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FITOPIA: THE FITNESS APP FOR SOUTH WEST LONDONERS

Apps like Fitopia and Fittle are changing the way we work out and helping us to integrate classes with our hectic city lifestyles. But unlike ClassPass, they allow south west Londoners to keep it local. The Resident sent a member of the team to try it out…

Words: Madeleine Howell

It was only a matter of time before start-ups disrupted our gym routines. ClassPass, which gives flexible membership to a network of studios, is now to fitness what Uber is to travel and what Deliveroo is to dining.

However, there can be something impersonal and utilitarian about working out with ClassPass. For those who prefer to work out locally, there’s a new app in town providing flexible fitness across studios in Fulham, Parsons Green and Wimbledon – including the likes of Pedal Studio in Wimbledon, and Bootcamp Pilates in Fulham.

Signing up in anticipation of the looming indulgence of the festive season, I found that Fitopia offers the perfect formula for those who like to occasionally mix things up while generally sticking to tried-and-tested favourites and familiar faces. Rather than joining a faceless app, via Fitopia I was able to join a ‘home studio’ – in my case, Slice Urban Lifestyle Studios on Heathman’s Road in Parsons Green – where you have unlimited access to classes.


The app also allows up to five additional classes at partner studios – not that variety was lacking in the timetable at Slice. With access to the entire timetable, I was able to try everything from barre conditioning to dance and yoga, as well as more unusual classes like trampoline rebounding (a fun, low-impact cardio workout using a mini trampoline), Jazzercise and 80s Aerobics.

As autumn and winter draws in, combining these with some (incredibly sweaty) sessions at Hot Spot Yoga next door has proved the ideal way to shake up a sluggish fitness routine. According to Fitopia founder Hamish Barclay, it’s a system that works well for the studios as well as fitsters hankering for a return to social fitness. ‘Users get access to all the classes they want in their area and the studios retain control of their memberships.’

Claire Finlay of participating studio Transition Zone agrees. ‘Studios can’t deny the effects the new generation of apps have had on them,’ she says. ‘We’re working together and bringing it back to what really matters – great access, discovery, and personalised fitness.’

Fitopia is set to expand, but in the meantime, if you’re Clapham-based, check out the Fittle app, which offers everything from HIIT camp on Clapham Common to Kettlebell Pilates at Fitness Fusions on Clapham High Street. Our favourite offering is the Riverside Sunset Yoga by Wandsworth Bridge. With these options, there’s no excuses even for the most time-poor south west Londoner.

Download Fitopia from the App Store or Google Play. Prices start from £129 per month (£4.30 per day)

SW RESIDENT’S TOP FITNESS-APP CLASSES

PHIIT KILLER
This high intensity workout at PHIIT in Fulham (which stands for Pilates and High Intensity Interval Training) combines heart rate elevating intervals with strength developing circuits.
345 North End Road SW6 1NN; phiit.co.uk

HOT SPOT YOGA
The 90 minute class at Hot Spot Yoga in Parson’s Green is not for the faint hearted. Try the 60 minute option if you’re a Bikram novice. If you’re already converted, try the candlelit classes on Friday and Sunday evenings.
25 Heathman’s Road SW6 4TJ; thehotspotyoga.co.uk

CARDIO PILATES
This intense class from Bootcamp Pilates lives up to its name. While suitable for all levels of fitness, this 55-minute class includes exercises both on and off the Reformer to help you to boost your fitness, strength, muscle tone and stamina but also to burn fat. Be prepared to sweat.
2 Fulham High Street SW6 3LQ; bootcamppilates.com

BARRE CONDITIONING
This conditioning class at Slice Urban Lifestyle Studios uses high repetition and full-range movements to develop lean muscles by training both the upper and lower body with a focus on posture and core strength.
11 Heathman’s Road SW6 4TJ; slicestudios.co.uk

ROLLING HILLS
As well as targeted classes like
Abs Attack, Pedal Studio in Wimbledon offers classes for both endurance and short power bursts such as Bike Power: Rolling Hills. Each interval is a combination of faster descents into short hills – perfect if you’re training for a sporting event such as a triathlon.
7 Elm Grove SW19 4HE; pedalstudio.co.uk

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