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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: Fitness brand Sweat By BXR offers free classes at Crossrail Place studio

Boxing, Versaclimbing and Strength And Conditioning sessions all available at its facility

Working the Versaclimber at Sweat By BXR
Working the Versaclimber at Sweat By BXR

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Everywhere, normal life is reasserting itself. Inboxes are buzzing, people are getting back in touch and returning to the office – Canary Wharf hasn’t been this busy since the first three months of 2020.

It’s time to get out and meet again, to shrug off the PJs, shift those extra pandemic pounds and get in shape.

The solution? It’s not home workouts. Contorting yourself to see a tiny figure on your phone flexing something is so first lockdown.

What’s needed is consistent, energising, professional help and boutique, pay-to-train fitness studio, Sweat By BXR in Canary Wharf has an offer that’s hard to resist.

It’s currently offering anyone who signs up for its weekly newsletter a complimentary class. Free, no strings.

“We want to encourage people out of their offices and homes,” said managing director Alex Nicholl. “We want people to come and enjoy the experience, to get back in the studio.

“Once people have done that, we then have two introductory offers that work out at £10 per class for a number of sessions.

“With the complimentary class, we just want people to come in, meet us and try out a workout. It’s that simple.   

“People just need to scan the QR code on the following page, enter their details and we’ll send them a voucher code that can be used for any of our classes.

“That’s a really good, free and then cost-effective way to get into our studios and experience what we have to offer.”

Sweat By BXR’s Alex Nicholl – image by Ilyas Ayub

Specifically the brand’s Crossrail Place branch has two workout spaces that are currently home to three classes – Sweatbox, Strenghtbox and Climb To The Beat.

“We have two concept studios,” said Alex. “One is focused on boxing and the other on Versaclimbing. On the boxing side we have two classes – one designed around boxing and bodyweight exercises that we call Sweatbox.

“The other is designed around boxing plus resistance and weight training – that’s Strengthbox. They both have music and lighting as part of the concept and a really fun atmosphere.

“The studio can hold up to 30 people – 15 can be working out on the heavy bags, while the other 15 are working out on the floor using equipment or their own bodyweight.

“One of the big differences in our product and those offered elsewhere is that our boxing classes come from our heritage with BXR – our concept boxing gym in Marylebone.

“All of our instructors are either current fighters, former fighters or have worked at a high level in boxing so you get a really great workout.

“All the equipment is available at the studio – gloves and wraps, everything is here. We also do pre and post-workout shakes.

“Our workouts are usually 45 minutes, with at least 41 minutes of exercise and a three or four-minute stretch towards the end.”

Sweat By BXR offers boxing-inspired workouts at its studio

Inspired by the regimes of top boxers, who need explosive cardio workouts to compete at the highest levels, Sweat By BXR also has something pretty special.

“At BXR, we opened the first Versaclimber studio in Europe when we launched our Marylebone site in 2017,” said Alex. “It’s a machine at a 75-degree angle that has handholds and pedals to mimic climbing. 

“As a machine it’s unique in the fitness world – it’s completely non-impact and burns more calories per minute than any other. It’s a total body workout. You can do an intense interval workout on it – lots of boxers use it before a fight.

“But the first time I tried one, I was on it for an hour and absolutely loved it. There’s a rhythm there, a catharsis in the movement of it. So I sat with some specialists and we were able to conceptualise and create a class for it.

“We launched that in April 2017 and Climb To The Beat became our biggest selling product. The energy, the highs, the pumping music and its crescendos all play into it. I have a background in nightlife so I’m very keen on working with DJs and light technicians to create an atmosphere. 

“The energy is unlike anything I’ve seen in a studio before – it’s a particular feeling. The fact your heart rate goes up so high but that you can recover quickly just by bringing your hands down and then go again, makes it a product for everyone. 

“Coming out of the pandemic is so much about getting yourself back into a regime – there’s a mental health element to that too. 

“Boxing is entrenched in that and the highs from Climb To The Beat also make people feel really good – they walk out of a class with smiles on their faces. We really want people to come and experience that.

“Our pay-ast-you-train model offers our clients a lot of flexibility and that’s key, particularly at the moment.

“We’ve extended all of our expiry dates so people get greater flexibility and can buy a pack of classes, keep them and use them when they need to train.”

A full class timetable is available here.

Sweat By BXR’s Versaclimber studio space
VERSACLIMBER
Climb To The Beat is Sweat By BXR’s most popular class with participants following the beat of the music on their machines, increasing and decreasing intensity as the sounds ebb and flow.

Beloved of osteopaths and physios, the machines are non-impact meaning the risk of injury is reduced. 

Sweat is currently developing a new class, Performance, that will use heart rate monitors to gauge intensity. It’s expected on the Wharf in 2022. 
Sweat By BXR’s boxing studio space
BOXING
With capacity for 30 people, Sweat By BXR’s boxing studio draws on boxing concept gym BXR in Marylebone.

The workouts offered within – Strengthbox and Sweatbox – include full body exercises, punching skills and instructors who are either fighters or involved in the sport at a high level.

Participants alternate between floor-based workouts and using the plentiful heavy bags to the rear of the studio space.

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