Gone are the days when getting fit meant sweating it out at the dingy local gym in an old t-shirt, with only A-Listers having access to more diverse and interesting ways to work out. Fitness is now big business, worth an estimated £4.4 billion to the UK economy, a figure that has increased year on year and shows no signs of slowing down. According to the 2016 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report, here are now over 6,435 ‘fitness facilities’ in the UK, up from 6,312 in 2015. The sheer variety of gyms, classes, and exercise programs available, with an equally varied price range, means staying active has never been easier or more accessible. There are so many options out there, from spin to dance to boxing to stretching; you’re bound to find something you enjoy.
Unsurprisingly, London is leading the way, with a plethora of studios and gyms to choose from and more opening all the time. Here’s a round up of some of the best – so get on your Sixty Ninety active wear and get moving!
1. Barry’s Bootcamp. This LA import is supposedly responsible for many of the most famous bodies in Hollywood, and has been a huge success in London. With two locations in Central and East London, the super intense classes consist of a combination of treadmill work and floor-based strength and toning movements. An hour’s class is said to burn 1,000 calories.
2. Frame. First opened in 2009, Frame offers a diverse range of classes so there’s sure to be something for everyone – HIIT, yoga, pilates, barre, strength training, personal training, even an 80s dance class! The atmosphere is upbeat, fun and you can even rent work out gear for £5 if you somehow forget to pack yours.
3. Psycle. The UK’s answer to SoulCycle, this spin studio offers high energy, music-driven classes in a sleek and luxurious setting. Each instructor has their own unique style and music taste, meaning no two classes will be the same.
4. triyoga. These light-filled studios offer yoga, barre and pilates classes, as well as special workshops and a long list of health and beauty treatments, making Triyoga an all-round wellness paradise.
5. 1Rebel. This is one of the hottest new studios on the London fitness scene, offering three types of HIIT session – Ride, Rumble, or Reshape. Ride is a spin class with a difference, working your whole body against a backdrop of live music, whilst Rumble and Reshape are cardio boxing and muscle conditioning classes respectively. Not for the faint hearted.
6. Barrecore. Ballet-style fitness has become incredibly popular in recent years, and for good reason – who doesn’t want the long, lean limbs of a ballerina or supermodel? Barrecore offers a variety of barre workouts, from low impact classes to resistance band classes to intense cardio workouts. All guarantee to tone up your figure like never before.
7. KOBOX. Boxing is the workout of choice for the likes of Gigi Hadid and Candice Swanepoel, and as such it’s becoming an increasingly popular workout for the rest of us. The new Chelsea studio describes itself as ‘Fight Club meets Nightclub’, and offers seriously high energy, high intensity classes that are sure to torch fat and calories.
8. Lomax. This boutique gym is exclusively for personal training or classes – unless you want to pay £10 an hour to hire a ‘pod’, or personal workout space. One-on-one training and small group classes ensure that it lives up to its aim of getting you results fast.
9. PureGym. Although describing it as a ‘boutique’ is a bit of a stretch, PureGym is by far the best low-cost fitness solution around. With branches all over the country let alone the capital, PureGym gives you access to a wide variety of equipment and classes at very reasonable rates, proving that you can stay active whatever your budget.
10. Grace Belgravia. At the other end of the spectrum, Grace Belgravia is a luxurious female-only gym, spa and wellness club. Perfect for those who want to workout in a female-only environment, or anyone who wants to make a serious investment in their health.