London’s fitness scene has been shape-shifting for years now, with new classes and slick studios popping up every single day promising to give you the thigh-slimming, butt lifting, languid posture you’ve always dreamt of. But there’s usually something amiss.
For me, finding the right gym or class comes down to a number of factors: location, ease of booking, expertise of the trainers and the décor. KXU is the latest addition to London’s burgeoning pay-as-you-go fitness scene (I mean, who wants to commit to a trite membership when we can’t even commit to staying in the country for more than a month at a time).
As the sister of ultra-luxe private members club (and A-list favourite) KX, KXU brings a much-needed millennial spin to the luxury gym circuit. Upon entering the building (which is nestled in a quiet mews 2-minutes away from Sloane Street station) music is thumping – but it’s not your usual gym-friendly house music, it could be anything from Frank Ocean to a Kendrick Lamar remix.
The key thing that sets KXU apart from any other drop-in class or high-end studio in London, is the level of expertise that the trainers have and the variety of classes. From circuit training with the world’s strongest woman (no joke, the HIIT class is taught by the current reigning champion) to Paola’s Body Barre (the butt-lifting class loved by everyone from Jessica Alba to Madonna) and three different varieties of yoga classes – whatever your need, KXU has a clas for you. And booking couldn’t be easier – there’s no paperwork, no expensive membership fee – you simply download the app, sign up and book in for each class quicker than you can get an Uber.
Second to the classes is the décor. Think slick black paint, sexy surfaces comprised of marble and Dan Flavin-inspired neon lights, and state-of-the-art studio spaces with the best equipment in the game (yoga classes come complete with cashmere blanket, cork board bricks and pillows – they’ve thought of everything).
Then there’s the changing rooms: plush towels, phone chargers in every rose gold locker, millennial pink everywhere, rainforest showers, powerful hairdryers and GHD’s and Kiehl’s products for days. At a drop-in class, you’re usually lucky if you find somewhere to put your bag, let alone change, but at KXU you get the full luxury membership feel on a pay-as-you-go budget. Needless to say it’s highly addictive.
With classes costing £24, it’s the perfect non-committal class for jetsetters on the go. If you’re in town for a few days – book in to a class and throw your luggage in one of the lockers – within an hour you can be back in central London, ready to start your day.
The final part of the KXU ‘sweat, relax, recover’ ethos would be to hit the café upstairs (which can double up as an excellent work spot if you need to tend to e-mails post-workout). Forget pre-bottled smoothies – they have a full service restaurant / smoothie bar serving up everything from delicious Acai and Buddha bowls, avocado toast and protein balls to melt-in-the-mouth carrot cakes – if you’ve got the energy, stick around and book in to another class.