• By Ellen O'Riordan on Apr 21, 2016

Bargain Biceps: Affordable Gyms in London

When it comes to gyms, you get what you pay for.  Ultra expensive studios may well have you greeted by a beaming vegan receptionist and freshly laundered towels that have been handwoven in the alps by blind nuns.  They will perhaps issue you with complimentary bottles of gluten-free water and their bathrooms may offer jars of organic mandarin and unicorn sperm hand cream, but you might agree that these are not always essential components for a satisfactory fitness experience.  So, if you think that you can bear to visit a gym whose showers do not hose you down with mermaid tears and friendly dwarves do not huff and puff your hair dry than I’m sure London’s selection of budget gyms will do you just fine.  Like the Tesco Value range, these gyms are cheap, cheerful and suitable for your everyday needs.  


Brought to you by the same company as the budget airline, this chain is thankfully not called the RyanairGym (Oh do we dread the day).  It’s a large, industrial style gym chain that will help you get rid of your extra baggage.  They have cardio machines, functional training zones, a large selection of free weights and resistance machines.  Personal trainers can help your workouts take off and free fat-busting classes such as Bodypump, Pack Workouts, Bodycombat, and Boxercise will have you arrive at your desired destination.  The gyms are no contract, so you can cancel anytime you like.  A day pass is available for under a tenner and can be purchased online or at reception.  However, joining at the gyms is quite a faff, as you have to fiddle about on their “easy work” computers, so if it's a massive time saver to sort it out beforehand.

Membership Costs:  No contract.  £19.99-£25.99 plus £25 joining fee.  Day passes from £6.99 to £9.99 (Oxford Street and Fulham).

Opening Times:  Varies depending on location, but roughly 06:00-11:00 Monday to Saturday and 08:00-20:00 on Sundays.

Locations:  East Ham, Fulham, Ilford, Oxford Street, Tottenham, Wandsworth, West Croydon, Wood Green.

Anytime Fitness

For so many of us a night on the town is not complete without the obligatory 4 am Big Mac, McChickenwings and a McBenchpress.  Thankfully, as the name so discreetly suggests, Anytime Fitness is open 24 hours a day, so the next time you down 12 Jeiggerbombs and are immediately overwhelmed by the urge to jump on the treadmill, this gym has got you covered.  The centres feature cardio equipment, which are fitted with tvs, and a range of strength machines.  You can opt to purchase personal training sessions or attend some of their free classes such as Pump, Circuits, Body Conditioning, Rocket Yoga or Cycle.

Membership Costs:  Get a free pass

Opening Times:  24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Yep, even Christmas… I mean have a day off.

Locations:  St. Pauls, Kings Cross, Kensington, Chelsea and East Greenwich to name a few.


The Gym

These guys obviously spent hours in the boardroom coming up with the name for this fitness chain.  At £10.99 a month, this is the Lidl of the gym world.  The gym is equipped with cardiovascular machines, strength training machines, free weights and a functional trainer.  Many of their gyms even have "Myride" installed; a virtual and immersive cycling tour of the world all from the "comfort" of a stationary saddle.

Membership Costs:  Between £10.99-£24.99 per month plus £20 joining fee.  Twin memberships are also available at a lower cost and are accessible to identical or nonidentical twins.  Can also be redeemed by two unrelated persons.

Opening Times:  24 hours.

Locations:  The Gym has tonnes of locations throughout the city, including Waterloo, Angel, Charing Cross, Kingston, Tottenham Hale, Wembley, Vauxhall, Ealing and Wood Green.



These gyms are usually a little smaller than their peers, but they provide an equal selection of equipment just set in a more intimate environment.  The trainers are always wandering around and are happy to assist or impart unasked for criticism of your badly executed bent over rows.  The exercise machines are fitted with TVs, so you can keep up with cardio and the Kardashians.  Additionally there is a fantastic range of resistance kit, weights and, in some of the gyms, CrossFit frames.  For a budget chain, these gyms have a fantastic array of free fitness classes including spinning, Zumba, yoga, pilates, body pump and boxfit.  Their personal trainers are all REPS Level 3 and above and can provide affordable fast track results.

Membership Costs:  From £19.99 plus a £25 joining fee.  Apply online to receive a free pass and try out a club.

Opening Times:  Most of the gyms are open 06:30-22:00 Monday to Thursday, 06:30-21:00 on Fridays and 09:00-18:00 on weekends.

Locations:  Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, Highbury,



100% gym, this centre offers over 50 classes a week including Bootcamp, Cycle, Circuits, Zumba, Pump and Muscle Gain Induction.  The gym has an extensive range of cardio machines and well-equipped strength training zone.  The gym also offers personal training sessions for an additional charge.

Membership Costs:  £29.99 per month plus £15 joining fee.  

Opening Times:  Another 24 hour joint; who are these 3am fitness freaks?

Locations:  Holborn, Finsbury Park, Greenwich, Hammersmith, Piccadilly, Bayswater, Holloway Road, Putney and many more.


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Local venues

Gymbox Covent Garden

42 - 49 St Martins Lane Covent Garden Central London WC2N 4EJ

PureGym London Piccadilly

Rex House 4-12 Regent Street Piccadilly London Central London SW1Y 4PE

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