Disco gyms set to hit UK

Disco gyms are the new hot nightspots in the US – and they’re coming to the UK soon…

Disco gyms – the latest fitness craze taking the US by storm – are heading over to our shores.

Soul Cycle, in New York, a few blocks north from what was the World Trade Centre, is at the hub of the new fitness fad. Perhaps it’s unsurprising that in a 24-hour city famed for setting trends, a new generation of gyms is marrying keeping fit with the nightclub.

You will find DJ booths made out of 12ft glitterballs, posed alongside a row of weights machines; lighting to set off your muscle-definition spin classes; punk-rock clothing concession stores alongside the racks of towels; even a rock-climbing space, designed with graffiti.

Instructor MB Regan (she won’t reveal what MB stands for), says that the idea is to marry a ‘physical challenge with a mental challenge. Just like a club, we’re a community. Cycling is a very individual sport, we’re all about the collective experience. The candles all around me make it meditative, the music lets you go wherever you want to go.’

Elizabeth Cutler, who founded Soul Cycle two years ago with her business partner Julie Rice, says: ‘Many of our members probably used to go clubbing a lot and now don’t, either because of kids or getting older, so this gives them a little reconnection to that.’

In the UK, gyms are slowly catching on to the idea that a growing number of people consider working out to be as much about unwinding and being sociable as working up a sweat. While we don’t yet boast a fully-fledged disco gym scene, things are certainly moving in that direction.

24Hr Gym (www.24hrgym.co.uk), Gym Box (www.gymbox.co.uk) and The Disco Health Club (www.discohealthclub.com) all fuse exercise with entertainment and offer something a little more than your average treadmill session.

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