It's been nearly an entire 48 hours since I was left a panting, sweaty, shivering mess on the second floor of Bishopsgate's newest fitness club and I'll admit, it's still a struggle to walk, breathe and, well, move at all, really. The DOMS are real, as is my post-workout glow and burning desire to treat myself to a £200-a-month membership.
Haven't heard of Equinox? It's a seriously high-end US fitness chain that originally opened its doors in London in Kensington in 2012, since expanding to own sites in St. James's and now, the City, too. Lucky (or not so lucky, depending on how you look at it) for me, I was invited down to review.
Picture a gym-slash-spa with a sprinkling of everything you could ever possibly need to smash a workout and enter a next-level zen zone afterwards and you'll get a vague feel for Equinox. Across 32,000 very, very sleek square feet, I discover five-floors of state of the art gym equipment and spacious, glossy studios. Instructors at the top of their game teach every class imaginable, from heated yoga to the 'Metcon' sweat-fest I took, plus there are rows of refrigerated Eucalyptus towels waiting for you to mop your sweaty brow afterwards.
There's also a Pilates studio available for one-on-one sessions, a pine-scented regenerative spa offering everything from sports massages to hydro facials, and a deli and café serving macro-tailored meal prep and shakes (hint: macros are a posh 'gym' way of monitoring your nutrition). Not forgetting the athleisure-haven in the lobby selling sports bras, jackets and leggings from P.E. Nation, lululemon and more. In short, they've got—quite literally—everything covered.
Forget Pure Gym; Equinox is the frontrunner in a whole new world championing the 'health is wealth' mantra and elevating the standard gym experience for those who can afford too. Take the workout class, for example: forty-five minutes of Crossfit-style AMRAP circuits (fitting in 'as many reps as possible' within the allocated time), where instructor Waz Ashayer pushes me to my limit and makes sure to leave no one behind as Kanye ricochets around the immaculately designed room. Staff clear your mats for you and clean the space up post-class, so no need to lug all your equipment back to the barbell cupboard as both your frustration and the shower queue grows longer and longer.
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And boy, the showers. Life really is about the small things, and the small things at Equinox include a plethora of Kiehl's lotions, oils and potions designed specifically to make post-workout skin glow. I leave feeling like I'm floating on a cloud, glowing with fancy products and still wide eyed at the silky, swooping floor design. Woods Bagot architects have made the space feel light, bright and commodious seemingly effortlessly, oozing in both luxury and style.
Food wise, you can't go far wrong with the grub on offer. It's fit food at its finest, with pre-boxed meals from MunchFit designed for muscle gain, weight management or fat loss; build-your-own boxes with teriyaki sweet potato, sesame salmon and a vegan 'BLT' massaged kale salad amongst the options to choose from; plus a whole host of Barbells protein bars, veg-packed protein shakes, amino-acid rich pre-workout cans and CBD-infused bottled drinks.
For the gym buffs, the swanky equipment and protein shakes on site makes the perfect combo; for those lacking in gym motivation, it's such an enjoyable experience, you'll never dread a workout again; and also ticks serious boxes for the time-precious who are short on hours in the day but not lacking on the funds front. Manager Sam tells us there's an Equinox Shoreditch in the pipeline as we speak, plus an all-new immersive spinning class featuring leaderboard gaming hitting the timetable soon. Keep your eyes peeled. It's worth the price tag.
equinox.com; 8 Clerk's Place, EC3A 8AQ