7 London gyms that are perfect for every type of fitness tribe

Get your health fix at one of the capital's best luxury workout spaces…

Don’t get us wrong; home workouts are brilliant, and they were the saving grace of the fitness world during the pandemic. But, gyms are fully open – and there’s just something about being part of a crew, isn’t there? Even if you’re sweating uncontrollably, muscles screaming and on the point of giving up, just knowing that everyone around you is feeling the same can help you find those last pockets of energy you didn’t know you had.

But, if you’re serious about honing those abs (or even just shifting those extra work-from-home pounds), then you’ll know that overcrowded chains are not the place to be, especially if you’re taking tentative steps back into the workout world following a not-so-dry February.

Thankfully, London showcases some seriously exclusive spots, so we’ve curated a list of the city’s most luxurious gyms that'll help in your quest for a shredded physique. Just be sure to mind your etiquette

Best for collaborators: UN1T

UN1T is all about the science, and every class will emphasise the functional basics of mobility, muscular endurance and strength, and each 12-week training programme comprises four weeks of hypertrophy, four of strength and four of power. Meanwhile, the conditioning classes are all about teamwork (perfect for anyone who thrives on some light competition); and the mobility element underlines the importance of freedom of movement.

Locations: Southwark | Nine Elms

Best for total-body-training masochists: Barry's

A true stalwart of the LA fitness community, Barry’s launched within these shores in 2013 and has been delivering world-class workouts to a super-loyal following, including the front-row crowd and professional athletes. The signature is roughly an hour long, alternating between high-intensity interval training on treadmills and strength work with weights, resistance bands and medicine balls (it is said that you can burn up to 1,000 calories per session). Plus, its Fuel Bar offers a range of post-workout smoothies (we’d nudge you towards the PBJ).

Locations: Canary Wharf | Euston | Finsbury | Queensway | Soho | St Paul’s | Victoria

Best for Pilates obsessives: Equinox

Equinox gym Kensington

Housed in a series of beautiful buildings across London, this gym packs quite the punch – literally – as classes across all locations cover the essentials of yoga, boxing (Bishopsgate does muay Thai) and running, with barre and dance available at select posts. But, it’s the Pilates that we’re really enthused about, as it is an in-club experience that utilises unique equipment and a range of more than 500 exercises. If home workouts have become your thing, though, never fear: the Virtual Pilates offering gives the opportunity to be guided, one-on-one, by a top instructor.

Locations: Bishopsgate | Kensington | St. James’s

Best for the globetrotters: The Lanesborough Club & Spa

The Lanesborough Club & Spa is home to one of London’s great hotel gyms, a sprawling, clean and airy space occupied with custom-made free weights, Woodway treadmills, an UltraSlide station, Technogym spin bikes, and the most arcade-game-like leg press we’ve ever had the pleasure to use. Within the Club’s complex network of rooms are studios for classes, namely yoga, reformer Pilates and HIIT, and a recent draw has been the 30-minute personalised EMS (electro muscle stimulation) training, held in collaboration with Vive Fitness, a time-efficient workout that comprises wearing a tight suit that stimulates the muscles with electrodes in order to enhance areas such as body toning and muscle mass. Afterwards, the hydro-pool is a fine place to take respite.

Location: Hyde Park Corner

Best for the time poor: 1Rebel


With the year ramping into gear, there’s likely to be a slight move away from indulgent lunches to intense workout sessions this month. At the forefront of the high-octane recommendations is 1Rebel. Founded by James Balfour in 2014, the sleek chain presents a bevy of 45-minute classes, including Ride, Rumble and Reshape (spinning, boxing, and a mix of cardio and strength, respectively). Classes are often dark and accompanied by seriously loud music, so there’s equal emphasis on the social, lively element as there is on the punishing workouts.

Locations: Angel | Bayswater | Broadgate | Holborn | Liverpool Street | Oxford Circus | Kensington | South Bank | St John’s Wood | Victoria

Best for the R-and-R crowd: Third Space

The Third Space Marylebone gym swimming pool

Designed as an antidote to the stress of everyday life, Third Space health clubs have a unique luxury aesthetic complete with all the latest gear. There’s a wide-range of classes, with enigmatic names such as Afterburner, The Wod and Formula 3, as well as swimming pools, a climbing wall (Canary Wharf), combat sessions (jiu-jitsu; boxing) and dance. There are also spa areas to rival those of five-star hotels (saunas, and ridiculously inviting swimming pools, lit by low, luminous lighting), and the Soho location even has a hypoxic chamber.

Locations: Canary Wharf | The City | Islington | Marylebone | Mayfair | Moorgate | Soho | Tower Bridge | Wimbledon | Battersea | Clapham Junction | Wood Wharf

Best for the highly stressed: Kobox


Boxing is brilliant for all-round fitness – and it’s incredibly liberating to throw a few uppercuts and hooks – but if you’ve always shied away from the punchbag at your usual gym, due to lack of knowledge, then it’s definitely worth investing in a few classes at Kobox. The premise at any one of the three sites is the same: every 50-minute class is split into two parts, with half the session spent practising punch combos, and the other half having you work up a sweat with a range of functional exercises that focus on a specific part of the body, depending on the day. Before the session begins, trainers run through basic boxing moves with first timers; then, the lights go down, the music begins and suddenly you’re working out in a basement rave.

Locations: Chelsea | City | Marylebone

Now, for your recovery. These are the 4 best luxury plunge pools and ice baths on the market…

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