First-Class ClassPass Experience – @ 1REBEL

The story begins when my friend from work turned gym buddy Natalie (from the fitness blog group FourFits) asked me if I wanted to try out class pass free for a month.

I said “Hell YEAH!”


Then I asked,  hold up, “what exactly is class pass?”

Nat shared the link to their website. According to their welcome page –  “Class Pass is a monthly membership that connects you to 8,00 + studios around the world”.

To be more specific, class pass allows its users to explore different classes around the city and with membership starting from £35 per month, it allows users to explore classes, studios and gyms that they may not have otherwise thought of attending

I was even more amazed when I found out that 1rebel was included on their list!

Images from my Instagram page

1Rebel is a new fitness centre or as they are commonly now known as, a new brand of luxury boutique gyms in London targeted at the fashion forward and fitness conscious hipster who has little time and lots of money! Nothing like a conventional gym, it embraces the concept of  being a “high intensity, dual studio”

Currently there are only two 1Rebel studios in London, one by the Gherkin in Liverpool Street and the other by Broadgate Circle.

All classes start with ‘R’. You can either opt for the Ride (a spin class), Reshape (a fast-paced intervals class of treadmills and resistance training) or Rumble (a boxercise-esque HIIT class).  Each workout is accompanied by the latest music and night club style mood lighting.

As a part 1 architecture graduate, naturally what immediately stood out to me was its design, simply like nothing I had ever experience before. The entrance has a discrete yet bold presence. Visitors are drawn in by a large neon light with the company’s name & logo also acting as a backdrop to their bar ( That sells pure organic juice, food and smoothies nutritionally targeted to either help reduce fat or build muscle) which is in clear sight from the street.

You don’t get the feeling as though you have entered a gym but more like you’ve entered day club/bar type environment. You’re only reminded that you’ve entered a gym when you peer your head past a studio. The overall environment is laid back, carefree and light.

The architects behind the snazzy design where Studio C102 and had the following to say about their given brief: 

The 750sqm shell, previously an office, has been stripped down and reconfigured into a contemporary,industrial space – now inhabited with an eclectic mix of reclaimed industrial fittings and balanced in luxury and theatrical glamour. Our brief was to design a gym where each class felt like a night out – an event in its own right rather than a means to an end. The final design is industrial, yet luxurious which places the visitor at centre stage.

After a little bit more background research I actually wasn’t even surprised when I found out that the owner of 1Rebel was none other that Fitness First owner Mike Balfour’s son Jame Balfour.

When asked about his thinking behind the concept gym James said the following:

“we wanted to do something very different to Fitness First. No membership fees – you pay per session, not an annual fee – and we offer as much impact per pound as we can, which means that it’ll take less time to get the body you want. If you think about it like that, it’s a shortcut.”


Ride studio.

Returning to my story, so early last month (February) I booked in via the class pass app to attend the 45 min Saturday morning Reshape class over at their St Mary Axe branch. Already warned by a friend who had taken the class before, I knew that it was not going to be easy…and boy was I about to find out why!

The Reshape class focuses on strength training, conditioning and re-sculpting targeted muscle groups – hence its name. The group class consisted of participants taking it in turns to work out on the latest Woodway 4Front treadmills and then their bespoke and patented 1R workout platforms.

1r-reshape-studioRehape studio.

The class started as you would expect with the instructor asking any new comers to step forward so that she could talk us all through what was what and announce if we had any injuries and shown the safety features of the treadmill.

I was shown to my station where shortly after the sounds of Stormzy filled the room. We warmed up with a light jog on the spot whilst those on the treadmill did the same. The bench work included various of drills, body weight exercises, planks, squats, burpees, crunches, squat jumps, lunges, bench presses – the whole sha-bang! .

After a couple of minutes we were told to “SWITCH!”. I jumped straight onto the treadmill in front of me and started to sprint. Three options were given, for beginners, intermediate and advanced.After about 30/40 seconds we were asked to increase the speed each time.

After the third switch, during the treadmill section we were asked to set the machines to dynamic mode – this is where you use the power from your legs to make the treadmill belt move. You literally just run as hard and fast as you can!

The class came to a nice end with a quick stretch. After which we said our thanks to the instructor Kim and they slowly made our way back into the changing rooms.




Ladies changing rooms.

The industrial-chic changing rooms are my favourite part of the whole 1Rebel experience. The female changing rooms are clean and fully equipped with heated benches, top spec bronze GHD hair straighteners and hair dryer set, refrigerated lavender-scented towels in a cute little black SMEG fridge and over-sized showers. All in all thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

Overall ratings: 4.5 ants out of 5


Thanks for reading 🙂


Images –

GQ magazine

1Rebel :  63 St Mary Axe, London, EC3A. 020 3714 0710. Introductory sessions from £10.


Thanks Natalie (from Fourfits) for getting me started and introducing me to the app.  

Thanks also to those who have supported and motivated me to this point and beyond. Love Jaz x


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