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Central YMCA

Sport and fitness, Gyms and fitness centres Tottenham Court Road
4 out of 5 stars
(9user reviews)
swimming at Central YMCA

Time Out says

A perennial favourite with those working in the West End due to low membership rates, a large cardio theatre, a functional training zone, free weights room, cycle studio and up-to-date resistance training equipment. It isn't glamorous but that's not the point here; Central YMCA provides every possible type of workout and activity from boxing to bellydancing, taught to a very high standard (YMCA Fitness Industry Training is an industry leader and many of its graduates instruct here). A good 25-metre pool is divided for lane swimming; there's also a chapel, therapies and a decent café to boot.



Address: 112 Great Russell St
Transport: Tube: Tottenham Ct Rd
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Users say (9)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
2 people listening
1 of 1 found helpful
Staff Writer

The location of the gym is great - slap bang in the centre of London, literally 2 mins away from Tottenham Court Rd tube.  It's an odd building - I'm guessing it used to be used as a place of worship (?), and so some of the work out areas are a bit oddly shaped.  You get what you pay for to some degree - the cheap subscriptions mean the machinery is quite old, and there are only 4 TVs on each level.  I'd recommend the spin classes - they're really good, they just fill up quickly and don't run enough of them.  The same with the pool - it's a decent sized swimming pool (if a little tired) but because of the location and the gym's popularity is often really crowded. If you work in the centre of London, and can afford to pay for 2 memberships, I'd recommend having this as an option for before/after work, but I definitely appreciate also having a membership elsewhere for evenings when the classes book up or the pool is just too busy.

Great swimming pool not too busy at lunchtime on weekdays.

On the downside, very rude swimming "instructors" will change the swimming pattern in your lane without telling you and then talk to you like you were a stupid 5-year-old because you did not read the freshly moved sign while swimming. I mean, I would not talk to a 5-year-old like this, but I guess everyone is not equal in terms of respecting others and treating customers decently.

A big leisure centre with lots of great facilities. I mainly use this gym for classes, such as spin and kettlebells. YMCA has good quality equipment, a range of classes and great friendly personal trainers. Changing rooms are large and theres hair dryers/straightners. It's a shame about the towel charge and poor quality showers. 


The world's first YMCA is tucked right in the heart of London, descending three floors underground. 

This is also thebiggest gym in ventral London. There are over 125 classes per week ranging from the traditional legs, bums and tums, yoga and spin sessions (although they're not called that). There are also more unusual classes like primal patterns, total barre and ViBR. There are also classes specifically for older adults and children from 1.

There is also the traditional weights and cardiovascular offerings but in a completely unique setting which is essentially a multi storey underground pit (in the best way possible).

There are meeting/study rooms for member use plus a holiday club and raft of after school activities for children over 4.

2 minutes walk from Tottenham Court Road station, this is a wellbeing haven in an urban jungle.

Staff Writer

Brilliant gym right in the heart of central London. They are absolutely loads to offer, including over 100 classes, I'm yet to try one as i think i will be slightly intimidated. I mainly use the swimming pool which is always supervised by two lifeguards, and extremely well maintained. I go before work and its never busy so you get to have a swim without the interference :) The shower and changing areas are always spotless too. They like to keep things up to date and are running trials on 3 different shower units in the female changing area, in which you can vote for your favourite.

The staff are always welcoming and happy to help. Definately worth the money for such a central gym, and you probably wont find one as big as this in London which everything that they have to offer.

Best gym in the center of the town.. Just a couple of minutes walking distance from the station.. Very big badminton area, swimming pool..


  • Central location 2 minutes from Tottenham Court Road station
  • Huge Area
  • Good Free weights section
  • Lots of classes to choose from
  • Lots of variety in cardio machines
  • 25 metre swimming pool
  • Unisex Steam and Sauna rooms close to the swimming pool
  • The gym is split over several floors and each have a water fountain.
  • There is a large central floor space at the bottom floor for group classes
  • There are many different studio room dedicated for exercise bikes, yoga, dance, barre classes etc


  • Too crowded at times
  • The reception area is always crowded as they have to deal with too many people
  • Just 3 toilet rooms in the mens changing area and they are heavily used. With cheap toilet tissues
  • The shower rooms are great, but however the partitions separating the cubicles are not low enough you may get splashed by the water/soap from near by shower cubicle 
  • There is a children’s changing area, but it gets frequently occupied by adults.
  • There is no internet in  the gym and since the gym is mostly located in the basement of the building we don’t get mobile signals on the lower two floors.
Staff Writer

I've tried lots of the swankier gyms in London - include the mega expensive Third Place, and I can honestly say this place is the best. No other central London gyms have facilities to rival this - a big and rarely busy pool, never full circuit training classes, newer fitness classes like TRX and ViPR. It's great. But the best thing is that the staff are funny and not too serious - making jokes about their own dreadful camp music and taking your fitness seriously while not taking themselves seriously and being posey.  

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