A New Fitness Challenge

It’s Friday night, verging on 3am and I’m dancing the night away in Soho. I really should go home because I have gym at 9am. The friends I’m with don’t believe I will stick to my commitment, but my mind is resolute. Saturday wouldn’t be the same without it. Neither would every day I seem to find myself there.

Sophie Radcliffe Fitness Challenge Evolve353

This is new for me. Very new for me. I am normally an outdoor fitness kind of girl. Previously I’ve found gyms boring and lacking in personality and community. I preferred training outside year round because I like training with whatever the weather throws and simply, being outside. Going for a run or cycle costs me nothing whereas gyms do. Since I started my fitness journey in 2008 I have spent very little time in gyms. But there is one gym that has completely changed my mind about all of this, Evolve353.

Over three back to back weekends at the end of April I ran the London Marathon, cycled 200 miles in 24 hours leading 60 people from London to Paris on the annual sportive I run, and cycled 140 miles Coast to Coast across the UK on a project with GoPro.

Those three weeks were tough. My body was in constant stress mode. Always trying to recover and produce the goods physically, as well as being on form to organise these events, motivate others, film, be on camera... basically do my job!

When I returned to London after the last challenge, I was ready for something new. A new fitness challenge, a new phase in my journey and something that would motivate me to keep developing, but without the extreme stress I’d put myself through.

Sophie Radcliffe Fitness Challenge Evolve353

David Arnot and Ashton Turner, Founders of Evolve353, were opening their new gym at exactly the same time, so I went to find out more about their plans and talk about mine. They explained they would be delivering HIIT and strength classes focused on functional training. The kind of stuff I love like box jumps, kettelbells, TRX, Ski-erg, battling ropes and weights. All in a high energy, supportive and community focused environment. 

I felt inspired and couldn’t wait for them to launch. I realised this could be my new focus; to build strength, power and mobility in the gym and give myself a break from endurance to recover, build and come back stronger.

Since the day they opened two months ago I am in that gym every single day, when not travelling. Hitting the gym has become the non-negotiable element of my day. It’s totally rocking my world and here’s why:


I can feel progress. I know I'm getting stronger, but more importantly, I know the strength I'm building matters. Everything I do is functional training, so it's the same movements I do on the bike or out running. By doing these movements with more speed and more weight, I'm increasing my power to weight ratio which equates to more speed and power. 

Last week I joined a few friends for laps on my bike around Richmond Park and came away with 36 Personal Records on Strava. I was shocked! But now I know it's working which is encouraging!

Sophie Radcliffe Fitness Challenge Evolve353


The other aspect I love is the consistency. Not just in terms of making physical improvements, but it's that daily consistency that puts me in the best possible place to tackle all my projects and goals outside of my training. 

Build Phase

Finally, it really does feel like I'm in a restoration and build phase and it's pretty exciting to give my body and mind the chance to do that whilst also knowing that every day I'm getting stronger. 

It's fun too. Love you to join me for a free trial class! Evolve353.com

Sophie Radcliffe Fitness Challenge Evolve353