The first is that it’s just launched its new cocktail list for winter 2022, with the bar team working hard to come up with 14 drinks to tickle the tastebuds of thirsty Wharfers.
“I would describe it as focused on smoky, spicy and sweet flavours as those are right for this time of year,” said Theo Damse, assistant bar manager at The Pearson Room.
“We try to make it so we have as little waste as possible behind the bar and we make use of as much of each ingredient as we can.”
That means the venue, which is located above Waitrose overlooking Canada Square, is all set for winter, with a special Christmas drink – Santa’s Little Helper – also in the pipeline for the festive season.
General manager at The Pearson Room, Emilie Parker-Burrell said: “We like our menu to be original, creative and something you won’t find anywhere else.
“The team have been amazing, coming up with all these drinks since we first talked about changing the menu in June.”
See below for our six picks from the new list.
Also on Wharfers’ radars should be the venue’s loyalty scheme, which applies to PAs, EAs and anyone working at a company who has responsibility for making corporate bookings.
“We’re calling it The Pearson Collective,” said Emilie.
“The way it works is that those on the scheme get points based on the number and size of booking that they make with us.
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.
“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 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.
“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.
“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.
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.
Then a fresh opportunity presented itself. His colleague at the south London venue – Emilie Parker-Burrell – was leaving to become general manager of The Pearson Room in Canada Square in preparation for its post-pandemic reopening last month.
“I knew she was going to Canary Wharf anyway and I was looking to do something else,” said James.
“So I came over to see the venue – it was a blank canvas, which was very appealing, so I thought I’d give it a go.
“I’d loved working with Emilie at Upstairs and I think we work really well together.
“I’d never had a job in this part of London before or really visited it – it’s very new to me – so I was quite surprised by the number and quality of the bars and restaurants on the estate.
“The Pearson Room is owned by Third Space and we had a briefing from them, to make sure we have dishes that work for what they’re doing on the health side of things, but we’ve had pretty much free rein to do what we want in the kitchen, which is great.
“We’ve created a menu that’s a little bit more casual than some of the other venues around here, food that’s a bit more laid back, but we’ll see, over the coming months, what Canary Wharf wants from us and we’ll adapt what we do.”
Guests will find the familiar warm browns of the venue filled with the scents and flavours of James’ creativity, ranging from healthier options to more decadent temptations.
Starters (£7-£14) can all be served as mains and include the likes of seared tuna with watermelon, sesame and ginger; quinoa, mint and spring vegetable salad; and poke bowl wakame with daikon and shiso.
Larger plates (£16-£21) include dishes such as roast chicken with carrot salad and whipped Feta, foraged mushroom risotto and pan-roasted cod with white bean, tomato, mussel and prawn stew.
“Flavour is the number one thing we look at here,” said James. “It’s the reason to go out for dinner – to be hit with great big flavours – and that’s what we do throughout our menu.
“I really like simple food. When I was younger, everyone had ambitions to win Michelin stars, but the older I get, the cooking and the food become more relaxed and I think that’s a much better direction to go in.
“I want people who eat my food to be full, content and happy having experienced some bold flavours. A full restaurant, with happy customers, is success in my eyes.
“Staff play a huge role in that. The team of people I have around me is absolutely phenomenal.
“I have great faith in my colleagues. They are all outstanding chefs and we’re all on the same page in the kitchen – everyone can work on every section.
“We discuss the whole menu at the end of every session and, if we need to tweak, we do, and so it carries on.
“We never sit still – we’re always looking to be better, and hopefully that will show on the plate.
“We did an incredible number of tastings before we opened and I love the banana tarte tatin because I have a sweet tooth, but my favourite dish is the cod.
“I’ve always loved eating cassoulet – it’s a chef thing to try and get a huge amount of flavour out of it and this recipe started off as a dish we used to have for lunch in the kitchen.
“There are lots of fresh herbs in it, and lemon at the end, which is very French.
“With mussels being in season at the same time as cod, and the prawns adding a bit of luxury – we use the shells for the sauce – it’s great that it’s become a restaurant dish.
“One thing I hate is to change the whole menu on one day – it’s a recipe for chaos and disaster.
“After we’ve been open for a couple of months, then we’ll start introducing new dishes when ingredients are in season.
“We will have an ever-changing menu so when people come there will always be something new.
“It keeps the chefs on their toes as well and gives them a chance to develop their own dishes, get these on the menu and get a bit of recognition.”
The Pearson Room’s bar has also been refreshed with a new cocktail list including beverages such as Fraisier (East London Dry gin with Fraise liquor, lemon and raspberries) and Hoist The Colours (a showstopping combination of Discarded Banana Rum, coconut syrup, pineapple juice, lime juice and kiwi).
James said while there were plenty of healthy options on the menu for those visiting Third Space, The Pearson Room was very much a separate entity.
Plans for the future include creating more dishes inspired by the venue’s wine list, bringing in a dry-ageing cabinet so guests can see the meat they will be eating and setting up an oyster bar to pair with the English fizz on offer.
The Pearson Room is now open Monday-Friday from 10am for lunch and dinner. The venue is also available to hire for events with an extensive range of food and drink options available.
James said: “You have to be approachable – we’re always happy to work with people so they get what they want.”
Kate Maxey is singularly well placed to recognise and relish the importance of depth at a gym when it comes to enjoying exercise and building fitness.
Growing up, much of her life was about hockey. Her exceptional level of skill and talent with stick and ball led her to represent England up until the end of her time at Loughborough University on a scholarship to play the sport.
“It was pretty full on,” said Kate. “But I loved it and it was a massive part of my life and my friendships.
“My older sisters played, so that’s probably why I got into it and it was what my life was about for a long time.
“But then I got to the point of wondering whether it was really what I wanted to do – did I want to play hockey forever?
“Then it hit me – I loved the sport, but in training for it I was always made to do stuff for my performance on the pitch, not necessarily the things I wanted to do for my own fitness, lifestyle or stress relief.
“That’s when I decided to explore different things. It was a journey – I could have given it all up and not done anything at all – but exercising was such a part of me.
“That’s when I got into personal training and found that what I wanted to do was to inspire other people to find what works for them in terms of fitness.
“Having become a personal trainer, I then started taking classes – something I especially love because they’re a bit like hockey, a team activity.
“That’s my big thing, helping create a lifestyle for people and supporting them in finding something they love to do, whether that’s in a class setting or in the gym.
“I still play hockey now to a good level and I really enjoy it, but it’s more a social thing – I had to find what I love and training people is what I want to do.”
Today, that journey has led Kate to the position of strength and conditioning master trainer at Third Space in Canary Wharf, overseeing more than 50 group exercise instructors.
Her role includes responsibility for developing that team and the classes it delivers as well as coaching group sessions herself.
“Fitness shouldn’t be seen as something you just do if you’re an athlete,” she said.
“If you hated sport at school, that doesn’t mean you can’t go to the gym and find something you love doing.
“Classes are about teamwork – everybody in the room might have different motivations but they’re all trying to achieve something, they have that shared aim.
“At Third Space we design the sessions so anyone can come along and get the best workout for them. The camaraderie and the class environment really helps motivate people.
“Everyone’s doing the same things at the same time – you might not know anything about them, who they are or what they do – you’re all just there to look after yourselves, to get fit and maintain it and nobody is judging what anyone else is doing.
“That’s the fantastic thing about my job – you get so many different dynamics.
“Some people will come into class and they’ll want to sit at the back and not want too much attention, because they just want to do their thing.
“Others will be more competitive and they’ll use that to motivate themselves. Both are absolutely fine.”
While the extensive class list at Third Space – which includes everything from spinning to weightlifting, crossfit, combat and Yoga – presents a multitude of possibilities for members, Kate said the true attraction of the club lay in the breadth of the range of services it offers and how they complement one another.
“Third Space offers everything in terms of facilities, but that in itself can be daunting,” she said.
“So the best advice I can give when someone joins a place like this is: ‘Talk to someone’. There are staff all around with all the personal trainers and academy and class instructors and that might seem intimidating.
“But this is our world. Everyone has had their own journey to get here and we all, without exception, want to help members.
“When people are new to a gym, over the first couple of months, the most common thing they do is to absolutely smash themselves five days a week.
“Then their body starts to break down, the stress becomes too much and they can get injured. That’s why you need help.
“Workouts are a stress on the body, but we’re experts in managing that and allowing people to find what they love doing and what they need to do.
“Personal training can be especially great for that. A good PT can help you with the things you don’t enjoy so much and that will help you avoid injury and perform better in the activities you love.
“They can create a plan for you that will help you develop strength so you get stronger and condition your body.
“Then with classes I’d suggest trying a range of things.
“You might go along and absolutely hate it, but it’s only 45 minutes of hell, and then you’ll know – you can cross it off the list and try something else if it’s not for you.
“First it’s about safety – members can use classes to learn how to move correctly.
“You often see people writing down what they’ve done so they can replicate it again on their own.
“Then classes like Yard Strong, for example, allow people to try things they might not have done before, which is always exciting.
“It has 10 stations with exercises like log bars and farmer carries – exercises that leave people feeling they’re really accomplished something.
“For members who want to get stronger, classes like these are there for them to lift in a safe environment with a knowledgeable instructor who can help them develop and keep an eye on their technique.
“In a class like that it’s more about working in partnership with the trainer.
“The important thing is that for every class you can stay within your own zone – you can interact as much as you like.
“Likewise, if someone has suffered an injury or is restricted in what they can do, it’s our job to adjust what we’re offering to include them, to provide alternatives so they will still get something from the class.
“We will always strive to go above and beyond what’s on offer elsewhere so every person who comes to Third Space achieves what they want to and is able to train with us.
“That’s why, for me, this is the ultimate gym.
“You have your home, which is your first space, your place of work which is your second space and then we’re your Third Space.
“Then within that there are so many spaces at the club, whether you’re a member who wants to find a quiet corner, put their headphones on, do their workout and not be seen or whether it’s a member who wants to take part in a big class in The Yard.
“The great thing about Third Space is that you have the facilities to do all those things, whether it’s taking part in a dance class, going for a swim, using the climbing wall or doing a treadmill class. It’s about what you want.
“Then what’s key is finding something that is sustainable for you and that you enjoy.
“That way you can make good habits, build slowly over time and achieving those goals becomes so much easier.
“Here, you can come and know there’s always someone who is there to help you get through your workout and make the most of it.”
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.”
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.
“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.”
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”.
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.”
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.”
“For people to see that exercise is something to do on a regular basis, like brushing your teeth is incredibly important,” said Danny Cunningham.
To describe the senior lead trainer at Third Space as passionate about fitness would be similar to saying Tigger is partial to the odd bounce.
Anyone who’s been fortunate enough to attend one of his classes in Canary Wharf knows he all but vibrates with exactly the sort of infectious energy you need when trying to summon up the motivation to inch that ambitiously heavy kettlebell you accidentally selected at the start of the session, off the ground.
He also makes it plain, crucially, that if you’d rather just squat using your own bodyweight, then that’s just as valid and equally worthy of celebration.
“Even if somebody turns up and just does 10 minutes of something, that’s going to have a more positive impact on their mental and physical health, than if they neglect exercise altogether that day,” said Danny.
“It’s consistency that enables people to progress. Like cleaning your teeth, you might not do it as hard or as long on certain days, but you know it’s important to do it regularly.
“Exercise is really great, it makes people feel more cheerful. Getting into the habit of training regularly tends to have a beneficial knock-on effect – those who do often finish tasks more efficiently at work or at home, creating real positive momentum.
“The opposite is often true as well – clients often end up telling me they’ve had a bad day when they’ve missed their morning workout, woken up a bit later and turned up to their first meeting feeling a bit rubbish. It all stems from starting off on the wrong foot.
“Morning exercise is great, but it isn’t for everyone – training at lunchtime or in the evening is excellent too.”
Danny knows what he’s talking about – having been thrown in the boxing ring by his east London dad as a boy to “toughen him up”, he studied sports and exercise science at college and university before embarking on a career as a personal trainer and fitness instructor in 2008.
“After several years as a PT, I really wanted to broaden my horizons,” he said. “So in the mornings, evenings and at weekends I continued to train clients, while also holding down nine-to-five jobs. For me, personally, that was also an insurance policy – if you work in a physical job and you get injured, what are you going to do?
I deliberately sought sales and marketing roles because those skills are transferable back into the fitness sector, a lot of which is about online presence now.”
While Danny now works full-time for Third Space, that previous experience afforded him a particular level of insight into corporate life and how exercise fits into it, having spent two years working for KPMG in Canary Wharf.
“The most important thing for people to do is to make sure going to the gym works around their schedule, but at the same time to be flexible enough to prioritise their training,” he said.
“If you’re really busy and literally don’t have any spare time, then you need that discipline to carve out a regular one-hour time-slot in the same diary you use for work.
“You need to see it as a non-negotiable meeting you have to attend. You could argue it’s the most important one in terms of your own positivity.
“People are often happy to prioritise deadlines at work, but they often neglect themselves.
“If they’re able to look after their own health and fitness, they’re much more likely to hit other deadlines and the process will be a lot more enjoyable because they’ll be approaching everything with a positive mindset.”
As many people go back to the office and people’s lives return to pre-pandemic rhythms, Danny said well-equipped and organised gyms offered a potent alternative to working out alone at home.
“One of the things Third Space offers is the variety of its classes and, in terms of the equipment available, it has everything you could think of all under one roof,” he said.
“In terms of classes, you’ve got the mind and body workshops, which are good for injury prevention and rehabilitation.
“Then you’ve got the HIIT classes, which are a lot of fun and the strength-related classes, which are good for people who want to build muscular power.
“You’ve got The Yard, which is the biggest functional training space in London, a huge selection of exercise machines and weights and brilliant studios that are incredibly atmospheric to train in.
“Then, on top of that, there’s a climbing wall, saunas, steam rooms, a swimming pool and other things like the Powerplates where people can come and do low-intensity exercise that gets transformed into something really worthwhile.
“That’s a real contrast to doing boring home workouts where it’s burpee after burpee.”
“We design our classes to be suitable for every level from complete beginners to seasoned athletes, by giving multiple options and pushing the culture that you don’t have to hit certain targets,” said Danny.
“Instead, as long as you achieve what you are comfortable with, that’s what matters. Music is very important too.
“People probably take it for granted that there’s a certain beat when they first come in – it will have that feel-good factor and a bit of energy in the room.
“Then we start the session, which is supposed to be thought-provoking so we’ll have ambient sounds and dim the lights to get everyone in the right physical and mental zone.
“Throughout the session people can expect epic lights and music plus fun and friendly chat from the instructors to help keep everyone motivated and take away the pain.
“It’s important for them to be enjoyable because as well as the physical benefits, it’s about the mental benefits of turning up and having a good time.
“People come to realise how valuable getting away from their desks and having a release is. Not everyone wants to be pushed to their absolute limits.
“Some want to come in, have a good workout and not feel like they’re dying. But it works for those who do want to push themselves.
“It’s being in an inclusive environment where everyone can train at their own level next to each other.”
Danny said, for people completely new to exercise, the key thing initially was getting into good habits early.
“For people in that position, one of the things to think about is why they didn’t go to a gym before,” he said. “A lot of that may come down to the fear and intimidation of thinking that everyone’s got to be super fit and it wouldn’t be for them. But it’s not like that.
“First of all, people should focus on turning up, because that’s something to celebrate – just building exercise into their lifestyle is the important thing.
“For the first two to six months, their mindset should be: ‘I’m just going to go’.
“Nobody should be putting pressure on themselves to get an eight-pack or huge biceps – they should be celebrating having the motivation and dedication to show up on a regular basis. In the long run, that’s what’s going to keep them healthy and fit throughout their lives.”
Having developed an extensive online offering, Danny said Third Space was also well-placed to offer members a balance of on-site services and at-home expertise.
“What’s interesting and not much discussed is that it’s great to have a healthy mix of home and gym workouts to suit your routine,” he said.
“Personal trainers are aware of this and may well prescribe certain sessions to do that will be helpful in terms of technique if people can’t get to the gym because of their schedule.”
Membership at Third Space Canary Wharf cost £170 per month, which works out at £5.59 a day.
The company is currently waiving its joining fee and offering new members a free meal or shake at Natural Fitness Food, 25% off their first Third Space Spa treatment and two guest passes.