13 Of The Best Pay-As-You-Go Gyms, Perfect For Exercise Commitment-Phobes

Katie O'Malley
Photo credit: Another_Space

From ELLE

From jogging in sub-zero temperatures as the sun begins to rise across a foggy city park, to walking to the bus stop with wet hair after a late-night swim, the thought of breaking a sweat in winter makes us want to jump under the duvet covers and hibernate until April.

So one needs a certain level of variety (and cosy indoor warmth) to make it seem worthwhile.

These days you can bag a date, book a flight, or make a-last minute takeaway order at the swipe of a finger, so we don't see any reason why working out shouldn't be just as non-committal, fun, indoors and instantaneous.

So, how can you get fit, try out a bunch of the latest fitness trends and use high-tech gym equipment as and when it suits, without the financial obligation of a £70 p/m gym membership?

It's time you became clued up on pay-as-you-go-gyms - from drop in classes to studios without the long-term commitment.

Photo credit: Tara Moore - Getty Images

From 45-minute HIIT classes to yoga and meditation, here's our go-to list of best pay-as-you-go-gyms you need to know about:

1) Another_Space

'No membership. No joining fee. Just blood-pumping, mind-clearing Cycle, HIIT and Yoga whenever you want.'

That's the blurb on London-based boutique studio Another_Space which features just three types of classes - yoga, HIIT, and cycle - that make up its cross-training method for overall fitness.

Photo credit: Another_Space

All users need to do is register to the pay-as-you-train studio (no joining free or membership), buy a credit (1 credit = 1 class), and select a session from the timetable.

With credits starting at just £20 (an introductory offer of two credits plus a 'buddy' credit for a friend worth just £30), and a 20 credit package costing a reasonable £325, there's no excuse not to pop your sports bra on and hit the bike.

Photo credit: Jamie McGregor Smith

Better yet, made-to-order smoothies, organic cold-pressed juices and nutritional snacks are also on offer from the studio's smoothie bar, providing anything from Nutter Butter blends to whey protein-filled Berry Blasts.

Locations: Bank (40 Coleman Street, EC2R 5EH) and Covent Garden (4-10 Tower Street, WC2H 9NP). Find out more here.

2) Kobox

Six punches. Six numbers. That's all you need to know before checking into one of Kobox's boxing classes.

Offering 50-minute high intensity classes, training involves following a series of combinations displayed in HD on the studio wall before switching to HIIT sets (think ab crunches, press ups, burpees etc.) on the floor. 'It's cardio, without the miles,' says Kobox's website.

Oh, and did we mention Victoria's Secret Jourdan Dunn is a regular boxer there?

With single classes starting at £20 (£10 City Weekender series are also available), you'll be punching to the beat of Hip Hop and R&B tunes from the likes of N.E.R.D, Cardi B, and Kanye West.

Locations: Chelsea (Unit 8-11 Kings Walk, 122 Kings Road, London, SW3 4TR) and City (85 London Wall, London, EC2M 7AD). Find out more here.

3) 1Rebel

Ready to burn hard and sweat even harder? Londoners' go-to gym 1Rebel offers the only three Rs you need know of when it comes to high intensity fitness: Ride, Rumble, and Reshape.

Forget your run-of-the-mill spin class. In Ride, 'rebels' take part in a high energy 30-45 minute themed ride with an instructor, meanwhile Rumble classes offer budding boxers the chance to take part in a serious explosive session, learning hot to jab, cross, and punch like a pro.

Photo credit: 1Rebel

However, you can't visit 1Rebel without taking part in a Reshape class - a 45-minute high intensive group experience designed to condition and resculpt selected muscle-groups. Breaking barriers never sounded so tempting.

Photo credit: 1rebel

And with sessions starting at just £20 (why not try the Triple - three sessions for £39?) you really have no excuse not to join the fitness rebellion.

Locations: London (Broadcast, St Mary Axe, Southbank, Bayswater, Victoria). Find out more here.

4) BXR

Train like a champion at one of the world's first high-end boxing gyms in Marylebone, London. With boxing at its core, BXR offers a range of combat disciplines, lessons, circuit training, and group classes from some of the most elite trainers.

Photo credit: BXR

Oh, and did we mention boxing champion Anthony Joshua is on the BXR membership committee?

A single session of personal training/combat coaching costs £85

Locations: 24 Paddington St, Marylebone, London W1U 5QY. Contact BXR for more details here.

5) Barry's Bootcamp

You can't mention intense fitness without conjuring up an image of a sweaty fitness at Barry's Bootcamp which incidentally celebrates its 20th birthday this year.

Photo credit: Barry's Bootcamp

Weight training and cardio intervals burn up to 1,000 calories per class at Barry's and boosts resting metabolism, so you continue burning calories even after the class is over.

Photo credit: Barry's Bootcamp

With 50 studios across the world and plans to open 100 more in the next five years (there are four London branches) Barry's offers 60-minute 'Full Body' class for just £22.

Locations: Worldwide. London (West, SW1, Central, East). Find out more here.

6) Pure Gym

With over 200 no contract gyms across the UK, with the majority open 24hours a day, users can book onto a range of classes including cardio, sculpt and tone strength training, mind & body, and function, heading to the gym has never been so simple.

The gym also offers free workout videos and exercise guides online, meaning you can work out, stay motivated, and get healthy from the comfort of your own home.

Locations: Nationwide. Find out more here.

7) Class Pass

Does your job involve frequent travel, or are your strapped for time and need to book a last-minute gym session during your lunch break?

ClassPass is an all-access membership to a global network of 10,000 - yes, that's thousand - fitness studios.

From strength training and cycling, to yoga, users can access the best workout classes by choosing from thousands of sessions online, read ratings and reviews and try recommended classes, based on fitness goals.

All you have to do is commit to paying £8.75 a month which gives you 25 credits to book 2-3 every four weeks. Now, this is the kind of bargain we're in need of ahead of pay day.

Locations: Worldwide. UK - Bristol, London, Manchester. Find out more here.

8) The Gym

Open 24 hours a day, The Gym offers a no contract membership at gyms across the country.

With state-of-the-art equipment, facilities, as well as free classes (eg HIIT, pilates, circuits), The Gym priorities your fitness journey and goals above everything else.

A day pass costs just £6.99 with no additional joining fee so the excuse 'gyms are far too expensive' is now redundant.

Locations: Nationwide. Find out more here.

9. FRAME

Ready to move, sweat and fuel? Well, you're going to love London-based FRAME. The studio offers energetic gym bunnies the opportunity to thrive in a feel-good, fun-filled class.

Whether it's dancing, pilates, yoga and meditation and barre, or even 'mumhood' pre and post natal sessions or one-on-one time with a personal trainer, you'll struggle not to get it both mentally and physically courtesy of FRAME.

Photo credit: Frame

Frame’s Fuel cafe also offers users healthy snacks and smoothies and even the chance to scoop up some sportswear apparel bargains at the Frame shop.

Users can top up their personal Frame Card - like the Oyster card without the hassle - and spend it on any class, smoothie, or retail item in store or online (top up minimum of £50). You can choose to spend a monthly budget to space out your classes or 'charge' it up off the cuff on payday.

Locations: Seven studios across London. Find out more here.

10. Core Collective

Repetitive rowing may not sound like the most enthralling of sporting activities, but when it's combined with varying sequences of weights and floor exercises, you'll be itching to stick your oar in (get it?) once you hear what Core Collective have on offer.

Photo credit: .

The London-based luxury boutique fitness studio, has launched an all-round effective and intense fitness classes, LIFT+ROW. Consisting of 45-minutes high intensity interval training, based around three main pillars; cardio, strength and endurance, this is a high-octane workout that provides exceptional fitness results.

Photo credit: .

Using a range free weights, kettlebells, barbells and bodyweight, the class helps spike heart rates and promote cardiovascular fitness, working nine major muscle groups: quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats, core, shoulders, triceps, back and biceps.

A single class costs £22 and can reach up to a reasonable £495 for 30 classes (£16.50 per class).

Location: 45 Phillimore Walk, London, W8 7RZ. Find out more here.

11. Victus Soul

Prepare to get a serious sweat on, courtesy of London's newest fitness studio, Victus Soul.

As the first studio of its kind, this new go-to workout spot offers boxing and running-inspired group exercise classes with a particular focus on technique, form, and recovery.

Photo credit: .

Offering an initial 36 classes per week, guests are invited to choose one of two workouts - HIIT & RUN and HIIT & BOX - which last from 40-60 minutes.

Photo credit: MARCEL

Primal movements, coupled with the best principals of running and boxing, are core to this concept and will see you throwing a left hook one minute and running at 18kph, the next. Remember, challenge means change.

Pay-as-you-go starts at £20 per drop-in or packages and memberships are available. What are you waiting for?

Location: 90 Mansell Street, London, E1 8AL. Find out more here.

12) Flykick

Launched in 2018, Flykick’s classes focus on a combination of HIIT body weight exercises and stretching and kickboxing combinations that promise to make you sweat within minutes of taking part in a session.

The studio recently introduced its ‘Strength’ class – a full-body workout designed to get you strong mentally and physically by splitting rounds on the bag and lifting weights on a bench.

Better yet, the gym prioritises sustainability and purposefully refuses to sell single use plastic on site, re-uses boxing gloves packaging, offers discounts to guests who return body care bottles to be refilled and only stocks organic menstrual products.

A trial class at the London-based location costs just £10 with eight ‘class flyer passes’ totalling £120.

Oh, and did we mention it has a French bulldog, Tokio, as its youngest ‘trainer’. Dogs and dumbbells – what more could you want?

Location: 350 Euston Road, Regent's Place, London, NW1 3AX. Find out more here.

13) SoulCycle

Forget Wimbledon, Pimms and heatwaves because the only word on every Londoner’s lips this summer was SoulCycle.

In June, the US indoor cycling brand – which is loved by the likes of Beyoncé, Victoria Beckham and Michelle Obama – launched its first ever UK-based studio in the heart of Soho, offering users the chance to clip into one of 64 bikes and ride it out to a state-of-the-art sound system in candlelight with the smell of a grapefruit candle – yes, really – diffusing into the air.

Photo credit: SoulCycle: Maria Bentley

In September, the company announced it will be launching a second London-based studio on King’s Road which will feature 60-bikes set across two floors meaning you have no excuse but to whip on your sports bra and sweat it out at the yellow-coloured sports hub.

To get in on the SoulCycle hype, you can buy a starter’s rider class for £16, three classes for £50 and up to a whopping 50 sessions for £2,000.

Locations: 3-4 Great Marlborough Street London UK W1F 7HH; 224-226 King’s Road TBC. Find out more here.


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