weightlifting classes in London
Image: John Arano/Unsplash

Clean and press: The best weightlifting classes in London

30 Aug 2023 | |By Annie Lewis

If a gruelling lifting class with ex-fighters or a functional resistance session in a competitive atmosphere sounds like your ideal way to blow off some steam, step right this way…

Weightlifting, unfortunately, is shadowed by stigma. Many believe that kettlebell swings, squats and tricep dips will make you bulky, and that these exercises are reserved for perma-tanned bodybuilders training for their next competition or extreme athletes looking to push themselves to the limit. But, in reality, weightlifting classes are not restricted at all; they’re for everyone. 

From reducing risk of injury thanks to strong joints to enhancing metabolism, there are plenty of benefits to weightlifting. It’s one of the most effective full-body workouts on offer and is utilised in a variety of other fitness classes too, such as circuit training and spinning. And while the weights section of the gym was once too daunting to enter, a number of studios in the capital have launched their own resistance sessions to welcome people of all abilities. So, what are you waiting for? Here are the best weightlifting classes in London.


weightlifting classes london wit
Image: Wit

If you want to know where The City crowd deadlifts and squats, we suggest you take a trip to Wit in the heart of St Paul’s. The multi-functional gym offers a number of daily classes including Metcon (CrossFit classes), Endurance filled with aerobic exercises, gymnastics and two muscle-based sessions: Strength and Weightlifting. 

The former follows a format used for bodybuilders, featuring traditional barbell work and strongman techniques so expect lots of loaded carries, push presses and sled pulls. The signature Weightlifting class, however, is targeted at those looking to develop their speed and strength simultaneously involving a lot of moves with dumbbells and hand weights. It’s accessible so newbies are welcome too, but make sure to complete the three foundation sessions first to master the essential olympic lifts and gymnastics skills most commonly used in classes. 

From £25 per class, visit wit-training.com


london f45

At this point practically every Londoner has heard of F45 – and maybe even tried a class – so may already know a thing or two about the competitive but friendly atmosphere and tough workouts. The Australian fitness franchise arrived in the capital in 2017 and now has 35 studios spanning Stratford to Soho

Members can pick from Cardio, Hybrid, Recovery and Resistance classes, but it’s the latter that those looking to pump weights should book onto when it appears on the schedule three times a week. There are a whopping nine Resistance sessions to choose from, including Panthers which focuses on progressive overload to Renegade with heavy compound lifts. However Romans is F45’s signature, consisting of large lifts and rests so you can push yourself to lift as much as possible in every single set. 

From £25 per class, visit f45training.com

Volume at Manor

manor fitness london
Image: Manor

If you’re looking for a bright and airy gym boasting an Instagrammable aesthetic, Manor is not for you. And it’s fully aware that it doesn’t cater for the masses, with the website declaring: “We’re not for everyone but we’re here for everybody.” You’ll find Manor’s standard gyms in Vauxhall and Victoria – think dark walls and low lighting – however, if you’re looking to take your workouts one step further, consider booking Manor’s MCP in Victoria: an unconventional training area with a raw set up where clients are invited to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Groundwork, Gruntwork and Gastank are some of the training sessions on offer here, and can also be completed in isolation. If you’re looking to push your body and mind, this is the place to go. 

Those looking for something less gruelling, but by no means less challenging, should book Manor’s Volume class. Here, Manor’s trainers – many of whom are ex-fighters and athletes – will help you build the foundations for compound lifts, functional strength moves and developing muscle. 

From £22 per class, visit mymanor.london


frame london

Founded by friends who wanted to make fitness a little more fun, Frame – with locations in King’s Cross, Shoreditch, Victoria, Hammersmith and Angel – has plenty of exercise classes to tempt even the most wary. From dance parties to Pilates and pregnancy-safe sessions to personal training, Frame is guaranteed to make you sweat. And, for those looking to squeeze a few kettlebell swings or bicep curls into their fitness routine, you’ll find Frame’s strength-based classes neatly filed under their Sweat section – and if that doesn’t subtly hint at what you’re in for, what will? 

Frame Lift uses barbells to music to tone and strengthen the body, whereas Frame Strength is perfect for a fully-body burn using a variety of exercises and equipment, through structured weight training and metabolic conditioning. But if you’re looking to get seriously sweaty, book Frame Kettlebells to develop your strength and muscular endurance while targeting your glutes, thighs, chest, back and core. 

From £16 per class, visit moveyourframe.com

Lift at Third Space

One of London’s most exclusive members-only health clubs (David Beckham and Prince Harry have been known to frequent its gyms), Third Space has dominated all corners of the capital with studios in in Soho, Canary Wharf, Mayfair, Marylebone, Islington, Moorgate, Tower Bridge and The City. There are a variety of daily classes on offer here, some more general, like spinning in Powerride, and others more technical. Afterburner, for example, is firmly rooted in EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) resulting in a high intensity workout that will encourage the body to burn calories for hours afterwards.

Lift is one of Third Space’s signature classes, perfect for beginners and intermediates. Instructors will teach you how to lift heavier weights safely with correct form, so you can build your confidence and your gains in no time. 

Membership from £200 per month, visit thirdspace.london

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