Updated: Feb 20, 2020
A couple weekends ago my friend and I attended Sweatlife, a fitness festival ran by Lululemon in London. The event took place at the Tobacco dock, in East London. The festival spans over the Saturday and Sunday. Both days are very similar so decided to only go for the Sunday sweat.
We have attended similar London 'fitness festivals' in previous years such as 'Balance Festival' and 'Sweaty Betty Live' which all run on a similar pattern. These 'fitness festivals' give festival go-ers a chance to try out new, different and exciting fitness classes ran by the boutique and elite gyms around London. For me as a Personal Trainer, it give me a chance to broaden my knowledge on the fitness industry, see what new direction fitness is heading in and find out what else there is out there.
What made Sweatlife stand out from the previous fitness festivals we have attended is that Sweatlife offers unlimited Yoga and meditation sessions to all festival go-ers. Included in your ticket, you are also entitled to 2 fitness classes for the sweet price of £35. Booking your space for class prior to the festival was essential as spaces filled up quickly. With the choice of so many classes ran by the likes of Barry's Bootcamp, KOBox, Pscycle, Third Space, FRAME, CrossFit London, UN1T, TriYoga and many others, it is hard to choose just 2 classes. With many classes already full we settled on doing 'Formula 3' ran by Third Space and 'Bagwork' ran by Manor.
The Tobacco dock was a perfect venue for a festival like this. With 2 big exhibition rooms to easily fit around 100 yogis mat next to mat, with smaller rooms dotted all around the venue which each boutique fitness company could host their own classes. Glass windows and doors expose each class to passers by, exhibiting what they hold in store.
We did 3 yoga classes that day, one on spinal twists with Triyoga then 2 classes,
Warrior Yoga and Move to the Groove on the main stage with The lululemon team. we enjoyed all the yoga classes, especially Move to the Groove. It was my first time doing Warrior yoga which was a bit different to my normal practice. There is a lot of slow punching in front and turning to the back of the room. It was a new experience and great to try.
My favourite class of the day was Formula 3 with Third Space a boutique gym in London. I have heard a lot about third space and always wanted to try a class or work out there so it was great to have this opportunity. Kate our trainer took us through 1 hour of High Intensity Interval Training with Workouts including Kettle bells, body weight exercises, partner work and rowing.
Like at many of these London fitness festivals there were a few small pop up stores selling unique products such as toiletries, healthy snacks, fitness accessories among other things. Lululemon had a big shop selling the brand's active wear including the new season. One product that caught my eye was a company called 'DAME' who are the first company to make the reusable tampon applicator. With the intention of trying to keep my plastic waste down, I have struggled with the moon cup and using tampons without an applicator. This has given me a great alternative and one of those products I wouldn't have come across unless I attended one of these fitness festival. Always remember knowledge is power.
On the topic of keeping your reusable plastic waste down, I am happy Sweatlife festival have taken this on, giving every person a reusable plastic bottle. There were many food stalls serving their food in either cardboard or comestible tubs as well as offering wooden cutlery. I try to do what I can for the environment and keep your single use plastic down. Its not hard to bring your own bottle for water or a collapsible coffee cup in your handbag. Both my friend and I carry around a cutlery set and bamboo straw so we never have to use plastic.
What also sets Sweatlife apart from the other London fitness festivals is the huge range of food choices available. Because there is open outdoor space, there was the opportunity to have cooked food. Choices ranged from vegan burgers, to Buddha bowls, Thai curries to topping your own banana bread. To refuel I went for the kimchi vegan baos by EatChay, an Asian vegan food stall.
Overall it was a great day and both of us were exhausted by the end of it. After 2 fitness class and 3 yoga sessions we felt well worked, happy and healthy. For anyone in the fitness industry or who has a huge passion for health and fitness not living in London, I would highly recommend going to one of these fitness festivals and broadening your horizons on what the fitness industry has to offer.