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The best gyms in London

Work up a sweat at one of the best gyms in London

There was a time when most gyms in London were functional, slightly clinical looking places that came with a whiff of sweat and chlorine about them. They certainly weren't the sort of place 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' and more than a few have comfy leather armchairs. In short: exercise has never been so much fun, whether you're after a bit of boxingswimming or spinning. But where do you start? By taking a look at our round-up of the best gyms in London, of course.

RECOMMENDED: London's best free fitness classes

The best gyms in London

BLOK London

London's east end has a surprising lack of boutique gyms. Blok in Clapton is an attempt to correct this imbalance. This fitness newcomer, which opened in early 2016, is a seriously trendy offering. Occupying a former warehouse it has all the vibes of a hip Berlin hangout, with a cafe specialising in bone broth and exhibition space for local artists. It's a class-based gym and you pay-as-you-go. Their signature class is a gruelling circuits-type workout called Blok-Fit and there's also boxing, yoga, dance and calisthenics. The owners have thought about the little things too: the bathrooms even have underfloor heating, so no need to do the ‘cold floor hop’ in the dead of winter. 

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Lea Bridge

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 their newest gym 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 itself 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.

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Covent Garden

Third Space Tower Bridge

The thinking behind Third Space is that after home and work the third ‘space' that 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 the wealth of drop-in gyms in the city - is that at the Soho and Tower Bridge gyms they offer a health check, which you can use to steer yourself to health and fitness glory.

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London Bridge

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 8 Gymbox gyms, each committed to making getting sweaty and out-of-breath fun. A quick look at their schedule gives you a sense of the vibe: there’s a class called Drill Sergeant, a gruelling military fitness workout; another called Surfset where yoga is performed on mini surfboards; and another dedicated to aerial hoop acrobatics. Their gyms also feature boxing rings, functional fitness rigs, and resident DJs. This is working out with added party vibes. 

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Covent Garden

Equinox

Equinox gyms have a seriously swanky reputation. Established in New York in the early nineties, they opened their first gym outside America in London in 2012. Housed in an art deco building a moment from Kensington High Street station everything about Equinox says ‘high class’, and that includes the monthly fees which are £200 plus. But you certainly get bang for your buck: there’s a boxing studio, a spin studio, a pilates studio, a spa, a packed class schedule and a crèche (which gives you a pager for your piece of mind when you drop off your little ones). There are also chilled eucalyptus-scented towels and an abundance of Kiehls products in the changing rooms. Oh, and wifi available in every part of the club. If you can splash the cash, it’s the gym of dreams.

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Kensington

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, in two buildings close to Liverpool St, focuses on 3 classes: Cycle (that’s spinning to you and me); Reshape (high intensity exercises across treadmills and benches) and Rumble (a boxing fitness class). Instructors are top of their game and classes are well planned. Be prepared though: they fall on the challenging side. But after your session you get to stand under one of their heavenly rainforest showers. Bliss.

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Moorgate

Frame

Recommended

Frame was set up to bring a more positive vibe to the whole process of getting and staying fit. That philosophy is evident a soon as you arrive at their Shoreditch gym (their 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 four Frames – in King’s Cross, Queen’s Wood 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 and Music Video, plus there’s a weekly running club. That little lot should keep even the most jaded gym bunny coming back for more.

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Shoreditch

Core Collective

This swanky workout 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 four fitness classes – spinning, TRX resistance, high-intensity and ‘sculpt’. (The latter a mix of ballet, contemporary dance and cardio.) There are also yoga and pilates classes on the schedule. Staff are particularly helpful and the equipment is shiny and new.

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Kensington

Try a dance class in London

Comments

13 comments
Kate T
Kate T

*** Central YMCA Club & Gymbox allows Personal Trainers to use stolen software ***

Timea Horvath & Neil Charles please will you stop using software which you have stolen from TimiTraining.

We have repeatedly requested the return of our property but you've instead chosen to change your number and refuse to respond to our emails or messages.

Stealing is wrong, plus false, malicious rape and other allegations against your former partners are disgusting and say much more about you as a woman than anything else.

Ale K
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

VANITY PLAS
VANITY PLAS

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VANITY PLAS
VANITY PLAS

Hi, we are a beauty company and seek a place to work as a hairdresser and makeup artist in, let's also nails. We are glad to know what you think and if it is possible to collaborate with you.www.vanityplas.com Kind regards Sara & Andrea VANITY PLAS