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Inside CIRQ: the City’s most promising new workout space

It's rare a potentially deal-breaking workout is made so fun and accessible. Sam Hancock takes a trip to CIRQ and tries out the new revolutionary HIIT workout

My legs have just started to hurt. And I'm getting flashbacks to how much sweat I must have left on the beautifully designed floor of CIRQ's studio last night. But I don't regret a single second of my HIIT workout. In fact, I think I've been converted.

New-kid-on-the-block CIRQ has created workout spaces designed for intensive circuit training – with screens at every station to ensure us sweaty folk don't get lost in what it is we're supposed to be doing. And to save us having to deal with an annoying, over-intrusive coach telling (shouting at) us what it is we should be doing either.

When I say intensive, I mean intensive. HIIT, which stands for high-intensity interval training, is a cardiovascular exercise strategy that alternates short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. It burns but in the right kind of way. Much like you sweat, but in the right kind of way. 

I know I've said sweat a lot, but looking around the room 30 minutes in – everyone was on their way to being drenched. And by the end, well, you get the picture. 

Three months since opening its doors on Fleet Street, CIRQ is slowly establishing itself as a successful rival to the many gyms the City has to offer. Where it differs from the likes of F45, Virgin, or just about anyone else, is its accessibility. 

Safe to say, CIRQ is forward-thinking and all about appealing to you: the gym-goer

With three programmes to choose from: CIRQ, LIFT and FLEX, the gym is attempting to frame its niche as the gym for any time that suits you. This is most prevalent through the FLEX workout option, which allows users to walk into CIRQ at any time of day or evening and join in with a circuit class that's currently going on, for half the price.

It's to help people whose stressful working lives might mean their lunch hour is reduced to a random 30-minute window at 4.15pm, founder Rob Burstein tells me.

CIRQ, the workout I went for, is a gruelling, personally designed – by the trainers – circuit that sees you complete nine stations, spending 1 minute 40 seconds at each. My group was given a two-round regime, meaning we had twice as much fun (ha) on each station. LIFT is the less intensive option, built to maximise strength. 

Safe to say, CIRQ is forward-thinking and all about appealing to you: the gym-goer. Its facilities are also brand spanking new and the two studios, reception area and changing rooms are no-fuss, simple and still a cut above the rest.

If a first-time HIIT goer like me can feel as good as I do today, trust me you can, too. 

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For more deets on CIRQ, including a £30 two-week trial they currently have on offer, see cirq.life

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