Gyms Reopening: How Will London’s Top Gyms Look Post Lockdown?

Gyms are back! But like pretty much everywhere else right now, masks are encouraged, social distancing is a must, capacity is limited and reservations must be made. As for saunas and steam rooms, sadly, government guidelines state that must remain closed until further notice. For further details and a sneak peek inside many of London’s top gyms, take a look below…

Lead image: The Yard at Third Space, Canary Wharf

Third Space, various locations
Third Space’s clubs in Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, Soho, Islington, the City and Marylebone are all big, which bodes well for social distancing. Plus, these guys are well into their tech, so you know you’ll get the best hygiene measures, from air systems integrated with bipolar ionisation technology to maximise fresh air, medical grade HEPA filtration systems to trap 99.97% of air borne particles in the high intensity and cycle studios, double antiviral protection with a weekly coating of 30-day antiviral products on all high-touch surfaces (coupled with cleaning throughout the day) and pool filtration and disinfection methods featuring ozone, UV-C and chlorine. Book your sessions – both classes and gym floor – beforehand via the app so that the clubs can measure capacity (if you can’t get in, there’s still the option of virtual and on-demand classes). Thermal cameras will scan your core body temperature on entry, equipment has been arranged to help everyone maintain social distancing, there will be signage to let you know what you can and can’t do, and plenty of sanitising stations.


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Barry’s Bootcamp, various locations
The Barry’s crew is all geared up to welcome you back into The Red Room (of pain). New safety measures include Geo Check-Ins before you even get to the gym (you’ll get a prompt via your app), contactless temperature checks before you enter, shield guards at the front desks, limited capacity and altered room layouts to ensure there’s always space between you and your neighbour, no sharing of equipment, a change to class programmes to limit crossovers and transitions, additional cleaning time between classes and the use of hospital-grade disinfectant, new air filters and UV units to filter out and deactivate airborne bacteria and viruses and foot-operated door openers. Showers and lockers will be temporarily unavailable, as will the fuel bar (grab-and-go options remain) and water refill stations (take your own water). Sadly, high fives are also a no-no. If it’s all too much, Barry’s at Home remains an options.


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1Rebel, various locations
1Rebel is famous for its spin classes, but the sweaty conviviality of a spin studio might seem less appealing in a world where we all have to be COVID-secure. Fortunately, you can still Ride with Rebel thanks to the introduction of new perspex screens to each bike. And there are fewer bikes, temperature checks on the way in and fresh air filtration systems. In other areas of the gym, you’ll find curtains between treadmills, compulsory hand sanitation, social distancing markers, and no-sharing of equipment. Plus, all equipment will be cleaned using anti-viral fog dispensers. There will also be extra bike storage for cycling in, and masks are welcome if you prefer to wear one, but not compulsory. Oh, and 1Rebel has just opened a huge new colourful studio in Holborn – get in there while most of the City continues to work from home.


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BXR & Sweat by BXR, Marylebone & Canary Wharf
BXR, a state-of-the-art, members-only fitness facility that offers the highest level of professional boxing training, has 12,000 sq ft of space set out over two floors – a good start when it comes to social distancing. Together with its sister sites, Sweat by BXR in Canary Wharf and Marylebone, new measures include class bookings, limited class sizes, more downtime between classes for cleaning with an anti-viral demister, protective perspex screens at reception and in the Versaclimbing studio, hand sanitiser outside all studios, disinfectant wipes for use on equipment, and overnight anti-viral ozone treatments. Lockers are available though its recommended you arrive workout ready and shower change at home after class (showers are only be available for weekday morning classes). Face masks are encouraged but not compulsory. The sauna and steam room facilities are closed until further notice. If you don’t fancy heading indoors to workout, you can still take part in BXR’s Park Classes in Paddington Park.


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Equinox, Kensington, St James’s & Bishopsgate
Luxury American gym chain Equinox is taking no chances, with a self-health check and temperature checks before you set foot through the door. Contactless check ins and Plexiglass at the front desk will keep things safe at reception and, of course, you must book a class before turning up. Hand sanitiser will be dotted around, as will disinfectant wipes for the equipment, and face coverings are required at all times, recommended but not compulsory. Electrostatic cleaning equipment will be used on equipment and lockers, physical distancing markers will be present and the clubs will run modified hours to allow for extra cleaning.


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BodyWorksWest, Notting Hill
The expansive BodyWorksWest health and fitness club in Notting Hill has installed a new air conditioning system to pump in fresh air and remove stale air – air will not be re-circulated. All classes will now be booked in advance and, on entering the club, you’ll have your temperature checked (if it’s above 37.8 degrees, you won’t be allowed in). New safety measures include the regular use of hand sanitiser on entering the building and regularly throughout your visit, social distancing signage, arriving at the club in your workout clothes and avoiding use of the showers (shower at home where possible, although the changing rooms will be open), use your own towels, matts and water bottles where possible. Class sizes will be limited and there will be no back-to-back classes to allow for an easier flow of members without loitering, members will be asked to use every other machine on the gym floor to maintain social distancing and to clean equipment before and after use. The swimming pool will remain open but a maximum of four people can use it at any one time (except during Aquafit classes, which can accommodate six people). Masks are not required.


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Barrecore, various locations
Get ready for the return of the ‘Barrecore shake’! Drop-ins are on hold though, alas, as it’s bookings only as class sizes have been reduced. The studio has invested in new air purification systems for fresher air. You’ll be asked to cue up outside the studio and maintain social distancing while outside and inside the building, and once indoors you’ll be asked to sanitise your hands. During class, you will have a clearly marked out area to workout in, and you will be asked to wipe down your barre, mat and any props after each class. There will be a 15-minute break between classes to minimise any congregation. Lockers and changing rooms will be in limited use, so you’re encouraged to arrive in and travel home in your workout wear (showers will be closed), and there will be no towel service or water dispensers (but you can buy water on site).


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