Your Studio-by-Studio Guide To London’s Reopening Fitness Scene

BY BALANCE FESTIVAL TEAM | TEGAN HEDLEY
Jul 16, 2020
Your Studio-by-Studio Guide To London’s Reopening Fitness Scene
The news we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived: after four long months, gyms will be allowed to reopen from 25 July. While not everyone will feel comfortable getting sweaty in public just yet – hey, if there’s ever a time for you do you then this is it –  we know that a fair few of you will be clearing your calendars and dusting off your kit bags, ready to make a triumphant return.

So, what can you expect? For the majority of studios, anticipate contactless check in, extra cleaning, reduced capacity in classes, some schedule changes and easy access to hand sanitizer. Do note that many will be unable to offer their usual changing facilities, shower access or towel service for the time being, so you may want to stay closer to home (ideally, walking distance) for now. From what we’re hearing, most studios won’t expect you to wear a mask, although don’t be surprised if your instructors are. If you want to, go for it!

There are, however, some studios doing things their own way - putting in some seriously stringent measures, running some one-off classes or offering discounts to the people that have really helped us through this pandemic. And a few are even back and offering alfresco fitness fixes already!

Ready to start drawing up your timetables? Get set, GO!

Barry's 

They’ve done an incredible job of keeping us moving through lockdown with their IG Live classes and online classes, plus they’ve helped to raise tens of thousands of pounds for NHS & Black Lives Matter causes – now, it’s time to get back in the Red Room for real.

When: 25th July 2020

Book: Via their website - keep an eye on their IG for when classes are back on sale!

What’s new: Based on what they've learned so far re-opening other studios around the world, they’ll be enacting a ‘Safety First, Sprints Second’ policy, introducing measures including touchless temperature tests, reduced class capacity, a no high-five policy, no sharing of equipment and an amped-up cleaning routine!




Boom Cycle

When Boom put their bikes up for hire at the start of lockdown they sold out in a matter of minutes, so we know there are more than a few of you who will be desperate to get back in the saddle at our favourite spin studio.

When: It depends on which studio you’re visiting – Battersea returns on the 1st August, with others expected to return soon after.

Book: Priority bookings are open now via their website. As a small token of thanks to our emergency-service workers, Boom Cycle will be giving them a complimentary ride when you buy a package of 3 classes or more.

What’s new: Classes will operate at a reduced capacity, with a 45-minute break between each class to allow for enhanced cleaning of the bikes and studio. At the end of class, you’ll be asked to wait for your instructor to dismiss you row-by-row to avoid the usual bottleneck. Shakes must be pre-ordered before class and do note that changing rooms will be closed until further notice.

Find the full list of changes in this IG post.




Digme

We loved Digme’s Big Weekender a few weeks back, but it only made us miss their fab instructors even more. We really can’t wait to get back to digging deep!

When: Again, it depends on the studio….
  • Richmond, Oxford and Ealing⁠ will be back on 25th July
  • Fitzrovia, Covent Garden and Moorgate⁠ return on 10th August ⁠
  • Blackfriars and Bank⁠ will be on the 17th August⁠

Book: Booking for Richmond, Oxford and Ealing is open right now, while booking for the next sets of studios opening will open on the 1st and the 8th August respectively. Oh, and there’s 20% off all standard Credit Packs until midnight Monday 31st August 2020.

What’s new: With a serious focus on deep cleaning measures, they’ll be including anti-bacterial fogging machines, wipes, spray and hand sanitizer throughout studios. Lockers and changing rooms will be out of action for the time being so make sure you arrive ready to sweat!

Find the full list of measures here.




F45

Technically, a fair few of F45's gyms are already back in action, having moved outside to green spaces, car parks and even rooftops, so check in with your local studio if you’re desperate for an F45 fix. If you can wait, the indoor versions are almost back, albeit with a few twists!

When: Different studios will re-open on different dates but they’ll start from the 25th July, when Paddington, Battersea Park, Brixton, Camden, Oxford Circus, Soho, Vauxhall, Fulham, Holloway and Wandsworth will all open their doors.

Book: Visit the F45 website and use their Find Studio tool to get booked in!

What’s new: The biggest change you’ll notice is that there will be no more equipment sharing, with each attendee designated their own sweet spot from which they’ll do the entire class. As F45 is a franchise, different studios will be taking slightly different measures; generally you’ll be able to find a full list of changes on an individual studio’s Instagram. Do note that some are saying that water fountains will be out of action for now, so be sure to bring enough H20 to get you through your sweat sesh!




KXU

ARE U READY to get back to Chelsea’s favourite studio? Here’s what you need to know.

When: Classes are back on 25th July. Thankfully, their treatments will return too, so you can FINALLY get that sports massage your weary muscles have been dreaming of.

Book: From 17th July, via the KXU website.

What’s new: Expect lots of extra hygiene measures and reduced class capacity – be speedy with your booking!





Method Movement

Blessed with a beautiful outdoor space that's equipped with four squat racks, dumbells up to 50kg and even an air bike(!), Chelsea’s Method Movement have been hosting Open Gym and small group PT sessions for a while. And, in their own words: “as long as there isn't another wave in the next two weeks and old Boris doesn't switch things up on us” they’ll be back on the 25th.

When: 25th July

Book: Online

What’s new: They're yet to reveal any major changes, but keep an eye on their social media over the next few weeks!




Third Space

The best thing about walking into luxury health club Third Space is the fact that it’s impossible to remember that 'real' London life exists outside it. So, will the magic remain? There’s only one way to find out…

When: 25th July

Book:  To use the gym or attend a class, you’ll need to book in advance via the app, with the booking window opening 48hrs in advance. Gym sessions will be available every 15 mins. 

What’s new: Aside from the pre-booking requirement, they’ll be introducing a range of additional hygiene measures including new air filtration systems, while equipment will be coated in a 30-day antiviral shield protection weekly. Over in the pool, filtration and disinfection methods including ozone, UV-C and chlorine will provide the highest quality water standards.





UN1T

If you’ve been anywhere near their ‘gram of late, you’ll know that UN1T are already back, offering small classes from the courtyard of their London Bridge studio. Before long, they’ll be back indoors - training as one, two metres apart.

When: 25 July

Book: Outdoor classes can be booked via MindBody and their own UN1T App, with indoor classes set to follow shortly!

What’s new: For now, there’s no shared equipment, or access to toilets, showers, drinking water or sweat towels, so bring everything you need to train safely and comfortably with you.




Virgin Active

Beautifully clean and super spacious, Virgin Active's gorgeous gyms are already set up for a worry-free workout!

When: 25th July

Book: You will need to book classes, but if you’re only using the gym floor there’s no need to book. Do note that capacity will be monitored, so if you can avoid endorphin-rush hour, do.

What’s new: Aside from increased cleaning measures and fresh air supply, floor markers throughout clubs, including in the changing rooms and on the gym floor, will take the guessing game out of social distancing. 




1Rebel

Having been among the most vocal studios when it comes to getting gyms re-opened, 1Rebel have gone above and beyond with what they’ve dubbed #ProjectCovidSecure, investing in tech including high-powered fresh air filtration systems and industrial antiviral foggers designed to nuke any virus.

When: 25th July

Book: 18th July

What’s new: Aside from all the techy stuff, there’ll be perpex screens on all spin bikes, separating curtains between all treds, and reduced capacity and increased social distancing in the studios. There’ll also be an amped-up cleaning reigime, and no sharing of equipment.

Keep up to date with their Instagram




Blok

Circuits, Pilates, dance, calisthenics, yoga, TRX, strength: whatever kind of movement you’re desperate to make after lockdown-season, there’s a good chance you’ll find it at Blok. ​

When: They’ll be opening different studios on different days, starting with BLOK Clapton on July 25th, with BLOK Manchester returning on August 1st and BLOK Shoreditch back on August 8th. ⠀⠀⠀
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Book: Online – keep an eye on their website for updates!

What's new: While most classes will run as they did before, albeit with slightly reduced capacity, for now there will be some changes to the schedule with Ballet Fit only scheduled for Manchester until further notice, and boxing and sparring on hold for now. Their comprehensive online service, BLOKtv, will continue for now!


Core Collective

When Core Collective say they’re not going to waste a minute, they really mean it – their first spin and row classes will start at precisely one minute past midnight on 25th July!

When: 25th July

Book: Online, from 20thJuly.

What’s new: For the time being, there will be no towel service and users are
encouraged to shower at home where possible. Expect to see deep cleaning going on throughout the day, mandatory non-contact temperature checks upon arrival and reduced class capacity.




Sweat By BXR

When we asked Sweat By BXR how they would be coming back, they were pretty firm in their answer: Stronger, and safer, than ever before!

When: 25th July in Marylebone

Book: Online

What’s new: Schedules have been modified to extend downtime between classes and allow for additional cleaning, there will be temperature checks on the door, there will be no sauna or steam room access for the time being and for boxing classes you’ll be encouraged to bring your own gloves.


Kobox

With lockdown lingering on when it comes to the social side of life, Kobox’s fightclub-meets-nightclub approach is the closest you’re going to get to going OUT OUT.

When:  King’s Road will re-open on 25th July, Baker Street on 30th July and London Wall on 1st September.

Book: Online, from 18th July. Comeback credit packs are currently on sale, giving you three full-length classes for the reduced price of £40.

What’s new: While borrowed gloves will still be available (and sterilised for 24 hours between uses) participants are encouraged to use their own where possible. Toilets and lockers will remain in use, but showers and changing areas will be out of action, so come dressed for a fight.


 

Rathbone Boxing Club

Having shaped their comeback plan on the feedback of their members, Rathbone Boxing Club are almost all set to re-open for group classes and 1-1 PT sessions.

When: 25th July

Book: 18th July

What’s new: The biggest change is that during the "post-lockdown" period you’ll need to use your own gloves, though they will be offering a 10% discount for any gloves purchased at reception. Locker rooms will be reserved for 1-1 PT clients only, and there will be no sweat towels, among other things.




Of course, all of the above list below is just scratching the surface – make sure you check in with your studio of choice to see what measures they’re taking. And the good news is that if you’re not quite ready to step back into the studio, you’ll still be covered as the majority will also be continuing with their online classes for the time being.

It goes almost (but not quite) without saying that if you’re feeling unwell, have any of the symptoms of Covid-19, or have recently been anywhere near anyone suspected to have the illness, you shouldn’t be coming anywhere near a studio for at least two weeks. For those of you that are feeling fine, let’s get moving. In the much-quoted words of the UK’s chief medical advisor Chris Whitty: "There is no situation, no age, no condition where exercise isn’t a good thing".
 
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