Weekend mornings. Always a debate as to whether to use them for a lie in to catch-up on sleep or get up at about the same time and make the most of the day.
For me, it’s always a mix. I like to get up early one morning and have a little lie in the other. On my early morning, gym is always top of my priority list. A class or intense session to start the weekend well. Or prepare my body for the weekend treats. Some ultimate ME time. Time when I can unwind, de-stress and reset, and of course feel amazing afterwards.
Last Saturday, I got the chance to try one of the classes at Virgin Active at the O2 Centre on Finchley Road. Up early, to make the 7.45am start for the Body Pump class (yes, I might be crazy!), I wasn’t sure I was quite ready to get lifting.
Bar bells, free weights and steps at the ready, we were soon squatting, chest pressing, lunging and dead-lifting. The instructor was ace, with a slight humour and loud projected voice. He was super motivational.
20 minutes into my 45 minute class, I thought I was going to stop. But I didn’t let myself. Shaking, with wobbly legs and jelly arms, I made it through.
I popped into the gym after to find a spot to stretch and quickly noticed how big and modern it was. It looks pretty cool inside. There was so much variety on the equipment front. It looked like there was space specifically for CrossFit too and plenty of space for your own activities.
I couldn’t quite manage another class. Still a little wobbly on the feet after Body Pump, but was super tempted by Aqua. It takes place in the large indoor pool they have there too. Several other classes were super tempting too, including Grid Strong, Hatha Yoga and Boxing!
Not in a rush to get back, and quite enjoying the leisurely life my Saturday morning had to offer after getting up so early, I stopped at Soho Coffee Co. for a post-gym brekkie.
Soho Coffee Co., on the ground floor of the O2 Centre on Finchley Road, is part of the chain which started life in Cheltenham and is now Worldwide. The O2 Centre branch is completely open, located in the middle of the shopping centre.
With the same look and feel as all other branches, it has the signature oak woods, purples and whites, and low hanging filament lamps, radiating a contemporary upmarket feel.
Sat in the corner after ordering and waiting for my breakfast bowl and coffee, I took a few quick snaps before tucking in and enjoying my quality alone time. No one to moan at me for having to wait to eat whilst I take photos. No one to interrupt me concentrating on my food haha.
The Cacoa and Almond Breakfast Bowl had a smoothie style liquid base with light chocolate flavour, and was topped with crisp flaked almonds and cacoa flakes. Drinkable, but tucking in with a spoon, it was a delicious mix of flavours. The toppings added some extra texture and crunch.
With over 13g protein it was a great post-gym brekkie.
The coffee, made from the fairtrade organic beans Soho Coffee Co. is so proud of, was strong and earthy, but without the bitter edge. I definitely needed that coffee after the early start!
Finally deciding to head home, I armed myself with a Supreme Green smoothie for the journey. It’s a mix of pear, lime, spinach & ginger and hemp seed. Light, fresh and flavoursome, it was lined with a subtle ginger touch. The edge was taken off by the lime. A delicious finish to my healthy morning. I think it might be the best smoothie I’ve had in recent memory. Totally blows the socks off any strawberry and banana variety!
Overall a fab morning for myself – a little self indulgent but definitely well-deserved! I loved that everything was in one place – I hardly had to go far for my breakfast after leaving the gym!
You do have to be a member, or go with one, to be able to access Virgin Active, but after my experience last weekend I’d definitely consider a membership.
What’s your favourite way to spend your ‘Me time’?
*I was invited along by the O2 Centre on Finchley Road to try a gym class and breakfast. All views my own.