Work hard but relax just as hard afterward at Brussels’ luxurious Aspria venues where they combine state-of-the-art fitness equipment with an urban wellness oasis. After following the workout program carefully set up by a personal trainer, you can soak your tired muscles in a bubble bath or treat them to a tender massage. The adults-only branch on the chic Avenue Louise is your best bet at making a new international workout buddy; the Arts-Loi location has a crèche and classes specifically for young families, and playing tennis at the Royal La Rasante complex in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert can feel like you’ve taken a trip to the countryside.
The quirkiest sports organization in the capital, Friskis & Svettis (meaning ‘healthy and sweaty’ in Swedish) has flown over from Sweden to put the fun back in fitness. Simple logic fuels every one of the over 30 weekly classes that the non-profit organizes: if you enjoy yourself while working out, you’ll want to do it again and again – hence, themed workouts like the upcoming Christmas Mega Session with an added costume competition. For those on the fence, all of Friskis’ exercise sessions are given by professional instructors, preferably to music, often outdoors, and always in a boisterous spirit. Your first try-out lesson is free of charge.
Find upcoming sessions and venues here
CrossFit Power Factory sounds like a home for hardcore fitness beasts, but while the coaches do encourage you to dig deep, the American-born program is always adapted to your specific needs. High-intensity group classes will have you jumping from exercise to exercise, doing every move under the sun until you and your compatriots are left exhausted but ultimately very proud. You might want to try it out with friends since there’s no bonding experience quite like surviving an hour-long CrossFit session together.
CrossFit Power Factory, Rue d’Idalie 9-13, 1050 Brussels, Belgium, +32 492 50 60 70
Penny-pinching Brusselaars who don’t aim to spend their life at the gym but still want access to great equipment (with built-in televisions) and group classes will want to try Jims Fitness. While the showers and locker rooms may be a bit small, the multiple venues, jovial staff, and lowest prices in town more than make up for the slight inconvenience. Just make sure to sign up for the popular Zumba classes in time because they fill up quickly.
Find Jims’ six Brussels venues here
Located a bit out of the center of town in Schaerbeek and Molenbeek, Stadium is determined to fulfill every Brusselaar’s sporting need. Besides the typical indoor pool and obligatory roads of treadmills looking out onto the road below, Stadium has badminton courts, squash rooms, a large spinning room, a climbing wall, and a sauna. Prices are a tad high but still reasonable for the abundance of sporty choices lying at your feet.