Never underestimate the motivation that comes from working out in lush surrounds.
Our environment has a huge impact on mood and motivation. Have you ever cleaned your room after a couple weeks of living in squalor and felt reborn? Gone for a walk in a botanic garden and felt a little more relaxed? Stepped into a fancy, candlelit restaurant and felt horny? There’s a science behind that.
If you’re a sucker for slick design and clever contemporary interiors, our top ten boutique workout studios in Australia will satiate even the thirstiest of functionally-designed appetites.
MOVE Yoga, Melbourne
MOVE Yoga is a serene little studio tucked away up some stairs on Flinders Lane in Melbourne’s CBD. As soon as you walk through the doors and onto the blonde timber floors, the buzz of the city falls away entirely.
The studio’s only a few years old, and it’s minimalism at its finest. No need to bring anything to class, either; they offer premium amenities, including mats, showers, lockers, towels, hairdryers and straighteners.
98 Riley St Gym, Sydney
98 Riley St Gym in Sydney‘s Darlinghurst is an something of an Eastern suburbs institution. Whenever models, actors and creatives like Jesinta Franklin and Pip Edwards are in town, you’ll most likely find them sweating bullets at this boutique studio. For context, it’s located in a warehouse that (up until two days ago) was owned by Russell Crowe. With exposed brick walls, lofty windows and ceilings for days, it’s probably the closest thing we’ve got to a proper NYC shred shed Down Under.
Kaya Health Club, Melbourne
I shit you not, this place is like that bath bomb store Lush. When you walk past the grand entrance on Chapel Street in Prahran, a whiff of perfectly perfumed air hits you square in the face. Kaya are dispelling the myth that health clubs smell like grubby socks, one fragrant spritz at a time.
The club’s main focus is on reformer pilates and they host multiple classes at a time, so you’ll always find a bed. They’ve got a club atop Melbourne’s luxe Emporium too, so you can pop up and indulge in a class after a spree.
One Hot Yoga, Melbourne & Sydney
One Hot Yoga offers a delicious mix of yoga and pilates in Sydney‘s Potts Point and Melbourne‘s South Yarra and their Instagram feed is disgustingly nice. It looks like they’ve just grabbed a bunch of images of luxe interiors from Pinterest, except they haven’t; all the images are of their studios.
Queen St Gym, Perth
Perth, we have not forgotten about you. You are home to Queen St Gym. And Queen St Gym is home to a dang savage workout: the Box & Bike.
It’s a 45 minute mix of (you guessed it) boxing and cycling. While you’ve gotta be in the right mindset to slug it out, the interiors of Queen St Gym will no doubt give you a nudge. Exposed brick, high ceilings, actual traditional boxing rings complete with surrounding bar stools make for a warm, traditional space.
Humming Puppy, Melbourne & Sydney
Humming Puppy is really, really special.
The interiors of their studios in Melbourne‘s Prahran and Sydney‘s Redfern, Surry Hills and Ultimo could be easily mistaken as features lifted straight off the pages of Vogue Living. Every space in each studio is considered; from the stairwell leading you to the entrance, the reception through to the doors of the studios themselves. Polished concrete floors, high ceilings with exposed rafters and ambient lighting are transformative.
The real beauty of this luxurious little spot is the resonant hum that underscores each class. Created by one of the worlds leading acoustic engineers, each of their yoga spaces is injected with a combination of frequencies (which sounds like a low hum, but not an annoying one) to enhance and deepen the experience. The frequencies produced are associated with ‘gamma’ brainwave activity, integral for achieving states of peak performance.
(Writer’s note: I felt like dirt the other day so I went and tried out the Prahan studio, and the experience genuinely calmed me. They offer tea and coconut water after class too which is a real treat.)
P.E. Dept., Sydney
If you were terrible at doing physical exercise in your schooling years, the name of this Sydney gym may very well strike fear into your soul. It shouldn’t. P.E. Dept is a clean, fresh space offering state-of-the-art facilities. It’s owned by a young couple and their adorable dog Levi, who works as the gym mascot. Shut up and take my money.
Hobart is having A Moment.
In fairness, it’s been having a moment for a while now. With its burgeoning food culture and ripper MONA exhibitions (MONA FOMA say no more), the little island state is legit worth a trip over to on the Spirit. If you do make the trek, Artgym is a must. It positions itself as ‘Hobart’s Most Beautiful Gym’ and that claim is probably substantiated. The vibe is Howard Arkley meets Grand Theft Auto: Vice, complete with neon signs and pink kettle bells.
I want to go there.
LA Fit Studio, Perth
Perth caps off the list with a final, fully-Instagrammable studio. Not just a pretty face, this place offers three speciality group fitness classes: ‘Lagree Fitness’, ‘Ride’ and ‘MegaRide’.
High-intensity is LA Fit Studio’s game, and don’t worry; you’ll find it hard to make an excuse to skip it when the surrounds are this inviting.
Photo: One Hot Yoga.