On Saturday 7 October 2017, Doghouse Fitness held it’s grand opening in Balham, London. Just one week later, I ventured there for the first time to try Box Train. There were no regrets, and a lotta sweat. This is the gritty, boutique, in-a-dark-room style stuff… and I’m SO excited to tell you all about it!
Located in the heart of Balham, in a converted storage unit, and about 5 minutes walk from the tube and rail station, this place not only scores all of the points on location but also on the ex-industrial vibe. And the best bit? There’s a vegan cafe and smoothie bar, Rawligion, that serves up post-workout treats – perfect for refuelling and recovering after that sweat sesh. Set up by two guys who work in full-time jobs in the city (shhh they are still working full time in their respective jobs), the entire concept of this Box ‘n’ Spin studio is that we put our bodies through so much from eating crap to drinking excessively that we need to spend some time doing the good stuff to make up for all that ‘bad’ stuff. So whether you need to pay for last night’s burger with 20 burpees or sweat out all those cocktails in a Spin sprint, this is the place to come to put your body in the doghouse.
The sweaty bit
After climbing two flights of stairs, and naive to what was in store for us, me and my fellow weekend warriors entered the UV lit Box Train studio. Dark, intimate, gritty and all to the rhythm of old school hip hop, this class was everything I needed to transport me into another world and get my head into training mode on a Saturday afternoon. Up in that studio, drunk on UV lights and endorphins, nothing else and no-one else mattered. No weekend, no concept of time, no job, nothing but me and my goals to be stronger, fitter and ready for the next adventure. And we were put through our paces. I’m talking walking planks, burpees, plank jacks, mountain climbers, sit-ups, resistant-band training… combined with the all important punch bag work. I left red faced, sweat-drenched, fully stoked on the achievement that comes with completing those 45 intense minutes of training.
Class capacity is 9. You don’t need to bring your own boxing gloves. For boxer geeks the glove weight is 8oz and the punch bags are water-filled (and feel really nice to punch). If you haven’t tried boxing before, don’t be scared or intimidated by the idea of it – this is a functional training class which will put you through your paces but you’re not going to be in the ring sparring or fighting with another human so the only way you’re getting a black eye is if you punch yourself in the face (also a possibility when you’re dizzy with endorphins).
If you live in south London and you’re looking to try out somewhere you’d get in the city but a little closer to home Doghouse Fitness is THE one. Top class instructors, intimate workout space and a trendy vegan cafe make this place Balham’s newest asset. For anyone a little further away, you gotta know Balham is NOT that far. It’s easily accessible on the Northern line and only took me 40 minutes door to door from my home in Whitechapel. Similarly, if you’re visiting London for work, you can easily get your fitness fix here.
Try it for FREE
At time of writing, when you register on the website you get your first class for FREE! Who turns down free stuff on London? Crazy people, that’s who! So if you’re keen then get yourself registered, booked in and go check it out yourself here. Be sure to try the smoothies and fresh vegan salads too!
Everything else you’ll need to know
For first timers, here’s everything you’ll need to know before you enter the Doghouse.
- The changing rooms – women’s (I didn’t enter the men’s) are light and airy with all the essentials you need to become a sparkling human woman ready to re-enter the world after your sweat fest. Everything else you’ll need to know is below.
- Are there hair straighteners? At time of writing, no. If you want sleek locks, it’s BYO straighteners ladies.
- Are there hairdryers? Yes.
- Do I need to bring my own towel? No need to bring a towel guys, they have a whole stack of towels to go around.
- Showers? Yes.
- What’s the deal with lockers? Anyone who has been around their gyms will have experienced it all, keys, bring your own padlock and be masters at the key-code operated lockers. You’ll be glad to know the lockers at Doghouse are keys… with an elastic band on to easily hook onto your water bottle or clothing.
- Cotton wool? Yes.
- Cotton buds? Yes.
- Deodorant? No.
- Hair bands? No.
- Shampoo & conditioner? Yes. And it’s Cowshed in case you really need to know.
- Smoothies? Yes!
- Tampons? No.
- Are there enough lockers? There’s not heaps but then the class capacity isn’t that big so it doesn’t really matter. There are limited large lockers so if you came with a lotta baggage you’ll need to leave only the valuables in there.
- Sauna / steam room? Nah, it’s not that kinda place guys. This is a work hard, have a smoothie and get out kinda place.
- Where’s the website? HERE.
Have you been to Doghouse?
What did you think? I’d love to know!
Or if you have any questions, please feel free to ask… i might know the answer, i might not, but i’ll try to point you in the right direction.
Stay wild adventure warriors!
with love, L x
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