Class Review: John Reed Fitness

Hey, I’m Theo, one of the Business Development Team at Fresh Fitness Food. Due to the nature of my role, I’m fortunate enough to be able to experiment with new styles of training in some of the latest and greatest facilities that London has to offer – this week was certainly no exception! 

This week I jumped into an evening Callisthenics class at John Reed Liverpool Street; find out more below! 

What is John Reed Fitness?

John Reed is a fitness experience like no other. This Liverpool Street venue is John Reed’s first UK site. An inspired space that removes you from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a dream combination of unique design cues and state-of-the-art training equipment. 

The Class: Callisthenics

Callisthenics is a form of strength training that uses the resistance of your body and gravity to help strengthen your muscles and improve your coordination, endurance and mobility.

Although I am partial to the odd pull-up, I have never actually attempted a callisthenics-specific workout, so I was intrigued to test my skills in this session and discover where my strengths and weaknesses would lie!

It’s not often that you find a callisthenics session as part of a gym’s class schedule; hats off to John Reed and their coaching team for opening up this training discipline to their members. The class was led by Callisthenics pro Kaan Genc who helped me get to grips with the basics! 

The Workout

Warm Up: 

  • High Knees (20 secs) 
  • Star Jumps x 10 
  • Hip Mobility (Groiners / Elbow to Floor) x 10 

Repeat the above 3 times. 

Scapula Engagement: 

  • Pray Scap Push Up x 5 
  • Ring Row Scap Pull x 5 

Repeat the above 3 times.

Workout (Part 1):

  • Elbow line hip thrusters
  • Ring Dip Hold (for seconds) 
  • Front plank with alternating single-arm ball grab

Repeat the above exercises for 5 descending sets of 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps, 4 reps, and 2 reps.

Workout (Part 2):

  • 1 x Pull Up (Isometric) – pause at top for 5s, pause with forehead on bar for 5s, pause at bottom with scapulas engaged 5s. 
  • Tricep Dip – elbow 90 degrees, 5-second hold followed by 5 normal reps. 

Repeat the above three times. 

Workout (Part 3):

  • Ring Row 
  • Press up with hollow form

Repeat the above exercises for 5 descending sets of 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps, 4 reps, and 2 reps.

Warm Down

Animal Walks (intuitive movement) all for a distance of 15 metres. 

  • Bear crawl / Reverse bear crawl 
  • Crab walk / Reverse Crab walk
  • Gorilla jump and upward arm scoop focusing on opening the chest. 

The Verdict

Seriously good workout. My eyes have been opened to the world of callisthenics – I love how technical it is, Kaan made all the exercises and demos look incredibly easy, but you can tell it takes years of practice to execute the movements with perfect form. Even from doing one session I feel I’ve slightly caught a bug for it, as I’ve been trying to improve my strict pull up form and ring holds since! 


  1. Callisthenics-style press-ups are a whole different ball game; unlike a CrossFit press-up where speed is king, there is much more emphasis on having higher hips and shoulders, which creates a higher level of tension throughout the movement. 
  2. Isometric body weight holds are tough!
  3. Intuitive-based movements (that we warmed down with) really test mental and physical coordination. 
  4. You hit so many body parts at once through a variety of different exercises, so be prepared for some full body DOMS! 


  • Sweat = 7/10 
  • Endorphins = 9/10
  • DOMS = 9/10
  • Recommendation = 10/10 

I’d massively recommend John Reed as a place to train solo or make the most of their awesome facilities and classes. They’re currently running the offer below:

“Pay nothing until January on all annual contracts”

Available in the club only, you can book a tour via tel: 020 3936 8960 or email:

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Published by Theo Kilham

Theo takes care of a range of FFF's Affiliate Gyms and Partners across London. Outside of FFF, he is big into cycling, coffee and he's currently looking to diversify his passion for Heath and Fitness through learning CrossFit.

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