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By the time January rolls round, it may be clichéd to drop the fatty foods, fags and take a break from lady liquor, but trying to get fit doesn’t have to be a New Year fad. Getting into healthy habits will have long-term benefits, and by the time summer rolls round, you could have that beach body you’ve always longed for, whilst feeling a lot better about yourself. Here’s our guide to getting in shape, living well and clearing out those party season toxins from your long-suffering body…

 

WERKIN’ OUT

Whilst having a good diet is essential to looking and feeling better (more on that later) there’s no getting away from the fact that to be healthier, you’re going have to get up from that bar stool now and again and work up a sweat that doesn’t come in powder form from your local garden centre…

Here’s some of the best gyms in Central London and what they can do for you and your gut.

GYMBOX
www.gymbox.com

Gyms located in: Bank, Covent Garden, Holborn, Westfield Mall – Shepherd’s Bush. There’s also a brand new supergym opening at Farringdon in a couple of months time and it looks set to be fantastic!

Serious about getting fit? For those of you who imagine you’re in a Rocky-style 80s montage during your workout (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?) Gymbox’s mix of entertainment and exercise is the one for you.  The gyms are designed by Ben Kelly, the guy behind the legendary Hacienda club, and feature live resident DJs every evening.  There’s a diverse, unique studio timetable with over 100 weekly classes, huge combat areas with MMA cages (boxer/wrestling rings to you and I), Olympic boxing rings, and loads and loads more.

PS: They’re also the subject of a Channel 4 TV show every Tuesday night at 8pm (Fat Fighters) featuring all the classes unique to Gymbox like Rave, Boob Aerobics, Chav Fighting (!), Shock Tactics, Kangoo, Stiletto Workout and Pole Divas.


PARIS GYM
www.parisgym.com

If you’re looking for a great, down-to-earth gym minus shrieking sociallites in designer neon Lycra and girls on the treadmill in heels and a full face of slap, Paris Gym is the one for you.

After 15 years, Paris Gym still boasts probably the widest range of weight training equipment in Central London, great opening hours and a fantastic relaxed, informal atmosphere. Gaffers Peter and Phil have worked hard over the years to cultivate an atmosphere that suits any type of trainer; from beginner to advanced, from shy to outgoing, gay to straight, bears to twinks and anything in-between.

Peter and Phil tell us, “We don’t pretend to be the poshest gym about town or the gym with the most luxurious décor or the coolest logo & strap-line – but we do believe that we have created a unique atmosphere, which we’re fighting to maintain. Although there’s something for everyone here it’s most definitely not a cruise joint and that’s the way we like it. At the end of the day, of course, we’re a business and it is about money – but we like to think that Paris Gym is also about people – its members. We’re proud of what we created!”
Prices are just £43 a month or £12 a day. Spend an evening at Paris Gym and you’ll see that it’s different.

stay fitSWEATBOX
www.sweatboxsoho.com

If you’re looking for a gym that’s strictly fellas only, a few visits to Sweatbox Soho will certainly put a spring back into your lethargic Post-Xmas step.

Sweatbox has all the features you’d expect from regular gyms, but they also offer so much more. There’s practically a buffet of Personal Trainers (emphasis on the buff!), all of them gay, friendly and knowledgeable, plus a spa offering a range of massages. But what makes Sweatbox truly unique is that it’s as much a social club as it is a gym. Some members spend hours at a time here – working out, making out, chilling out – and although it’s obviously not first choice for the prudish, if you’re relaxed about your sexuality it’s a great fun and friendly place to be a part of. C’mon, you know the score – just get down there!

SPECIAL OFFER – join for less than £25 per month!
If you join between now and 31st January, Sweatbox are offering annual membership for just £295, that’s less than £25 a month! Great value for slap bang in the heart of the West End and Soho’s gay community.

JUBILEE HALL
www.jubileehalltrust.org

Getting’ people sweatin’ in the heart of Covent Garden since 1978, no, it’s not our Editor Cliff, it’s Jubilee Hall. Whatever your level of fitness or goals, Jubilee Hall’s friendly, sunlit market hall gym has something for everyone with long opening hours (6.45am-10pm Monday to Friday, 9am-10pm on Saturdays and 10am-5pm on Sundays), an Energy Café to boost your health levels with a variety drinks, snacks and supplements, plus experienced fitness instructors and personal trainers.

The Gym also boasts free weights, strength machines, spinning studio, a basketball half court, studio class programme, cardio theatre (This is a room of top-notch workout machines, not an exercise bike and a cross trainer acting out Romeo and Juliet, as we had hoped), plus, a wide range of cardio-vascular machines and a sauna, too. There’s also a great range of classes running each week, featuring a diverse rosta, from boxing to Flamenco dancing. Sadly, no Flamenco boxing as of yet.

PS: It’s also never too late to get fit and active; there’s also subsidised seniors’ activities, offering exercise classes and dance. You may as well keep up with that gold digging twink you’re paying for…
PPS: Don’t write in and complain, that was a joke.

GET ADVENTUROUS

stay fitOUTDOORLADS
www.outdoorlads.com

Of course, You don’t need to join a gym to get fit! Every weekend, OutdoorLads runs a huge range of sociable outdoor activities all over the UK – things like hiking, climbing, camping, biking, canoeing, sailing and skiing. The group is a charity run by its members for its members, so while everything is done to the highest professional standards, the prices are kept low. All over the country people with different ages and backgrounds are joining, with over 10,000 members and counting.

One thing that characterises OutdoorLads events is the friendly and welcoming nature of the guys you meet. Everyone mucks in to help make sure everyone has a good time and events run smoothly – those ‘first event jitters’ quickly disappear. Whether you’re a veritable Action man with tons of experience, or simply want to try something new, get fit or get out in the countryside more, go on an OutdoorLads event! You’ll have a great time, with friendly guys who all have a shared love of the outdoors.

GET PERSONAL

If you’re a right lazy c*nt, we genuinely advise you to use some of that ‘night out’ money on getting your arsed whipped into shape by someone who knows what they’re doing. Trainers can be seen as an expensive luxury, and finding the right one in a sea of muscle-bound, tracksuit-bottomed fitness freaks can seem daunting. Take time to find the right one or ask your buff ting friends for any recommendations. Here are a couple that we think are certainly worth a go.

NO1 FITNESS STUDIO
www.no1studiotraining.co.uk

Don’t let lack of time be a factor in not working out. The No 1-fitness studio, based in London Bridge, offers not only one-on one personal training in 30 minute and hour-long fitness slots, but do so in a studio space without hundreds of members taking up space, parking their sweaty crack-sides on every piece of available equipment. This allows the workouts to become more personal and more suited to your training goals. We sent out Deputy Editor Lee Dalloway and his bony, broomstick-like frame over to them to finally build some muscle and finally stop ruining QX’s perfectly-crafted image of topless muscle Mary’s. See his review on this page to see how he did…

 

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