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A home gym. Probably not something you thought you'd ever need given the plethora of luxury gyms and health clubs in London – but then lockdown struck and the doors to your favourite exercise spot were closed. While you may have managed lockdowns one and two with the help of the many at-home workouts currently streaming online, with another weeks-long lockdown in effect, now is the perfect time to invest in elegant gym equipment that will not only keep you fit but that you'll be proud to put on display at home.
Great for: Gazing at and deliberately placing in the living room; oh, and working out your legs
Whether it's cars, desks or coffee machines, the Italians have a penchant for beautiful design. Made from ultra-light and super-strong carbon fibre, the resistance is obtained with a sophisticated electromagnetic system remotely controlled via Bluetooth. Best of all, the carbon outer wheel turns as you pedal, which supposedly replicates the sensation of cycling on the road - but, above all, it just looks scorchingly cool. Winner of numerous design awards and found on many a super-yacht, Tony Stark would definitely approve.
Great for: Cardio, core-strength and conditioning; low-impact, full-body workout
Price: From £1,049
As if sculpted by the hands of Zeus himself, Olympic rowers are blessed with Adonis-like proportions thanks to their workout regimes. If we were forced to live with one bit of gym equipment for the rest of our lives, a rowing machine would probably top the list. Treadmills are great, but not so easy on your joints; cycling machines are good too, but they mainly work out your legs. Unlike the mechanical feeling of fan and magnetic rowing machines, the WaterRower harnesses the power of H2O to provide a smooth and even resistance, replicating not only the physiological dynamics of rowing but also the aesthetic pleasure of swishing water. With a selection of frame materials and electronic monitoring displays, the model above is handcrafted from sustainably-sourced ash.
Sprintbok by NOHrD Treadmill
Great for: The environment (it's 100% powered by you); flexibility – it adapts to your running style and speed; flexible slats ensure minimum strain on joints
You only need look at it to see why the French-made Sprintbok is a true game-changer. Requiring zero electricity (unlike the majority of treadmills), the Sprintbok is powered solely by you with flexible wooden slats and precision ball bearings ensuring smooth transmission. The curved manual treadmill offers users all the advantages of a self-determined running workout, with no speed limits or settings. Infinitely variable from a comfortable walk to an all-out sprint, runners can fully determine their pace according to their personal running capacity – meaning a casual stroll with negroni in hand for us.
WaterGrinder by NOHrD
Great for: Upper-body workout (especially arms and shoulders); keen boxers; summer-bod hopefuls
Upon first glance, it's hard to know what to make of the WaterGrinder. Positively alien-looking, the WaterGrinder comes from the same French manufacturer of the Sprintbok above. Similar in concept to water-based rowing machines, this bit of kit uses the resistance of water to target all of your upper body muscles, banishing buffalo wings and stubborn fat. You can aso sit or stand while exercising, depending on your personal goals. For a killer HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout, we recommend a short but intense burst on the Watergrinder paired with 20-second sprints on the treadmill. That six-pack will be revealed in no time.
Great for: Tony Montana, Floyd Mayweather Jr; individuals with egos as large as their guns
Price: From €1,080 per pair, from €7,521 for dumbbell rack set
Dumbbells are an essential ingredient to any good gym but most don't exactly scream tasteful design. Banish ugly plastic and chrome with the help of German brand Hock. Its expansive range of gym equipment is made with form, as well as function in mind, and the standout piece is undoubtedly its Diskus dumbells. Available as single pairs or in rack sets, each one features an oiled American walnut grip and stainless steel weights that are both hygienic and beautiful.
Best for: Those who thrive in group workouts; those who need the motivation of a professional instructor
Price: £1,750 plus £39/mo subscription for access to services
We couldn't write a home-gym roundup and not include Peloton, such is its popularity among cosmopolitan, matcha-latte slurping types. The premise of Peloton is simple: to create a workout with the energy of instructor-led studio rides at home. With a variety of membership options, feel the energy of the studio with daily live classes and thousands more on-demand tutorials with a thoroughly engaging interface on the bike. Men's Health went so far as to say it's the 'best cardio machine on the planet'. High praise indeed.
Best for: Those who want the benefits of 40 minutes of exercise in less than 10 minutes
Yes, you read that correctly – this machine requires les than 10 minutes of use and promises to double your fitness in eight weeks. CAROL works on the “minimum effective dose” principle of exercise, which the researchers who developed the protocol believe to be two 20-second sprints at a high intensity. The idea is that CAROL guides you through a short workout uniquely tailored to your needs. Using your biometrics and performance data, CAROL’s algorithms instantly create and apply personalised resistance to achieve supramaximal power - in every ride. With more time spent on the bike, the bike's intuitive AI ramps up the difficulty meaning no two sessions are alike.