Becoming the Modern Gentleman at The W London

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Here’s a quick question; what can you do in one hour? An hour before work, an hour during lunch or perhaps an hour once you’ve clocked off for the day; those sixty minutes are actually highly valuable and, when used to maximum effect, you can get a lot done. When I’m working out, be it on my own or with a friend, I will always try to get my session done within an hour. As well as the scientific evidence for that increased intensity, you are more likely to keep up the hard work if it takes up less of your day. The AWAY Spa space at W London is designed to help you do just that, and you can even squeeze in a quick mini spa treatment if you really work hard enough. With a sauna, steam room, and the newly launched The Modern Gentleman package, there are plenty of reasons to work hard and play harder in this very convenient space. Part of a range of bespoke AWAY packages for the W guest, The Modern Gentleman blends the best treatments for men with some key additions for that post-workout recovery.

Let’s start by forgetting all of the fads, bells and whistles that gyms will often throw at you to sign up and “get fit”. If a gym is accessible, quiet and well-stocked with equipment then there are no excuses not to hit 100%. The W London gym is tucked up on one of the top floors of the synonymous Leicester Square hotel, away from the hustle and bustle of London life below. The floor space may not be huge, but if you are creating circuits or working alternate muscle groups, you need different equipment to be within arms reach. Workouts can be completed quickly, without the distractions or congestion that you find in larger gyms. The state-of-the-art Technogym equipment does help too, of course.

My tips for maximising that workout? Incorporate supersets where you can; alternating between push and pull exercises with no rest in between the exercises. Keep rest periods to a minimum and that repetition count high; intensity is the key. Where you can, aim to use free weights rather than cables as this will help you to work on those stabiliser muscles which will create a more natural and balanced body. Above all though, plan and focus. The gym at W London has all of the equipment you need in a very central location, but you still need to be prepared to use it. Plan, and then execute, your workout down to every detail. Start with those basics, and a decent gym, and you’re on the right track to keeping yourself fit and healthy.

Post-gym, and time-permitting, there are a number of ways you can properly refresh and aid recovery. If you’re nailing that workout routine in record time, why not use those extra fifteen or twenty minutes to relax and keep the muscles warm in a sauna or spa? As with a traditional muscle cool down, warming the body keeps the blood and, most importantly, that lactic acid flowing, and is a great way to clear the body and mind post-workout. Of course, should you complete that workout in record time, or have another hour free, there are even more ways to reward yourself in the AWAY Spa at W London. The Modern Gentleman package is a great option if a spa day looks more like an hour in your diary, with three specific treatments all designed to emphasise those well-earned gains.

The “Man Up” skin treatment will leave you glowing on the outside, while the “Feel the Pressure” acupressure massage is a great way to relax and keep that lactic acid moving through the body. A final touch, and something that was incredibly new to me up until my visit to the AWAY Spa is the bespoke spray tan from in-house guru James Harknett. Rightly recognised as the “Tom Ford of Tanning”, James really knows his stuff and through a thorough consultation and his seemingly infinite knowledge of summer shading, you feel right at ease as he gets to work emphasising specific body parts and creating an all-over tropical tan. Despite my flashbacks to potentially looking like Ross from Friends in that episode, any colouring was expertly applied and I naturally turned slightly darker in the day or two after the treatment. Taking out the harmful element of UV and replacing it with a relaxing experience within the sanctuary of the AWAY Spa is almost a no-brainer for me, and I cannot recommend a trip to James enough. It’s certainly cheaper that actually flying to the Mediterranean and his impressive list of clientele speaks volumes about his work.

The Modern Gentleman package is available for £215 and this gets you the above three treatments (totalling 2.5 hours) along with access to the steam and sauna in the AWAY Spa. I’m already thinking of booking myself in for round two… after a few more high intensity workouts, of course.

This post was written in collaboration with W London. All blood, sweat and tears were my own.