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Hong Kong’s professionals bring the city’s fast-paced work culture to their fitness regimes, serviced by a wealth of boutique set-ups offering classes aimed at time-poor overachievers. With studios clustered around Central, Hong Kong’s business district, there really is no excuse not to fit in some cardio at lunch.
There’s a range of classes available, from spin to HIIT (high-intensity interval training) to yoga, and most are priced around HK$350 (£35). Many studios offer a free trial — ideal for those looking to squeeze in a workout during a business trip. The following are some of the best places to do so.
(Be warned: the city’s cramped conditions mean you’re unlikely to have much personal space, so try to keep your elbows to yourself.)
1. XYZ Indoor Cycling Studio
2/F New World Tower 2, 18 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
- Good for: buddy rides. If a colleague or friend has a membership, you can tag along for free
- Not so good for: the changing rooms appear spacious at first but jam with bodies as one class ends and the next is yet to begin
- FYI: a trial costs HK$270 and subsequent classes are HK$350*
This spin studio in Central is a frequent feature on the Instagram feeds of Hong Kong’s millennials, with its logo splashed on a concrete wall designed for post-class sweaty selfies. There is substance behind XYZ’s next-gen appeal, though: it offers three different classes — a beginner’s session, a strength and stamina class and “Born to Move”, which is billed as the “ultimate cardio challenge” — all delivered by a raft of motivating instructors. A word of advice: start small. The “Born to Move” classes involve a level of co-ordination that not everyone is blessed with.
3F Emperor Commercial Centre, 39 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong
- Good for: feeling the burn. The class focuses on high-intensity, low-impact movement that targets certain muscles
- Not so good for: a quick turnround. The small changing rooms mean H-Kore might not be the best option for squeezing in a workout at lunch or between meetings
- FYI: offers two trial classes for HK$350, subsequent classes for HK$350 each*
H-Kore offers classes based on the Lagree Fitness method, which combines resistance training and cardio using a Megaformer (similar to a Pilates machine). Classes are made up of high-intensity but low-impact movements that will leave you feeling the burn. The small class size — there are 12 machines — ensures the instructor will notice if you try to cheat and do the exercises too quickly. Take a “Megakore Basics” class for a relatively gentle introduction to the machines and exercises — but one you’ll still be feeling days later in the muscles you often neglect. H-Kore’s other studio in Quarry Bay has a wider range of classes, including yoga and circuits.
3. House of Fitness
18 Possession Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
- Good for: trainers who know how to motivate clients
- Not so good for: anyone needing to be active afterwards. Expect your muscles to remind you of the workout for days
- FYI: offers free trial class
Darkness, flashing lights and loud music don’t immediately spring to mind as perfect conditions for a good exercise class, but somehow it works at House of Fitness. This compact two-floor space offers HIIT, boxing, an abdominal session and “Rep Fit”, a weights class to build strength and stamina. A colleague with the best arms in the office recommended this spot and it’s clear where she gets those toned muscles.
4. Kru Muay Thai
14/F, Siu Ying Commercial Building, 153 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
- Good for: views of the Peak. Classes often spill out on to the terrace
- Not so good for: jump-rope haters. Skipping is enforced
- FYI: offers a free trial. A single class costs HK$250, one-on-one classes go for HK$850*
This friendly spot offers Muay Thai boxing group classes capped at eight participants, which means you have a decent amount of one-on-one attention. The small but stylish location also offers personal training sessions, if you’re looking to hone your roundhouse kick. Trainer Adisorn Tam, a former professional fighter and three-time Lumpinee champion, and Yukiya Nakamura, also a former professional fighter, tailor their approach to different ability levels.
5. Anahata Yoga
18/F, One Lyndhurst Tower, No 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong
- Good for: reliably good instructors
- Not so good for: in typical Hong Kong fashion, there’s not much space for your mat
- FYI: drop-in classes cost HK$350*
After all that spinning and weights, your body will be calling out for a good stretch. Head to Anahata Yoga for a broad selection of styles and techniques bound to please your inner yogi. The studio is low on frills but, unlike smaller spots around town, it’s in a great location. You have a better chance of finding the right class at the right time.
*Class prices listed at the time of publication
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