My Favourites

My Favourites

Save your favourites with a single click and you’ll never forget a brilliant Muddy recommendation.

THINGS TO DO. ARTS. EAT. TRAVEL. FASHION. BEAUTY. KIDS. HOME

Get the inside line on what’s unique, special and new near you, straight to your inbox across 26 counties

Ad
Ad
Back to Fitness

Commit to fit! Cool local gyms and classes

Trying to find your fitness mojo? Wrestle into your Lycra and head to the best boutique gyms and the coolest classes in Berkshire. Whisper it, it might even be fun.

Gyms, PT sessions and exercise classes are back. If you struggle to maintain your fitness goals or started to embrace it for the first time, the one thing we learned during the pandemic is that moving more makes you feel better, improves mental wellbeing and, may help you lose a few pounds too. Damn it. To find your fit, here’s our pick of boutique gyms and cool classes to fire up those endorphins.

GYM BUNNIES

Gym Fitness wokout

The Movement Barn, Theale

Boutique fitness is booming – and The Movement Barn in Theale is the latest on the Berkshire block, laser focussed on quality coaching and community. Owned by Harry Halls, his classes reflect three core values – Build, Breathe and Move. Each element is coloured coded against each class. Build (dark blue) – improves strength. Breathe (mid blue) – improves fitness. Move (light blue) – improves mobility. So expect a combination of yoga, pilates, HIIT and lift training. Free introductory class.

B Fit Ascot, Online and In person classes

Time poor but want to commit to fit? I hear you. B-Fit Ascot offers live and on demand classes for you to access from home – or anywhere in the world providing you have wifi. There’s a female focus to the classes, designed to help women from pregnancy to post menopause, increase energy, gain strength and connect with other like-minded women. You’ll find a pelvic floor health program so trampolines and sneezing no longer need to freak you out and Fitness for the 40+. It’s a refreshing approach to exercise that can feel a bit macho. But there’s a community vibe to B-Fit and classes to suit all abilities and stages of life.

Gecko Fitness, Yattendon

A boutique gym in a pretty village. Do not be fooled by the location, there’s nothing quaint about Gecko Fitness in Yattendon. When you walk through the doors, you’ll work your butt off. What makes this gym different is the 360° holistic approach, based on scientific evidence. Whether you’re a newbie or an elite athlete, the team will tailor their fitness programme to your ability and goals, with boxing, HIIT, yoga, reformer pilates and PT all in the mix. Plus there’s a rehabilitation and nutrition clinic to supercharge your healthy lifestyle. Online classes will continue to be available too.

MAZFit, Wokingham

If you need a badass cheerleader to get you of bed at 5.30am and into the gym, then Maz is the woman to do it. She’s been kicking wobbly bottoms for seven years at her gym MAZfit in Wokingham and gets results. What makes it different, there’s a real sense of community (and, ahem, accountability). During lockdown she loaned equipment, including spin bikes, to her clients, so they could keep calm and carry on sweating online. There’s plenty of variety too – fat burning, strength and conditioning, stretching, spinning, weights and even an aerial hoop if you have a Cirque du Soleil aspirations. Costs from £35 per month.

Accomplish Fitness, Hungerford

Hate the gym because of the lean mean gym bunnies wafting around? Accomplish Fitness in Hungerford is a cool gym in the countryside that is all about community. Founder by Natt Summers has created a fitness ethos is based on the proven and recognised principles of enhanced interval training. Lots of variety here, the classes can be outdoors and there’s nutritional and mindset coaching to keep you on track. You train in small groups, plus the online classes are available so you can train anytime, anywhere. No membership or block booking required.

Shredquarters, Reading

OK gym bunnies, if you love the following a dedicated programme of cardio and weights, this one is for you. Shred is an intensive workout that burns fat fast and creates muscle definition. Say hello to the guns. But be warned, you’ll feel the pain to get there. The Shredquarters in Reading offers bespoke training and a pick and mix of classes to help you reach your goals. The training is insane, you will be challenged, it will be hard, but Operation Smoking Hot will be well on its way. There are three packages – X3 Sessions, Unlimited and Shred which includes nutrition.

Cliveden Spa, Taplow

Effort deserves reward, so I reckon a gym session at Cliveden Spa, followed by a steam, swim and cheeky treatment, will have you jumping into your Sweaty Betty gear faster than Usain Bolt can run the 100m. The gym is small but it’s kitted out with state of the art machines and view of the outdoor pool and spa garden. It’s country club levels of luxury. Become a member of the Cliveden Club (from £385 per month or £4,200 per year) and you can access the gym, spa and loads of discounts at the fancy pants Cliveden House Hotel. Plus you get to sweep up that gravel drive like you own the place.

Fitness Space, Ascot, Maidenhead, Henley

A micro chain of gyms, Fitness Space that hooks up with a coach who drills down your competencies, DNA, health history and best time you can train to create a unique programme that’s uploaded to an app for you to follow. They have state of the art machines, cool classes and Cowshed products in the changing rooms, Various packages available, tailored to how often you’ll visit from day passes to unlimited access. The Ascot gym is owned by Olympic and World Championship finalist athlete Tim Benjamin – so no slacking.

COOL CLASSES

Aerial Yoga, Grave and Gravity at The Swan at Streatley

GRACE AND GRAVITY STUDIO AERIAL YOGA SWAN AT STREATLEY

Grace. Flexibility. Strength, errrr, eventually. Aerial yoga looks like the sort of circus tricks or bedroom gymnastics training you’ve been waiting for. But having tried it myself, it’s hard. The bit when you are swinging in a hammock like a baby are nice, upside down like a bat is interesting and motion sickness can be a problem. But, what a workout. You’re able to stretch more, work that core and, without out doubt, you’ll have a laugh doing it. Available at Grace & Gravity Studio at The Swan at Streatley Gym.

Feel good running, GoodGym

Good Gym runners

Practically the whole nation’s been running during over the last few years. It’s free, gets you out in the fresh air and works up a sweat. But if running around in circles feels a bit pointless, give yourself a reason to run. The GoodGym’s feel-good fitness sessions, combine pavement pounding with helping community projects and the elderly. Lace up your trainers, run, do you bit , then jog back. Polish your fitness halo and enjoy the endorphin/ good deed high. GoodGym has groups in Reading, Windsor, Maidenhead and Slough.

Spinning

Spin class berkshire

Get our leg over a static bike and flogging yourself for 45 minutes in a dark room. The music’s loud, there’s flashing club lighting and you’re required to ride along to the beat of whatever music is playing. Spin is a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout that involves the whole body that, to put it mildly, is knackering, but you will repeat this physical torture week after week. A-listers swear by it. Head to David Lloyd Newbury and join Rich’s Rhythm class or Fitness Space AscotWellington Health and Fitness in Crowthorne, Bradfield Sports Complex and Caversham Health Club by IST all run classes.

Yin Yoga and Sound Bath, The Good Life Hub Hampstead Norreys

Detail of a woman playing an Indian shruti box in a sound bath session. A woman is seen lying down with her eyes closed.

More press pause than work up a sweat. But let’s be honest it’s all about balance. A sometimes a little gentle yoga and a lie down under a warm blanket is just the class we all need from time to time. A deeply immersive experience, yin yoga and sound baths are both deeply relaxing and restorative for the mind and body. Classes run monthly. The next one is on 15 Jan. Tickets £27.54

Reformer Pilates, Balance Pro

Reformer Pilates

If you find mat work a bit slooooooow, Reformer Pilates could be the ticket, a machine that looks torturous with its pulls and levers but has an incredible effect on the body. Available at the awesome Balance Pro in Hurley, Cat Fitchett an ex dancer and Team GB high jumper, plus a stunt woman for the likes of Nicole Kidman (cool right?)– offers a bespoke plan of energetic, no-impact stretching and toning workouts that help to lengthen and strengthen your muscles. If you’ve noticed the aches and pains creep in or increased injury, this is a game changer.

Street Dance, Strictly Street Dance Company

Hip Hop Street Dance fitness class

Strut like you’re on stage with Beyoncé. Street Dance is the perfect class for want to workout for fitness phobes. Pretend you’re three or four large G&Ts in and dance like no one is watching. For all ages and abilities, the Strictly Street Dance Company in Reading is the place to go. Libby has been doing Zoom routines with her students during lockdown and is now getting the studio ready so you can get your groove on. A brilliant confidence builder, gives you an opportunity to have fun and get fit.

Pound, Willing Spirit Exercise

Pound class high energy fitness class with drum sticks Wellbeing Spirit

Fitness has just got rock ‘n’ roll, and we like it. POUND is one of this year’s hottest trends and has rock-star flair that’s less embarrassing than playing air guitar and better for you. The class consists of drumming, cardio and strength training. Throw in some yoga and pilates, and it becomes a jam session that will give you the confidence to channel your inner Mick Jagger. Join Jo at Willing Spirit Exercise and while she plays the music, her Pound Posse (that’s you) bring the beat with weighted drumsticks called Ripstix. Bye-bye bingo wings.

Boxing, Gecko Fitness

Woman with tattoos wearing boxing

Boxing is perfect for a total body workout helping you get fitter, stronger and more kickass. It also improves balance, co-ordination, reactivity and agility. Useful, after a couple of sherbets. Try Go 12 Rounds at Gecko Fitness in Yattendon – a 36-minute high energy boxing circuits class. You spend 2 minutes on each station, learn real boxing skills (watch out Mr Muddy), burn a ton of calories and the every class is different. Prices from £10 per class. Still not convinced? Here’s the knockout blow, the top Victoria Secrets models swear by it – and they don’t look too shabby.

Trampolining, Jump IN

Jump In trampolining fitness class

Put a spring in your step and try trampolining fitness class. If you’re bored with watching your kids have all the fun, bounce along to Jump IN in Newbury for one of their classes, combining traditional aerobic steps, dynamic sprints and “power sports” elements on trampolines. Apparently, NASA believes it to be the most effective and efficient means of exercise and it’s funreally fun so excuse me whilst I bound off like Tigger to a class (er, here’s hoping my pelvic floor exercises have worked!).

Paddleboarding, Bray Lake Watersports

Paddleboarding

If the idea of a traditional exercise class leaves you cold, then give paddleboarding a go. It’s especially good for strengthening core muscles and upper body, plus it helps to tighten buttocks, thighs and legs. It’s easy to get started (if I can do it, anyone can), gets you out on the water and is something you can do with the girls or as a family. Bray Lake Watersports offers a 2-hour Starter Session for £59. You’ll learn the basics and once completed, you’ll be issued with a Ready to Ride BSUPA certificate, a Bray Lake paddle license and an hour’s free hire. Be warned, you will get wet, you’ll will have a laugh and you probably won’t look like Elle McPherson. But at least we have goals.

Yoga, YogaTonic

YogaTonic Uk Deck yoga outside countryside views

There are plenty of women out there for whom yoga feels like another competitive sport they don’t want to fail at – have I got the right kit? Am I willowy enough? OMG I can’t even touch my toes! But actually YogaTonic UK is the antidote to this kind of fear, offering friendly weekly classes at their studio, online workouts and workshops. They cater for all abilities, whether you’re an experienced yogi or just getting to grips with a wobbly downward dog and parent and child yoga, with meditation and chocolate making (sweet incentive, love it). Plus the Cookham studio has a terrace so you can take it outside with the weather plays ball. Heavenly.

Circus Skills

Aerial fitness woman hanging in a hoop

Don’t mind me, just casually relaxing off my hoop after an exhausting workout. Aerial hoop and fabric classes are not just for circus performers, they are big news in the world of fitness, working on your core strength and amps up your flexibility and balance. So make like Cirque du Soleil and take to the skies. It beats planking any day. Classes are held at Spin City Newbury and KCC Aerial Fitness in Wokingham.

Barre class, Re-Flection Wellness, Crowthorne

Woman in black sportswear stretching one leg from the ballet barre

There was a time when the bar we thought about was one that we could happily prop up for hours with a large G&T in hand, but not anymore. Barre workouts (big in London and big cities for a while are popping up all over the place outside the M25) are designed to work the whole body, focussing on core strengthening, static and dynamic movements and active stretching to lengthen muscles. No rhythm, leotards or pirouettes required. It’s a normal class, has a pointed toe in pilates, yoga cardio and HIIT. The barre is used as a prop to help you balance while you focus on the teeny tiny isometric movements. It’s low impact, you get a killer workout, improved posture, weight loss, flexibility and a ballerina style bod. Just add a tutu.

SUP Yoga, Horseshoe Lake Watersports and Swan at Streatley

SUP Yoga woman warrior pose on board


Coming to a lake near you, SUP (stand up paddleboard) yoga is the newest addition to the yoga world. I’ve tried it on holiday once and although it initially seemed an impossible ask to do yoga poses on a moving board, it was actually achievable once you got the hang of it. Great for your core but also for your mind as doing yoga outside and on the water is very contemplative. You can join a class at The Swan at Streatley Hotel and Horseshoe Lake in Sandhurst to give it a try but it can only be a matter of time before it’s widely available.

Bouldering

Bouldring woman climber

That’s climbing to you and me! Climbing centres are cropping up across the UK as an alternative to the routine of the gym, not least because it’s a mental as well as a physical challenge. Try Oakwood Climbing Centre in Wokingham which has hundreds of different colour-coded climbs and we’re loving the sound of it! There’s also a good climbing centre in Reading.

Tell us what you think

Your email address will not be published.

* Required
* Required

Little Black Book

The Little Black Book

Our A-Z of the grooviest local businesses to help make your life easier

View the businesses
Reader Treats Just For You!