Be gone, lockdown bellies. See you never, panting heavily when just walking up one flight of stairs. Now it’s time to get that body back in business with the help of Square Mile gyms which have reopened to the public.
Just be prepared for everything to look a bit strange. And for most gymgoers to be a little on edge – especially when it comes to properly wiping down equipment after using it. But don’t let that stop you from getting back at it.
The teams running these gyms are doing all they can to make working out as safe as possible. And this is going to be even more important as the weather gets worse and outdoor exercise becomes less and less of an option.
Located right under Broadgate Circle, this high-end gym is offering all their favourite classes once again. Just expect Perspex glass to be everywhere. Every bike and treadmill have been equipped with its own specially made screen and it’s surprising just how sleek they look. They’ve also installed new fresh air ventilators which is not only hugely important for safety but makes for a much better experience in general. No more stale, sweaty air down in this underground gym. They’ve even increased their bike storage facilities to accommodate all of us trying to keep off the Tube nowadays – they’ve thought about everything here. 1Rebel’s new look is mighty impressive – who knew safety could look so cool?
31 Lower Circle, Broadgate Circle EC2M 2QS
Safety has gone high-tech at Third Space, arguable one of the best gyms in all of London. Thermal cameras will scan everyone’s core body temperature on entrance, reducing the risk of anyone with a fever entering the club. Pool filtration and disinfection methods have been increased which include ozone, UV-C and chlorine to ensure the highest water quality standards. Air systems integrated with bipolar ionisation technology to maximise fresh air, over and above regulation levels have been installed all over the club and they have even added additional medical grade HEPA filtration systems to trap 99.97% of air borne particles in their high intensity and cycle studios. Knowing all of this has been added, gives you greater peace of mind while you work out. You should be focusing on what you’re doing, not worrying about all the potential Covid-19 threats around you.
40 Mark Lane, Billingsgate EC3R 7AT
The Gymbox City locations are back up and running but you will need to plan your workouts ahead of schedule from now on. No more just rocking up whenever you like – at least for now. Entry slots for workout classes as well as general entry to the gym will become available a week ahead of the time you want to visit. Just book online (via the Gymbox app) and wait patiently for the opportunity to get your sweat on. Also expect all the usual temperature checks, constant cleaning and social distancing. It seems like a lot right now, but you quickly get used to the new normal. That tight tummy will be back in no time.
71 Lombard Street EC3V 9AY
Over the past month or so, the Equinox team have established a task force, including a team of leading medical and infectious disease experts, who have been working tirelessly on a comprehensive reopening strategy. They’re not messing about here. They’ve up their sanitisation game, introduced temperature checks, reduced the number of people allowed in the club (be sure to book ahead), have temporarily closed the pools and saunas, have made entrance and payment within the gym totally contactless, introduced clearly labelled social distancing measures and told all members how they should treat each other when working out in shared spaces. They’ve done all this hard work so you can take advantage of their top-quality classes and equipment without stressing over what to touch and who to stay away from. Gyms are meant to be an escape from the world outside. And Equinox have done a superb job at helping hold onto that during the current climate.
8 Clerk’s Place EC3A 8AQ
The famous classes have had a makeover for the Covid world. Routines have been changed up so there’s no sharing of equipment, the spaces have been redesigned to give everyone plenty of space and the classes themselves have changed up a little so people aren’t moving around as much as usual. They’ve hired health consultants and conducted focus groups with clients to make sure they’re doing everything they can. They are receptive to all your wants and needs. They’ve also asked all clients to reduce ‘social time’ in and around the studios while invoking a no touch policy (no more high fiving or fist-bumping each other after an intense class). It may take a little while to get used to doing group fitness classes while keeping away from everyone, but everything has been set up to make it feels as natural as possible. Just give it time.
33 Gutter Lane EC2V 8AS
This has got to be one of our very favourite yoga studios in all of London – and that’s thanks to the amount of one-on-one attention you get from instructors as well as their massive immersive screen at the front of the room which shows all manners of natural landscapes. And now, with reduced numbers in each class, you’ll get an even more personalised class. This is great for beginners who really need that extra attention as well as the pros who are looking to improve on a few specific movements/ positions. These classes are perfect for escaping the madness of the world around us as you can really quickly switch off, centre yourself and work on your own flow. It’s a full mind and body experience. But if you’re wanting a slightly tougher workout then add on one of their low impact barre or Pilates classes.
24 Creechurch Lane EC3A 5EH
This team has brought in all the social distancing measures to their City of London studios. The yoga studios are all well ventilated and you won’t find any overcrowding – something we dreamed of even before Covid-19 became a reality. Their cycle classes are just as spaced out and even the HIIT classes give you all the space to sweat all over the place before having it all mopped up by antiviral sprays. And, if you’re up for gong to their Covent Garden location, they’re now doing a few cheeky classes outdoors in the famous landmark itself. What a win! Moreover, like most gyms and studios these days, you can also take part in their online classes from the comfort and safety of your own home. There’s no excuse for spending the whole day on the couch any longer – well at least not everyday (small steps).
40 Coleman Street EC2R 5EH & Moor Place (via Moor Lane), 1 Fore Street EC2Y 5EJ