The best fitness classes for every level, from beginner to bootcamp veteran

It doesn't matter if you're a seasoned gym bunny, there'll be a class suited to your skill level

Legend has it that some people are actually motivated enough to maintain a strict fitness regime. The rest of us mere mortals rely on the best fitness classes the UK has to offer.

They’re not to everyone’s liking, but classes offer structured exercise that in my opinion make it much easier to commit to improving your fitness levels – and, dare I say it, can be quite fun too.

There are an overwhelming number of different options in the capital and beyond, so team Marie Claire has played guinea pig to find out which are worth signing up to.

So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gym class pro, there’s something for you. And when you’re done here, check out the best yoga classes in London for something a little more restorative.

Psycle

fitness classes Psycle

What is it?

Spin class, but seriously upgraded. Lights down, music turned right up, you’ll be put through your cycling paces on the bike with the addition of weights for a full body workout. It’s intense, but you do have a little bit of room to take things at your own pace (don’t feel you need to match your instructor’s stamina on your first session). And as it’s dark, nobody can really see if you’re struggling. Result. The instructors’ high energy coaching encourages you to push yourself to your own limits, whatever those might be. As well as their Ride classes, Psycle also offers Yoga and Strength options too.

Where is it?

You’ll find Psycle studios in Mortimer Street, Canary Wharf, Shoreditch and Clapham.

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Define London

What is it?

This New York style high-tempo barre fitness is the brainchild of former Broadway performer and celebrity master trainer Ashley Verma and suitable for all fitness levels. The classes – ran by a group of the loveliest women – are a mixture of barre and floor-work, incorporating bosu balls and ankle weights in certain classes, for non-stop, head-to-toe intense body-burning, stretching and strengthening systems. It’s hardly surprising that the whole world is flocking here for improved posture, muscle definition, increased flexibility and reduced stress levels. Their new#definenotdiet campaign is inspired!

Where is it?

Define London studio on Great Portland Street, Fitzrovia.

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Barry’s Bootcamp

fitness classes

What is it?

Barry’s is not for the feint-hearted, but a workout that burns 1,000 calories was never going to be easy. An hour long class that’s a mix of cardio and strength, the idea is to ‘shock’ your body into burning fat and building muscle, as well as increasing your metabolism over time. A mix of running and weights, instructors will push you to your limits  there are also ‘Double Floor’ classes for those who don’t fancy the treadmill). Each day targets a different muscle group and it’s recommended that you attend three times a week.

Where is it?

There are Barry’s studios in King’s Cross, Canary Wharf, Shoreditch, Victoria and Bayswater, as well as Manchester city centre for our friends in the north.

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F45

fitness classes F45

What is it?

It’s all in the name, ‘F’ for functional training and 45 for the number of minutes each class lasts, combining different styles of training for the best possible results. The workout is a mixture of HIIT, circuits and functional training with 31 different interval workouts on offer (and more in the pipeline). You can read all about the different workouts on offer here.

Where is it?

F45 have studios all over the UK – find your nearest on their website.

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Un1t London

What is it?

With the slogan ‘we train as one’, Un1t places emphasis on the group workout. You’ll have to work together with your fellow classmates to complete these fitness classes – meaning you really can’t slack here. Classes begin with discussing the ‘Game Plan’, or agenda for the session, followed by a warm-up and the class, with a short hydration break in between. You’ll be dripping with sweat by the end but pumped full of endorphins.

Where is it?

You’ll find Un1t in London Bridge (and also Munich, for something ever so slightly further afield).

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Heartcore

Heartcore @ Sweaty Betty

What is it?

Heartcore’s Dynamic Pilates is a new form of ‘CoreFormer pilates’. Based on the concept of the original Reformer, using continual resistance of spring tension, the low impact class combines strength, conditioning and balance to achieve body postural strength, alignment, tone and mobility. Plus, it’s very, very fun.

Where is it?

There are Heartcore classes all over London from Notting Hill and Mayfair to Hampstead and the City. The most Instagrammable location has to be its newest, The Studio @ No. 1 Carnaby, inside Sweaty Betty‘s flagship store.

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Kobox

What is it?

Boxing, but better, Kobox classes are 50-minutes, high-intensity and in the dark with music. Your taught through the ‘boxing by numbers’ method, learning six key boxing moves numbered one to six. Half of the class time is spent boxing on the bag, the other strength conditioning your body. It’s a serious workout but instructors will help you on your way to becoming a Kobox pro – don’t worry if you’re not a complete fitness freak just yet.

Where is it?

Marylebone, Chelsea and the City.

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Row Strong at Virgin Active

What is it?

Fan of the rowing machine? You’ll get the most out of it with this intense rower class in which you’ll ‘train like an athlete’. Sessions focus on either upper, lower or total body strength depending on the day, giving each of your muscle groups an intense workout in HIIT format. Stick with it and you’ll see a huge improvement in your flexibility, mobility and fitness levels. When it comes to fitness classes, this is a scorcher.

Where is it?

Virgin Active Mayfair

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Want more exercise inspiration? Head to our Health & Fitness section for more content

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