I have a platinum membership of Fitness First, which enables me to use any Fitness First gym in the UK. As a personal trainer in London, I go for a gym session at the nearest branch of FF between visiting my fitness clients.
Fitness First Bishopsgate
Located in the heart of the City of London (the financial district) at 47 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AJ.
This is the gym I use the most, being just 10 minutes walk from Liverpool Street Station. It’s also an extremely spacious gym with high ceilings (despite being underground). There’s a sprint track, cardio equipment (including my favourite: the Concept II Rowing Machine), a spinning studio, a huge multi-purpose studio, free-weights, resistance machines, and a swimming pool.
This branch has some excellent personal trainers, including one who specialises in martial arts and boxing. There’s a hanging punchbag and also a floor-based punchbag.
Fitness First Liverpool Street
Located at Platform 18-18, Unit 12, Liverpool Street Station, London EC2M 7PY.
This gym is also underground, but not as spacious as the Bishopsgate branch. However, it has a recently-enlarged free-weights area (which used to be a fitness studio), three barbell squat-racks, four Concept II Rowing Machines and Ski Ergs.
Fitness First Tottenham Court Road
Located at 179A Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7PA.
Tucked away down a Mews passage on Tottenham Court Road (not very clearly signposted so it’s easy to walk past without realising), this is a large gym with an extensive range of cardio equipment and group exercise classes (Body Pump, Pilates, Spin, Trax, BodyCombat).
This gym has an impressive free-weights area, a range of resistance machines that aren’t available at the above two branches, hanging punchbags and a swimming pool.
Fitness First London Bridge Cottons
Located at the Cottons Centre, Tooley Street, London SE1 2QN.
This branch boasts a sauna, a 20m pool, two squash courts, cardio and resistance equipment (TechnoGym and Life Fitness). There’s also a Beats Studio with top-of-the-range speakers pumping out loud music for group High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes.
Fitness First Baker Street
Located at 55 Baker Street, London W1U 8EW.
This is one of the largest Fitness First gyms in London with a large free-weights area and plenty of benches for dumbbell exercises, a wide range of resistance equipment, and a big spinning studio.
This gym also has a swimming pool.
Fitness First Hammersmith
Located at 26-28 Hammersmith Grove, London W6 7HA.
Just two minutes walk from Hammersmith tube station, this gym has a swimming pool and sauna.
There is a range of classes with group personal trainers, such as Yoga, Trax, Spin and Fusion. For muscle-growth there’s the usual range of free-weights and resistance machines.
(Dominic Londesborough is a personal trainer in London and online nutrition coach.)