Who has time for gym these days? If it’s not rushing to meetings, it’s making sure the kids are towed to school on time. This is where Ritual, the 30-minute gym, comes in. It’s been just over a month since the branch in Illovo opened its doors, and I decided to give it a go.

The original idea was formulated by Brad Robinson who is the CEO. Tim Albone, who runs the South African franchise, says their initial take-up since opening “has been really good”.

The gym targets people who are looking for the high-end experience of having a personal trainer, and that is exactly what each session gives you.

On arrival, I was asked to answer some health questions on a tablet, and was then shown around the cosy, compact gym that only takes up to 10 people per session.

A cool aspect of this sweat arena is that you don’t need to bring workout clothes, as they will be offered to you. And going barefoot is not only okay, but encouraged. There is a no-belly policy – no walking around topless for the males and no crop tops for the dames.

I was assigned my own trainer, who went through my answers on the tablet with me. “Before we get going, we just want to see what your training goals are and how Ritual can fit into those goals,” head coach Dylan van Houten told me.

Another assessment phase looks at the workouts that you will be doing. The coach makes you do basic movements to check your form and strength. Some of these included the lizard, the pigeon pose and the push-up.

After my assessment, I got into my workout. Ritual does a lot of high-intensity interval training, during which you do quick bursts of training interspersed with short periods of rest. I did 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. I was put through nine different workouts for two cycles and all this took just under nine minutes, using kettles bells and medicine balls and other equipment. Believe me, this is something you will feel. As someone who mostly does home workouts alone, I found that having someone talk me through each movement was really a boost.

After my workout, I quickly hit the unisex shower area (where the showers are private and have their own drying area), then got my smoothie and was out.

After you have completed the initial assessment, the second session should take less than half an hour. If your pockets are swole and you are short on time, this one is for you.

The gym is running a winter special, during which trial sessions start at R99 and the monthly membership starts at R999.

  • For more information on access and how to get to the gym, visit ritualgym.com