Words: Markus Bidaux
Sadly, during the lockdown, I was not one of the people who discovered online fitness classes and broke a sweat in my living room. I even struggled to go out for a run after pulling a muscle in my back. I miss the discipline a gym membership instils in me – thank goodness they are reopening now.
Before lockdown, my boyfriend and I visited the Lanserhof at the Arts Club in London’s Mayfair, which has now reopened. Lanserhof has medical spas in Germany and Austria and has been at the forefront of combining cutting-edge medical science with wellness for over 30 years. The most recent addition to the brand is more focused on the fitness aspect of wellness.
Where Lanserhof at the Arts Club stands apart from all of its competitors is its use of state of the art diagnostic equipment – we are talking 3D body scans, ultrasound equipment and even an in-house MRI machine.
There also are also in-house doctors and alternative therapists who work in unison with the fitness team to give members unparalleled levels of insight into their fitness development.
The IV infusion room
Upon arrival, we are first shown the top floor infusion room where you can have vitamins, minerals and trace elements injected via an IV drip. Different infusions can help with improving energy levels, strengthen the immune system and help with jetlag – who knew we would miss jetlag? Next door is the treatment rooms for all the typical spa treatments like massage, acupuncture and skin glow up treatments.
Next, we headed to the basement where the real science happens. We pass the MRI room and head to the Spine and Movement Labs. First, they have us each get on an extra-large treadmill with lots of little cameras pointed at it. As I started to walk a skeleton appears on the television screen in front of me mimicking my every move. In seconds they have mapped my musculoskeletal architecture and can study my movement and balance.
Having my spine mapped
On another machine, I had a few dozen light sensors shot onto my back to map out my spine, which to my surprise the technician said was in good shape.
The gym technician showing off his muscle fibres
After that, he took us into another room filled with equipment that looked like it was shipped in from NASA. One machine had an ultrasound monitor on it and he demonstrated how they could look at our muscle fibres to see how they were developing.
Testing the boyfriends flexibility
Then my boyfriend was basically strapped into one of the machines, which could measure and help improve flexibility and range of movement.
The men's changing room
After a quick change into gym clothes in the changing room, which feature glossy white lockers and timber barrels of meticulously rolled towels, we headed to the gym floor.
The gym feels quite small, but we have to remember this is a bespoke with limited members and while we were there we only saw a couple of people in the gym – so no need to give the death stare to the guy sitting on the machine you want as he scrolls through his phone.
The gym floor
The gym equipment is Technogym and much of it features microchip technology so the machines instantly recognize the users' gym card and sets the weights up for them and adjusts them over time. This really is gym 2.0.
The boyfriend showing off on theIcaros Health
Past a studio, which offers everything from yoga and Pilates to Tai Chi and callisthenics, we entered a room with an Icaros Health. The Icaros brings together health and gaming by making you use your body to direct the action on a Virtual Reality video game. I literally had to straddle the machine and control my balance as it twists like a gyroscope beneath me.
After the VR headset went on, I was thrust into a world of picturesque green valleys in which the aim was to fly through rings in the sky. I failed miserably, whereas my boyfriend aced it – decades of yoga give you impeccable balance apparently.
Into the deep freeze
To finish our tour, we visited the Cryotherapy room. After stripping off our tops and donning fleece hats, mittens, slippers and a face mask (we didn’t know then that they would become so commonplace) we entered the chamber that was minus 110 degrees.
Extreme cold to the body has been proven to slow down the growth of inflammatory cells. After a few seconds, it wasn’t too bad though I’m from Canada where it is winter six months of the year so I may not be the best judge.
The gym floor
If you are looking for the crème de la crème of fitness experiences, and many of us need it after sitting on the sofa bingeing past RuPaul’s Drag Race seasons for months on end, then the Lanserhof will be there to give you a proper tune-up.
For more information visit lanserhof.com