Before moving to London, one of the questions I had earlier on was about gym memberships and how much they would cost. I did some quick research at the time, saw that a Virgin Active membership would set me back around £30 per week, went into a minor state of shock, quickly closed my laptop and immediately ceased any further investigation in the fear that I would scare myself out of the move altogether.
Upon moving into my new London home, I resumed the search for a gym in my area and was pleasantly surprised at just how many different options there were available within a 10 minute walking radius alone. Phew. As it turned out, London has loads of gyms that cater to everyone’s budgets and fitness needs, so here’s a list of them and what you can expect to pay for each.
If you want to try before you buy, this Pay as you Gym website specialises in daily and monthly passes for London’s gyms. It’s a great way to view all the gyms in your area too!
One other great option for those who love workout classes is ClassPass – a monthly membership that allows you to go to however many exercise classes you like at loads of different locations around London including gyms, studios and specialty classes. It costs about the same as a standard gym membership (starting at £59 p/month) and is such a fun way to try a bunch of classes that you wouldn’t otherwise do! You can check it out here.
These are the reliable chains that you always know what to expect from. If you’re after quality equipment, the standard range of classes and supportive staff, then check out these gyms
Fitness First – There are different prices for different clubs, however one of the newest clubs such as the one in Highbury costs £60 per month on a 12 month membership
Virgin Active – Virgin Active is what I like to think of as the gym of the future. They have everything from a full running track to relaxation spas and sleeping pods. The perks of having such a cool gym does come at a cost though, with a typical 12 month membership at the gym in Angel costing £76 p/month.
LA Fitness – Prices start at around £40 p/month. You can also regularly find Groupon deals for 10 day passes including classes, like this one for £21 – http://www.groupon.co.uk/deals/dealbank_en_gb/la-fitness-6-22/45619474
YMCA – Central London’s biggest gym includes a pool, sauna, steam room, café and Pilates studio. Membership prices start at £58 p/month
If you prefer your gym class to be followed up by a spa treatment and a trip to the in-house fresh juice bar, check out some of London’s fancier gyms
Gym Box – With featured classes like ‘The Brazilian’, ‘Lady Gaga’ and ‘We luv the 80’s’, this boutique gym looks like a night club and comes complete with resident DJ’s and its own full-size boxing ring. They have all the regular equipment too. £75 p/month covers access to all their London gyms
Thirtysevendegrees – The West London branch comes complete with a spa, crèche and a rooftop garden with panoramic city views. Membership price isn’t confirmed but you’re looking at £100+ p/month
Equinox – With members like Barrack Obama and Cameron Diaz, it’s no wonder this Kensington High Street gym splashes out on 24-carat gold facial spa treatments and uses Kiehl’s products in their bathrooms. You’re looking at £180 p/month and a £250 joining fee
No-frill gyms generally have all the basic equipment such as cardio machines and weights, but they save money on services such as having lots of staff around (you tend to just scan yourself in with your membership card), there won’t be anything fancy like a pool, sauna or top of the range equipment, and there are no classes (although some gyms offer occasional classes for around £4+ per session).
FitSpace – I was a member here for about 8 months, although I only really used it for the first 2 months which was my typical ‘get fit’ cycle prior to me actually getting fit. It was basic but seemed to do the job. Memberships start at £13 per month
Pure Gym – Open 24/7 and membership includes access to free classes. London clubs start at £14p/month
Easy Gym – £20 p/month with no contract in central London
Simply Gym – From £16.99 p/month with no contract
Gym London – Allows you to use your home gym anytime, plus pay an extra £3 each time you want to use another of their gyms with more facilities like a pool. Membership starts at £19.95 p/month
There are also lots of independent and local gyms around London that I haven’t listed above. This website is great at comparing some of these local gyms all around London including lots of discounts too! http://www.thegymwebsite.co.uk/
There are plenty of specialised gyms around London. Here is a small sample of the different types of gyms and studios that you can find around town
Crossfit – The popular Crossfit training circuit has locations all around London. Single sessions start at £15 each and monthly memberships at £105 p/month
Fight City Gym – Equally serves fighters (Boxing, Martial Arts, Muay Thai Kickboxing and Krav Maga) and athletes looking for strength and conditioning equipment. They’re located in the City, near Moorgate and Old Street. Membership from £65 p/month
Pineapple Dance Studios – This world-renowned dance studio in central London was founded in 1979. Proces start at £28 p/month
Frame – A dance, fitness and holistic studios with two locations in Shoreditch and Queen’s Park. Classes are all about having fun and you can just drop-in when you feel like doing a class. Classes start at £7 for 30 mins.
Are you thinking of joining or already have joined a gym in London? What’s the most important thing that you look for in a gym?