Fitness: The top boutique gyms in central London
By our fitness expert Laura Williams
Is the boutique studio gym the future of fitness? Have bigger organisations had their day?
If it's expertise and capped membership you're after, you might be better off heading to a smaller independent.
Here are three of my favourites operating in the City...
FOR THE TIME-POOR EXEC
■ If you long for personal training sessions that don't devour your free time, it might be worth investigating Nordic Balance.
A quiet gym situated in Mayfair's In & Out Naval and Military Club, Team Nordic Balance recognises that exercise is something that often takes second place - but staff pledge to get you those results nonetheless.
Their 30-minute, In and Out lunchtime workout is a high intensity personal training session that is designed to ramp up both fitness levels and metabolism in, well, just half an hour.
■ What: nordicbalance.co.uk
■ Where: 4 St James' Square, London, SW1Y 4JU
■ Cost: From £32.50 for a 30-minute session.
FOR THE SERIOUSLY SPORTY
■ City Athletic does exactly what it says on the tin - it provides a no frills, well stocked workout environment for the serious exerciser.
Located in the basement of Sweatshop's first concept store in Trump Street, City Athletic houses a two-lane sprint track and a coaching team that includes world champions, past and present, in rowing, weight-lifting and athletics, as well as professional rugby players and footballers. If you're a Zumba chick, this may not be for you.
■ What: cityathletic.co.uk
■ Where: Sweatshop, 6 Trump Street, London EC2V 8AF
■ Cost: Memberships from £75 a month. First three months at £50 with Special Summer Promo.
FOR THE HIGHLY COMPETITIVE
■ Founded by two London lawyers and launched earlier this year, Lombard Street's Cyclebeat spinning studio is perfect for the exec who wants a lunchtime spin with an edge.
Every bike in the studio comes equipped with an on-board computer that tells you how fast you're pedalling and how much energy you've used.
And, should you choose to opt in, your stats will appear on a screen (in front of the class) on the studio's signature Beatboard, allowing you to compete against colleagues. If this your idea of pressure hell, however, you can keep your stats private.
■ What: cyclebeat.co.uk
■ Where: 8 Lombard Court, London EC3V 9BJ
■ Cost: From £15 for a single class.