The world’s most expensive gym

6 Jun

My best friend lives in Chelsea and is a member of the Fullham Road branch of Virgin Active – the most expensive gym in the world*.

She claims to have got an introductory deal bargain and says she’s only doing it for three months in the run up to a holiday, but nonetheless regular membership costs an eye-watering, heart palpitating £1,200 a year. Maybe part of the work out is the increased heart rate as you part with that kind of cash?

On Saturday she signed me in as a guest, giving me a glimpse of the rarefied world of the Chelsea set as they work up a sweat.

“You won’t believe the number of YSL gym bags you see in the locker room,” she told me as we walked there.

At that moment a man with a large, live blue parrot on his arm (not stuffed this time – that was last week) passed us before turning into a smart town house.

“That man’s got a big blue parrot,” I stated.

She looked at me, clearly wondering if I could still be drunk from the night before.

To prove the point I insisted on breaking into a run so she could get a better view. This achieved, she had to admit that he did indeed have a big blue parrot on his arm and that I was sober.

Dazzled by the knowledge I was now in a part of town where distinguished looking 60-something gentlemen own exotic pets, I began to imagine what extravagances the world’s most expensive gym would indulge in.

On arrival I was disappointed to note a distinct lack of diamond encrusted trainers and gold-plated water bottles.

That said it didn’t take me long to realise that this gym was different.

If I were a single female looking for a rich hubbie to fund my ladies that lunch lifestyle I’d sign up immediately. It’s a would-be banker’s wife’s paradise.

The main gym is full of men, without doubt they all work in the city. I think you can probably taste the testosterone in there.

As we aren’t in the market for a Gordon Gekko we opted for the ladies only gym, and were greeted by the sight as a statuesque blonde model holding an arabesque pose standing on one leg and admiring herself in the mirror.

There’s clearly an under size 14 rule in operation as everyone in there was toned, tanned and owned thighs that didn’t touch when they put their feet together.

We had a good bash at 20 minutes of interval training to get the heart rate up, a bit of boring cross training and then we went to play on all of the exciting expensive equipment my gym doesn’t have.

The powerplate had me in fits of giggles, I felt like a turkey wobble personified. How on earth is that supposed to help you get fit? Perhaps the mortifying sensation of feeling your excess pounds wibbling for all to see reinforces the desire to lose them?

When I got off a Swedish goddess got on and did a complicated medicine ball twist sit-ups routine while balancing on the powerplate. It was impressive, but it did cross my mind that it must have taken weeks to master, and perhaps there are more important things in life. Then it crossed my mind I was just jealous.

Of course I’m being completely unfair – I’m sure there are lots of pretty toyboys and inspiring women of independent means who work out there too – not least my wonderful BFF – but it’s still the best people-watching work out I’ve ever had, even if no-one spritzed my face with mineral water or mopped my brow with a cashmere towel while I was on the rower.

*This may not be true.

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6 Responses to “The world’s most expensive gym”

  1. Steve June 6, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    £100/m? Yikes… that’s the last time I complain about paying £1 a session. Always wanted to try one of those power plates but really can’t see what benefit it gives – perhaps fits of giggles is the main objective!

  2. Fat Girl Running June 6, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    I LOVE your blog, you just made me laugh out loud 🙂 keep it up, you’re doing great.
    I’d love to have a look round that gym, although I think I’d have more people looking at me, wondering what the hell I was doing there haha.
    -FGR

  3. Nick June 6, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    At that price, I would at least expect them to wipe the sweat off my bollocks with a scented towel between exercises.

  4. Rachel June 6, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    You actually worked out? I thought mostpeople just go to those gyms for the sauna and a coffee afterwards!!

  5. shazruns June 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    Do hope you did not sweat at the gym, one must ‘glow’ only in Chelsea!!!!!!!

    • laurajonesruns June 10, 2011 at 10:44 am #

      I did lots of sweating – I’ve probably been blacklisted.

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