Tune in, work out and get a dose of fresh air all at the same time with Clapham’s latest outdoor fitness craze, the alfresco silent disco!
Words: Georgina Blaskey
Silence is golden. An early morning stroll around the bandstand, a dog walk with friends, whatever takes you to Clapham Common on a Friday morning at 9.30am, it’s not going to be the desire to hear some shouty fitness group’s workout tracks blasting through the birdsong.
Enter Matt Boyles, founder of Wireless Fitness, who explains: ‘Our wireless headphones technology finally brings together the fun and excitement of music-based exercise classes with the exhilaration of training outdoors. It’s a great combination.’
He’s right. For every groan (and who doesn’t want some sweat and tears if you’ve actually made the effort to go?), there were giggles as well. The class is designed to be accessible, and as hard as you want it to be. Boyles’ exceptional music choices and DJ-style commentary are what makes it so addictive. He could’ve ruled the airwaves in a previous life.
When you wear the wireless headphones, which are so comfortable you forget you’re wearing them (and yes, they are disinfected between users), you feel connected yet contained in your own little world. Because everyone is in their own zone, you only compete with yourself, at your speed and intensity.
He claims that the Wireless Workout is a unique outdoor exercise class that’s more fun than any other. Having pitched up last Friday and sweated it out (even in the pouring spring rain), I’m rather inclined to agree.
Most songs (there are about 10) comprise of two or three exercises. ‘I carefully line up and choreograph the exercises that work with each section of each song,’ Boyles says.
‘That is, in the verses we might be doing squats as a group, then there might be a static squat in the build-up to the chorus and then when the beat drops and the song really kicks in, in the chorus itself, we might be on our backs, doing lying cycles – or maybe going for a run around the bandstand.
But all of these exercises can be done quicker or slower if necessary, and there are also modifications too, for example if someone has a bad back.’
Boyles is enthusiastic, caring and funny throughout and the hour flies by. We covered every dynamic move for an all-round workout. From press-ups to Calvin Harris, bridge raises to DJ Zinc, mountain climbers to Offaiah, sprints to Rita Ora, lunges to Sia and burpees to The Police, the headphones help you to focus on the exercise in hand, by shutting out the outside world and letting you crack on with working out.
It’s the perfect way to turn off, tune in and work out, all the while enjoying the sporting atmosphere of Clapham Common.
Classes take place on Monday at 7pm and Friday at 9.30am. £10. Meet at Clapham Common bandstand fitteryou.net/silent-disco-fitness