There are now over 8 million people in London. It can feel as if they all want to go to the gym at the same time! No-one wants to hang around queuing for machines or kit. That means when it comes to gyms, size can matter.
Try these big and beautiful gyms. No sense of ‘rush hour’, just space.
All Londoners are familiar with the clever use of old railway arches for modern purposes. Nuffield Health City Fitness and Wellbeing Gym take this to new heights. The gym is directly beneath Cannon Street mainline station, with the arches incorporated into the design. The building is grade II listed, so there’s no soulless boxy feel here. Instead you get the exposed brickwork and graceful curves of 19th century railway architecture – but all the comforts and tech of a modern gym. This is the flagship adults-only club of the group, with the finish and style to match.
The venue houses a truly mind-boggling array of equipment. The three floors are divided into zones, separating cardio, free weights, resistance and so on. There’s Sky Sports TV to make the workout fly by and keep you up to date on your team. There are five exercise studios plus a cycling studio, totalling around 140 classes each week. The kit is regularly refreshed and upgraded on a big scale – they buy fitness steps alone 70 at a time. There’s also a 17 metre pool providing an oasis of calm, with an adjacent sauna and steam room. Complete the chillout at the coffee bar and lounge.
The designers rose to the challenge of the location. Noise and vibration is managed with baffles and clever choice of surfaces. Reviewers compliment thoughtful touches such as entry codes for lockers. No need to rummage for a coin!
As well as Cannon Street rail, there are three tube stations within 5 minutes walk of the gym. Head for Mansion House, Bank or Monument, or cross the river and be at London Bridge within 15 minutes walk. The gym is on Cousin Lane to the side of the station, within steps of the Thames.
Inner London workers need not pay premium prices. Get real value at the Central YMCA Club on Great Russell Street. Located two minutes walk from Tottenham Court Road tube, it is on the office doorstep for thousands. Or you could do work, Hussle, night out with ease. This gym is right next to Theatreland and Soho.
The facilities at this venue include a 75 station cardio zone, which would swallow many smaller gyms whole. But it doesn’t stop there! A separate room holds a vast array of free weights. There are a large number of resistance machines and a functional training zone, including suspension trainers. There are punch bags, a mat area and all the exercise kit anyone could wish for.
A 25 metre four lane pool provides a light and attractive space to build up the lengths. A sauna and steam room open off the pool to relax the muscles after your workout. The sports hall is also used for circuit training, giving everyone plenty of room to run. If that wasn’t enough, there are even three badminton courts. The building is spacious and airy inside which contributes to the relaxed feel. As does the coffee shop and lounge!
If a fitness class exists, this venue probably runs it in one of their six exercise studios. They host 125 classes per week, covering a massive range of interests. Examples include hatha yoga, group cycling, ViPR (not heard of it? Exercise with a weighted tube), circuits and step. There are also meditation sessions, stretching/flexibility classes and Zumba.
The YMCA are a charity, celebrating their 175th anniversary in 2019. You don’t have to be a man, young or a Christian to be welcomed here. The club users comment on its friendly and laid back atmosphere. Your Hussle is supporting their community work as well as your health.
Nuffield Health Merton Abbey is the south London branch of the same chain that runs the City venue. Located in South Wimbledon, this venue is easily accessible both by car and public transport and near to several open spaces.
The gym has a colossal range of equipment. High-spec treadmills sit near rowing machines and stationary cycles to provide a fully-kitted out cardio zone. The resistance section houses free weights of all descriptions.
There’s also a good selection of top of the range Technogym kit. This equipment is incredibly versatile. For instance, the curved treadmills allow you to work on speed, stamina and agility. How? The device isn’t motorised so runs at your pace, and you can use the handles to work on pushes. Turn to the side, grab the side stabiliser and do your grapevines as fast as you like! Straight treadmills allow both running and resistance without changing machines. High-tech rowers really make you feel as if you are whizzing along the river.
The difference at this gym is the space between the machines. You won’t feel as if you are bumping elbows with the person on the next rower! The whole venue is air-conditioned for everyone’s comfort.
There’s a 25 metre four-lane pool to knock out the lengths with ease. The pool also gives access to the spa and Jacuzzi. One of the attractive features of the pool is the surrounding mezzanine. This means a good high ceiling which adds to the sense of space.
Your Hussle pass also gives you access to a packed timetable of group exercise sessions. There’s everything from relaxing yoga and pilates to full on HIIT sessions. There are also regular aqua-fitness classes in the pool. After your workout, chill out in the café or enjoy your favourite sport on their Sky TV.
Walk just 10 minutes from either South Wimbledon or Colliers Wood tube stations and you are at the gym. It is located next to the Wimbledon South Premier Inn. There’s a car park and full disabled access.
Whatever the size, finding gyms in London is a doddle when you Hussle. Pick a location, buy your pass, grab your bag, good to go.
I love large gyms cos you feel more anonymous with so many people milling around so it doesn't matter how you look!
what amazes me is that all this enormous amount of kit doesn't necessarily mean a gigantic admission charge. Don't know how they do it, but next time I'm in central London I'll be taking my gym bag.
I don't think you're badly off for gyms in Bristol either Ashley!
All these gyms sound great - shame I live in Bristol!