Let’s Get Physical

Art & Culture

Aerobics in a pub? Too good to be true?

There can’t seriously be anybody left out there still clinging to their New Year detox or fitness regime? Perhaps you lasted two, maybe three weeks max before some unmissable opportunity for caning presented itself and you duly buckled? Or maybe, like the Ransom Note, you simply thought “Damn this!’ I’ve done three hard weeks, I bloody well deserve a drink. Or twelve” And perhaps as those first delicious few sups took hold, gazing blearily around your hostelry or gin joint of choice you thought to yourself; “You know, I definitely do feel better all round. In fact, I enjoyed that little burst of exercises. All told, I enjoyed it almost as much as I’m enjoying this lager”. And perhaps your addled mind came to thinking “If only I could pair the health kick with a social aspect? There must be something out there that combines booze and conscience assuaging light exercise?” Sound familiar? If so your prayers have been answered: Let’s Get Physical! It is, as the name suggests an aerobics session. But an aerobics session with some major differences: 1. The music is NOT utter shit, 2. Your fellow fitness fans aren’t gurning vein-popping Olympiads, 3. There’s a half hour break in the middle so the instructors can pop out for a cig (no really!). 4. It’s in a pub. Results!

The rather fabulous Lexington on Pentonville Road to be precise. And though its upstairs normally throbs to forward facing indie courtesy of hype promoters Upset the Rhythm and White Light, this afternoon, Hall & Oates, the Bee Gees and Michael Jackson soundtrack the shuffling plimsolls with the strains of Olivia Newton-John’s evergreen ‘Physical’ teasing a peculiar assortment of frumpy indie girls and lycra clad weekend rockstars onto the dancefloor. Two likeable instructors cajole with just enough zip to keep you lively but not so much to make you feel like you’ve accidentally joined the navy, the stretches are just demanding enough to make you feel as if you’ve been, well, stretched and the cardio work out is just enough to break a mild sweat. Indeed, the hardest thing about it is not collapsing into fits of giggles as you point your toes to Flight of The Conchords impossibly daft ‘Fou de Fa Fa’. And with no giant mirrors or bright lights to draw undue attention to our lumpy legs (just the slightly wonky mirror-ball) the vibe is all the more of a ‘fitness’ fancy dress themed indie disco. Come the second half, the instructors lead the group through a super-kitsch reconstruction of Madonna’s ‘Holiday’ routine and the session draws to a close with everyone standing around breathlessly applauding each other. The class repairs to the bar downstairs for a team talk and amazingly most of us are still ensconced some two hours later. So whether you want to gently take the edge off last night’s hangover or want an excuse to usher in the next, the discerning health conscious drinker could do far worse on a Saturday afternoon than a session at Let’s Get Physical.

Jim Brackpool

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