The best gyms in London

Break a sweat with a workout or exercise class at one of London’s best gyms and fitness studios

There was a time when most gyms in London were functional, clinical-looking places that had a whiff of sweat and chlorine about them. They certainly weren't the sort of places you’d choose to hang out in on a Friday night. What a difference a few years makes. Today the best gyms in London feel closer to nightclubs or fancy restaurants – some have DJs, others schedule ‘raves’.

According to the 2018 Time Out City Life Index millennials are four times more likely to have exercised than gone clubbing this week, while Londoners who exercise more are more likely to feel happy and less likely to feel stressed. In short: exercise has never been so much fun, whether you're after a bit of boxingswimming or spinning. Wanna join in? Take a look at our round-up of the best gyms and fitness studios in London.

RECOMMENDED: London's best free fitness classes

The very best gyms in London

Another Space

Swanky gym chain Third Space has cottoned on to the fact that many fitness fans have fallen out of love with hefty membership fees and restrictive contracts. So its sister gym, with branches in Bank and Covent Garden, is strictly pay-as-you-go. It offers three classes: HIIT (a mix of boxing and floor work), cycle (spinning with a focus on core strength) and yoga (take your pick from hot or ‘ambient’). The gym is bright and light, and the changing rooms are packed with everything you could possibly need, from hair ties to wet bags. There’s also a small café, serving healthy snacks and protein shakes in every hue. Dreamy. 

Find Another Space in Bank and Covent Garden. 

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Covent Garden

BLOK London

The first BLOK, which opened in Clapton during early 2016, is a seriously trendy offering. Occupying a former warehouse, the boutique gym has all the vibes of a hip Berlin hangout. It's a class-based gym and you pay as you go. Head there for gruelling workouts like BlokFit, boxing, HIIT or Animal Flow, or take toning seriously with its ace yoga, barre and pilates classes. The owners have thought about the little things too: the bathrooms have underfloor heating, so no need to do the ‘cold floor hop’ in the dead of winter. 
There’s now a second BLOK in Shoreditch too. Winner. 

Find BLOK in Clapton and Shoreditch. 

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Lea Bridge
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The Refinery

This basement fitness studio is one of the coolest places to break a sweat in east London. It's in a basement just off Well Street, with warmly lit studios, incense and a welcoming vibe. It's home to a collection of quirky yoga, pilates, barre and fitness classes – think Happy Hour at the Barre, Lift It Tone It Sculpt It and Get Up and Glow Yoga – as well as workshops and therapies. Expect peppy instructors and a warm welcome from the studio’s dog. 

Find The Refinery in Homerton. 

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South Hackney

Gymbox

Gymbox has grown impressively since it started in a car park in Holborn back in 2003. Right now in London you can take your pick from eight Gymbox gyms, each committed to making getting sweaty and out-of-breath fun. A quick look at its schedule gives you a sense of the place: Flatline is dubbed the hardest class in the world, Death Row is a seriously tough rowing workshop. There's Rave, Contortion, Aerial Pilates, Trapeze, Caveman and Paddleboard Yoga. The gyms also feature boxing rings, functional fitness rigs, and resident DJs. This is working out with added party vibes. 

Find Gymbox in Bank, Covent Garden, Farringdon, Holborn, Old Street, Victoria, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford.

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Covent Garden
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Frame

Frame was set up to bring a more positive vibe to the whole process of getting and staying fit. That philosophy is evident as soon as you arrive at its Shoreditch gym (the first, which opened in 2009), where emblazoned on the outside is a huge mural with the words ‘Be bad until you’re good. And good until you’re great.’ You can now be ‘bad’ (or ‘good’ or ‘great’, for that matter) at six Frames – in King’s Cross, Queen’s Park, Fitzrovia, Hammersmith and Victoria, as well as Shoreditch – each offering an overwhelming number of classes. Amid the abs workouts and yoga classes there are some quirky options, like Frame Rave, ’80s Aerobics and Music Video, plus a running club. That little lot should keep even the most jaded gym bunny coming back for more.

Find Frame in Shoreditch, King’s Cross, Fitzrovia, Hammersmith, Victoria and Queen’s Park.

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Shoreditch

Psycle

Like the sound of a boogie in a bike-filled basement, instead of the usual strip-lit slog? Give Psycle a spin. As the lights go down and the lasers flash, you’re told to get ready to ‘bounce to the beat’, make rave arms and move weights, all while cycling on and off the saddle. Despite the name, there’s something for those who don’t feel at home on a bike too. Perky Psycle do amazing non-judgey yoga sessions and high intensity barre, circuits and strength classes - all to banging tunes - at their swanky Shoreditch branch. 

Find Psycle in Shoreditch, Canary Wharf and Fitzrovia. 

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Fitzrovia
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KXU

KXU is another of London’s great pay-as-you-go fitness studios, and a sister gym to exclusive private members' club KX, which has its own seriously swanky gym with an extensive PT programme. At KXU, classes include spinning, conditioning and HIIT workouts, as well as  various types of yoga and barre. Once you've sweated through your session, treat yourself to a fancy smoothie or salad bowl in their social space. Or, if you've really earnt it, pop into the beauty and wellness clinic, which offers everything from massage and exercise treatments, through to an infra-red sauna experience. This is Chelsea, after all. 

Find KXU and KX in Chelsea.

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Chelsea

Third Space

The thinking behind Third Space is that after home and work the third space you'll choose to spend time in is here. If you think that doesn't sound too far off members club territory then you’re right: the atmosphere at this small chain is refined. Gym equipment is top-of-the-line, the décor is considered and the towels are extra fluffy. There’s a full schedule of strength and cardio classes, plus a wealth of instructors on hand in case you’re wondering what exactly you should be doing with that kettlebell. One stand-out feature – and a clear advantage over all the the drop-in gyms – is that it offers a health check, which you can use to steer yourself to wellness and fitness glory.

Find Third Space in Tower Bridge, Soho, Marylebone, Canary Wharf and the City. 

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London Bridge
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1Rebel

Call us shallow but we’re in love with 1Rebel’s changing rooms: spacious, with an endless row of showers and large bronze lockers that have graced many an Instagram feed. Thankfully 1Rebel’s commitment to creating an amazing gym experience goes beyond the locker room. This hipper-than-thou studio focuses on three classes: Ride (that’s spinning to you and me); Reshape (high intensity exercises across treadmills and benches) and Rumble (a boxing fitness class). Instructors are at the top of their game and classes well-planned. Be prepared though: they fall on the challenging side. But after your session you get to stand under one of the heavenly rainforest showers. Bliss.

Find 1Rebel in St Mary Axe, South Bank and Broadgate. 

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Moorgate

Core Collective

Venue says: “We've got our new breakfast menu designed to nourish from the inside out. All balanced, light and refreshing.”

This swanky exercise destination is slightly more expensive than its central London counterparts, but for west Londoners after a thorough workout it’s a sweet spot to head to. On arrival you’re greeted by a huge café and chill-out area with large Chesterfield sofas – you’ll be grateful for these post class. Downstairs is where the hard work happens. Take your pick from seven fitness classes: Circuit, Lift + Row, Cycle, TRX, Power Yoga, Mat Pilates and Stretch. Staff are particularly helpful and the equipment is shiny and new.

Find Core Collective in Kensington. 

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Kensington
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More ways to stay fit in the city?

Comments

8 comments
Ale K

I just started the pay-as-u-go program with the guys from http://www.payasugym.com/ and I am pretty happy with it. I really don´t have the time to spend in one gym because I have a lot of business trips and this thing gives me the chance to save a little bit of money and stay fit. You should try this thing...

James M

Just starting training at www.embodyfitness.com in the city if london. After 20 years of using gyms i think i have found some where that actually does what it promises. The results they deliver are the best i have ever seen in london and the personal trainers are cutting edge versus what i have paid for in the past. You need to commit on your side which i am doing and i am 4 weeks in but i already feel so much better and the results are really starting to show. I cant recommend it highly enough to anyone who really wants to make a proper change.

Ross D

I'm currently studing abroad and I have my classes and internship at Piccadily and Holborn. What would be the best option for me? Also trying to save money kinda

M de Cr

I love to be a regular member of Reebok Sports Club, It is an amazing gym in the East London (Middle of Canary Wharf). I needed a place to have great salon treatment. I have tried a Sun undone infusion facial at the Reebok Sports Club. It is a huge gym with swimming pool, sauna, steam room and spa including all ranges of treatments from laser and pedicures to massages and facials. During my facial (of 50 minutes) my face is infused with Vitamin C and steaming, extraction, cleansing, masks and a gentle massage. I just feel so relaxed & super cool.


Afterwards, my skin looked SO AMAZING, glowing & clear! I was so impressed by their facial treatments. Simple advice gets a swim in their pool - about 20 meters long before your treatment! I had clicked amazing pictures of Reebok Sports Club - Spa!

Peter T

The muscle Works Gym on Bethnal Green London is my favourite gym in London, it's a muscle factory dedicated to building every muscle in your body loosing weight and keeping you fit, the head of personal training is fitness guru Nash Jocic of NashFit training, Nash keep an eye on your work outs and also offers great advice to new students.http://muscleworksgym.com  and NashFit Training can be found here :  http://nashfittraining.com  

Sam Oxby

Rather than just a gym, I recommend working with a professional but affordable personal trainer through CoreFit London (http://corefitlondon.co.uk/). By doing that you don't have to work up the motivation to go - they'll come to you, so you have to be ready. And you don't have to buy into an annual membership, you can buy a set of sessions and be done in a month, three months or continue it for as long, or as little, as you like! Highly recommended!

Randy

If you are looking for a super cool, state of the art gym, check out 200 Aldersgate by Virgin Active Classic. This has to be the best gym in London! Here is a review.www.rolllikeboss.com/2013/04/londons-best-gyms-work-out-like-boss.html

jig s

@Randy Totally agree- I was a member of Virgin Active Classic and found this to be one of the best clubs I'd visited, always clean and front of house and gym floor staff were excellent and always welcoming. Ladies changing room was also immaculate but OMG the ladies cleaning staff member was a right cow! Was always starting a row with someone (who would rarely fight back) and would moan and lay blame on anything left around to the nearest person to the "damage".

One woman left a towel behind and I got such a load of verbal I nearly didn't return. It would appear as though someone had a word with her at one point because there was one week where she would say something out of order then as soon as another member of staff came in would make a beeline for them and confess her actions. But it all went back to normal a few weeks after and again I was watching anything from someone being shouted at to muttering under her breath at another member. Best advice is to stick your headphones in and try to carry on regardless.


Gym floor is very clean and constantly being cleaned. Free Costa coffee and Twinnings tea, free multi-channel TV on the screens (I think about 15 or 20?) and machines. Free use of Mac computers, free charging point lockers, classrooms were a little on the chilly side but nothing a jumper wouldn't solve.


Only issue was with the toilets which would constantly flush whilst being erm, used. It would be really disconcerting to be halfway through ...something, for the toilet to suddenly flush. It was also just as disconcerting to go to leave and find the toilet had not flushed! If they could fix this and change the ladies changing room staff (or train her in customer relations) I'd give it the full 5 stars. Still the best of all the gyms I've tried for facilities though.