Last Friday I went to Ministry of Sound. However, in stark contrast to the days of the past where I would turn up to a nightclub in impossible-to-walk-in sky high heels and too-short miniskirt, I was comfortably in my favourite lycra and trainers. That may have been the only thing that was comfortable about the evening however…
One of the girls at work introduced me to Ministry does Fitness. It used to be the club’s ‘hidden booze vault’ but has been transformed into a training studio where, as they say, you will sweat your arse off for results. However, it wasn’t the reasonable sounding ‘cardio’, ‘core’ or ‘endurance’ classes she had in mind, no, it was Hiitbox Volume V.
What is Hiitbox?
“Sonja Moses and her team of Hiitbox Ninjas will deliver that fight night feeling, challenging you to unleash your inner badass and bring your A-game to this high energy HIIT boxing experience! 12 rounds of pads interspersed with high intensity fitness moves accompanied by a live DJ and MC”
Slightly different to the usual Ministry does Fitness classes, Hiitbox is a special event that takes place in the famous London nightclub itself and is all wrapped up by 9pm so the traditional revelers can take over. I didn’t really know what to expect but, for £30, I was expecting something a little bit special.
Genna and I turned up to the club just before 18.30 where we wrapped our hands up and waited outside for the fun to begin. I wasn’t overly impressed by this bit, we had already handed our bags over and had to wait outside for just a little too long, it was cold despite the heaters.
Eventually we were invited inside, reds to the left, blues to the right, accompanied by some hooded Hiitbox Ninjas. They didn’t look friendly. It was dark, I was separated from Genna who was on the other side, and we were all lined up against a wall in a corridor. It was a little eerie.
Before I knew it, there were 3 hooded ninjas jumping up and down and screaming in my face to squat, ‘lower, lower, f**king LOWER’. It was still dark. ‘On the floor, push ups, NOW’. ‘Get up, knees up, higher, higher.’ And that was just the warm up. Fast, intense and bloody exhausting. The lead ninja then simply laughed and said ‘now you’re all gonna get f**ked up’. He was right.
Inside the club I was reunited with Genna and the real fight started. It’s difficult to describe the atmosphere but the lights were low, the lasers were on, the DJ was in full force and, in true boxing style, an MC was on stage to introduce each of the ninjas and our instructor, Sonja Moses (this is a lady who personifies badass).
We were then put through 12 rounds of 4 minute high intensity boxing routines each taking it in turns on the pads and gloves. Starting with some simple punch sequences, that began slowly with, a focus on technique, and finished fast, with a focus on trying not to be sick, these progressed into more complex routines including roundhouse kicks and knee strikes. The final round consisted of 4 solid minutes of punches and burpees, it was a killer. I hated it. I loved it. I didn’t know how I felt. My whole body was shaking.
Hiitbox is more than just an exercise class, it’s an experience that’s geared up to create a proper ‘fight night’ feeling. There are full on theatrics, fighting talk, and ring girls, with an electric, high energy atmosphere brought about through a live DJ and Sonja herself. Each round left you gasping for breath, it was intense, sweaty, challenging and totally exhilarating.
In hindsight, although £30 isn’t cheap, it’s in keeping with London’s boutique spinning studios and bootcamps that easily charge £20 an hour for a regular class, plus you were supplied with water throughout and drinks and snacks at the end. I was promised “the freshest beats, biggest sound-system, legendary coaches and an epic full body workout” and that’s exactly what I got.
Be warned though, at some point in the middle of the night I woke up and realised I could barely move my entire body. You will go hard and you will hurt, but if you like being pushed to your limits, you’re gonna love it.
Go with a friend, go with your hand wraps, go with an open mind and go with bags of energy. But GO!
The Crew. Photo: Tom Webb @tomwebb_photographer