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Walbrook now open

Virgin Active reaches new heights with latest addition to its Classic Collection

26 AUG 2015

  • New £6.5million Walbrook Club in London combines latest digital technology with fitness and wellbeing innovation
  • Market first Altitude High Performance Training Studio unveiled
  • Other innovations including Salt Cave, 360 suspension training Grid studio and sled track 

This month Virgin Active opens its most innovative club yet, unveiling new technology and products in a stunning 25,000 square-foot space in the heart of the City. The fully-connected club adds to Virgin Active’s 10 strong UK Classic Collection, and sits in the impressive Walbrook building, minutes away from Cannon Street Station, Bank and St Pauls.

Packed full of world-class training facilities including two Altitude Training studios,  360 Suspension Grid Training Studio, salt cave, high end spa facilities and the latest equipment, Walbrook is  setting new standards when it comes to fitness innovation.

The Walbrook Club sports four top of the range studios, including Virgin Active’s first ever Apex Altitude High Performance Studios that simulate training conditions at 3000m and 2500m. Altitude training has historically been reserved for elite endurance athletes; however the training method has increasingly been adopted by professional sports teams because of its significant benefits. With the introduction of these studios, Virgin Active members can now choose different altitude training programmes, including Apex Sprint, Apex Strength and altitude cycling. The cutting edge altitude cycle studio features a 6 ft high video wall that uses technology to visually immerse members in different training locations from a Canadian forest to a snowy mountain in the Alps. Throughout the classes instructors will guide members through the programs based on tracking heart rate training zones with Polar Heart Rate monitors, which is perfectly synced to music specially developed for the Apex programs.

Virgin Active is working with Kenton Cool, 11 time summiteer of Everest, to understand the rigor and benefits of being ‘altitude fit’, and build this into the unique training programmes on offer.   Having tested out the new APEX high performance studio at Walbrook before the doors were opened to the public Kenton Cool said: “It’s fantastic to have an altitude training facility in the very heart of London. Spending a lot of time at altitude, there are huge benefits to this kind of training - not just when it comes to climbing mountains, but in the things that I do when I am back home. Being altitude fit gets the body working more efficiently, and also helps it recover quicker – which makes my cycle in the Cotswolds even more enjoyable!”

James Trevorrow, National Product Innovation Manager at Virgin Active said: “Whether you’re looking to improve your fitness, lose weight, acclimatise or just save time, the Apex Altitude Studio and Cycle Studio can help you reach your goal.  We have tailored our altitude programmes to different ability levels making high performance training, with its significant benefits, accessible to everyone.”

In addition, industry-leading technology is evident from the moment members’ walk through the door, ensuring a stress-free and seamless visit.  Smart Bands allow members effortless access to the club and do away with the need to carry around locker keys and loose change. The smart bands give access to all areas of the club, are used to secure lockers, book classes and pay for refreshments in the lounge. The same smart band can also track workouts by syncing with gym floor kit and bringing up previous workouts and progress.

Interactive touchscreens throughout the club help members find information on new classes, workouts, and view personal training profiles. These screens will soon allow members to check in, view their personal profiles and monitor their own progress.
Andy Caddy, Virgin Active Group CIO, said: “We are really raising the bar with our Walbrook Club. At Walbrook we have seamlessly combined world-class technology with leading innovations in fitness training and all round wellbeing to create the ultimate member experience that cannot be rivalled.”

The club’s spacious gym floor contains world-class training equipment and innovation that’s synonymous with the Virgin Active Classic Collection including:

  • The first 360 Suspension Training Grid Studio sporting the latest functional equipment combined with suspension training facilities for TRX and Anti-Gravity Yoga.
  • A Salt Cave, known to improve skin, hair, and nails, strengthening the immune system and improving respiratory function.
  • A Prowler Sled Track that mimicks a bobsleigh push-start and allows for explosive high-intensity training.
  • Luxurious touches such as shoe shining and ironing services, Molton Brown toiletries and a host of ghd® stylers and driers.

The Walbrook Club is part of Virgin Active’s ongoing commitment to its members and is part of a three year £100m investment programme that’s taking place in Club’s up and down the UK.

Walbrook is the latest addition to Virgin Active Classic Collection. Members of the Classic Collection have access to 17 of the best clubs in the world in cities like Bangkok, London and Johannesburg, as well as all of Virgin Active’s 262 clubs worldwide. Memberships at Walbrook start at £130 per month, visit the Walbrook club page for details.

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