bigger muscles.

“Adding in something like a Pilates class can help by focusing on the lesser muscles in the body that help with posture and general alignment.

“It’s more of a holistic approach to help maintain a balanced body and avoid injury.”

Then there are the mental health benefits, derived from both intense exercise and slower disciplines.

“People who train regularly can expect to feel like they have more energy,” said Clare, who practises circus skills including the trapeze, outside work.

“The endorphins it creates give you a natural mood boost and help minimise pain.

“Training makes you feel better about your life, yourself, better in your body on a mechanical level, a bit brighter, stronger and fitter.

“Walking up the escalator on the Tube won’t leave you puffing at the top.

“There’s something about lifting a weight that’s heavier than the one a week before, when you feel connected to your breath doing Yoga or when you go swimming and you can do more lengths than the time before. 

“We lead such busy lives, especially in London – having the space to concentrate on one thing is really important.

Clare enjoys Yin Yoga as a break from busy London life

“My favourite Yoga practice is actually Yin – it focuses on the softer, slower aspects of the discipline, with long held postures that are quite meditative.

“It’s good if you just need that little bit of space in your day – you can come into our studio, it’s warm, we dim the lights, we have calm music, and we’re creating that relaxing atmosphere.

“It’s like a haven – a third space away from work and home life where you can come in and only focus on yourself.

“Of course, one of the other great things about Third Space is the community.

“Members meet other members and become friends, whether that’s through attending classes or just chatting in the sauna.

“One of the things we’ve learnt during the pandemic is that people need other people  – isolation isn’t good for humans at all.

“It might simply be that you’re in a class, finding it tough, look to your left and right and feel that sense of connection – something that spurs you on.

“As a teacher, it’s really beautiful when I see this happening, or when people come to a class and then end up chatting a bit more and hanging out afterwards.

“We’ve also launched Hyrox classes that are aimed at equipping members with the skills to compete in those competitive events.

“Members can do those individually, just like the event, or they can team up with a partner and the classes are the perfect place to find someone to do that with.” 

In other news, the Canary Wharf club is undergoing an extensive refurbishment programme with many machines already replaced and interiors updated.

Membership for Third Space Canary Wharf costs £210 per month with group-wide access £20 more.

There is currently no joining fee.

Read more: How Dishoom Canary Wharf is all about a story

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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