Michelin-Starred Chefs, Spectacular Design, Valet Parking—These Are Gyms You’ll Actually Want to Go To
Social clubs centered on fitness are combining coworking, cutting-edge health science, and high design.
In an era when nearly everyone is a fitness influencer, it’s become increasingly difficult to find a gym that isn’t completely overwhelmed by tripods and content creators. Thankfully, a new form of wellness-focused social club is taking hold in Los Angeles. These bespoke, design-centric clubs go far beyond the traditional definition of a gym.
The onslaught of fitness social clubs couldn’t come at a more appropriate time, when sober-curiosity and an obsession with bleeding-edge wellness dominate the zeitgeist. And of course it’s all happening in L.A., the nexus of trend-setting when it comes to training.
While the ancient Greeks were the first to perfect their physiques in gymnasiums, it was here in Los Angeles that Joe Gold opened Gold’s Gym Venice in 1965. Known as the Mecca of Bodybuilding, Gold’s transformed a relatively niche subset of health nuts into a massive global fitness movement that franchised gyms and inspired cult Hollywood films like Pumping Iron, the first movie to star then-bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger.
It’s fitting, then, that the owners of Gold’s Gym, RSG Group, are continuing to push the fitness world forward with an innovative social wellness club concept in Hollywood called Heimat, whose design reads as more of a luxury hotel than a gym. There are 75,000 square feet of fitness facilities that include a cozy living room lobby with a fireplace, a rooftop pool, locker rooms outfitted with pink Himalayan sea salt saunas, a full-service spa, a smartly designed coworking space, and Mother Tongue, a restaurant by celebrity chef Michael Mina. Potted plants and live greenery add pops of life throughout, with the cardio area having its own live cactus garden and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Translated from German as “the feeling of home,” Heimat is not only a great way to connect with LA’s fitness community. Travelers, too, can opt to pay for a day pass to experience their regular live music performances and facilities, while the public can dine at Mina’s Mother Tongue, where you’ll find dishes that are a far cry from your typical gym rat’s smoothie bar. Think duck confit bone broth with carrot and ginger or corn orzo with lion’s mane, the trending adaptogenic mushroom. There’s also a stunning rooftop bar that boasts plenty of zero-proof options to sip while watching the sunset or the sweeping views of the Hollywood Hills.
The vibe is similarly immaculate at Remedy Place on Sunset Boulevard, where the hub of socializing is the sleek, modern nonalcoholic bar, where members can gather over tinctures and tonics after sound baths and treatments. While members do get a discount on remedies, the social club is open to guests, so long as they book a treatment. On a recent visit, a group of visitors from London were gathering for a pre-Burning Man detox, juicing themselves up with IV drips, customized acupuncture treatments, and cold plunges to prepare themselves for a week out on the Playa.
At another design-focused space in Los Angeles, Artha, rubber floors and harsh fluorescent lighting have been replaced with float tanks, cryo rooms, and nano-studios that are specifically designed to accommodate small classes and elicit an instant moment of Zen. In addition to offering de rigueur yoga and meditation classes, Artha has body-sculpting devices like contour light and T-Shock therapy. There’s nary a sign of a big-box gym in sight. And we are here for it.