Tired of the same busy gyms with the same old, tatty equipment? The tired décor that was last refreshed in 1995? Maybe it’s time for a change. During the summer heat, your gym is probably busier and sweatier than ever, and full of sold out classes and never-ending queues for machines.
But what if there was another option – a few in fact! London is home to some of the world’s best boutique and independent gyms, which promise to revolutionise the way you work out, offering state-of-the-art equipment, futuristic recovery methods and even a dedicated wellness restaurant with tailored dishes to help you feel happier and healthier.
The fitness experts at Free Soul have taken a look at some of London’s best boutique, independent and frankly out of the box gym options, so you can go back to enjoying your workouts, and feeling fab after them.
London’s premier boxing gym claims to not just train champions, but to make them from scratch – and with the facilities they have, it’s no wonder they’re confident. BXR hosts the only Versaclimber class in Europe, which burns more calories than any other machine. One minute on the Versaclimber burns 22.3 calories, so a climbing class followed by boxing, yoga, or Pilates is perfect to get you feeling fighting fit. Plus, post-workout, you can grab yourself a Free Soul protein bar!
With clubs across the city from Holborn to Hammersmith, and a new Covent Garden location slated to open this week, its safe to say 1rebel is making waves across London. Characterised by futuristic interiors, ‘banging tunes,’ and a host of extra-curricular activities, 1rebel is not only safe and inclusive but boasts a wide range of custom-created programmes designed to help you reach your goals.
Cost: £12.90/session when you buy 10 sessions.
Third Space’s motto is ‘be extraordinary – don’t join an ordinary gym.’ Their spaces are certainly extraordinary, as the luxury gym provider boasts stunning contemporary interiors, state-of-the-art equipment and training plans, and gorgeous pools to relax and unwind in. Third Space claim to have the best PTs in London, so for a targeted workout plan, look no further. With 8 locations across the city, there could be one just around the corner.
Arguably London’s most notorious spin class, Psycle is the perfect place to get a sweat on and join a motivated, fun community of like-minded individuals. Though the biking classes are the centrepiece of the Psycle offering, you can also enjoy strength, yoga and barre classes to get the total experience. Their ‘Psycle with your Cycle’ programme is designed to help women period-proof their workouts – make sure to check it out!
Looking to really push yourself? Barry’s Bootcamp will send you off on a mission every bit as gruelling as its name suggests. The team at Barry’s have created what they call ‘The Best Workout in the World,’ where you can burn up to 1000 calories per class with a combination of running and weights. Thankfully, there’s a first-timer package to help you ease into it, and a fuel bar to recharge afterwards.
Ok, so maybe KX is a bit more than a gym. A health and fitness club comprising a spa and wellness restaurant, KX really is the cream of the crop when it comes to working out in the lap of luxury. Unsurprisingly, it’s based in Chelsea, and costs £575 per month. But, if you can afford it, KX does a fantastic job of providing a holistic view on fitness, helping you reach your goals by eating well, working out, and relaxing in some stunning settings. Plus, Kylie Minogue’s been spotted there!
Elite U.S. gym chain Equinox aims to give you all the tools to enjoy high performance living at the juncture of luxury and fitness. If you’re big on the little details, look no further – discover a compression therapy area, cryotherapy chamber, and a precision running zone with a supply of oxygenated air, designed to enable you to train even harder.
Based out in Chiswick, Cykl Haus combines innovative spin classes with personal training from some of London’s best PTs. It’s an intimate vibe, with only 8 people per class, and the feel of a silent disco, with everyone enjoying their own music. Cykl Haus is reasonably priced, and more personal than some of the larger gyms on here, so if you’re based in West London, why not?
Cost: £110/month for 10 rides
If you’re picky about where you work out, either of Core Collective’s locations will be great for you. Each is designed by an architect, is adorned with a carefully-curated selection of artwork, and boasts floor-to-ceiling windows. With yoga classes, circuit training, Pilates and more, there’s a great range of workouts in some stunning settings.
Cost: £179/month unlimited pass
Located in the centre of King’s Cross, The Fore is another location offering a holistic approach to fitness, and offers a slick, modern location in which to better yourself. With a fantastic array of PTs offering some interesting classes, as well as targeted group classes featuring yoga and boxing, there’s something for everyone here.
Cost: £229/month unlimited sessions
So, if you’re unhappy with your gym and you’re thinking about making the switch, this is your sign to make a move. The gyms on this list not only boast some of the best equipment London has to offer, but also offer a fantastic workout culture and some focused classes that you’ll struggle to find anywhere else.
If you’re happy with your gym, you’re much more likely to stay motivated for longer, and much more likely to achieve your goals. Plus, with the top-of-the-range personal trainers, and some luxurious chillout areas to relax and unwind afterwards, getting a workout in doesn’t have to be a chore.
Lucy at Free Soul comments: ‘if you’re looking to improve your fitness and wellbeing, it’s so important that you find a gym or place to exercise where you feel happy, safe and comfortable. Many of the places on this list offer an exciting alternative to traditional exercise, so you can get fit whilst having fun – and meet new friends!’