Whether you’re a runner or cyclist, a budding cyclist or have a fondness for parkour, there is likely to be a class in the capital to suit you. The London fitness scene has made some serious gains (sorry) in the past six years, as gyms like 1Rebel and Barry’s Bootcamp have spearheaded a takeover of luxury fitness spaces that doubled as industrial-cool units promising to whip their buttocks into shape.
The post-Covid option is greater than ever; If Burpees aren’t your cup of tea, there are a plethora of low-intensity workouts to choose from, from hitting the pool to do “water aerobics” to 15-minute belly breathing. So without further ado, leave your toffee apple and head over to some of these shiny new seasons launching this fall.
Carf (Transformer pilates) in Karve
The newest series in the vast fitness arc of High Street Kensington, Karve is the place for Pilates fans looking to up the ante. Transformer Pilates studio is a vision of bright black gear, shiny mirrors, and exposed brick, inspired by a downtown New York loft. Karve’s first 50-minute class is essentially a reformer Pilates class but takes it to the next level: expect to sweat and shiver through isometric mounts, pulses, and core work designed to “tighten” and stretch the muscles. Each class ends with a meditation to ignite the mind-body connection and catapult you into a state of high-performance zen.
Prices start from £35 per session, karve.club
Full body circuit in circuit assembly
The Circuit Society is the latest brainchild of Shane Collins, the mastermind behind KOBOX and former head coach at Barry’s Bootcamp. After 15 years of experience in the field, Collins created his class on Full Body Circuit, a “mini-class” of body conditioning, with an emphasis on small groups and intimate instructions (which sound better than they are). The 45-minute class is perfect for anyone looking for an intense full-body workout, as they burn up to 850 calories through a combination of cardio and HIRT (High Intensity Resistance Training). It may sound stressful but each class is tailored to individual abilities and designed to have up to 80 percent less impact than traditional HIIT classes.
Prices start at £20 for a monthly membership, circSociety.fit
Body sculpting at Bodyism
Bodyism at West London Fitness has always been a go-to place for delicious matcha-sipping mummies and Instagrammers — and for good reason. If you’re in the market for a rowdy game, their new chapter in Sculpt is just the ticket. It focuses on smaller muscle groups and strengthening your core through a combination of isometric pulse, dance and weight training. The class was designed by former 12-year style coach Tracy Anderson (Gwyneth Paltrow Supercoach), Psychology graduate Diana Brash, with the goal of bridging the gap between science, spirituality, and the arts.
Monthly memberships start from £130 a month, bodyism.com
Powerride 2.0 in the third space
A giant of luxury gyms, Third Space is launching a new spin category to add to its already overwhelmed list. The Powerride 2.0 class is dropping this week and it’s basically spinning on steroids. If this doesn’t stop you, read on. Everyone is put into teams that compete with each other to win the “race” and perform strength challenges, including increasing your resistance and pedaling as fast as you can onto a backing track for some serious hard hitting. You can track your race location on the virtual leaderboard, but thankfully no one can tell who it is, so you can channel your pent-up inner Bradley Wiggins (or not) into relatively anonymity. This is the perfect class for spinners who want an extra challenge or to push through their PB.
Prices start at £210 a month membership fee, thirdspace.london
evolve in KXU
Crème de la crème From the Chelsea gymnasium beloved by members of the Made in Chelsea team, KXU has added a new 50-minute full-body workout class called Evolve to its roster. The Mixed Intensity category gives HIIT’s premium class, Games, a run for its money. But unlike gaming, Evolve focuses more on body conditioning, incorporating a mix of strength exercises, stretching, and cycling tasks to create lean muscle and burn serious calories. But be warned, there’s always a device to end your cardio workout, so we recommend imagining your post-workout protein shake to help get through that last round of Burpees.
Prices start from £26 per class, kxu.co.uk
SWEATcon in BXR
As you can probably tell from the name, BXR is all about boxing, but this month their Bishopsgate studio launched SWEATCon, a 45-minute HIIT class created by head coach Faisal Abdullah with a focus on cardio, free weights and bodyweight exercises. The class begins with hopping and gentle stretching but quickly picks up speed, as everyone alternates between three equally hard stations, sweats out on the attack bike, swings dumb bells and completes a series of bodyweight exercises. It’s hard work but the experience is made more palatable by the stunning views across London, which is one of the advantages of being the highest-grossing city gym in London.
Prices start from £30 for non-members, bxrlondon.com
The reformer at Psycle
The London Circle and Worship studio has branched out into Reformer Pilates, and is currently only available at the Oxford Circus studio. Psycle’s super charismatic coaches lead you through 55 minutes of polishing and toning on a modern reform bed on a soundtrack of infectious pop music. Expect to rock a lot as you are guided through a series of high-intensity, weight-bearing movements designed to strengthen your core, back, and leg muscles. Matt McLegot, head of Pilates reformer at Psycle, describes the session as “an opportunity to build mental resilience.”
Prices start from £25 per class, psyclelondon.com
Game Box’s ring of fire
This is not for the faint of heart or really intended. GYMBOX has partnered with award-winning Lazy Scientist Sauces to create a HIIT class in which participants are asked to eat chili seriously throughout their workout. Before you dismiss the idea, there’s a science behind it: capsaicin, the chemical in chili peppers that gives heat, boosts metabolic rate, and increases energy intake and fat oxidation. Adding cayenne pepper to an intense leg workout, which includes weight lifting and a bike race, means participants are likely to burn 25 percent more calories during a session.
Classes start September 26th. Monthly membership starts from £40 a month, gymbox.com
hybrid in foundry
Since opening its first outpost in Vauxhall, Foundry has inspired a cult-like devotion with its hard-core classes and community-first approach. With the Hybrid, launched in all of the outposts (plus Vauxhall, found in Bank, North Kensington, Richmond and Old Street), they’re asking for more density. Expect a circuit of short intervals where you’ll be working at maximum intensity, alternating between bikes, rowing and gym equipment like kettlebells and dumbbells. It’s not for the faint of heart, though, as the instructors do get into a fun and friendly style, not military training. You’ll burn calories but leave smiling (and possibly shivering).
Prices start from £20 per class for non-members; foundryfit.com