Whether you’re a runner or a Downward Dogger, a budding cyclist or a lover of parkour, there’s more than likely a course in the capital for you. London’s fitness scene has made some serious strides in the last six years (sorry), with gyms like 1Rebel and Barry’s Bootcamp leading the takeover of luxury gyms doubling as slick industrial facilities that promise to get your bum in shape .
Post Covid the choice is greater than ever; If burpees aren’t your thing, there’s a plethora of low-intensity workouts to choose from, from frolicking in a pool to “aqua aerobics” to 15-minute abdominal breathing. So without further ado, ditch your toffee apple and get on your way to some of these shiny new classes coming this fall.
Karve (Transformer pilates) at Karve
The latest string in High Street Kensington’s extensive fitness arc, Karve is in the right place for Pilates fans looking to up the ante. Inspired by a downtown New York loft, Transformer Pilates Studio is a vision of sleek black appliances, gleaming mirrors and exposed brick. Karve’s first signature 50-minute class is essentially a Reformer Pilates class, but taken to the next level: Expect to sweat and tremble through isometric holds, pulses, and core exercises designed to “karve” muscles ‘ and extend it. Each class ends with a meditation to stimulate the mind-body connection and transport you into a state of highly functional Zen.
Prices start at £35 for a session, karve.club
Whole body circles at the Circuit Society
Circuit Society is the latest brainchild of Shane Collins, the mastermind behind KOBOX and former Master Trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp. After 15 years in the industry, Collins developed his Full Body Circuit course, a body conditioning “micro course” with an emphasis on small groups and intimate classes (that sounds bolder than it is). The 45 minute class is perfect for anyone looking for an intense full body workout and burn up to 850 calories doing a mix of cardio and HIRT (High Intensity Resistance Training). It may sound strenuous, but each class is tailored to individual ability and designed to have up to 80 percent less impact than traditional HIIT classes.
Prices start at £20 for a monthly membership, circuitSociety.fit
Bodyism Sculpt at Bodyism
West London fitness mecca Bodyism has long been the meeting place for matcha-sipping yummy mummies and perfectly coiffed Instagrammers – and for good reason. If you’re looking for a sassy derriere, the new Sculpt class is for you. It focuses on smaller muscle groups and strengthens your core through a mix of isometric pulsing, dance, and strength training. The course was designed by a former Tracy Anderson Method trainer (Gwyneth Paltrow’s superstar trainer) at age 12, psychology graduate Deanna Brash, to bridge the gap between science, spirituality and the arts.
Monthly membership starts at £130 per month, bodyism.com
Power ride 2.0 in Third Space
Third Space, the behemoth of luxury gyms, is launching a new spinning class to expand its already crowded menu. The Powerride 2.0 class falls this week and it’s essentially spinning on steroids. If that doesn’t put you off, read on. Everyone is divided into teams that compete to win “the race” and complete strength challenges including cranking up the resistance and kicking to a backing track as fast as possible with some seriously heavy beats. You can track your position in the race on a virtual leaderboard, but thankfully no one can tell who’s who, so you can channel your repressed inner Bradley Wiggins (or not) in relative anonymity. This is the perfect class for spinning fans looking for an extra challenge or want to push their PB.
Prices start at £210 one month membership fee, Thirdspace.london
Evolve at KXU
KXU, the crème de la crème of Chelsea’s gym and popular with Made in Chelsea castmates, has added a new 50-minute total body workout class called Evolve to its menu. The mixed intensity class gives The Games’ signature HIIT class a run for their money. But unlike The Games, Evolve focuses more on body conditioning, fusing a mix of strength training, stretching and airbike stints to build lean muscle and burn serious calories. But be warned, there’s always a cardio finisher, so we recommend visualizing your post-workout protein shake to help you get through that final round of burpees.
Prices start at £26 for a class, kxu.co.uk
SWEATcon at BXR
As you can probably tell from the name, BXR is all about boxing, but this month its Bishopsgate studio launched SWEATCon, a 45-minute HIIT class created by master trainer Faisal Abdalla and focused on cardio , free weights and bodyweight exercises. The class begins with mobility prep and gentle stretches, but soon ramps up to speed with everyone rotating between three equally hard stations, sweating on the attack wheel, swinging dumbbells and completing a series of bodyweight exercises. It’s hard work, but the experience is made that much tastier by the stunning views across London, one of the perks of being the City of London’s highest gym.
Prices start from £30 for non-members, bxrlondon.com
Reformer at Psyche
The iconic London spin-and-barre studio has just branched out into Reformer Pilates, which is currently only available at the Oxford Circus Studio. Supercharismatic Psycle instructors will guide you through 55 minutes of honing and toning on state-of-the-art Reformer beds to a soundtrack of infectious pop music. Expect to tremble dramatically as you’re guided through a litany of high-intensity holds and weight loads designed to strengthen your core, hamstrings, and leg muscles. Reformer Pilates leader at Psycle, Matt McElligott, describes the session as “an opportunity to build mental resilience.”
Prices start at £25 for a class, psyclelondon.com
Ring of Fire at GYMBOX
This is not for the faint of heart or actually for those with stomach problems. GYMBOX has partnered with Lazy Scientist Sauces, an award-winning hot sauce company, to create a HIIT class that requires participants to seriously consume hot chiles throughout their workout. Before you shy away from the idea, there’s science behind it: Capsaicin, the chemical in chilies that gives them their heat, boosts your metabolic rate, increases energy expenditure, and increases fat oxidation. The addition of chilies to high-intensity leg workouts, which include barbell lifts and bike sprints, means participants are likely to burn 25 percent more calories during the session.
Classes begin on September 26th. Monthly membership starts at £40 per month, gymbox.com
Hybrid at Foundry
Since opening its first outpost in Vauxhall, Foundry has inspired cult-like devotion thanks to its hardcore classes and community-first approach. With Hybrid introduced in all outposts (as well as Vauxhall, they’re in Bank, North Kensington, Richmond and Old Street), they’re taking the intensity even further. Expect a short-interval circuit where you’ll be working at full intensity, alternating between bikes, rowing machines, and fitness equipment like kettlebells and free weights. It’s not for the faint-hearted, though the trainers are going for a fun and friendly approach rather than a military drill. You’ll burn calories but walk away smiling (and possibly shaking).
Prices start at £20 per class for non-members; foundryfit.com