Deciding on which gyms and fitness classes to go to in London is a pretty weighty task, especially if you’ve never actually been to any before. We’ve tried out a fair few over the years, with mixed results. That’s why we’ve picked our favourite of the bunch. Think of it as a our late Christmas present to you. Don’t worry about getting us anything… maybe just some Matchmakers or a pack of After Eights.
Oh, and let us know if we’ve missed anything.
What is it: A HIIT studio that combine floor and weight exercises and treadmill work
Where is it: Bank
Why would you go: The combination of intense cardio with strength and conditioning work makes for an amazing total workout. Not only will you burn loads of calories but you’ll also be working muscles all over the body. The mixture of running and floor work means that you move around so much, you tend to forget how much work you’re actually doing. Read about when we tried seven consecutive days of it here.
Cost: A single drop-in class for Project Fit will set you back £15, with credits for multiple sessions making it cheaper. You can also pay for unlimited sessions for £69 a week (cheaper if you pay for bulk deals) or take them up on a pretty sweet 50% off trial week.
What is it: A beautiful little studio covering small group classes and individual personal training
Where is it: Fulham
Why would you go: By the end of the session we were covered in sweat, as usual, but it wasn’t because we’d just been made to do burpees for 45-minutes. We’d carried out a pretty exhaustive full body workout, and been corrected on form a fair few times (yeah okay, we hate that… but we know it’s for our own good). Read our full review here.
Cost: Memberships cost from £96 a month for eight monthly sessions (£135 for unlimited). Individual and smaller group session costs can be found on the website.
CENTRIC: 3TRIBES TRIBATHON
What is it: A state-of-the-art indoor cycling arena named Rider, and a Zen inspired, mind-body studio that focuses on lengthening, toning and strengthening.
Where is it: Crouch End
Why would you go: A well-executed transition from treadmill to gym floor to spin bike to yoga mat… by which point we were practically crawling into the hyper-cooled Zen room, sweat steaming off our backs. We finished our visit propped up at the in-house juice bar, which serves up an array of smoothies & shakes to weary tribespeople in need of refreshment. Read about when we tried it out here.
Cost: Class packages range from a pay-per-class rate at £15 to an unlimited annual pass costing £1,050.
British Military Fitness
What is it: A park based HIIT and running workout
Where is it: All over the city
Why would you go: A perfect all-round training for people who want to get fitter and healthier. It ticks a lot of boxes, managing to pack in strength, cardio, mobility and speed all into one carefully planned session. Being outdoors is a massive bonus as well, not to mention the social aspect of the whole thing (everyone is friendly, they do social events, that sort of thing). Read about when we tried it out here.
Cost: £38 per month for one class a week or £51 for unlimited classes (becomes cheaper with longer contracts). You can also pay per session, with 10 coming in at £145.
What is it: A park based HIIT and running workout
Where is it: Green Park
Why would you go: With five GB athletes, covering sprinting, triple jumping, bobsled and kayaking, the sessions focus on different exercises and body parts, with more general personal trainers covering parts of the class to ensure an all-round workout. A pretty simple concept that makes for an interesting hour of exercise and marks a novel development in the London outdoor fitness scene. Read about when we tried it out here.
Cost: Prices for GB active include £15 for a one-off session, £65 for 5, or a £45 monthly fee for unlimited use. You can also sign up for a free trial session,
What is it: A swanky two-floor studio covering Yoga, Spin and HIIT
Where is it: Covent Garden
Why would you go: A boutique sister club to the ever-growing Third Space brand, Another_Space’s Seven Dials site is perfectly situated to serve the fitness needs of Midtown’s predominantly media & creative types. Mixing strength exercises with high-energy punchbag work. It promises to fire your metabolism and have you burning extra calories for hours. Read about when we tried it out here.
Cost: Class credits are normally £20 a class, or you can make a decent saving by taking a block of 10 (£180) or 20 (£325).
What is it: An awesome studio covering small group classes and individual personal training
Where is it: Old Street
Why would you go: A studio set up by Matt Lo, a fitness expert in strength and conditioning who aims to make fitness more accessible to people wanting to get fit. By running a series of structured fitness classes, and not just general circuit classes, FitMiBODY is working towards making classes a bit more like having an actual PT – only quite a bit cheaper. Read about when we tried it out here.
Cost: The team have set up a nice range of pricing options ranging from £280 for six weeks of unlimited classes, a plan designed by a personal trainer, as well as progress updates and access to a trainer. £100 for eight classes per month, or you can buy classes individually (or buy in bulk), which goes from £26 for one to £12 if bought as a 20 class package (£240). There’s also a range of one-on-one personal training options.
Best’s Bootcamp/ Best Cycle
What is it: A HIIT studio that combine floor and weight exercises and treadmill work along with the Best Cycle spin studio
Where is it: Charing Cross
Why would you go: The exercise format is designed to give people an all-round workout in a short period of time. You get a bit of strength work, some muscle endurance (depending on which weights you choose), and a hell of a lot of speed work on the treadmill. The also have cameras on the class so that the trainer can always see you via big screens. Read about when we tried it out here.
Cost: Sessions cost £20 for a single class with bulk offers available ranging from 10 to 20 class packages. You can also pay £220 for unlimited access per month.
What is it: A HIIT studio that’s apparently pretty damn popular in Australia.
Where is it: London Bridge and Kingston, with a load more opening up soon
Why would you go: As HIIT classes go it’s one of the best we’ve tried. The facility is packed out with all the latest kit and they have some nicely planned out sessions focussing on different fitness goals as well as some nice heart rate software. Friendly bunch as well. Read about when we tried it out here.
Cost: A single drop-in class for F45 Training will set you back £20, a drop in bundle of ten sessions, £175 and unlimited classes £195 a month. There’s also a trial offer with 7 sessions costing £7… which is ridiculous. Just go.
What is it: A dynamic flow yoga class that takes place in specially heated pods (up to 37 degrees).
Where is it: Various locations around London and the UK.
Why would you go: A simple and well designed set of classes in pods designed to be both immersive and hygienic. Yoga is amazingly good for you as well, hot yoga even more so as it loosens the muscles. Can be a bit sweaty though.
Cost: An individual class costs £14, monthly membership is £80 and a 10 class pass is £110. But there are a ridiculous number of other pricing options on the website.
What is it: A brand of cool urban gyms in London.
Where is it: Various locations around London.
Why would you go: We’re a bit biassed towards Gymbox as we spend pretty much all our time there. It’s a gym-goers gym, catering for people who really care about fitness. The gym floors are covered in carefully selected equipment ranging from your standard cardio machinery to big frame structures designed for functional workouts. If it’s classes you want then you’re unlikely to find a gym with such a diverse range, with sessions covering everything from Muay Thai and Krav Maga, to olympic lifting, Pilates, yoga and even glow stick dance classes (we haven’t tried that one yet). They’ve also just opened their newest gym in Farringdon, which is probably the best gym we’ve ever been to. Seriously, it’s amazing.
Cost: Various options, with monthly memberships starting around the £60-70 mark.
What is it: It’s basically Pilates ramped up to the next level to include an intensive full-body workout.
Where is it: Near the Barbican.
Why would you go: If you want a workout that trains pretty much everything during one intense (and really tough) session, then this may be what you’re after. The method uses a machine called a Megaformer that looks like some sort of futuristic space weapon. A single trip combines core, endurance, cardio, balance, strength and flexibility training, and you’ll know you’ve worked hard by the time you leave. Read more about our experience here.
Cost: Quite pricey. A stand-alone pass costs £30 for one session. It gets cheaper if you buy in bulk though with a 10 class pass costing £240. An introductory class costs £15 – worth taking advantage of just to see the machines.
What is it: Imagine a massive room almost entirely made up of trampolines. That.
Where is it: Acton.
Why would you go: Because fitness can be fun as well as good for you. You can do freestyle sessions or take part in planned fitness classes that focus on cardio and toning. Hell, you can even rent it out for a party or join the trampolining school. Low impact as well.
Cost: £12.50 a free jump session. £8 for a class. There are also off-peak prices available that are slightly cheaper.
What is it: A membership scheme that let’s you do classes in different locations.
Where is it: Pretty much everywhere in Central London and most of the surrounding areas.
Why would you go: You’re not stuck to one gym, you can try out different types of classes whenever you want (although there are some limitations), you can still use it even if you’re the other side of the city. It’s the kind of gym membership Paul Young would have.
Cost: £39 a month for 3 classes to £105 a month for 10.
What is it: It’s CrossFit. We’re not going to explain it.
Where is it: Between Southwark and Borough.
Why would you go: It’s a great facility. Loads of equipment to use and well laid out. Set up an ran by a team who love what they do and have a great selection of workouts. CrossFitters are an amiable bunch too, you might even make some nice new friends. CrossFit makes you pretty damn fit as well.
Cost: Memberships from £80 off peak and £120 peak (both cover 2 sessions a week).
London Fields Fitness
What is it: Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Circuits, HIIT, Boxing, Booty Camp, Warriors, Rebounding, HulaFit, Karate, Urban Escrima and Spin classes.
Where is it: Near London Fields station.
Why would you go: An affordable, friendly studio offering a ridiculous amount of classes.
Cost: A class pass for January is currently £35. Spin classes cost £10 a session, £40 for 5 or £75 for 10.
Picture Credits: F45 Training, Gymbox, Studio Lagree, Hotpod Yoga, Oxygen Freejumping, London Fields Fitness, Crossfit Blackfriars, Reebok, Project Fit, Evolve 353, Centric3: Tribes, British Military Fitness, GB Active, Another Space, Fitmibody, Best’s Bootcamp