Home workouts are great and all (and for much of this year, essential), but there’s nothing quite like the buzz of pushing through a gruelling class to banging beats in a room full of strangers.
From full-body blasts to nourishing flows and sweaty spins, here’s our guide to the best luxury gyms, fitness classes and boutique studios in London.
Get your endorphins pumping at one of these tried and tested spots.
For a full-body blitz: the heavyweight gyms
Set to pumping tunes in the infamous Red Room, Barry’s cult workouts are split between intervals on the treadmill and strength training on the floor, with each day of the week focusing on a different area, be it arms & abs or ass & abs.
Hell Week is back on January 31, which challenges gym-goers to take on seven classes in seven days. Try it if you dare.
Price: £24/class or £103 for a seven-day Hell Week pass
Where: various London locations
1Rebel’s Reshape classes also combine treadmill sprints and weights to condition and sculpt muscles fast — and have built a loyal following among city dwellers as a result.
Last year 1Rebel opened a new studio in Hammersmith, where it unveiled RIG, a hybrid fitness concept combining HIIT, circuits and functional training, plus another on Oxford Street, where it has just launched its take on Reformer Pilates set in darkened room to big beats.
Price: from £23/class or first three classes for £29
Where: various London locations
David Beckham is a fan of the cult Aussie workouts which merge HIIT, circuits and functional training — expect endless burpees and squat jumps that will leave you dripping wet and on a high from all of the buzzy community spirit. You’ll be hooked in no time.
Where: various London locations
Price: from £25/class
Want bang for your buck when it comes to working out? Look no further than the rowing machine, which works over 80 per cent of your body’s muscles in one stroke. Rowing studios have been popping up all over the city.
Footballer Gareth Bale opened his first mindful rowing gym, Rowbots, in Fitzrovia in 2019, and has launched a second bigger site near Liverpool Street last year. The 50-minute workout is based half on the rower and half on the floor - expect to build power, speed and endurance, as you master your tekkers under the watchful eye of Rowbots instructors.
Where: Fitzrovia and Liverpool Street
Price: £25 for three classes intro offer
Tech fiends should head to Orangetheory for its Michelle Obama-approved fitness concept that focuses on getting your heart rate into the right zone. While strapped up to a chest monitor, you’ll work across treadmills, rowers and weights on the floor while screens display which zone you’re working in, encouraging you to push harder.
Where: Islington, Fulham, Wandsworth, Bromley
Price: free first session, then from £89/month membership
Sweat it: best gyms for cross training
John Reed Fitness London
Located literally next door to Liverpool Street station — making it ideal for commuters — John Reed Fitness is one of the capital’s newest (and chicest) gyms. The sprawling space is set across 20,000 square feet, and features a large cardio suite and weights area with plenty of room for personal training, a boxing ring, hot yoga studio and Finnish sauna to unwind in after a gruelling sesh. The bold interiors, with plenty of natural light, are set to pumping tunes from a live John Reed radio DJ — it’s an epic setting for getting your sweat on. For class lovers, meanwhile, there’s everything from barre to yoga and HIIT.
Where: 90 Liverpool St, London EC2M 2AT
Price: Membership from £100/month
Sweat by BXR
With existing sites in Marylebone and Canary Wharf, where boxing, strength & conditioning, versaclimbing, yoga and Pilates classes are all on offer, BXR will launch a slick new City outpost in February which promises to be something rather special. Set in 22 Bishopsgate, Europe’s first “vertical village,” it will feature a climbing wall that will sit 125m above ground, boasting 360 degree views of the city. Like its others studios BXR City will feature a members-only gym floor alongside a boutique pay-to-train concept.
Price: £15/class members or £30/class non-members
Where: Marylebone, Canary Wharf and soon-to-open City
From boxing on vintage leather punchbags in a converted tram depot in Clapton to energising power yoga and barre that will make you burn for days, East-London based fitness studio Blok offers some of the best and most varied boutique classes in London, so a membership is well worth it if you like to mix up your training (though you can also pay as you go). This January, Blok has launched the “anti-January challenge,” a new sustainable workout programme that encourages members to start slowly and gradually build up their fitness over a period of 12 weeks, combining restorative classes with high-intensity sessions to take a more holistic approach to training. Sign up here before midnight on January 29.
Where: Shoreditch and Clapton
Price: from £16/class or £147 for unlimited membership (depending on location)
This year Frame is on a mission to reframe fitness with classes that prioritise mobility and fun over calorie count. Recent additions including Your Mum’s VHS for 90s fans and Jumpboard Pilates for Reformer aficionados, and we challenge you to find a more uplifting cardio sesh than its supercharged Rebounding classes.
The gym has also just launched personal training, offering one-to-one sessions both in-person and online, with intro offers available here.
Where: various London locations
Price: Two classes for £20 for newcomers
Boutique gym Third Space has just added a Mayfair studio on Curzon Street to its roster of chic London boutique studios. Members will enjoy all the fancy little extras, such as facial recognition check-in, Natural Fitness Food deliveries, UV treated filtered air, My Zone heart rate connectivity (to monitor your progress) and a Himalayan sea salt sauna to chill out in. There will be a fantastic selection of classes, including high performance cycling classes in a special Wattbike zone, as well as Third Space’s signature top notch PT sessions. All of the clubs boast fantastic facilities, over in Canary Wharf there’s a 13m climbing wall, while Islington is home to a six-lane 20m subterranean swimming pool.
Where: Soho, Canary Wharf, Islington, City, Tower Bridge and Mayfair
BuddhaBox is a Mayfair-based members gym offering boxing, yoga and martial arts, like Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It’s also home to Team Brown Bear, a pop run by celebrity trainer Ollie Lee (@mroliverlee) who is PT to the likes of Winnie Harlow and Ashley Roberts. His classes combine boxing and conditioning exercises that will whip you into shape pronto.
Where: 16 Berkley StLondon W1J 8DZ
Price: from £20 a class, monthly BuddhaBox membership also available
Luxury studio Core Collective offers classes across four categories: Sweat (spin, rowing, circuits), Strength (lift, TRX, rowing, circuits), Sculpt (sculpt bands, TRX, Pilates and yoga) and Recover (yoga, stretching). We particularly love Core’s TRX class, which will test your balance and coordination while helping you to build a strong core.
Where: Kensington, Knightsbridge, St John’s Wood
Pump some iron: best strength training studios
After a total body transformation? The Foundry is where it’s at to get seriously strong. The studio offers a range of strength classes inspired by Strongman competitions that feature plenty of heavy duty equipment — think sled-dragging, tire smashing and farmer’s carries — but its real USP are its semi-private PT programme, which offers clients quality personal training in sessions of no more than four, all offered at an accessible pricepoint. Trust us, you’ll see results fast.
Where: Vauxhall, Old Street and Bank
Price: Monthly memberships available, from £20/class
Over in Bethnal Green, StrongHer became the capital’s first female-only strength training unit when it opened in 2020. Founders Lyanne and Sam, along with their team of trainers, offer personal training, as well as strength and conditioning and Olympic lifting classes for people of all weight lifting experience. Come for the guns, stay for the community spirit.
Where: 19a Cudworth Street, Bethnal Green, E15QU
Strength and conditioning studio UN1T opened a new studio in Holborn last year. UN1T classes are carefully structured over a 12-week training programme consisting of three pillars — hypertrophy, strength and power — to ensure you progress each week. Think relentless Olympic squats on strength days and gruelling stints on the assault bike on cardio days. Expect those gains. Fast.
Where: London Bridge and Holborn
Lift Studio LDN
Another female-only training facility, Lift Studio LDN is based in Clapham and offers a combination of intimate group sessions and one-on-one personal training alongside nutritional coaching. Member classes will run Monday to Friday and there are drop-in sessions available on the weekends. Founders and coaches Mimi and Danni are also offering some reduced rates memberships to women from lower-income backgrounds.
Where: Clapham Arts Centre Unit 2b, 26-32 Voltaire Rd, SW4 6DH
Price: from £250/month for a foundation membership (which includes two classes per week).
Strong & Bendy
Head to Hackney Wick for Strong & Bendy’s signature battleropes class which alternates between time on the ropes and bodyweight exercises on the floor, all taking place in the studio’s very own outdoor terrace. There are plenty of fun dance classes on offer, too, from POP HIIT Pilates to TikTok dance workshops.
Where: Hackney Wick
Bring on the bag: best boxing gyms
Camden and Rathbone Boxing Club
If you like your boxing classes to be as close to the real deal as it gets — but still enjoy the luxuries of a boutique setting — get yourself down to Camden Boxing Club, the shiny new sister site to Fitzrovia’s Rathbone Boxing Club. Here, cues are taken from “spit-and-sawdust” gyms in downtown New York and classes focus on authentic boxing techniques and tactics. Sharpen your reflexes and take out all of that pent up aggression on the speed ball — you’ll feel like a pro after just a few rounds with head coach Greg White.
Where: Camden and Fitzrovia
JAB takes inspiration from the spirit of the old-school East End boxing scene, where founder and former England boxing team captain George Veness took up the sport while growing up. The studio offers 45-minute classes in a slick wood-panelled underground studio and sessions combine bag-work, bodyweight and strength and conditioning, with each day targeting different muscle groups.
Where: 32-34 North Audley St, Mayfair, W1K 6ZG
Tone and stretch: best yoga, Pilates and barre studios
Karve, is a New York loft-style studio which opened its doors on High Street Kensington last year. Founder Yulia Pashevkina has developed the high-energy 50-minute “Transformer Pilates” workout, which is set to pumping tunes and takes place on a spring-loaded carriage, to “karve” the body and mind, build strength and drive metabolism.
It’s a low impact workout but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s a breeze. Expect plenty of slow side plank crunches, and gruellingly low lunges you’ll feel in your abs for days afterwards.
Where: 198 Kensington High Street, W8 7RG
Price: £40/two classes intro offer
If 2022 is the year that you want to take up Pilates — and, really, there are so many reasons to start — you need Marsha Lindsay (@pilatesbymarsha) in your life. Creative director of Nobu’s first ever Pilates studio which opened last year at the new Portman Square hotel, she has carefully devised three energising workouts with different focuses.
Choose from Power, a HIIT-style Pilates class that incorporates a mini trampoline attached to the end of the carriage and involves deceptively hard choreographed jumps to build strength and lengthen muscles; Precision, a class that focuses on either the upper body or lower body to sculpt and lengthen limbs; or Pure, the closest to an original Joseph Pilates class, which incorporates the reformer carriage, tower and chairs. All will leave you walking an inch taller.
Where: 22 Portman Square, London W1H 7BG
Fancy working out like Rita Ora, Poppy Delevingne and Amelia Windsor ? In Kensington, E-Pulsive uses electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) to tone muscles and a full session only takes 20 minutes. It’s set above the shiny new Repose studio which also offers barre, Pilates, yoga, and “antigravity” versions of each, including aerial yoga and air barre, as well as cryotherapy for recovery. Read our full review of EMS here.
Where: High Street Kensington
FLEX Chelsea offers a variety of low-impact and yoga classes including Power, Slow Flow, Fit Flow, Fire Flow, Dharma and CBD Yin. Peach for the Beach, a glutes-focused workout for peachy posteriors, gets our top pick.
Taking place on the CoreFormer, Heartcore’s signature Dynamic Pilates workout subtly combines strength and conditioning with controlled movement on the carriage to build a rock-solid core – you’ll feel your abs for days afterwards. The light airy studios are particularly chic, perfect for switching off and sweating and stretching it all out.
Price: three classes for £45 intro offer
Louisa Drake Method
Louisa Drake's LDM method is all about sculpting long, lean limbs, combining elements of dance, Pilates, light resistance and cardio. Classes at the Fitzrovia studio are intimate so you’ll get plenty of special attention from the trainers to ensure you’re getting the most from your workout.
Where : Mortimer Street
Price: £20 /class
Spin up a sweat: best spin studios
Psycle is a firm favourite among spin-mad Londoners. Set in a dark room, the rides will help you switch off from city stresses and get your heart racing with the help of a banging playlist. The studio is also home to the best barre classes in the capital.
Where: Clapham, Soho, Shoreditch and Westbourne
Head to Boom Cycle for more hair whipping, sprints and tap backs to pumping beats. It was London’s OG boutique spin studio and now has five locations in the city, including the brand’s flagship in Waterloo. Studios are dark, fun and abuzz with good vibes. Pop fanatics will love the new Britney and Beyonce-themed rides for January.
Spin meets spirituality, the New York-born indoor cycling studio arrived in London in 2019 and won an army of loyal followers. A 45-minute ride is designed to be a "mind-body-soul experience" involving cardio, hand weights and rhythm-based choreography in a darkened candlelit room.
Where: Soho and Westbourne Grove