As an entry into running, to perfect your pace or to get a rush of endorphins, tread classes are some of the most coveted around and for good reason. From increased metabolic rate to torching fat, cardiovascular fitness gain, and increased VO2 max, not to mention the positive mental health effects, the health benefits of running are limitless. Ranging from purely tread-based to classes combining running and strength, with various other equipment in the mix too, London is inundated with superb studios trailblazing the tread phenomenon. Activating a magic formula, these high-vibe classes are renowned for incredible results, burning fat through running and building muscle through strength training. The class environment is great for those that find running tiresome and drawn out, opting for shorter bursts with buzzing energy in the room and an instructor to get the most out of you. Helping you hit new PB speeds, the classes are likely to feature sprints, triggering the body to reach its anaerobic threshold through explosive movement to spike the heart rate that you’re unlikely to achieve in another setting. Highly addictive, these high-intensity classes push the boundaries on where you can take your pace, giving an adrenaline high that you’ll keep coming back for. Rounding up our top pick of classes, here are the tread-based classes worth booking.
Split in half between the running machine and a series of functional strength exercises with intermitting bursts of rowing, Orangetheory is a 1-hour total body workout. Building endurance, the 30-minute chunk on the tread will test your cardiovascular fitness within your parameters. At the beginning of the workout, you’ll establish your ‘base pace’ which will determine your speeds for the rest of the run. Inclines are also likely to make an appearance! Working with tech to track the heart rate zones you’re training through, the goal is to spend 12-20 minutes in the “The Orange Zone” (84-91% of your maximum heart rate) to boost your metabolism, burn fat and burn additional calories post-workout, better known as the afterburn effect. The other portion of the workout alternates between the rower and strength training following an AMRAP protocol, the exercises change daily utilising dumbbells, benches and the TRX. The real-time personalised stats create an interactive environment at Orangetherory, the instructors are able to track your progress and make sure you hit that 12-20 minute target.
Fuelled by the iconic ‘Red Room’ lighting and high-energy tunes, Barry’s is the signature tread-based workout loved globally. Sessions are either 50 minutes or 1 hour long, spending 50% of the time on the tread and 50% on the floor, switching multiple times during the session. The guided treadmill sections are up to 15 minutes, with three speeds to work off; beginner, intermediate and advanced. Expect a combination of endurance runs, inclines, sprints and progressive intervals. The specialist Woodway treadmills get you up to pace rapidly to minimise wasting time. The floor is where you’ll be strength training, targeting specific muscle groups on different days. Working for time rather than reps, the instructor will lead you through a series of exercises that will apply progressive overload to the target area, using dumbbells, bands and a bench.
Broken up into three zones; cardio, strength and combat, Blaze is David Lloyd’s signature HIIT class that has set the club into the boutique fitness scene. Under strobe lighting, this 45-minute session gives you an endorphin high, soundtracked by DJ-curated playlists synced with the workout. Working for 3 minutes in each section, you’ll complete each station 3 times during the class. The cardio zone is where the running takes place, the style varies between sprint intervals, progressive speed increases, hill climbs and dynamic mode running. The strength zone generally features two exercises, switching every 30 seconds using the dumbbells that are slotted into the ergonomically-designed bench. The combat zone features boxing, martial arts skills and dynamic movement, working on the boxing bag and the TRX. Myzone is a wearable heart-rate-based system that brings Blaze to life, members where their Myzone belt which tracks their workout in the form of colour-coded, easy-to-read tiles. The aim is to spend 9-18 minutes in the red zone (90%+ of your maximum heart rate), the results are stored in the Myzone app where you can track your progress.
Alternating between time on the treadmill and floor work, this 50-minute adrenaline-charged class keeps you motivated through mood-inducing lighting and music. On the tread, expect to work on intervals, sprints, inclines or a mix of them all for approx 6 minutes at a time, split into timed segments. The floor work compromises timed circuits, incorporating bodyweight drills as well as weighted exercises, designed to complement your running for overall better ability and improved running efficiency. The focus of the floor work changes on a daily basis between upper body, lower body or full body with core exercises in every workout. Set at your own pace, the workout helps you reach your full running potential, powered by expert instructors who will get the very best out of you. Be sure to check out Alex Lawson’s classes!
This intense 45-minute class tests every element of fitness through its blend of explosive cardio and dynamic functional training, using a Skillmill treadmill, TRX and RIP Trainer. Coached through a series of high-intensity intervals, the cardio blocks call upon the Technogym Skillmill, the curved non-motorised treadmill, for you to dictate the speed by lengthening your stride to increase the speed. The versatility of the Skillmill makes for endless running protocols to work on power, speed and stamina. Similarly, the TRX and the RIP trainer are both multifunctional pieces of equipment. The workout moves between the TRX, following multiple exercises that challenge strength and mobility, and the RIP trainer, which puts intense pressure on the abs, especially the obliques, through the resistance of the bungee. Fortitude is a creative class which uses kit that you’re probably not familiar with, posing new challenges to the body to optimise maximum results!
This cult fat-torching workout remixes between quick-fire rounds of high-powered treadmill bouts and dynamic weight sequences. For 45 minutes, expect to sweat in the experience-driven immersive studios with high-vibe lighting and a pumping sound system. The Reshape class model evolves into four types; full body + abs, upper body + abs, lower body + abs and ‘Rebuild’, a signature style which hones on technique, fundamentals and building a strong foundation. Spending 4-minute stints on the treadmill and the floor at one given time, the aim is to work intensely to spike the heart rate. During the time on the treadmill, there will be variable speed and/or incline adjustments called out by the 1R trainers to build up effort throughout the interval.
Equally divided between interval training on the treadmill and conditioning work, this 50-minute session lives up to its name. The 20-25 minutes of work on the treadmill blends low and high intensity, giving you small breathers to go hard on the work periods. The other half is spend building strength with the use dumbbells and pull-up bars through conditioning work that will push your body in a different way, making Sweat X a well-rounded work to sculpt out the muscles and burn fat in the process. Open to beginner, intermediate and advanced, the session is structured around your ability, you will set the treadmill and choose the weights, with the guidance of the Thrid Space trainer.
Featuring running intervals, strength and recovery, Victus Soul host 40, 50 and 60-minute sessions of their HIIT & Run classes to choose from. Using the Woodway treadmills, the intervals are high intensity, wasting no time to get you up to speed. Combining hills, sprints, endurance and sledge runs, each workout mixes these modalities to bring new challenges to the body. The bespoke Fitbench has dumbbells slotted into the sides for easy access during the strength sections. Pairing opposite muscle groups, the strength phases provide a perfectly balanced workout using a series of supersets. HIIT & Run ends with a cool down, focusing on breathwork and dynamic stretching to gradually bring down the heart rate and prioritise the importance of recovery to minimise the risk of injury so you can come back fitter and stronger next time.
Hosted at Peloton’s flagship studio, where UK-based filming for the app takes place, there are a select few tread classes per week. Bagging a spot on the live set is gold dust, but if you’re lucky enough to book a class, you’ll be coached in the flesh by the Peloton superstar trainers that is broadcasted to Peloton members globally. The sessions range from 25 minutes to 45 minutes, with an ability ranking given beforehand so you know what to expect from the session. From brisk walks using inclines to pacey sprints, the sessions undulate throughout. The full session is spent on the treadmills which gives feedback on your ranking with the other people in the room as well as those taking part virtually. The filming will mainly be on the instructor, so don’t worry if you’re camera shy. Post-class you’ll get the chance to chat to the trainer and even snap a sweaty picture! Buzzing with energy, from the moment you step onto the set the epic Peloton team will get you raring to go. This is the hot running ticket in town, set your alarms and be quick with your fingers to book a tread class!
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