Fancy a treat but don't want to feel guilty about it? Then all you have to do is Earn It. Amy Strode shows us her favourite Gymbox classes to nuke away those 'cheat day' calories.
Cheat day, you say?
For me, one of the joys of exercise is not feeling too guilty for the odd treat. But sometimes even hunger can't outweigh conscience. Luckily, Gymbox offers so many classes to its members there's no reason not to enjoy every last bite of that sinful snack so here are some suggestions based on my top five treats.
Remember, if you eat it, earn it!
DISCLAIMER: apologies to vegans, vegetarians and those who hate puns of any kind.
Crisps and dip
Calories: 350 (half a large bag of crisps), 300 (third of a pot of dip)
Earn it at: Kettlebells
Crunching and dipping are not just for the gym. My ultimate vice and the thing keeping my local corner shop in business is getting through a bag of crisps and a pot of dip at Usain Bolt-like speed. It's just too easy; in fact, I think my body may actually be 60% hummus. A few nibbles and chickpea-based dip is all well and good until you're an Eastenders omnibus down, two large packets in and you see those dreaded words- "Great for sharing".
If your post-binge conscience is as guilty as Bobby Beale's, never fear, because Gymbox's Kettlebells class is here. Your chip dipping discipline may be terrible, but this Russian military-inspired class uses weights to work the whole body and test your endurance so you'll be whipped into shape in no time. Burning approximately 600 calories a session and available in circuit format, the class will have you shredding snack-induced weight quicker than you can say 'guacamole'.
Blue cheeseburger and fries
Calories: 1000+ (with sides)
Earn it at: Caveman
This one's less of a snack, even if my appetite says otherwise. If, like me, hunger can cause you to regress ten stages on the evolutionary chain and turn Neanderthal, you'll know there's nothing better than a big ol' slab of something medium-rare squashed between two buns. I'm prone to add blue cheese to my burgers, as apparently I'm part man, part mouse and who doesn't need a hearty source of mould in their diet? I will always make excuses for a good burger. Meat = protein, cheese = calcium, lone lettuce leaf = vitamins...
But once you've got that down, there's the sides to think about. Despite that infamous saying, I would argue that skinny fries definitely taste as good as skinny feels, even if they do have the least slimming qualities of all the chips. Toss some of those on with some dressing and you're lucky if you're still sub 1000 calories.
What to do when you have a "me want meat" moment? Go to a Caveman class of course! You can at least earn the 700 calorie burger during this full-body workout, through intensive interval training using minimal but challenging equipment. My tip would be to complete the class first, then pretend your burger is the prize from a long, gruelling hunt, rather than an expertly grilled patty at a chain restaurant/hipster diner of your choice.
Pick 'n' mix
Earn it at: Pound
Still mourning the death of Woolworths? Me too. Long gone are the days of hoping that your little paper bag of sweets wouldn't tip the scales and cost you more than 80p. But you still can't resist the occasional scoop of sour cherries, fried eggs and white mice (don't even get me started on the holy grail of Pick 'n' Mix, 'jazzies').
Now, with a little bit more than pocket money to spend, it's easy to get carried away when you want that sugar rush. What you need is to swap those drumstick lollies for another kind, one that doesn't glue your teeth together for a fortnight.
Save those pennies and get to Pound. Not for the faint-hearted, the class uses simulated drumming to fuse cardio, resistance work and Pilates, targeting the muscles you rarely use. Each 45 minute class burns up to 700 calories so be prepared to sweat. It's a good job you ate those last few fizzy cola bottles – you'll be needing the energy.
Chicken shop chicken
Calories: 700+ (without sides)
Earn it at: Muay Thai
This is a fairly new venture for me. After six years of living in East London and torturous runs past endless chains of chicken shops, I've finally been converted to the naughtiest of all treat foods. As most of these establishments title themselves 'Best', 'Perfect', or 'Favourite' how could I resist? Once I've got a whiff of whichever "secret" spice recipe hits me first, I'm running to the counter quicker than I sprinted round the park beforehand.
If you struggle to kick the chicken habit, why not kick something else to make up for the 700+ calories in your bucket alone? Muay Thai classes at Gymbox are available for everyone, at all levels so there are no excuses. With a combination of attack and defence techniques on offer, as well as a chance to practice sparring, the class creates an intensive, full body workout, so your wings and thighs can stay as hot and succulent as those in your cardboard box of deliciousness.
Cake (any kind, anywhere, any time)
Earn it at: Wattbike
I was a cake addict long before The Great British Bake Off. Any time, any place, if there's cake I'll eat it, and the sweeter the better. Personally, I am partial to carrot cake. Not the low-fat type with dried fruit and nuts for extra nutritional value, but the stodgy kind with lashings of cream cheese frosting and a little icing carrot perched on top.
Like many of its relatives, this cake comes at a hefty 400 + calories a piece so I need to really deserve it. A Wattbike class at Gymbox can slice off at least 700 of these calories through spinning with settings to replicate road cycling and other terrains. What's more, the intervals of high and low intensity spinning aid cardiovascular fitness as a cherry on top of your workout cake. I could drop in some more food-based wordplay here but they're becoming more sickly than a piece of banoffee pie, so I'll finish by saying this class will not only leave your face more scarlet than a red velvet cupcake, but will also lessen your muffin top AND, as always, you'll get your fill of beats while burning off sticky treats.
Eat it, Earn It, Burn It! Check out our classes schedule right here.