Are you losing your motivation to hit the gym? Looking to try a new type of exercise this January? The draw of the treadmill is easily diminished. See our top fitness and exercise classes to keep you at the top of your game…
Exercise need not be dull, especially in London where there’s always something new! Why not try one of our gyms or classes with a difference? Whether you see yourself as a ballet barre kind of girl or a boxing fan, there’s something for everyone.
The Best Exercise Classes in London
Immersive, high-energy and energetic, a Psycle class is much more than your average indoor cycling session. Part workout, part nightclub, you can expect to be greeted with thumping music, whether it’s 7am in the morning or 7pm at night, replicating the buzz and excitement of a night out. Workouts are led by some of the capital’s best instructors, so be prepared to be put through your paces – Psycle’s cycling classes offer a full body workout, featuring killer hand weights sessions to ensure your upper body gets some TLC as well as your spinning legs. They now have studios in Mortimer Street, Canary Wharf, Clapham and Shoreditch, with some offering other classes such as barre, yoga and strength training. Fist-pumping, cheering and high-fiving optional, but strongly encouraged. Various locations
Paola’s Body Barre
Head to one of Paola’s 50-minute barre classes to feel the burn like never before, in muscles you never knew existed. A mixture of pilates, cardio, strength, ballet and dance-based moves, classes are harder than the average barre class. But your body will thank you for it – after just a few sessions you’ll feel leaner, stronger and more toned. There are a number of different variations of the class, but most incorporate the barre, as well as weights, balls, resistance bands and other exercise paraphernalia, with plenty of squats, pulses and planks. If you want to really challenge yourself, go for PBB Burn, a step up from the PBB Signature class notorious for its “burn factor” – you can burn up to 700 calories in a class. 2 Fulham High St, Fulham, London SW6 3LQ
The Engine Room
London’s first fully integrated boutique rowing studio, The Engine Room, is a newbie to the fitness scene. Founded by personal trainer Chris Heron, the Marylebone studio offers three 50-minute rowing classes, all of which are technique focused – so if you’ve never rowed before, it’s the perfect chance to learn the tricks of the trade. The studio is located in a Grade-II listed converted church, with classes featuring blue strobe lighting, high-tech trackers and thudding music for top motivation. Prepare to sweat! The Engine Room, St Bedes Hall, Off Albany Street, London NW1 4EE
This new state of the art, members-only fitness studio offers the highest level of professional boxing training in the heart of Marylebone, on Chiltern Street. Anthony Joshua is an investing partner, and says, ‘BXR is a passion project for me. I want people to train like I train. We have pulled together the best coaches, medical teams and equipment in the business and brought the ring to Chiltern Street.’
If there’s one gym that will make you want to stay for hours, this is it. It has its very own juice bar, saunas, fluffy towels and even an in-house clinic alongside elite trainers and champions. BXR London recently launched Sweat by BXR, a pay-to-train boutique fitness concept, with classes designed to assist in creating, developing and maintaining the foundations of being an athlete, and improve strength and cardio. Keep an eye out for special residencies too, which have recently included world-renowned Justin Gelband, aka “the model whisperer”, who is responsible for the bodies of Victoria’s Secret Angels such as Candice Swanepoel, Miranda Kerr, Karlie Kloss and Irina Shayk.
Prepare to be put through your paces at boutique boxing studio BXR London’s latest intense 45-minute Sweatbox workout. You’ll be pushed to the max as you power through rounds of boxing and floor work drills, hyped up by heavy bass, hip hop and club-like surroundings. This is not for the faint of heart – or the hungover. BXR London, Chiltern Street, London W1U.
The usual dread of going to a new gym has entirely evaporated by the time you roll up to the elegant townhouse in a leafy South Ken neighbourhood where the Pilates Squared studio is located. A large bay window lights up the intimate space where the highly-trained experts walk you through the hi-tech apparatus which includes Reformer machines and a Cadillac (the rather terrifying-looking metal frame with additions to help you stretch in all the right places). This is bespoke fitness at its very best – each new client receives an individual consultation from which a personalised program is devised to help them meet their goals.
Classes never have more than 3 people and the studio specialises in one-to-one training, so this is the place to go for expert individual attention. The focus is on perfect alignment, stretching and strengthening through Pilates which is beneficial for weight loss, a more toned body and even rehabilitation for injuries. Book in for a private session with founder Caron, or the charming and attentive Hakan who puts you immediately at ease (despite his military background). A true gem in London and needless to say, clients are lifelong and fiercely loyal – and the results obvious after just a few sessions. Classes from £42, 27 Emperor’s Gate London SW7 4HS
London’s barre obsession has been and gone – until now, thanks to global fitness empire DEFINE bringing their unique method to the city. The aim? A strong, lean, sculpted (define’d, get it?) body. The method? Strength training, cardio sequences and isometric moves all mixed into choreography that promises to make working out fun again. The first state-of-the-art studio has just opened in Fitzrovia, offering ten different and exhilarating class concepts designed by Ashley Verma, DEFINE founder, former Broadway performer, and all-round wonder woman. Thirty-minute Arm and Ab and Mat Express classes are perfect for your lunch break, while Dance, Stretch and classic Barre are sure to make you feel the burn. Take it up a level with a Balance class, which uses a Bosu Ball to elevate the Barre method to a ‘calorie torching journey’. See you at the barre… New client offer, 2 classes for £28; Single class £28. 82 Great Portland Street, London W1W 7NW
You will likely have heard of KX, the private members health club that costs over £500 a month and is one of London’s most expensive gyms. KXU is its sister – but luckily for us mere mortals, it’s slightly more affordable. The Sloane Square boutique ‘fitness destination’ is just as swanky as its predecessor, with 3 large and luxurious studios, its own Medispa and a nutrition bar that is always abuzz with green smoothies and the chatter of West Londoners. As soon as you step foot inside KXU, in fact, it’s obvious why it’s called a ‘destination’ as opposed to simply a gym – with its buzzy cafe, significantly better-than-at-home showers, infrared sauna and plenty of eye candy, it’s not easy to drag yourself back out to the real world.
And the classes? KXU offers a huge range, from TRX and boxing to barre and every type of yoga imaginable, meaning it’s impossible to ever get bored. The Friday evening yoga classes are a particular highlight and a great way to close the working week, while themed spin sessions (Britney vs Christina – what could be better?) make the pain almost bearable. You can book classes on a pay-as-you-go basis through the KXU App, which is satisfyingly hassle-free. With elegantly-designed interiors, all the equipment you could possibly need, an in-house cryotherapy chamber and elite trainers who provide individual attention, KXU is undoubtedly the epitome of London’s boutique gym offering. Classes £24, or less when purchased as part of a package. 241 Pavilion Road, London SW1X 0BR
A trip to Heartcore is so much more pleasant than your average gym. You are greeted with warm smiles, cosy and stylish interiors and in the middle of the Ride2Tone class (half spin, half toning yoga) you are handed a scented damp cold towel to refresh you before you head into the yoga class – it’s the attention to detail that makes you love it here. With classes such as dynamic pilates, ballet barre, and rope-based TRX, Heartcore has everything you need to become as lean and elegant as a ballerina. The classes are hardcore, as the name suggests, but in an intense, specific way. They have studios cropping up all over London, with a new spin and yoga studio in Notting Hill. Classes from £17, locations all around London.
Tucked away down a quiet, unassuming street lies this gym that really packs a punch. Classes at Sweat It are longer than most, ranging from 40-60 minutes of high-intensity training– combining intense cardiovascular treadmill interval work with functional strength and conditioning exercises. The Pillar Killer class focuses on core power and, like most of the classes, splits its time 50:50 between the rig and running machine (which features sled and parachute settings). The instructors are on-hand to guide you through the class and motivate in a way that isn’t overwhelming or aggressive. After class, step into their utilitarian, stripped-back style changing rooms with amazing-smelling L:a Bruket soaps on hand for a well-deserved shower before picking up a freshly prepared smoothie (with the option to personalise and add protein), and leaving with a spring in your step. From £14.50 per class when bought as a package, or £21 drop-in. 4 Kean Street, London WC2B 4AS
With nine studios across London, and 11 set to soon open, you’ll likely find an F45 on your doorstep or near your place of work. The sessions are hard and fast, and combine HIIT with circuits and functional training. The result is a 45-minute class that will burn fat, build lean muscle and leave you drenched in sweat. There are 31 different classes to choose from, and with different circuits which you are guided through by on-hand instructors plus technique demonstrations shown on screens, you certainly won’t be bored. The F45 Fulham branch, consisting of a light and airy studio, is just a five-minute walk from Fulham Broadway tube station and a hop, skip and jump from supermarkets, restaurants and cafes for you to refuel after your body has been put through its paces. £25 per class, £205 per month for 3 months for unlimited classes, £195 per month for 6 months for unlimited classes at F45 Fulham. 2-8 Dawes Road, London SW6 7EW
Transition Zone, Fulham
Transition Zone has just launched one of the most exciting fitness classes of the year. Are you a fan of the Reformer bed, famous for taking your Pilates workout to the next level? Then you’ll love the brand new Reformer Chair which has just arrived from the US! With devotees such as Michelle Obama and various Victoria’s Secret Angels, the boutique Fulham gym is ahead of the curve and currently the only place where you can find it in London. Try an intense 45-minute pure Reformer chair class for a total 360 workout that will stretch and strengthen your every muscle – and each class is no more than 5 people to ensure it’s as personalised and engaging as possible. Available as part of a membership or one-off class drop-in: more information here. 17 Heathman’s Road, London SW6 4TJ.
Core Collective, Kensington
Adding to the list of highly popular pay-as-you-go gyms in London is Core Collective, which is made up entirely of class-based exercises. The hyper-modern and swish facilities include state-of-the-art changing rooms with luxurious showers, products and even a hair station with straighteners and plenty of hairbands to get you class-ready. There’s a great range of classes to choose from, including Power Yoga, TRX and the classic Spin as well as Pace and Lift for which they are most famous. The former is a mix of functional training, weights and rowing machines used at intervals, while the latter is renowned for increasing your strength and athleticism using bars, bodyweight and kettlebells. Be prepared to be well and truly put through your paces, before rewarding yourself with some delicious food at their on-site cafe. £22 for a single class, less when bought as a package – find out more here. 45 Phillimore Walk, Kensington, London W8 7RZ
Xtend Barre, Marylebone
Founded by professional dancer Andrea Rogers, Xtend Barre merges elements of dance, ballet and Pilates to create an adrenaline-fuelled formula. Geared to challenge bodies of any age, gender or fitness background, this 55-minute total body workout serves to strengthen, lengthen and chisel the body. As well as the signature workout, 12 additional variations of classic Xtend Barre method are on offer in the London space, including classes incorporating elements of yoga, reformer Pilates and Tabata/HIIT training. Within the Xtend Barre London flagship is a relaxation area and juice bar serving delicious, healthy juices and shakes to clients after their workout, and all changing rooms come complete with luxury hair products and body washes. There’s even a shop for sports gear and exclusive merchandise for that post-workout fashion fix. 49 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 5HH
Prices and Class Packages: • Monthly unlimited membership: £199 • Drop in class: £27 • 10 pack: £240 • 2 week unlimited introductory offer: £49
Trademarked as one of the best workouts in the world, Barry’s Bootcamp has become an iconic gym class for the fittest and healthiest people. And celebs. This really isn’t one to do if you are not keen on shouting, and being pushed to your absolute maximum, but if you are, you’ll love it. Brave it if you can. New studios have recently opened in Victoria, with state of the art facilities and cutting-edge SW1 style. Classes from £20.
Frame studios are taking over London. With studios in Victoria, Kings Cross, Queen’s Park, Shoreditch and now even Fitzrovia, you are never far from a great workout. There’s something for everyone in terms of class variety and level, with a bespoke membership for yogis. Classes are fun and empowering, from the music video dance classes to boxing and barre. There are longer and shorter class options and even meditation classes for those of you who need a bit of headspace. Onsite there’s also a post-gym smoothie bar, and a forgot your kit rental service (we’ve all been there…) and shop on site. Membership from £65 per month, pay as you go also available, locations around London.
Hailed as the new sport du jour, thanks to Gigi Hadid and her other Victoria’s Secret Angels, boxing is an aerobic workout that tones as well as burns fat, and Kobox in Chelsea and the City offers one of the best boxing workouts in London. Be prepared to sweat… a lot. The facilities include re-energising smoothies and showers with Ren beauty products, which will have you out the door looking and smelling better than you did when you walked in. Classes from £20, Unit 8-11 Kings Walk, 122 Kings Road, London SW3 4TR, and 85 London Wall, London, EC2M 7AD.
An all-female gym focused on getting the best results for women in all areas of their workouts – from stretching and yoga to personal well-being. All sessions are with personal trainers to help tailor your workout to you personally. All of the classes are based on the same philosophy, ‘making women’s bodies better,’ in a healthy and manageable way. Sessions start from £50.
What To Wear:
Step up your exercise gear game with the brand new HPE Subscription Box – a hi-tech fitness clothing brand that will send you a full outfit every few months to ensure you’re best dressed at the gym. Their unique fabric technology makes breaking a sweat stylish, by creating new pieces according to the coolest activewear trends. Depending on your gym personality, you can choose from street style, essentials and HPE all-stars to build your own curated box with a sports bra, leggings and a top that will come straight through your front door. Looking your best while exercising has never been so easy… Subscriptions from £110, find out more here.
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