1Rebel’s changing rooms are like being backstage at a catwalk show. Bright bulbs line the mirrors, free moisturisers, hair grips, deodorant – everything you might need to look spick and span are scattered freely around and everyone looks like they might be a model. Despite both those pros and cons, classes here are hard work. The spinning (RIDE) is like being in a club – all neon flashing lights, loud beats and plenty of shouting – and the other classes (RESHAPE or RUMBLE) are if anything, more intense. But they get results and the instructors are some of the best in the city.
While it’s not actually a gym as such, Classpass was last year’s app to join and this year has a range of discounts. Pay per month and you have access to classes and gyms all over London – from yoga to small personal trainer classes and some pretty obscure workouts. You can book a few days in advance and change up a boring routine quickly and easily. It’s great if your schedule is flexible and you’re all over town – but there’s a hefty penalty for booking and missing a class.
While staying in might be the new going out, hitting the gym is the new socialising. Gymbox encourage groups and mates to take its fun classes, with eight locations around London. Welcome to the new era of gyms where there’s DJs and juice bars, futuristic looking equipment and instructors who are more like life coaches. There’s 104 classes a week from aerial hoop to loaded yoga, boxing to balates.
East London’s skinny minnies can’t get enough of Frame – the female friendly bootcamp and workout focused studio in Shoreditch (and Kings Cross and Queen’s Park). Load up class credit on a card and hit the schedule – it’s packed with over 400 classes (from barre to cardio circuits), but these babies are super popular and do sell out. They also have a whole strand of classes for mums looking to get back into fitness. Frame puts the fun back into fundamental fitness.
It’s all about the classes these days and BLOK London has brought a hard core circuits focused gym to London. While the emphasis here is on old fashioned hard work and sweat with plenty of HIIT sets, there are some luxuries if you look hard enough. The changing room floors are heated which is a nice touch and there’s a bone broth cafe on site which is more appealing in winter than it is in summer.
Industrial meets intense at Third Space‘s boutique gym chain. It feels more like a member’s club, and while there are classes there is plenty of brand new equipment if you want to go it alone (although fab instructors are on hand as well). The gym also has its own sports medical practice, perfect if you’re recovering after an injury. You can find their studios in Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, Soho and Marylebone.
Owned by Third Space, this pay as you go gym, called Another Space in Covent Garden, offers a more flexible approach than long standing and often underused membership fees. It’s simple but effective: there’s HIIT, cycling and yoga to choose from, a daily changing healthy menu at the cute café and a really well stocked changing rooms, including bags for sweaty, smelly gear.
If you’ve got money to burn as well as fat, then New York gym Equinox at High Street Kensington might be more your bag. It’s aimed at the more wealthy London residents and you can tell the difference – hello, much needed spa and a lovely creche. With different well stocked studios for cycling, yoga, pilates and boxing, this is the kind of gym you’d want to go to every day (because it’s better stocked that your flat).