Of all the habits to pick up for your New Year’s resolutions, getting fit healthy is probably the best of them all. Whether it’s trimming off the Christmas pounds, training for a sport or packing on muscle, everyone knows that January is the most popular time to take on the challenge. Finding the right gym can be daunting though, as the recent boom in popularity has meant there are literally thousands of gyms across the country, each catering to a specific niche and taste.
It’s estimated that in the UK alone there are over 6,300 gyms, with over 9 million active members. Many of the gyms have been utilizing membership management software for efficiency. These are great for Gym and other Membership Management Software. So where do you start? Like with most decisions, you need to weigh up your options, and with a gym membership, it sits in three categories.
For instance, having a great value powerlifting gym five minutes from your front door isn’t much use for the average Yoga enthusiast, and likewise having a perfectly tuned gym for your sport isn’t necessarily ideal if it takes an hour of travel each way. Of course, most gyms will cater to the average gym goer no matter what your angle, but the closer you can cater your specific tastes to you personally, the better experience you’ll have. Here’s just a handful of the best gyms and wellness centres in the UK.
Titanium Strength from £25 per month
Based in Sheffield, the strength capital of the north, Titanium Strength is run by one of Sheffield’s Strongest Men. The gym specialises in Strongman, Powerlifting and Strength & Conditioning but also caters to bodybuilding and Olympic lifting. Founded by former police officer and strongman competitor Phil Roberts, the gym hosted the Sheffield’s Strongest Man competition back in August. Even if lifting atlas stones or flipping tractor tyres isn’t your thing, strength training is still great for those looking to get fit, increase muscle mass and trim body fat. The gym features a wealth of equipment, including dumbells, barbells, squat racks, stones, chains, ropes and even the infamous yoke.
Mandarin Oriental from £5,500 per annum.
Situated in the breath-taking five star Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hyde Park London, this Spa & Wellness centre looks like something straight out of a Hollywood dream. This fitness and wellbeing facility has been tailored to the cosmopolitan, luxury traveller and boasts state-of-the-art gym equipment, paired with a sleek 17-metre heated indoor swimming pool. The changing rooms offer a sauna in the male changing area and a steam room in the female changing area, revitalizing experience showers and a relaxation space. The gym has Treadmills, Cross Trainers, Bikes and a Rowing Machine alongside free weight equipment. One of the most breath taking elements of the facility, is the Spa, which features
- Eight treatment rooms, all with private showers
- Extensive heat and water facilities including male and female saunariums, vitality pools and amethyst crystal steam rooms
- Zen colour therapy relaxation area
- Expert therapists and comprehensive list of holistic treatments
- Experience showers in female changing rooms
- Spa boutique
Fierce Grace West from £13 per class
Fierce Grace was one of the first companies to bring the system of “Hot Yoga” into Europe, a style of yoga performed in hot and humid conditions, typically Bikram yoga. Fierce Grace is the system of 6 interconnected yoga classes brought to you by Michele Pernetta who introduced Bikram Yoga to the UK in 1994 after returning to the UK from LA. Michele was a personal student of Bikram Choudhury for many years, after going to him as a martial artist who needed knee surgery. After moving to London, she opened the first Bikram studio in London in 1999, became one of Bikram’s senior teachers and opened a further 3 studios. The Fierce Grace West studio is situated on Kilburn Lane in West London and features classes such as Deep Core, FG, Classic and Wild, a new cardio-yoga class that bridges the gap between conventional gym workouts and yoga. WILD combines Kundalini Yoga, resistance stretching, HIIT and Super Slow training to strengthen and sculpt every inch of your body.
The Gym from £10.99 per month
The Gym Group was founded in 2008 by John Treharne, a former England squash player. The chain has over 80 gyms in the UK, all with the intention of being simple and affordable for any type of body. All memberships are contract free, so you can drop out any time you change your mind, and all facilities are 24/7 so fit around you. Each gym has over 170 pieces of equipment and full shower and changing facilities available, so you’ll always have everything you could possibly need and more. The chain also has classes ranging from Fat Burn and HIIT to Legs, Bums and Tums and Abs Blast.
Pure Gym from £17.99 per month
Founded in 2009, and rapidly rising to one of the most popular gym chains in the country right now, Pure Gym has over 170 locations in the UK, with almost all of them offering use 24/7. They’re easy access, low price approach means getting fit has never been simpler. With equipment ranging from both electronic and plate loaded machines, to weighted barbells, kettlebells and yoga mats, there’s everything you could need to start your journey.
The class timetable features Yoga, Pilates, HIIT, Spin and Weight Loss specific classes including a 6 week course called the “Pure Loser”, that’s proven to be a hit up and down the country. Each gym’s access is via a pin system, meaning all you need upon sign up is your own personal PIN number and you’re ready to go! Each facility also contains vending machines offering things like padlocks for lockers, towels, water and sports drinks.
Grace Belgravia from £220 per month
Grace Belgravia is London’s leading health, wellbeing and lifestyle club for women. Located in South West London, the centre features a Spa, Gym, a Medical & Wellbeing Clinic and its own restaurant and bar. Offering a range of classes and workouts catered to the female body, the timetable includes Target Spin, Grace Blitz, Get Set Go, and Raise the Barre, a fusion of traditional ballet drills designed to tone and lengthen the muscles, high intensity cardio to encourage maximum fat burning and mat based Pilates to tighten the core.
The Medical and Wellbeing Clinic is led by Dr Tim Evans and is open to both men and women over the age of 21 with a focus on improving and prolonging your health and wellbeing, also featuring its own vitamin and supplement dispensary designed to target a wide range of medical and nutritional ailments.
Athlete Lab from £129 per month
Athlete Lab was first established in 2012 in Singapore and Sydney by keen amateur triathletes, Neil Franks and Michael Flynn. Both struggling to balance busy working schedules with training for long-distance races, they developed the idea for Athlete Lab from their own desire for a business-district based training facility that offered something more technical and relevant to using spin bikes. Following the success in the Asia-Pacific and with the growing popularity of both cycling and triathlon in the UK over the last few years,
Athlete Lab London made its debut at 110 Cannon Street in Spring 2014. The lab uses “Adjustabikes” to ensure you get to train the specific muscle groups required on a road bike that you need in order to work at your optimal intensity. Spin bikes are different from road or triathlon bikes because the flywheel makes your hamstrings work harder to slow the pedals as they come around. When you’re on a road bike, you pedal against the friction of road resistance and wind resistance, requiring more work from your hip flexors and quadriceps.
The facilities also have a Sports Nutritionist, a Physiotherapist and Sports Masseuse, a Head Exercise Physiologist and a number of cycling coaches, so you’ll always have professionals around to guide you.
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