Third Space Wood Wharf boosts east London club’s fitness offering

Studios for Reformer Pilates and Hot Yoga plus a new 20m swimming pool add to Canary Wharf’s already unbeatable health and fitness facilities

Image shows a bright turquoise swimming pool surrounded by light brown limestone times at Third Space Wood Wharf
Third Space Wood Wharf boasts a new 20m swimming pool and spa area

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Third Space Canary Wharf is already at the top of the fitness tree when it comes to facilities.

On its own, the Canada Square club offers a vast array of workout spaces, studios, machines and equipment.

There’s a pool, a climbing wall, a crossfit-inspired strength and conditioning space and a combat area with a boxing ring.

Nothing else on the estate comes close. And the facilities are only half the story.

The studios and gym floor are home to hundreds of classes each week, all included in the monthly fee.

This means members can indulge in everything from spinning to sound baths, HIIT sessions or weightlifting.

Image shows Colin Waggett, CEO of Third Space wearing a white shirt with floral detail round the collar
Third Space CEO Colin Waggett

unveiling Third Space Wood Wharf

But with the opening of Third Space Wood Wharf club, that offering and capacity has received a massive boost – essentially beating an already unbeatable proposition because access is included with membership of the Canary Wharf club as standard.

Expansive new studios mean Hot Yoga and Reformer Pilates classes are now available at for the first time on the estate.

There’s also a fully equipped training space and a swimming pool at the 15 Water Street location, which is spread over two floors above Tribe hotel and Dishoom.

“When I joined, we had four clubs and three brands – it was abundantly clear that the right one to grow was Third Space, which brought together serious business and lifestyle propositions,” said Colin Waggett, Third Space CEO.

“It had a brilliant name too, so the initial challenge was to bring those four locations, which included the former Reebok Sports Club in Canary Wharf, under the Third Space name.

“Having achieved that by 2017, we started to look at new sites including one near Fenchurch Street and then Islington.

“We were gradually building and we started looking at Wood Wharf in 2018.

“It’s been a long time coming, but that’s reflected in the quality of what we’ve created here.

“We decided that for Canary Wharf and Wood Wharf we would only have one membership so people don’t have to make a choice between the two sites.

“If you buy into one club, you get access to both.

“By doing that, it’s made it easier to get the proposition right at Wood Wharf.”

Image shows the new club's main gym area including a bright red track for training on
The new club features a large, well-lit multi-functional training area

the Third Space Wood Wharf proposition

“It provides something different to the main Canary Wharf site – more of a country club feel with the pool and spa,” said Colin

“We’ve also got a massive, multifunctional training space.

“Then, over the last five years Reformer Pilates and Hot Yoga have become ever more popular and that’s why we’ve built those studios.

“The former, especially, is having a big moment and, had we not built the Wood Wharf club, we’d have put facilities into our Canada Square site. 

“We have to watch the big trends and change our space allocation in both clubs over time to reflect them.

“Right now that means less cardio activity and fewer cross trainers but more racks for weightlifting and greater space for our mind and body offering with Yoga, Pilates and sound baths.”

Image shows Third Space Wood Wharf's Hot Yoga studio with black rubber yoga mats on a wooden floor
Third Space Wood Wharf has a dedicated Hot Yoga studio

growing from experience

Colin knows a thing or two about keeping abreast of developments in the industry.

Having joined Fitness First in 2004 as chief financial officer, he was running the company a year later and presided over its growth from 250 locations in 10 countries to 500 in 25, expanding into the Middle East, south-east Asia and Australia. 

Striking out on his own, he founded studio fitness concept Psycle in 2012, which included a branch in Canary Wharf’s Crossrail Place albeit before any trains were running.

While on that journey, he met the owners of Reebok Sports Club, who were acquiring Third Space and ended up joining the company as CEO in 2015.

While the pandemic meant pausing plans for expansion, the brand is now very much back on track with sites in Battersea, Wimbledon and Clapham 

“Next year we’ll open three or maybe four clubs – which could make seven in two years – and that’s a lot,” said Colin.  

“These are all sites we signed four years ago so we’ve known they were coming and we’ve been preparing for them.

“Our business is property and people. The property side happens very slowly, the design, construction and the rest of it.

“The people side can happen quite quickly – we usually need a team of 50 or 60 people to open a club.

“About half to two thirds of them are already working in one of our clubs.

“It’s all about getting the skills and culture right, which is what we spend time preparing for.”

“It’s always a challenge but that is what we’re here for.

Image shows Reformer Pilates machines in a room with a wooden floor. The machines are cream with black plastic details
The Reformer Pilates studio features equipment for group sessions

keeping that quality

“Preserving the quality we have at our existing clubs is a complete obsession with new openings,” said Colin.

“Our mantra is we get better as we get bigger – so we work really hard to ensure that’s the case. 

“The golden rule when opening a new club is always to promote internally. Our heads of department will be two-thirds internal as well.

“The things we’ve been investing in, knowing these openings have been in the pipeline, are recruitment, training and education.

“We have a significant team of master trainers who are out there recruiting instructors and training them up to the standard we want them to be at.

“We’re in the fortunate position of being able to recruit the best.

“Our Canary Wharf and Islington clubs both have what we call  Academy Teams, which are gateway jobs for people looking to become personal trainers.

“Our smaller clubs also help because that network provides career pathways which help us fulfil that mantra of being better.”

Image shows a Third Space trainer helping a man with is boxing technique
Third Space Canary Wharf already has a wealth of facilities including a fully equipped combat area

evolving the Third Space Canary Wharf site

With the Wood Wharf launch well underway, the refurbishment of the Canary Wharf club is itself an ongoing mission. 

The space formerly used for The Pearson Room is set to be repurposed as a mind and body space to cater for the upswing in demand for Yoga and sound baths, while the existing studio will likely be filled with more Reformer Pilates machines to accommodate larger classes. 

It’s all part of a carefully curated mix that’s designed to give frequent users the best deal possible.

“We’re great value if you come regularly and terrible value if you don’t,” said Colin.

“We don’t have membership contracts. If people want to leave, for whatever reason – life’s got in the way, they’re too busy – then they should leave feeling good about us.

“Our aim is to never let people down, but to recognise that some will cease training.

“One in five of our new members is actually someone returning to us.

“For all the things available to you, our price per day or per visit is extremely good value.

“It’s about an investment in something, a good use of time.

“We’re aimed at people who are prioritising their fitness and want good experiences – members who are trying to get the most out of life in busy London.

“We meet their demands as these change and evolve.

“With a master trainer in charge of each area of fitness, they’re always looking at our programme to see what’s performing, how it can be improved or refreshed – a bit like changing a menu at a restaurant.

“You want to keep your favourites, but you want new attractions too.”

Image shows Third Space master trainer Clare Walters hosting a sound bath in a Yoga studio
Sound baths are increasingly popular across Third Space’s clubs

new thinking at Third Space

“One of the things we’re doing more of across our clubs is focusing on that whole spa experience with saunas, plunge pools and hydrotherapy,” said Colin.

“At one time it was thought they just felt nice but increasingly there’s a real purpose to spending that time, whether for the physical or mental benefits you get from them.

“Sound baths, for instance, are curiously absorbing and a really nice treat.

“If you’re training at a high intensity, adding in softer programming to a club gives our members greater value.

“The ambition is that one day every one of our clubs will close with a session.

“People can then train in the morning and come back at the end of the day for what’s essentially 45 minutes of meditation – that would be wonderful.

“Wood Wharf itself has quite a different vibe to our other clubs – it’s beautiful to look down on the water and the streets below from the third floor.

“Some people will prefer to train there or just come for specific classes while mainly using Canary Wharf. It could just be where the mood takes them on the day. 

“The club generates more capacity for us and, now that it’s open, we’ll be doing more to sell the two offerings together.”

need to know

Club membership at Third Space Canary Wharf, including access to Third Space Wood Wharf currently costs £217 per month.

Group access for the brand’s clubs (excluding Mayfair and Islington) costs £245. 

Find out more about the new club here

Read more: How The Body People brings movement to East Wick And Sweetwater

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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 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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