Element + Baby Spinach

an element of hard work before you reward yourself with coffee and brunch.

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START: Element Fitness, 24-26 Streatham High Road, SW16 1EX, London.

FINISH: Baby Spinach, 24-26 Streatham High Road, SW16 1EX, london.

TRAIN: Streatham Hill Station.

THE WORKOUT: Friday 12pm, EARTH with Stephen. If you’re looking for a steady paced, equipment-based workout to improve overall muscle tone (EARTH) or an explosive Tabata style high intensity session to challenge your endurance (FIRE) then it’s time to face the elements. This stylish, Streatham studio offers functional group training that’s suitable for all levels and purposefully designed around four different training formats. EARTH is based on an EMOM structure meaning a set number of repetitions Every Minute On The Minute. Expect to build up a gradual sweat by lifting Dumbells, Medicine Balls and Kettle Bells; each specific station lasts for 6 minutes with 2 added minutes to prime the body beforehand. The class is colour-coded to enable class goers to take control of their own workout: Blue – I’m new, Green – I’m keen, Red- I’m used to this and Black – I’m a pro. Every EARTH session at Element also starts with an efficient warm up to get the blood pumping and ends with a stretchy cool-down. Other classes on offer at Element include: WATER, FIRE and AIR, the latter of the three being particularly challenging focusing entirely on cardiovascular fitness. Think super-high intensity with very short rest periods working your lungs to the absolute max on the Airbike and SkiErg - yes it’s as bad as it sounds (but it’s brilliant training). To cut through the intensity, EARTH appears on the schedule at least once a week. This offers a well-earned break to work another energy system, reset and condition the body; perfect for building a strong foundation to tackle the other sessions with gusto!

FYI: If you’re more a weekend-style double-shotter then try the Saturday AMRAP WATER class at 11am.

THE FOOD: Post work-out you can shimmy next door to refuel. Baby Spinach, the younger sibling of Dulwich restaurant Spinach, is a serene oasis of calm and the perfect spot for a post workout pick me up. From energising super juices and an array of tasty smoothies/smoothie bowls, to flavoursome flatbreads and brunch including scrambled eggs and sweetcorn fritters - it would be rude not to after you’ve worked up an appetite next door. If you’re willing to forgive the fact you may end up with slightly stained lips, the activated charcoal bowl is refreshingly ice cold and deliciously sweet, scattered with blueberries and chia. Brunch classics like no-fuss scrambled eggs are light and fluffy and arrive on thick slabs of sourdough, which you can choose to jazz up with side order of halloumi, avo or salmon. The best time to visit is mid-morning, where the vibe is relaxed and it’s not too busy. There are stools by the window for people watching, wooden tables for coffee catch ups or a stint on the laptop and the adjoining reception area has bean bags (and even a hammock) for ultimate chill-time.

FYI: Element Fitness is housed alongside Yogarise Yoga studio with Baby Spinach café in the same building offering you the chance to get in a tough, sweaty session, breathe then brunch!

THE PRICE: Element: drop-in class £15, class pack of five: £65, monthly unlimited £115. Baby Spinach: Acai and charcoal bowls £6.5, Sweetcorn fritters £8, scrambled eggs £6, flatbreads from £6.5. Extras: Avocado, salmon, halloumi £2.

BEST FOR: Cranking up the pace with a sweat inducing work out, followed by our favourite kind of cool down - brunch! 

Element + Baby Spinach

Written by health-curious Emma. Find her at @fromfitnesstofork