BLOK is popular thanks to the variety of classes on offer at its Manchester studios (you can do strength, various forms of yoga, boxing, barre, calisthenics, HIIT, meditation, pilates and more). The quality of the coaching is another draw: the teachers at BLOK are some of the best in their field. If you want to learn a skill rather than just go through the motions of an exercise class, head here.
This class-based gym became a success in London before opening its stylish BLOK Manchester studio in 2018 – and although it looks very “designer” and “boutique”, the atmosphere is friendly and down-to-earth.
Its location inside Ducie Street Warehouse means coffee is always an option after class. It’s also very near Piccadilly Station so is a good choice for train commuters who want a gym on their route home.
Boxing at BLOK
City centre studio BLOK offers two types of boxing class; BoxCon which is a HIIT-style workout based around the boxing bags, and straight Boxing which focuses more on technique.
Both will put you through your paces physically, while the technique classes will work your brain cells too. Classes typically move from learning a combination on the bags, to practising it with a partner using pads. Sometimes there’s body sparring but there’s no pressure to get involved.
There are four really experienced boxing coaches at BLOK, including two ex-professional boxers. Each has a different style of coaching, and different skills and insights to pass on. They’re good at teaching to all levels within the same class, from first-timers up to experienced boxers.
There’s no boxing ring at BLOK Manchester but there is a dedicated studio with about 12 bags, plus boxing gloves and pads so you don’t need to bring your own. You do need your own hand wraps – you can buy them at reception for £5.
Meditation at BLOK
With its soft lighting and natural materials, BLOK’s beautiful yoga room is the perfect setting for a meditation session. In here they offer three very different styles of meditation class – each of them powerful in their own way.
The ‘Yoga with Meditation’ class begins with breathwork before moving into a flowing yoga practice where you’re encouraged to make each movement a meditation in itself. This quietens your mind and gets you in tune with your body before you settle into a guided meditation and visualisation.
‘BLOKsound’ meanwhile uses instruments such as gongs and Tibetan bowls to stimulate the alpha and theta frequencies in your brain – it’s a calming, soothing experience.
‘BLOKbreath’ begins with dynamic breathwork before you settle into a trance-like, meditative state where your subconscious thoughts rise to the surface. Everyone experiences it differently, and it can be quite emotional.