Strength and Cardio – Urban Sport of the Week
Every week we send a member of the Urban Sports Club Team to try out one of the many sports we have on offer. This week we investigate adidas Runbase. Is it a gym? Is it a workspace? Is it a health food kitchen? Nope, it’s a lifestyle.
What is adidas Runbase?
Good question. It’s a lot of things.
The space opens out to what looks like a cafe and workspace. This is LABKitchen, where you can refuel from your workout with a weekly-rotating menu designed by Runbase’s in-house nutritionist.
adidas Runbase is a meeting point for Berlin’s running community as well as a fitness studio. It runs around 60 classes per week, including HIIT, boxing, yoga and much more.
Runbase is also a medical practice of sorts, with in-house doctors, physiotherapists and nutritionists on-hand for holistic fitness support.
And this is a place where you can trial adidas’ training shoes. Just tell reception your shoes size and the training session you plan to do and they’ll actually give you a pair of adidas trainers for the workout.
So yeah, ‘gym’ doesn’t quite cut it.
What can you expect?
The Runbase is hidden down a dilapidated road by the canal in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district. An old water tower with “Runbase” printed in large letters tells me I’ve reached my destination.
I checked in at reception and was handed an adidas-branded towel and water bottle. This place certainly doesn’t look like a gym. The LABKitchen takes up the entire space, with a mouth-watering menu and delicious looking cakes and snacks on display.
I breathed in the smell of fresh coffee as I took in the scandi-style seating area and plethora of exotic plants draped around the walls and on the tables. Some of adidas’ latest shoe models are displayed on the far wall. There’s no denying it. This place is cool.
But… no gym in sight.
I made my way up a concrete staircase to the changing rooms, past an old industrial water tap and toilets with corrugated iron for doors. Everything about this place is badass. The changing rooms are bright, also covered in plants and utilitarian. I feel like I’m in a Brooklyn loft from the 1990s. I’m deeply impressed and haven’t actually begun the sport yet. Or found the gym.
How was the workout?
Good news, I found the gym. Through the cafe/workspace area is a huge outdoor space with two large workout studios. I opted for the 07:15 Strength and Cardio class with Lucas on Wednesday morning,hosted in what is known as “The Black Room”.
It looks like a functional training room kitted out with black matting on the floor, TRX bands, exercise balls, weights and kettle bells. With Drake pounding on the speakers Lucas began the class with a running warm up – high knees, kick backs and static sprints. adidas Runbase was originally created to support the training of runners, so many of the workouts are designed with this in mind.
After a few variations of this cardio warm-up we were instructed to partner up and given an exercise ball. One person had to plank with their elbows on the ball while the other person did sit-ups and tried to punch the ball from underneath you. This made life very difficult for the planker. Lucas walked slowly around the room punching the exercise ball whenever a planker looked like they were getting too comfortable.
Just as I’d got to the point of near-collapse we were instructed to do some ab crunches using our legs to pass the ball to each other. The workout was difficult but the team work made it way more fun than if I was doing the exercises alone.
The most entertaining/difficult exercise was when one person did a bridge and your partner tried to lift you up by your ankles. I had to use every muscle in my body to stay grounded on the floor. I thought I was doing well until Lucas came round and completely uprooted me. Then, just as I thought we were finished for the day, we had to do the plank/punch exercise one last time.
Thankfully, after that, it was time for the warm-down which consisted of rolling out each of our muscle groups with a foam roller (if you’ve never tried this it’s really uncomfortable but an excellent muscle stretch).
How did I feel after?
My stomach hurt. Apart from that I felt energised and in a fantastic mood. The mixture of strength and cardio was invigorating and I felt full of energy.
After the workout and a shower I went to the LABKitchen to finish some work over an oat milk latte. The entire space is a joy to be in – I loved spending time in the cafe area, soaking up the atmosphere and chatting to the lovely staff. I’m looking forward to trying out more classes and trialling some of that menu (check the LABKitchen Facebook for their weekly food updates).
Benefits of Strength and Cardio training
Before I joined Urban Sports Club I spent a lot of long hours in the gym doing cardio training. Now I know that pairing cardio and strength training burns way more calories and is a lot more interesting.
Combining strength and cardio training builds muscle, tones and burns fat all at once.
I was in a good mood for the next few days – this is because of the endorphins released during a good cardio workout.
Don’t forget to bring…
Your workout gear and a form of ID to use as a deposit for a locker. adidas Runbase provides water and towels and you don’t need to bring shoes if you plan to try adidas’ latest sneakers during your workout.
For a full list of classes, events and workshops check out the USC adidas Runbase page.
Urban Sports Club partners with many studios that offer similar cardio and strength workouts across Germany and France. Have a look at what’s on offer in your area.