In my journey through the fitness classes of Melbourne, I get to see it all. The sweaty bods. The pumping music. The cool outfits. The whole gamut of fitness fabulousness! But hand on my heart I have never seen a place quite like The Clubhouse at Alternative Women's Fitness!
Based in Thornbury, the AWF HQ is a welcoming community hub of girl power mixed with a fairly hefty dose of 'tude! Hot pink, animal print, faux turf and fairy lights adorn a space that's dotted with awesome artwork and powerful female quotes from everyone from Dolly Parton to Courtney Love. A merch section filled with sassy slogan tees and leggings that are cheeky enough to make your Nanna blush are showcased along the waiting area, where the faint sound of old school metal wafts out from where the real work is happening.
Now before we go on, let's get one thing straight...this is not a fucking gym! Yep and that's straight from the horses mouth. According to AWF, they are a fitness alternative, "You won’t find any treadmills or spin classes here - our aim is to give you something way better. Our classes offer a new approach to training and socialising, while still providing all the benefits of a professional fitness regime."
Love it already? Yep me too.
So I was pretty excited to be heading off to do the Kettle Belle Hell class (cute hey), and see what AWF was all about...giant wall vaginas and all!!
I was early so I got to take in the reception area while the other girls filed in. A friendly energy filled the space and excited banter built while the Muay Thai girls wrapped their hands and the Kettle Belles (see what I did there) patiently waited to enter The Clubhouse.
When we did usher in, I immediately fell in love with the space, not only for its high beamed ceilings and parquetry floors but also for the cool gallery of black and whites featuring their team of ass kicking trainers and pops of girly pink fitness equipment...because, you know, PINK!
But enough talk, it was now time to weeeerk! So while the Muay Thai girls got fired up, our trainer for the night, Kiko introduced us to our kettlebells.
We started with a practice go using some light bells, and we practiced a couple of spicy little combinations. With them down pat, we graduated to the heavier bells and Kiko set the clock...for TWENTY MINUTES. Ouch! This was going to hurt...oh that's right its Kettle Belle HELL not HEAVEN!
So for 2o arduous minutes my little posse and I smashed out the set of 3 movements, that included 100 Mountain Climbers!!! We built up a sweat quickly and I was feeling the burn (like everywhere), all while concentrating on not hurling my kettlebell across the pretty floor!
And then Kiko called time...bless you girl because I was dying! We took a short drink break and I wondered what on earth she could do to us next. I was happy to see that we would be shifting gear and doing some more isolated strength with tricep presses, single leg deadlifts, Russian Twists and Jack Knife Sit Ups...now by no means was it easy...but it wasn't as bad as the first bit. Hmmm....then again perhaps my triceps may disagree...actually I believe my abs and hammy's would have something to say also!!
We wrapped the class with a lovely cool down stretch and I was relieved to hear from class regular, Jules that it was one of the 'harder' classes she had done. Phew! I didn't feel like such a wuss after hearing that! I gathered up my things and with all my might had to stop myself from purchasing a 'Graceful as Fuck' tank...did I mention IT WAS IN GLITTER!!
But even without a glitter addition to my wardrobe, I left AWF feeling the best way you can feel after a class...totally sweaty and smiling!
Want to know if you can Find Your Fit with Alternative Women's Fitness?
Here's my five speedy takeaways from my time at AWF...
1. Do you need to be "Alternative" to work out at AWF? Hell no, in fact, they have the most open of open door policies. If you identify yourself as a woman...you can come right on in to this safe and welcoming space. You do need to be 18+ for the Women's classes but they do offer Alternative Girls Fitness for 14-17+ year olds
2. If you shifted in your seat a little from reading my earlier dropped F bombs...then you may want to prepare yourself. The surrounds at The Clubhouse are as liberal as they are lovely...and using the 'F' word and even a splash of 'C U Next Tuesday' is simply a way of expressing that.
3. If you're a beginner or just returned back to fitness, you're in luck. The trainers are extremely knowledgeable in their chosen fields and the memberships are totally flexible. You can choose to do casual classes or sign up for a 6 week term of classes in Boxing or Muay Thai.
4. Can't get to Thornbury? Well you're in luck. AWF have pop up venues in Brunswick, Collingwood. Fitzroy and Footscray! How cool is that!
5. Oh and did I mention they are not a fucking gym!!
So if you're not already hooked on the whole AWF thang...you have just gotta head on over to their super informative webpage, right here.
Oh and check out their Instagram and Facebook pages too.
Thanks for having me Alternative Women's Fitness.