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Canary Wharf: How Third Space Wood Wharf expands the brand’s offering

Club will add Reformer Pilates, hot Yoga and gym capacity for Canary Wharf members to explore

An artist’s impression of the pool at Third Space Wood Wharf

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Third Space Canary Wharf is vast.

Its facilities, spread over three floors above Waitrose in Canada Square, include an expansive Crossfit-themed training area, a combat zone with a full-size boxing ring, a climbing wall, a swimming pool, fitness studios, a dedicated mind and body space and that’s before you even get to the weights and cardio machines. 

Billed as Europe’s largest luxury health club, it boasts an unrivalled selection of classes featuring everything from treadmills and Olympic weightlifting to bodyweight HIIT, kettlebells and callisthenics. 

Pick pretty much any exercise trend and, if it promises serious benefits, the Third Space’s Canary Wharf facility will pretty much have it covered.

Like Barry’s? then Third Space has Sweat X. Prefer spinning? Choose Hardcore Cycle or Just Ride. Enjoy Crossfit? There’s Yard WOD and so on. 

It’s not unusual to have more than 45 classes timetabled on a given weekday for members to choose from – all included in the monthly fee.

Soon, however, that won’t be all they’re getting.

The Wood Wharf branch is set to open later this year

Third Space is set to open a new branch on the estate, with access for Canary Wharf members at no extra cost.

Located at 15 Water Street above Dishoom and Tribe Canary Wharf, Third Space Wood Wharf will be spread over two floors. 

The club is essentially an extension on a second site to the facilities already on offer in Canada Square. It will have its own fully-stocked gym floor and swimming pool, but also a series of new classes..

“We have a great offering already, but the idea is that if a member can think of a type of class they’d like to do, then it should be available across the two sites,” said Gillian Reeves, head of group exercise at Third Space.

“There are a couple of things Canary Wharf doesn’t offer that Wood Wharf will, completing our full suite of facilities.

“We’ll have dedicated studios for hot Yoga and Reformer Pilates. 

“They will be great spaces and we can’t wait to welcome our members into them.” 

The Wood Wharf branch is expected to open in early summer, with preparations well underway. 

The Wood Wharf branch will include a hot Yoga studio

“It’s massive for Canary Wharf,” said Alex Barsby, the new facility’s dedicated general manager.

“With both sites taken into consideration, it’s such a fantastic offering.

“The idea is to deliver extra facilities to what we already have at the existing site without duplicating too much of what’s already there.

“There will be more capacity – there’s a fully equipped gym with Eleiko free weights, a sled track, professional lifting racks, Pulse pin-loading machines with digital screens and cardio machines.

“Upstairs, there will be beautiful changing rooms where members can relax, unwind and get ready before venturing out into the city.

“There’s a 20m pool with a hydro pool and unisex sauna and steam room facilities, which is something new for the club on the estate and will be ideal for couples. 

“There will also be poolside loungers and an experience shower that people can use after coming out of the sauna or steam room.

“Being above ground, there’s lots of natural light with windows all round the club, which is really fantastic and gives it a lovely feel.”

While the extra capacity will be of obvious benefit – especially to Tribe hotel guests, who can use the facilities – the chief attractions are perhaps the two new studios and the possibilities they bring. 

A Reformer Pilates studio will host a range of classes

While Third Space Canary Wharf offers a programme of mat based Pilates classes and Yin, Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga at ambient temperatures, Wood Wharf will expand significantly on these.

“We’ll continue with all those classes,” said Gillian.

“But these new spaces allow us to offer more.

“The hot Yoga studio will be heated to between 32ºC and 35ºC – a really lovely temperature. 

“We know from our other clubs that some people really want to escape to a warm place where they can feel that they’re sweating a bit. 

“It can feel a bit more challenging because you have the heat to contend with and that puts your body under greater stress.

“The fact it’s hot and that you have to move and breathe, means you need to work with your mind – to use all the tools that your practice has taught you to focus on the positions. 

“To keep things straightforward we’ll be programming the same forms as in the ambient studios but there are variations because we don’t dictate to our teachers the approach they should take. 

“Everyone who teaches at Third Space has years of experience and the classes differ based on the way that they have been trained in Yoga.”

Perhaps the most significant addition to Third Space’s offering, however, is its decision to include a Reformer Pilates studio at Wood Wharf.

Third Space Wood Wharf will be included with membership at Canary Wharf

“This equipment is commonly used in smaller groups or one-on-one, but we’ve found there’s growing demand for bigger classes with lots of Reformers,” said Gillian. 

“The challenge was to keep the authenticity of Pilates when creating these larger classes.

“To do that, we needed an expert and we found that in James Shaw who has been teaching for more than 10 years.

“He has a wealth of knowledge and experience and he’s really passionate about Pilates – he’s devoted his life to it. 

“He’s developed our signature classes and we’ll be running Fundamental Reformer Pilates, Traditional Reformer Pilates and Dynamic Reformer sessions. 

“We’ve dropped the word ‘Pilates’ from the last one, because it’s really movement exercises on the equipment and looks quite different from the traditional system, but members love it.

“We’ll also be offering Tower Pilates classes, where participants will work with the structure at the end of the equipment.

“It’s a really nice addition, as it’s a different way of working with the resistance springs.” 

Alex added: “Third Space is an investment in yourself – the return you get can be life-changing.

“We really pride ourselves on the fact everything we do is member-assessed. 

“We love this feedback and use it to constantly improve what we do and to provide what our members want.” 

Membership at Third Space Canary Wharf, which will include the new Wood Wharf club currently costs £212 per month.   

Find out more about Third Space here

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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Canary Wharf: How Third Space can help Wharfers maximise their training days

Elite personal trainer Stephanie Whitehead talks gym workouts, top equipment and mental health

Third Space's Stephanie Whitehead
Third Space’s Stephanie Whitehead

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There’s more to going into work than toiling at a desk or moaning about your employer in the office kitchen.

It’s about coming to a different environment and being able to take advantage of facilities that simply don’t exist in the suburbs or the home counties.

Take Third Space in Canary Wharf, for example.

Set over three floors, it boasts more than 100,000sq ft of training space including a climbing wall, swimming pool, boxing ring and pretty much every piece of exercise equipment you can call to mind.

Regular readers of Wharf Life will already be familiar with the hundreds of classes it offers every week, with everything from Yoga and Pilates through to the epic Yard WOD set in its purpose-built CrossFit-style training area.

The club recently launched its autumn campaign, offering memberships with no joining fee, encouraging Wharfers to see its extensive facilities as an extra benefit to heading into work, as more and more people transition back to regular commuting.

Elite personal trainer at Third Space Canary Wharf, Stephanie Whitehead, said the benefits to exercising this way were clear.

“Training at the gym is very different from training at home,” she said.

“During lockdown, because I’m a trainer, I could be very resourceful and come up with great workouts using just one kettlebell and that would be great fun.

“But we don’t have to do that anymore. The difference here is, firstly, the environment. This isn’t working out on a mat on your kitchen floor.

“Here, you’re in amazing surroundings with people doing really cool things.  You’re somewhere else and focused – you’re ready to train.

Third Space Canary Wharf has received some recent upgrades including to its free weights area
Third Space Canary Wharf has received some recent upgrades including to its free weights area

“Secondly, it’s all the equipment. You’re not limited by what you have at home.

“If you haven’t been in a gym for a while, that can seem overwhelming – which is why having the input of a personal trainer is really important.

“Suppose, for example, you’re coming into the office a few days each week.

“We can put a programme together for you that fits that, tailored to maximise what you get out of each specific visit.

“Each trainer will have a different style and a different approach, but it’s our job to give you that clarity, structure and focus.

“It also prevents you just doing the things that you are good at, which can create imbalances in the body.

“My approach would be to work with a client on an all-round programme based on the number of days they are coming in to make sure all of their muscle groups are getting involved and we’re working on their whole body.

“For example, I’ll do strength training, but in terms of conditioning, I’ll always try to throw in bigger, full-movements like thrusters or squats.

“That way you get better results and the client gets more bang for their buck.

“I’d say a minimum of three visits a week is a good idea because that is just enough to build habit and consistency and it’s achievable.”

Stephanie says she believes in pushing herself and her clients
Stephanie says she believes in pushing herself and her clients

Stephanie has worked in the industry for more than a decade and has been a trainer at the Canary Wharf club for eight years.

She is also assistant fitness manager there, meaning she mentors new personal trainers as well as working directly with clients.

Having discovered a passion for fitness at university while studying psychology, she went on to compete in CrossFit before developing a career on the gym floor.

That broad background means she is well-placed to understand the benefits training can have on her clients’ mental health as well as their physical state.

“A lot of my clients would say they have very stressful jobs – lawyers who work really long hours, or bankers who might deal with mistakes involving millions of pounds – really high levels of pressure to deal with,” said Stephanie.

“Firstly, coming to the gym is a distraction and, secondly, it’s a complete break with everyday life.

“I always say to people that this is a place where they can leave work behind – one hour, which is just for them.

“No work, no phone if they want – just the training.

“Exercise is an outlet – a lot of my clients have a little vent at the beginning of their session and then forget the minutiae of the day.

“There’s also that feeling of achievement – getting that personal best on the 2k row or lifting heavier than ever before.

Third Space's recent upgrades include new pin-loaded weight machines
Third Space’s recent upgrades include new pin-loaded weight machines

“With consistency and discipline you will see results and that’s what’s so rewarding about it.

“It’s positive reinforcement and it’s just different from the feeling you get from, say, buying a nice pair of shoes.

“That can be great, but it wears off quite quickly, whereas the feeling you get from achieving in the gym, whether it’s building muscle or losing body fat, means you get fitter and stronger.”

Over the pandemic, many people will have naturally lost the habit of going to a gym and may be nervous about their ability to return to regular training. 

Stephanie said the best remedy was simply to start exercising, but not to worry about attaining a certain level of fitness before getting back in the gym. 

“Personal trainers are not like drill sergeants – we’re not going to go crazy at the beginning,” she said.

“Personal training is very tailored, so each individual client will have a different ability level. We’ll assess that in the beginning and we just go from there. 

“Every single person, no matter what strength or fitness level they’re at will certainly see progress by the end of a few months.

“It might be that that they’re moving better or they feel less out of breath. They might be stronger or feel better.

“But there’s definitely no minimum standard to start coming to the gym – any time is a good time to start.

“My tip would always be to increase frequency.

Stephanie says commuters can get great benefit from exercising three times a week
Stephanie says commuters can get great benefit from exercising three times a week

“If you’re going only once a week and progress seems slow, then going up to three times will be of benefit.

“It’s also important to not just do that same movements over and over. That’s where a personal trainer can really help.

“Personally, I like having a certain amount of pressure.

“That’s why I compete in CrossFit, because having that constant challenge to improve gives me a limitless reservoir of drive and motivation.

“My training philosophy has always been to push myself and, within their own limits, that’s how I work with my clients too.”

In addition to its Canary Wharf club, Third Space operates in the City and at Marylebone, Islington, Mayfair, Moorgate, Soho and Tower Bridge. 

  • Third Space is currently offering memberships to its clubs with no joining fee.
  • Other incentives include discounted personal training sessions, two complimentary guest passes to the club worth £50, a meal from Natural Fitness Food, 10% off at The Pearson Room and a 25% discount off the member’s first treatment or massage at the Third Space’s Canary Wharf Spa. 
  • Club membership at Canary Wharf costs £180 per person, per month. The cost of personal training sessions varies.

Read more: How Canary Wharf’s Junior Board is shaping the estate

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com

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Canary Wharf: How Darren Bruce helps gym-goers hit their goals at Third Space

The elite personal trainer has spent 20 years coaching clients at the Canary Wharf club

Third Space elite personal trainer Darren Bruce
Third Space elite personal trainer Darren Bruce – image Matt Grayson

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Learning to move in the right way is crucial to avoiding injury and achieving your goals through exercise.

So says elite personal trainer at Third Space in Canary Wharf, Darren Bruce

If anybody knows, he certainly ought to. Typifying what the massive gym in Canada Square offers, Darren has a wealth of expertise, having competed at the highest levels as a sportsman.

As a boxer he was a challenger for the IBO Welterweight World Title and is a former British kickboxing champion and county champion long jumper.

But he’s also spent nearly 20 years helping gym-goers achieve their own aims.

“I actually started working here when it opened in 2002 as Reebok Sports Club,” said Darren.

“I was being sponsored by a construction company at the time – I’d go to work for half a day and then box at a gym in south London.

“I’d had lots of breaks in my career but I’d decided I needed to think about doing something else, so I saw the marketing suite for the gym and went to see what it was all about.

“I already had a personal training qualification but they said they didn’t need trainers at that time so I started out taking boxing classes.

“That was pretty much brand new to me but I ended up having the busiest class at the club – that was my foot in the door.”

Darren began seeing clients one-on-one in 2004 image Matt Grayson

Two years later Darren got a job as a personal trainer after another member of staff left and has never looked back.

“At first making the transition from athlete to trainer was awkward – I’d trained at the highest level, so I realised I needed to gear things down, but in no time at all I got it,” he said.

“Personal training is about getting that relationship with the client right, getting them to believe in you and knowing your craft.

“I’ve worked beside some really great coaches over the years so I stuck close to a couple of those guys, learnt from them and studied. 

“My skills developed from there and they’re still developing – I’m always trying to evolve what I do, but I’ve stuck to my principles since starting personal training in 2004, and I still use the same approach.

“Safe exercise is first and foremost. You don’t want to injure your client – it’s a bad experience for them and they’re not going to come back.

“Then, everything is about sound movement patterns.

“Many people who come to me have desk-bound jobs and the best thing is to get them moving. 

“If I can make them feel that they are moving better and they’re getting stronger, then they’ll keep coming back and progressing – I still have the first client that came to me at this gym and she’s fantastic.”

Everything starts with a thorough assessment before Darren creates a bespoke series of exercises.

“The first time someone comes to me, we’ll do an evaluation,” he said. “I’ll ask them what their goals are, what their previous training history is like and whether they have any injuries. 

Darren's professional boxing background informs his approach
Darren’s professional boxing background informs his approach – image Matt Grayson

“From that process, I will go about devising a programme that’s dependent on that client’s goals and what they need to achieve them. Then we’ll work through it together.

“I think people should aim to train for a minimum of twice a week with a personal trainer helping them. 

“People shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking they can do this on their own.

“Our personal training clients at Third Space find they can get an extra 10% out of themselves with a coach.

“People generally don’t know how to improve themselves – that’s why we’re here to coach them in those movements.

“That’s important for safety too – if someone wants to do a high impact class they’re much better off seeing a trainer first because their movement patterns might be pretty poor and that’s something we can work on.

“That’s why it’s best to see a trainer more than once a week as progress is faster.”

As a trainer, Darren is able to draw on the countless hours of expert coaching he’s received over the years.

“Discipline is the most important thing,” he said. “You have to learn to focus and realise that progress doesn’t come overnight.

“When it comes to coaching boxing we can do the drills I used to do, but just spend less time on them so the client is always learning and progressing.

“Obviously it’s great when you have clients who want that specific combat expertise – if people want to spar we can do that in the ring here in a safe manner because I’m a professional.

“That’s one of the things that sets me apart because it’s not an easy thing to do. But the discipline of training for boxing is also great for general fitness. 

“The great thing about Third Space is there is so much of it – so much room – and the facilities are first class.

“There’s no waiting around, even at peak times, and it has everything you need.”

Membership of Third Space Canary Wharf costs £180 on a rolling monthly contract.

Personal training rates at the club are available on request, with a discount for new members on their first two sessions.

Group-wide membership for all clubs including City and Tower Bridge costs £210 per month.

New members get two guest passes, a meal or shake at Natural Fitness Food, 25% off their first treatment at the Canary Wharf spa and an ongoing discount of 5% as standard.

Read more: Why even exercise specialists need personal trainers

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Canary Wharf: How PT sessions at Third Space can help with fitness goals

Pilates and group exercise lead instructor Eve Powell on why she sought help with weightlifting

Eve Powell, Pilates and group exercise lead instructor
Eve Powell, Pilates and group exercise lead instructor – image Matt Grayson

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It’s January, the time when for reasons more traditional than functional, people take stock of their lives and pledge to make changes for the better.

But how to make those resolutions stick once the novelty value has worn off?

Wisdom is generally gained from experience, so a good starting point in any fresh venture should be to seek out the thoughts of those who are already pretty good at what you’re trying to achieve.  

With the festive bloat at maximum, increased exercise is generally bobbing around the top of people’s lists.

But motivation can wane rapidly, so I sat down with Eve Powell of Third Space in Canary Wharf to discover her tips for sticking with the programme and how she personally stays in shape and maintains her enthusiasm.

A certified Pilates coach and group exercise lead instructor, Eve has been described as “the superwoman” on Trustpilot by a gym member, who praised her “meticulous performance on the gym floor and in classes”.

Eve says personal training can help deliver motivation
Eve says personal training can help deliver motivation – image Matt Grayson

Having first qualified as a trainer while at university, Eve initially embarked on a career in the film industry before realising she got more out of her weekly combat class at the weekend than five days  spent on set.

“That’s when I made the transition to thinking I wanted to do it full-time,” she said.

“The main thing is the job satisfaction because we’re lucky to have endorphin-high, sweaty people telling us how great they feel at the end of a class.

“It’s a job where you help people and now, having got into Pilates, that’s even more the case.

“I’d never practised it before I joined Third Space – I’d done Yoga and thought it was basically the same – but my boss here asked if I wanted to go on a training course and I said yes because I thought it would be another skill to have.

“I’m so glad, because it changed my life and the way I train completely.

“Not knowing anything about it, I thought Pilates was good if you had a bad back, or if you were a bit older and your physio told you that you needed to do it.

“But I really fell in love with the history of it, the discipline and practice. It’s conditioning, building that strong, solid foundation for other exercises so you can run, lift weights and do Crossfit.”

Eve has a coach for her Olympic weightlifting
Eve has a coach for her Olympic weightlifting – image Matt Grayson

Another key element to Eve’s approach to fitness is seeking out one-on-one expertise, especially for those new to the gym or branching out into new areas.

“Using myself as an example, I’m a coach, but when I decided to take up Olympic weightlifting I went to a personal trainer because I was a total beginner,” she said.

“I had a bit of a head start because of the endurance, flexibility and mobility I’d built up with Pilates, but I needed someone with that experience.

“For people who are new to the gym, maybe they don’t even know what their goals are, so I’d recommend having a session with a trainer and trying lots of different things.

“That’s why Third Space is a great place to start because there’s so much to choose from here. Then we have so many great trainers it’s easy to work one-on-one with someone on general fitness or on something specific. 

“With weightlifting, it was a brand new skill to me and it’s so technical – I knew I would benefit from having the time and eyes of a coach. 

“It’s also easier to commit and to work on smaller short-term goals in pursuit of what you’re trying to achieve.

“The trainer I see is on me to hit those targets. If you’ve got a good coach, invested in you, and you’re investing in yourself, it’s amazing.

“I have that one hour where it’s me and her and I’ve got a goal – snatching a particular weight or focusing on my hip mobility in my overhead squat.

“Whatever it is, it’s my time with that person and I call it my therapy. In between sessions we stay in touch – I send her videos of my progress and I really miss it if I can’t make a session. It really helps with motivation.

“It also helps me from a professional standpoint because my trainer will use cues and commands while I’m exercising that I find I can use. 

“Even though the Pilates classes I coach aren’t the same, something that works for weightlifting might also work for me when I’m doing banded overhead squats with a group.”

From the other side Eve said one-on-one sessions gave trainers the chance to go into great detail with individuals.

She said: “You have more time to really look at a person’s body. You have time to ask the client questions and get their feedback, to find out where someone is feeling something and what it feels like for them.

“Initially, trainers use their first sessions to see how their client is moving, what their core strengths are and if they have any imbalances to address. 

“It starts with identifying a goal – what the client wants to get out of their time with a coach.

“That might be to lose some weight, to increase their fitness, to tackle an injury or some pain they’re getting or to improve their posture.

“Then the trainer will come up with an individual programme tailored to achieve that. In general that will be a 360-degree approach that delivers a full body workout as a way of delivering those goals.

“It’s also great for trainers because after I’ve had a session with someone I’ve always learnt something.

“Everyone has a different body. A cue that might work for one person might not work for another so you have to be very adaptive. 

“It’s a process of discovery, you have to make sure you’re using the right language. 

“You might have a client who spends all day working at a desk and has no knowledge of the fitness industry so you have to find a way to communicate that makes sense to them.”

Membership of Third Space Canary Wharf costs £180 on a rolling monthly contract.

Personal training rates at the club are available on request, with a discount for new members on their first two sessions.

Group-wide membership for all clubs including City and Tower Bridge costs £210 per month.

New members get two guest passes, a meal or shake at Natural Fitness Food, 25% off their first treatment at the Canary Wharf spa and an ongoing discount of 5% as standard.

Read more: Why exercise should be like brushing your teeth

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