Best gyms in London to go to with your flatmates
It’s 2019. Going to the gym doesn’t have to be a chore anymore. Forget the days of slimy old leisure centres, with ancient equipment and a distinct smell of stale sweat lingering in every room.
With Time Out finding that millennials are four times more likely to hit the gym than the club in an average week, it’s no surprise that modern gyms have upped the ante. London’s gyms are dynamic, colourful, state-of-the-art and inspiring: think live DJs accompanying your spin class, dedicated personal trainers, and great equipment for training every muscle group.
Many also include amazing facilities like smoothie bars, lounge areas and healthy cafes, and a wide range of classes too: perfect to bring your flatmate along to for a bonding sesh or some extra motivation!
Though some of London’s high-class luxury gyms have memberships costing hundreds of pounds a month, we’ve found a bunch of awesome gyms that won’t break the bank.
BLOK have two locations in London – Clapton and Shoreditch. Describing themselves as “where award-winning boutique fitness meets art, design and fashion,” at BLOK you’ll find over 30 different types of classes from balletfit to boxing.
While this is a class-only gym, the wide range of sessions led by specialist trainers means you’re guaranteed a decent workout, and you can book class packs, monthly memberships, or just pay per session at a really reasonable price for the calibre of workout.
The Refinery E9
The Refinery doesn’t take itself too seriously. This gym recognises the importance of having fun while exercising, and prioritises a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere. There are four fitness studios and two therapy rooms, so you can complement your workouts with holistic therapies to “nourish your mind, body and soul.”
The interior design is beautiful, and the fun vibes are everywhere from their 80s aerobics and beach barre classes, to ‘Sexy Saturdays – Core and More’. If you’re after a more mindful, flowing workout, why not try the Vinyasa Flow Power Hour or Weekend Warrior Detox Yoga sessions? With classes starting from £5 for new starters, The Refinery is a great place to bring your flatmates for a health kick and to get the endorphins flowing!
GymBox claim to be home to the most unique and diverse classes in London – and with facilities like Olympic-size boxing rings, combat cages, world-class free weights sections and Olympic lifting facilities, resident DJs and dance studios, it’s hard to deny. You can get membership on a pay-as-you-go basis up to an 18-month commitment, and with the wide variety of workout options across 11 locations in London, you’ll never get bored.
GymBox is the epitome of a cool gym. Their interior looks more like a trendy bar than a workout space, but that’s the point. It’s a place “where working out is as fun as going out,” and a perfect way to spend a Friday night with your flatmates and avoid a Saturday morning hangover!
Cheap and cheerful doesn’t have to mean boring. PureGym’s facilities are often open 24 hours, offer flexible memberships and student discounts, and have all of the excellent facilities you’d expect from a top-quality gym.
Classes are included and there are more than 50 a week to choose from, including all of the classics: cardio, mind and body, and functional training.
There are over 60 PureGyms in London, so you’re bound to find one locally, and you can also get access to multiple gyms with your membership. No excuses now – you can visit a gym near work or home, and team up with your flatmates for extra motivation.
Chelsea’s KXU is the more-affordable, no-membership sibling of Kensington’s KX Private Members’ Club – where joining will set you back £2,000, then it’s £575 a month(!) for membership. Before we scare you off, KXU is much more accessible while not sacrificing on style or substance. Classes start at just £23 a pop when you buy a 20-class bundle, and you can try your hand at a unique range of classes from industry-leading professionals, putting a new spin on old favourites.
While KX is focussed on one-to-one, personalised training, KXU embraces the group exercise culture of classes and communities. John Shehan, group fitness manager, told Vogue that “the classes go off like a party” with killer soundtracks from incredible sound systems, atmospheric lighting and a cool, motivational ambience throughout the gym.
KXU is something unique and special, offering all the chic style and state-of-the-art workouts of its exclusive predecessor, with a less intimidating price tag that’s more accessible to the average Londoner.
Okay, this isn’t strictly a gym. ClassPass is a unique concept that gives you the opportunity to try out a whole range of activities, classes and adventures across many locations for one monthly membership fee. You pay for a monthly membership to 20,000 fitness studios and gyms around the world, and have access to a bunch of really cool classes through their app.
You’ll find a range of yoga classes, strength training, aerobics and bootcamps as you might expect, but there’s loads of super different things on the app too. Tai Chi and Qigong, meditation, strength training at Ministry of Sound Fitness, LGBT+ spin classes at Ride45/RideHIIT, trampolining and climbing are just some of the cool activities available in your monthly fee. Spice up your fitness life and earn bragging rights for taking part in some super unique classes across the city!
The Great Outdoor Gym Company
What’s better than a cheap and effective gym? A FREE and effective gym! The Great Outdoor Gym Company (TGO) have locations across London, but most famously at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.
Basically a grown-up playground, these gyms are (as the name suggests) outdoors, but still feature a range of strength training, cardio and muscle toning equipment. They’re also sustainable: TGO plant trees for every piece they install, generate electricity with cardio equipment, and also encourage litter picking around their gyms.
From monkey bars to treadmills, these gyms have everything you’ll need for a full workout at literally no cost, plus you get some fresh air and vitamin D while you’re at it! (That is, on a rare day when it isn’t cloudy and/or raining in London.)