When I heard about a new class at Virgin Active that could allow you to burn 500 calories in 30 minutes. I had to give it a try.

Virgin Active - The Grid (1)

This was my first time paying a visit to the Virgin Active gym, I had a quick tour before the class and was surprised by how high-end this gym is. The equipment is extremely modern and there is a lot of it. There are other classes already going in other rooms and even a pool with some aqua-robics going on. I do a quick warm-up on the treadmill and then gather with my new six friends to start the class.

Initially it looked like a day in primary school, six squares drawn on the floor like a game of handball is ready to take place. Then you realise the equipment around you and the list of exercises being run in the next 30 minutes.

Our trainer runs through how to properly do the six exercises ahead and I am immediately wondering how much easier it would have been to stay in bed today. I’ve decided to attend the Grid Strong class which even during my tour I was told “Good Luck!” by the onsite manager. The nerves have kicked in.


For the next 30 minutes by body was absolutely tortured. As a guy who does go to the gym four times a week it was amazing to see a) how weak I am and b) how much of a difference a trainer to push you does.

No machines are involved in the exercises – we used our own body weight as equipment in most cases. Some floor exercises which started off as simple get really hard when you do it for so long. At each station we repeat a move (eg a chin-up) for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of holding that move half way. You then repeat that six times before moving to the next station. Even in one exercise where I needed to lift a 5kg wheel up and down I felt like a broken man before the time was up there. Simple movements repeated can really wear you down!

At the start I would smile at the trainer and put on a brave face, by the end of it I was pulling the face of a crying man with tears of sweat pouring down my face. No actual tears. I promise.

At the end of the class my shirt was dripping wet, I know I did my best and know that the next time I do it I will improve. In the meantime though I will carry my sore body around the office and recover.