The Third Space
After being a member of the Third Space for over a decade it might finally be time for a divorce. Back in the day the Third Space was advanced fitness. But now, with so many speciality studios with flexible payment options, it doesn’t seem to suit our needs anymore. So, with that in mind, scroll through for some of the UJ editor’s pay-as-you-go faves. No memberships here. Admittedly, most are west due to our location, but hopefully some of these will inspire you to hit the fit-path and find some of your own favourites.
1 Rebel Bayswater
34 Porchester Rd, W2 6ES
1 Rebel Bayswater has a lot going for it. No plastic (you can borrow a water bottle if you didn’t bring one – no straws either), water provided (taps to fill your bottles), gold shimmer curtains, an iron. The reshape class is like Barry’s, but smaller, so you’ve got more chance to improve your technique as the trainers can see you. It’s also 45 minutes instead of an hour, treadmills are brand new and weights are tucked away conveniently in the steps. The spin classes here are also good – think a watered-down version of SoulCycle’s inspirational route – and our only complaint would be the bikes don’t have speedometers. The studio and the shoes are brand new and instructors are enthusiastic. All in all, we’re liking it here.
At Your Beat
Sylvia Young Theatre School, 1 Nutford Place, W1H 5YZ
Okay, so we’ve only tried At Your Beat once, and it was pretty embarrassing. As always with these kind of classes, beginner isn’t really beginner – people know what they’re doing. The outfits are fierce, the class is packed and the moves are full on, but it’s still really good fun. We went to a dancehall class and it felt like we were at Carnival for a moment. We didn’t love the people instagramming the routines at the end (no one needs to see our ‘ass shake push up’), but we appreciate it’s 2018 and it’s a good form of PR. We’ll be back. Maybe for something with Britney.
Ah, Barry’s. The first time we did Barry’s, we thought we were going to die. Who can actually do this? And we were cheating. But after we got into a bit of a routine – you have to go at least 2-3 times a week to get on top of it – we almost enjoyed it, or at least we weren’t the worst in the class. One thing – be careful with the weights. We see a lot of swinging around moves that most PTs would cry if they saw. The size of the class has pros and cons: there’s a definite ‘we’re all in this together’ feeling, but it’s also a lot of people. The manual treadmills aren’t great, but the music is usually ace (there are seemingly a lot of wannabe MCs – it works) and the facilities are slick.
Box Clever Sports
Lowerwood Court, Westbourne Park Rd, W11 1EU
Box Clever Sports is a real boxing gym, not one of those boxercise ones. Expect a ring, and to get in it from your first class. We did a private lesson, and couldn’t open our hands for a week after. OUCH! We like it, but it’s definitely a different kind of fitness – you think you’re fit and then you try this! We loved the music, the merch, and the general vibe, so we’ll be back for a group class (they’re on ClassPass).
45 Phillimore Walk, Kensington, W8 7RZ
When Core Collective launched, it really was a refreshing change: healthy café, nice facilities and designer studios. Plus, a spin class you could wear your own shoes to, and bikes which make it hard to cheat with speedometers and lights. They also have TRX (maybe one of the hardest classes in London), circuit training, and mat pilates. Tucked away just off High Street Ken, this studio has always felt a bit removed from the chaos, and we like it for that. A post-class glass of Champagne at the Ivy, which is close by, helps too.
Heartcore Notting Hill Gate
36 Uxbridge Street, W8 7TN
In west London, it seems to be Bootcamp Pilates for those who don’t do pilates, Ten (keep scrolling for more on this one) for those who do, and Heartcore for those who are hardcore. This is definitely the studio that you work your way up to. They have private classes too and the studio is light and breezy – it’s time for us to get back in here.
Heartcore 2 Notting Hill
57 Ossington St, W2 4LY
Although they have spin at Heartcore 2 (we’ve never been), we go here for their ‘Restore By Candlelight’ yoga on a Sunday night. Low lit and gentle, this 75-minute class is a great way to end the weekend and start the week. Have a tea on your way out and glide home.
We’ve had many trainers over the years, but there’s something about Holly. Smart, fit, positive and extremely motivated, Holly will push you to be better – but she knows exactly where to stop. She has a master’s degree in nutrition, so can help with meal plans as well as fitness, and she knows about how to recover too, from massage to physio. She’ll inspire you, get you on the right track and make you feel accountable. An advocate of balance, she gets the late nights, but wants to see you back in the gym or at one of her retreats when you’re ready. Want to make a serious change? Get in touch! She’s currently on maternity leave, but will be back to training in July.
241 Pavilion Road, Chelsea, SW1X 0BP
KXU follows in the footsteps of Core: this is one slick, advanced operation. Situated just off Sloane Square, the café serves poke, the spa has cryotherapy and an infrared sauna, the spin studio is more like a theatre and the facilities are top notch. You’re right by the Royal Court here, so this is a great weekend spot. Workout, eat, theatre, drink. It’s all about balance.
Ten Health and Fitness
Ten Health and Fitness
2-4 Exmoor St, W10 6BD
So Ten is a place where we actually look forward to going. It’s not really about facilities, sound systems or merch/products here – but the sports massages will literally put you back together, and the pilates is top shelf. Here, it really matters who you get for an instructor, so figure out who you like (we love Jade!), and then become a regular. There’s something about a place that’s just good that really works for us. No gimmicks, no frills. We’re still waiting for more rock and roll pilates (lower lights, better music/sound systems), but until then, you’ll find us here.
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