15 Minute Gym at The Luxurious Library: My Kind of Place!

A gym where you can get fit in 15 minutes that’s more of a private members’ club? Sounds like my kind of place!

The Library gyms in Notting Hill, Barnes and W1 are certainly a unique concept. I was invited to the Notting Hill club to find out more. Charming co-founder Zana Morris explained the thinking behind the clubs to me. It’s been proved that exercising for too long puts unnecessary strain on the body, yet short, sharp bursts of exercise are the most effective. High Intensity Training is ideal for those like me who want quick results to keep them motivated. Here it centres on the use of weights to increase intensity and help protect your bones. From age 30 our bone mass starts to decline but with appropriate exercise it can be brought back to optimal levels.

the-library-workoutThe gym itself is a stunning building. A former synagogue, it’s located just off Portobello Road and has beautiful stained glass windows.

library-private-gymDecorated with books in keeping with the library theme, it’s a light and spacious place with a punch bag, pool table and relaxation areas.

library-gym-websiteThere’s a first floor gallery where yoga lessons take place and where the luxurious changing rooms are located, and lots of quirky little design touches.

london-gym-notting-hillOutside, there’s a lovely little courtyard where you can take a break and enjoy a complimentary glass of refreshing mint or cucumber water.

Before embarking on an exercise programme here, Zana will assess your current nutrition and make personalised recommendations to help you achieve your goals. She’s a nutritionist, fitness instructor, yoga teacher and the creator of Strong Nutrients. No amount of exercising will compensate for poor nutrition and that’s why The Library place so much emphasis on the correct fuel for your body. Strong Nutrients are a range of supplements for those whose busy lifestyle means they can’t always eat the food that their body needs. I found the ‘chill pill’ or B12 and the amino-slim pills particularly effective. The chocolate flavoured protein powder is also a godsend if you’re feeling hungry mid afternoon.

Not only that, she’ll also take your measurements, check your weight and assess your body fat with calipers. That way, you’ll be able to benchmark your progress as you go along. Your first few sessions will be one to one with a trainer who will show you each exercise and even set up the machines in the correct position for you. As someone who generally avoids the weight training area of the gym, I found this help invaluable. They also give you an exercise card on which to keep track of the weights you have lifted and what exercise you’ve done on which date. After that you’ll be training with one or two others each time, with the instructors still talking you through each exercise and correcting your posture where necessary.

To avoid muscle strain, you’ll alternate between exercises for chest and back on one session, shoulders and arms on next and legs the time after that. However it’s safe to work the abs each time so those exercised are incorporated at the end of every session. I soon saw mine toning up! Some of the exercises were new to me, including one where you lower yourself up and down in a ‘chair’. It’s very effective for working arms and shoulders. I also found the ladder great for toning calves up, once you’ve done the recommended amount of exercise on this you’ll definitely feel it.

library-gym-bookingThe trainers themselves are a great bunch. They’ll push you as hard as you can go but always with good humour. It was fairly easy to stick to the exercise programme and on the days when I was travelling I tried to do the abs in my hotel room. I got a bad cold at one point so had to stop for a couple of weeks but surprisingly my muscles sprang back really quickly and I only put on a small amount of weight during that time.

You should start to see results quite fast if you train at least 3 times a week and stick to the dietary recommendations. My arms and abs in particular soon looked more toned. By the end of my programme I’d lost three quarters of an inch on my waist and a considerable amount of body fat bringing me close to my optimal weight. The benefits weren’t just in terms of weight though, my clothes felt a lot looser and I was no longer breathless walking up several flights of stairs. The chill pill seemed to have made me more relaxed and I’d picked up some very healthy eating habits.

Excitingly, the new flagship private members’ club in W1 has recently opened.

the-library-marylebone-gymAppropriately named The Clock given the 15 minute training concept, it’s an elegant Georgian townhouse spread over three floors in Marylebone.

Decorated with original antiques, some of which come from The Ritz, it promises to nurture your body and soul.

the-library-maryleboneIf you’re someone who doesn’t normally like gyms or if you simply want quick, lasting results then I’d highly recommend The Library.

Have you ever tried High Intensity Training? What did you think of it?

The Library, 206-208 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill, London W11 1NR and in Barnes and W1
Tel: 020 7221 7992; Book@thelibrarygym.com

  • A gym in a converted synagogue! How cool. I’m a firm believer in short bursts of high intensity exercise, it’s a method that real help me tone up.

    • I find it very effective too as when I used to run, my body got used to it and I couldn’t shift any weight after a while despite running long distances

  • Definitely a concept that I will remember! It looks like an interesting place to work out at. Will be curious to hear about it on Sunday! 🙂


    • So looking forward to our meet up Anouk! Ages since I had a good afternoon tea too

  • I love that the gym is in an old synagogue (so pretty)!! And a 15 minute workout sounds like one that I would love!


    • I know, what a great location! Fits in really well with Notting Hill’s quirky vibe

  • This is so good. Nutrition is such an important and major part of healthy lifestyle, that fitness alone can not achieve any goals.

  • OMG This place looks unreal! So excited to hear of the W1 branch opening soon, will be rather near me and I have a feeling that I’ll never be more excited to hit a gym than with this one. I’ve done a bit of high intensity training in the past – it’s quite strenuous but I love that its so impactful and time-efficient.

    • I can’t wait to visit the W1 gym too. I can see why you like high intensity training, I’d done military fitness but never weight based HIT which is great

  • I haven’t seen a gym like that before, such a unique place! High intensity training is something I haven’t got courage to do, maybe I should give it a try!

    Ela BellaWorld

    • You should give it a go, it’s not as bad as it sounds and it’s over so quickly!

  • This place looks unreal! Stunning – it almost seems to pretty to be getting sweaty in!

    Erin xxx

  • What a cool idea! Love the idea of a gym called The Library. It looks like so much thought was put into the decor and the program. Great photos!


    • That’s very kind, glad you like them and I agree, they’ve put a lot of thought in

  • wow, talk about a chic gym

  • I am a big fan of High Intensity Training (HIT) but I never saw it in such a beautiful setting!

  • “It’s been proved that exercising for too long puts unnecessary strain on
    the body, yet short, sharp bursts of exercise are the most effective.” – music to my ears!!!!

    Polly xx

  • A gym and a library?
    That’s pretty cool.
    I would love to try it.

    Have a great day!


  • Oh wow what a great place! I would love to go there sometime. Gemma x

  • Woow wonderfull idea and great place 🙂
    Do U Know Luigi Borbone?

  • Oh wow, now THAT is a gym I wouldn’t mind going to, and you know I detest doing anything vaguely athletic! I’m not sure if High Intensity workouts are for me but I’d check out Luxurious Library just to take in my surroundings and kid myself that I’m becoming healthier by osmosis 😉 x

    Jasiminne: Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • I was quite tempted just to watch the others exercising but sadly the trainer wasn’t having any of it 😉

  • What a cool idea! Loving the photos- such a gorgeous space!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  • This looks like such a cool and unique place to train! This has got to be the most chic and elegant gym I’ve ever seen. I’d feel like the the Duchess working out there, haha! Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you’re having a great week so far!



  • What a fun and unique gym, I would definitely like to try a workout here someday. Wish we had something like this in Toronto.


  • I love how equipped the gym is and the interior decoration of the place, Can I move in in there already?? It’s like a palace or the white house!

  • ♫ Alison M ♪

    What a lovely place, it does not look like a gym at all. Would be happy to work out in a place like this

  • This is so interesting. I do love the short work out idea haha

    Ash | Liakada

  • Great facility there. I think this gym is well equipped enough at the library. I like the decorations.

    • Yes the equipment is great and some of it was completely new to me. Thanks for stopping by

  • Ellie Adams

    So this isn’t your average sweaty gym is it? 😉 I can’t even believe how beaut this looks, if it was as far away from me as it is I’d definitely look into going here!


    • They’ve got a few London gyms so there might well be one near you – I agree, it’s beautiful!

  • Lucy

    What a stunning venue for a gym I love the light and airy feel. The environment definitely helps the workout Lucy x

  • What a lovely setting for a gym, and doesn’t have that ‘hardcore’ feel to it! Coincidentally, I just read Michael Mosley’s “Fast Exercise” based on the HIIT principle . I do HIIT workouts as well, but not as short as what the theory suggests. It’s very interesting to read the scientific findings, but somehow our bodies seem to be trained to “like” or believe that longer workouts are better for you! I’ll keep reading on the shorter, higher intensity bursts , perhaps there’s salvation after all 😉

  • I’ve mostly done quick, high intensity training, after my husband got us a book on the topic. Not just because it’s more efficient, but also because it suits our schedule so much better than several hours of low intensity training. Looks like a really lovely gym.

  • Mandy Bakker

    Great concept for a work out in style!

    -MorethanMedia | Media House of Luxury | http://www.morethanmedia.org