Finding a gym in London is not difficult, it’s full of the things. The problem is actually finding a gym that works for you. Now, if truth be known there are some pretty crappy gyms in London, but for all the crammed, poorly managed, over-subscribed gyms with archaic equipment and dribbling showers, there are actually loads of good ones. The good ones are way harder to talk about though, because in reality the best gym in the world for you is probably different for someone else. We’ve been to a hell of a lot of gyms in London and it’s pretty hard to choose a favourite.
Luckily Alex Fitness is one of the good ones. Good because it’s a great size, it’s clean, it has some really nice new equipment, the changing facilities are perfect and it has a great range of classes. Everything you could really ask for in a gym in fact. When we had a look around the space we thought it was pretty much spot on for anything we could want to do on the gym floor.
There’s also an impressively modern looking spin studio complete with a nice forest designed backdrop, a well kitted out frame area with olympic rings, medicine balls, TRX, squat racks and pretty much anything else you’d imagine a modern-day, good gym would have dotted around. So yeah, as we said, it’s a damn nice gym.
As well as all the hardware, they’ve also rather nicely kitted a whole heap of the equipment out to sync with various electronic devices (phones and whatnot), so you can track you workout digitally. It also means that, should you decide to get a personal trainer, they can effectively see your stats and progress really easily and make sure your plan is designed to fit your needs. Pretty cool stuff.
If you want to find something that Alex Fitness really excels in though, you need to be looking at the classes. We headed down specifically to test one out. We’re big on our classes so we can be pretty hard on them if they’re crap. You know the kind we mean, spin classes with a management prescribed europop playlist on loop, HIIT sessions that are they same format week-in week-out, or weights sessions where no-one even seems to be breaking a sweat and the trainer doesn’t seem to care.
We nipped in for 7am Cut class to be greeted by trainer David Tieu. If you don’t know who that is then let us enlighten you. David is part of London-based Muay Thai group Team Tieu, one of the countries leading Muay Thai fighting teams. He’s also ranked sixth in the UK in the 67kg category. So as fitness instructors go, he’s fairly well qualified for a fight conditioning class. He’s also not the first person you want to see at 7am on a Thursday after you went out for a friend’s birthday dinner the night before. We’ve never been that good at planning.
The fight classes take part in a custom-made section of the gym; complete with punch bags, soft floor area and various other fight-related bits and pieces. It’s a really nice set-up created by a team that know the kind of facilities you need to properly train people. Trust us, we’ve been to gyms that have boasted about “boxing areas” to find a couple of punch bags stuck in the corner of a room.
The class is a one hour HIIT cardio bag work. Limited rest, lots of cardio, a fair whack of press-ups and burpees and even some sparring to finish. It’s a pretty damn intense workout in fact. But the workout is just part of it, having one of the country’s leading Muay Thai fighters also means there’s a focus on form and technique. So it’s not just wildly hitting a bag in your back garden, it’s actually real training (even if you’re never going to actually get in the ring). As fitness goes, boxing is one of the toughest by far, by the end we were sweating in a heap on the floor. Probably more than usual.
Cut is just one of the many classes that take place at Alex Fitness. There’s also MMA conditioning, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Babe Box, Barre, Yoga, Jivamukti, weightlifting, powerlifting, WODs and a range of spin classes to name a few. Have a look at the rest on the website to save us typing them all.
The gym is based a couple for minutes walk from Imperial Wharf station with membership costing £50 for use of the gym and some classes, or and an additional £50 for use of all of the studio classes. You can also pay for individual drop in sessions at £15 for the gym or £20 for the gym and a studio session. There’s also a 3-day free pass available at the moment so you can test it out.
For more info on Alex Fitness head to the website here.