I Tried Five Classes At BLOK And This Is What I Thought

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I'll be honest, I never get too excited to go to the gym and it's rare I've felt the exercise endorphins everyone talks about. So I ended my gym contract last year, despite it being very cheap, to try Classpass. I'm going to write a separate review on Classpass at some point as I don't want this post to become that.



As someone who keeps an eye on new openings in Manchester, seeing new kid on the block BLOK on the app as an option got me excited. Why? Many reasons. The aesthetic for one and I know that shouldn't really matter when you're heading there to work up a sweat, but for me it does. At my old gym, it was pretty soulless whereas BLOK has an instant feeling of luxury. It might help that there's rainfall showers, a reception to greet you and products available to use pre or post your workout. For me, those little things count - as well as not having to remember a padlock for your locker which is something I'm forever guilty of doing. The changing rooms are spacious and sleek and every corner gives off a calming vibe.


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Something else I love are the class options. In short, there's lots. And they're all really varied too. From yoga to boxing and street dancing to ballet barre, you're spoilt for choice. There's three studios in total - a dance/barre studio and a yoga studio where classes are quite small and then the cardio/boxing studio which is a lot bigger. Because a lot of the classes are capped in space, you get a lot of help and guidance from the instructors. So without further ado, here's the classes I've tried so far, what I thought, and which I'd recommend...


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1. BLOKbarre

One of the first classes I tried and there's not a tutu in sight. Inspired by ballet and pilates, you work on a lot of stretching as well as strength training which you can feel all over your body. I honestly thought this class would be a breeze, boy was I wrong. Despite the small movements you really feel the burn when you're doing it, and if you're like me, wishing the 10 second countdown would move a whole lot quicker when you're repeating a set of exercises. The instructors are great in this class as they'll adjust you if you're not in the right place, and despite the fact I'll never be able to do the splits or touch my toes, I can only hope I'm getting better at it. 




2. BLOKbeat 

This was the class I was most excited about trying, mainly because when I daydream I convince myself I could easily slot into a Step Up routine. The reality is a bit different so I hope Channing Tatum doesn't challenge me to a dance off any time soon... I used to ballroom dance when I was younger and if you asked me what I wanted to be when I was older at age 12, I said a back up dancer for Britney Spears. BLOKbeat is a dance choreography class. Every few weeks a new routine and track is taught so you're given the opportunity to come back for several weeks in a row to really fine-tune what you've learnt. I've noticed a lot of people come back for the same routine as they seem to know what's coming next when I'm usually spinning on the wrong foot. This class is sadly only once a week but the instructor has so much energy and good vibes, so I do recommend it if you're into your dancing. It's one I'm keen to get back into this year. 


3. BLOKparty 

No, there's no glasses of wine in this class but it does have the energy of a night out. BLOKparty is less choreography, more a series of dance steps. It's a lot of fun and usually lights are turned down. It's definitely more relaxed than BLOKbeat so if you just want to let off some steam after work without thinking too much, try this one. I prefer BLOKbeat in terms of dance styles but that's just a personal preference. 


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4. BLOKboxing

The boxing studio is probably the most photographed room at BLOK Manchester and it's not hard to see why as it's very slick. I only recently tried this as unlike the other classes I've been to, I didn't want to go on my own. It's a hugely popular class where you need to buy hand wraps before you start. That was one thing not clear on Classpass so I did turn up unprepared and as I'd never been before I had no idea how to actually put them on. Luckily my friend had boxed before so that helped, but I would have been lost without her! The same goes for the warm up and class when different movements were called out - I didn't know all of what was being asked - again thankfully I had my friend to steer me in the right direction. And I didn't enjoy swapping partners, only because I wasn't very good and one guy really went for it on me so I was probably the worst opponent for him - sorry mate! But I think if you go regularly all of the above won't matter, I just felt a bit out of place as a beginner. The class itself is an amazing workout and the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. It works all of your body and tired me out within 20 minutes so it was well worth the money. I would probably just go back when I know more about boxing.


5. BLOKyoga 

BLOK holds various yoga classes depending on your level and type you're after. I've only done yoga a handful of times in my life so I tried the yoga for beginners class which happens once a week. On the day I went I struck lucky as it was just me and one other girl. So as you can guess we got a lot of 1 on 1 time with the instructor. She was very calming and helpful and was on hand to adjust when I was in the wrong position for the pose. Sadly this is on the same time as BLOKbeat so it does tend to lose out to BLOKbeat because I love to dance but I'll hopefully go to this class more this year to get better and more flexible. 


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