Love spin? Love High Intensity Interval Training? Love sweaty men? Then we have the fitness class for you! Here, Mikey Lee, creator of Ride HIIT Hard, explains more.
Fitness, being active and the body have always interested me, so six years ago (after 10 years in retail management) I was lucky enough to retrain and start a new career. Currently I’m in gym management, and work as a personal trainer and fitness class instructor.
Last year I found myself single for the first time in almost a decade. During the time I was in the relationship, the landscape of the gay dating scene had changed because of things like social media and dating apps. I found myself a little alienated, but I wanted to connect with new people in real life.
As health and fitness has become a more important part of my life, I have become less and less interested in a bar scene, and so started to look for a fun yet challenging fitness class aimed at gay men with the hope of meeting like-minded guys. I went to one or two gay fitness classes, but found the focus was on fun and big tunes, which is great for some, but the workouts didn’t challenge me and they just weren’t my crowd. So, seeing that I couldn’t find what I wanted, I decided to start my own classes, drawing on my experiences from teaching at top London boutique studios and in keeping with modern tunes.
Ride HIIT Hard is a boutique fitness class which consists of a mix of spin and full body high intensity interval training, specifically for gay, bi or gay friendly men.
It takes place in Charing Cross each weekend at The Gym on Northumberland Ave in its top spec studio. We start with 30 minutes spinning – focusing on power, endurance and speed – then it’s off the bikes for another 30 minutes of high intensity interval training.
During the spin part of the session we work on power, speed and endurance. An intense start to boost your aerobic and anaerobic fitness, improve insulin sensitivity, burn off belly fat while helping maintain lean muscle mass. The second half of the class helps by delivering metabolic benefits using body weight exercises. Mixing explosive, fast, resistance movements it’s the best way to tone, condition and build strength.
We have a really nice group of regulars who attend most weekends. In short, our crowd is a great group of welcoming guys who want to keep fit and meet good people.
I love spinning because anybody can do it, and it’s easy to let go and allow yourself to get carried away with the music and energy in the room. HIIT is my favourite way to work out because it’s efficient and effective. Your body will be constantly challenged and it’s never boring. Results come quickly with HIIT, and so the combination of spin and HIIT is fast, effective and fun.
Music-wise we play high energy remixes of current chart and dance songs mostly. And it’s all mixed by me, so the beat drops just when you need it to. It’s designed to create the ultimate atmosphere and motivate.
Individual sessions are £10 or, for £20 a month, you get unlimited sessions. You only need the basics – gym kit, trainers, water, and if you want to use the showers some shower gel and towel. Lockers are available too.
Don’t be scared of not being fit enough. I can’t tell you the amount of times someone has said to me ‘sorry in advance for my fitness level’. Please don’t worry, we all started fitness right at the beginning. I remember my first day in a gym, I was totally clueless and felt like everyone was watching me. There is no ‘gymtimidation’ at Ride HIIT Hard; it’s a very supportive atmosphere and I’ll help you through.
The beauty of Ride HIIT Hard is that you are in control, you go as hard as you are able to, no one gets called out. If you are worried about techniques, don’t be; rather than instruct, I coach you through the workout. Oh and also, I hope you like sweaty men, cos we come out dripping!
Saturday mornings are open to gay, bi or gay friendly men. Sunday mornings are open to all from the LGBTQ+ and our allies, regardless of gender. Sign up online at RideHIIT.co.uk. And classes take place every Saturday and Sunday morning at 10.30am, with more coming soon. See you there!
For more information and to sign up, visit ridehiit.co.uk
World AIDS Day Red Run registration is now open
The annual World AIDS Day Red Run returns to Victoria Park in east London on 1 December 2018.
Now in its 9th year, the event has charities from across the country taking part and last year saw 2,000 people take part raising nearly £100,000 for HIV projects.
The Red Run is a 5k or 10k charity fun run and is the only event of its kind in the UK uniting the HIV sector, creating a platform for HIV organisations to raise awareness and vital funds for their work.
The 2018 Red Run will be hosted by iconic girl drag band DENIM with music by DJs from Horse Meat Disco. To learn more about the Red Run and to register, visit redrun.org.uk
London Otters success at the Gay Games
The London Otters, the LGBT+ rowing club, are celebrating great success at this year’s Gay Games in Paris where the group took home 3 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 3 bronze medals in races ranging from single sculls to mixed eights.
Seventy-five Otters took part and some had only started rowing less than a year ago, so their medal haul is a great achievement for all involved.
British Rowing events the group have taken part in recently include the Hammersmith Head, Lea Spring Regatta and Bedford Regatta.
If you fancy joining the group then check out their website at londonotters.org where you can register your interest; one of their captains will then be in touch to discuss options.
Low cost massage at Terrence Higgins Trust
Complementary therapies like massage, osteopathy and acupuncture are known to enhance the lives of people living with HIV.
THT is now offering low cost therapies Monday to Friday at its King’s Cross therapy rooms in London to people living with HIV. The service is designed to empower and support HIV positive clients to live healthy lives. Hypnotherapy and shiatsu therapy are also available. You can book online via tht.org.uk/comptherapies