Over the years, the brazen promise of burnt calories and weight loss has attached itself to many a goofy fitness trend. Sensible people with families and mortgages find themselves doing Zumba at their local leisure centre and arranging themselves in a serried, sweaty mess at Bikram yoga sessions.
And now, early morning raves. In Shoreditch, east London (where else?), upwards of 200 people are swarming the arts venue, Village Underground, on Wednesdays to dance to Nineties dance music, get massages and drink smoothies. In the words of Morning Glory's co-founder Samantha Moyo, people are coming for a "workout, enjoyment and human connection before going on to a hard day's work. I think people come for a bit of fitness, but also to explore and try something different". At the last rave, someone had travelled all the way from Stevenage. The events are designed to be fun, inclusive and safe and last for a rave-like four hours, beginning at 6.30am.
Moyo and co-founder Nico Thoemmes came up with the idea after a boat party on Regent's Canal. There are other rave fitness classes in London, but they are marketed as an alternative to a night out and take place in the evening. The organisers feel they have a duty to make sure that their events take place in a wholesome environment, and have no intentions of turning their rave into a "hedonistic, mad thing" for after-partiers.
The venue was chosen, Moyo said, because "you don't get that whiff of beer" you do at other clubs. There are plans to take the event wider than east London, and while the hipster ratio will dip considerably the further they venture from their base, you sense it could be successful anywhere with a young population.
Cheapskate's version: Whack on some Tiësto, dig out your whistles and legwarmers and close the curtains and get dancing.
Morning Glory, Village Underground, London EC2, 4 September, £10
The bicyclist: Get shirty
No item more neatly weaves the heritage, aesthetic and snobbery of cycling than the cycling jersey, a fitted T-shirt with rear pockets that carry decades of baggage. Inevitably, there exists a cycling-jersey etiquette. I have my own rules. I cannot stand those awful Marmite jerseys, or baggy ones drooping below the arse.
I was struck during the Ride London sportive by the popularity of Team Sky jerseys, made by Rapha. I wore one, too, because somebody gave it to me – and it looks nice. But according to rule #17 of The Rules, by snobs-in-chief, The Velominati, wearing a team jersey "is questionable if you're not paid to". If you must, it adds, pair only with plain black shorts.
Rules about race-leader jerseys are stricter. I would no sooner wear an official yellow jersey than sling a George Cross around my neck. One try-hard on the London ride wore a Team Sky-branded yellow jersey with Sky shorts, helmet, socks and mitts. Froomey, is that you? No, so go easy, pal.
I have at times broken all of the above rules – but that people care reveals mostly good things about cycling. The more you do it, the more you feel part of something. I say learn and then occasionally break rule 17. But never, ever, wear the Marmite jersey.
By Simon Usborne
Takin' it easy
By Larry Ryan
As the Ashes conclude there's only one thing to take away from all that cricket: the concept of declaring – when a team draws their batting to a close early. Now bring it into the everyday. Make declaring a dignified way of no longer continuing with something you've had enough of. Example: "This meeting is OK and all, but I've decided to declare. I'm out". *Puts feet up*
Modern gym rules: Queuing
Nobody likes the sweaty man in the Gold's Gym vest stood waiting right next to a busy machine with a look which says: "What do you bench?"
Fit kit: Topeak Joe Blow Sport II
New cyclist? Invest in a track pump. Do it. Once a week, top up your wheels to the maximum level shown on the tyres and your bike will feel good as new every time. This affordable number (see gallery, £29.59) will do the job in seconds, leaving your hand pump for roadside repairs only. bit.ly/144WTdhReuse content