When it comes to fitness classes, where premium gym chains like Third Space lead, others tend to follow. That’s why we’re always keen to check out a new session on the Third Space timetable.
The latest flagship class is Formula 3, which launches at the new Third Space City club, and it sounds tough to say the least.
“Formula 3 is a triple header of hard work,” says Luke Barnsley, trainer at Third Space London. “Rowing, kettlebells and bodyweight work – all gruelling, all yielding results. In a Formula 3 class there are three blocks of work, with each block broken up into three sections.”
If that sounds like fun to you, we’ve enlisted Barnsley to provide a taster workout in the style of a Formula 3 workout. This workout only has two blocks, rather than the three you’ll find in a Third Space session, but we reckon once you’ve made it through the below you’ll be more than happy to skip the finisher you’d have to tackle in the full class.
“First make sure you have enough space and the equipment required,” says Barnsley. “You’ll need a rower, some kettlebells and space for the exercises, preferably close to the rower. Give yourself a few weight options with the kettlebells.
“A visible timer is also a great idea. Put your smartphone to use by downloading a timer app so you can see how long you have left in each block.”
“All Formula 3 classes begin with five to seven minutes of mobility work,” says Barnsley. “‘Mobilise, then terrorise’ is the phrase we use in class. If you’re working on your own, try to extend this to ten minutes, but keep the quality high – don’t just flick through Instagram while lying on a foam roller.
“Focus on thoracic rotation drills to open up your back and things like Spider-Man stretches to open up your hips. Your body wants to feel warm, loose and energised after this section.”
“In the first block each section is four minutes long, with a strict 90 seconds of rest between sections,” says Barnsley. “For advanced athletes, the rest should be brought down to 60 seconds.”
Time 30sec Rest 30sec
“Sprint for 30 seconds and then rest completely for 30 seconds,” says Barnsley. “Make sure the sprints are all-out efforts!”
“With the kettlebells, work in an ascending ladder format for a total of four minutes,” says Barnsley. “Start on four good-quality reps of each of the three exercises and add two reps to every exercise with each round. See how many reps you can achieve before the time runs out.”
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell in both hands. Bend your knees and lean forwards at the hips so the kettlebell hangs between your legs. Take it back between your legs, then swing the kettlebell forwards, driving with your hips to send it up to shoulder height. Then control the swing back down between your legs.
2 Sumo deadlift high pull
Adopt a wide stance with a kettlebell on the ground between your feet. Squat down and grab the kettlebell in both hands, then stand up and bring the weight up to your shoulders, raising your elbows as you lift.
3 Kettlebell thruster
Hold a kettlebell by each shoulder in the rack position. Drop into a squat and then, as you power back up, use that momentum to drive the kettlebells above your head until your arms are fully extended.
“The first bodyweight block is a deadly EMOM lasting four minutes,” says Barnsley. “EMOM stands for Every Minute On the Minute. At the beginning of each minute start completing 12 bodyweight burpees. Get them done quickly and you can rest the remainder of the minute, so work hard!”
Reps 12 EMOM
From a standing position, drop down and kick your feet out behind you to get into a press-up position. At this point you can drop your chest to the floor and push back up if you want to make it especially hard on yourself. Then jump your feet back up towards your hands, stand up and leap into the air, raising your hands above your head.
“Again, each section is four minutes long with 60-90 seconds’ rest between sections, depending on your fitness level,” says Barnsley.
“This is simple, but brutal,” says Barnsley. “It’s a continuous four-minute maximum effort to see how far you can row. Not only will this test you, it’s a great measure of how much you are improving over time. As you become fitter, you’ll be able to achieve longer distances, which in turn will motivate you to keep at it.”
“Your kettlebell round is an EMOM,” says Barnsley. “This time as the minute begins you will owe 20 American swings and ten press-ups. Get them done early and you’ll earn more rest, but don’t sacrifice your form for speed and make sure you practise the exercises before you begin the session.”
1 American kettlebell swing
Popular with CrossFitters, the American kettlebell swing is the same as the standard version of the exercise except the you swing the kettlebell high above your head, rather than just to shoulder height.
You know how to do these, right? Get into a press-up position, lower your chest until it is close to the floor, then push back up. Try to avoid flaring your elbows too much.
“The bodyweight section of this block is a challenging superset,” says Barnsley. “You’ll do 21 reps of both exercises, then 15, then nine. Can you complete all that before four minutes is up?”
From a standing position, lower into a deep squat. Then power back up, jump off the ground, land and go straight into the next rep.
From a standing position, drop down and kick your feet out behind you so you end up in a press-up position. Then jump your feet back to your hands and stand up.