Living in London means that we’re lucky enough to be exposed to some of the best gyms in the country, from elite membership-only establishments that tailor their service to suit every individual to those that offer drop-in classes and promise to whip you into shape and boost your motivation after just a couple of sessions. Sleek, stylish and oh-so desirable, it seems only right that you’d want to look the part. Here we list some of our favourite studios in the city and what to wear to each.
Discover the best HIIT and circuits classes in London here and the best yoga studios in London here.
Initially launched solely as a spin studio, Psycle’s cycle classes (say that three times fast) are arguably the best in the city. Expect loud music, a pumping soundtrack and motivational instructors that quite clearly love what they do. Oh, and jelly legs getting off that bike – you’ll be put through inclines, sprints and intervals at various points throughout the session. Shoes are, of course, accounted for, but sadly, the rest of your kit is not, so why not browse the newly launched Ivy Park collection post-workout (or buy online via Topshop here) and wear it with heavy-duty leggings designed for ride classes?
There’s a new, exclusive members-only fitness space on the scene, and it’s part of the Equinox group, adding to the company’s ever-growing portfolio and reputation for premium-quality gyms that offer a lifestyle as opposed to just a workout. E by Equinox on St James Street goes above and beyond what you’d expect from such an establishment, offering a Regeneration Room/in-house spa specialising in performance massage, O2 vapourisers, 3D body scanning and bespoke training programs with some of the most well-respected instructors in the city. There’s also a clothing store inside that stocks two carefully chosen UK-based brands – LNDR for women and HPE for men. Both labels focus on premium quality, performance-enhancing fabrications and what’s more, they look great. For now, it’s the Wild Thing co-ords that sit at the top of our wishlist. Cut from quick-dry fabric with subtle branding, they fuse comfort and style in such a way that you’ll hardly notice you’re wearing them, leaving you to fully concentrate on what’s sure to be a grueling workout.
Whilst it’s advisable to take this into account for all of the venues listed here, at 1Rebel you will most definitely sweat so clothing that prides itself in breathability is a non-negotiable. The good news is that they’ve got a mini boutique in reception and it stocks the likes of Nike as well as its own branded slogan tees, vests and sweatshirts. The Rumble class is high impact and 50% of the Reshape class is spent on the treadmill, so ladies, you’ll need a sports bra that’s going to hold you in place like the cutout Dri-FIT style by Nike – it’s designed with panels of mesh and moisture-wicking fabric and it offers a high level of support. Oversized vests with arm holes that allow you to take them off whilst wearing gloves are a good idea if you like to de-layer mid-session, and running trainers like the Air Max Theas will protect your knees and hips the best.
A 55-minute circuit session at Core Collective in west London is the kind of workout that could make even someone who goes to the gym five times a week feel like it’s their first session. Taking place in a beautifully bright space that’s fitted with ropes, hanging hoops and spin bikes, the challenging series fuses cardio and strength training in a way unlike any other we’ve found in London. The studio features a small retail area called the Locker which stocks Lululemon as well as an exclusive collaboration with Brazilian activewear label Sixty Ninety. Expect not just clothing but performance-enhancing equipment as well, such as stretching straps, water bottles and nutrition kits. It’s the current Gym Shark collection, however, that we’re keen to wear to this luxurious establishment.
Feelgood dance classes are what Frame specialises in, and for that very reason there’s a particularly strong selection of rave-friendly separates (and one or two striking one-pieces) in their boutique collection housed mostly in the Shoreditch branch. If you’re booked in to one of the dance cardio sessions, or 80s aerobics for that matter, then its bright colours that you’ll want to champion, not least the cross-back leotard that works worn solo or with leggings and is sure to elevate your mood if not your workout.
Shop the Lucia print sports bra and leggings pictured above here.
Possibly the most iconic of all the yoga-related activewear, the Lululemon collection is our first port of call for styles that allow us to twist our bodies in every which way and promise to look good whilst doing so. The Richmond store hosts complimentary Sunday morning sessions which, if you’re yet to try them, could fast become your new favourite pastime, and the styles to covet this season are the Free To Be Serene 2-in-1 tank top with its signature cross-back detailing and the Wunder Under leggings with their supportive design and sweat-wicking quality. Our top tip? Grip socks make a great addition and they’ll help you to hold that warrior three for just a little longer than you might have thought you could.