Gem of a gym for healthy & wealthy

2013-09-01 14:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Virgin Active’s new club takes fitness exclusivity to a new level

Skype while you run, Facebook while you cycle and take both feet off the ground for a spot of antigravity yoga.

Welcome to Virgin Active’s Alice Lane Health Club, a gym the company’s global boss Sir Richard Branson dubbed “the world’s leading health club”.

Virgin Active’s 108th South African gym cost the company R150 million to build. The 3 600m2 Sandton setup comes complete with a rooftop training facility kitted out with Astroturf and offering a panoramic view of Joburg’s corporate heart.

It has an almost sci-fi feel in places: On the rooftop, the treadmills and other equipment are powered by users – climb on, start peddling or jogging, and the machine comes to life.

The club’s second floor houses some of Alice Lane’s most exclusive equipment. Dirk Blitz, Virgin Active’s equipment manager, took City Press on a guided tour of the machines that will keep Sandton’s posh gym bunnies sweating.

Some machines, he explained, stored members’ profiles using a cloud system and automatically updated information with each workout – so every time you use one of these, your most recent fitness information is displayed.

If you’re a multitasker, these machines are for you. They’re internet enabled, giving you the chance to watch YouTube, tweet, chat to friends on Facebook or even show people your sweaty face on Skype.

Some of the bikes even come complete with a virtual instructor to keep you on your toes – or pedals.

There are chill areas, a health snack bar and in-house dietician’s consulting rooms.

Les Aupiais, Virgin Active’s head of strategic communication, said the club was the first of its kind in South Africa.

An average monthly membership fee is R1 600, which also gives members access to Virgin’s other classic collection clubs in London, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, Sydney and Singapore.

Even seasoned instructors are blown away: Tshepo Modipane, who has been a Virgin Active trainer for five years, said the equipment was “out of this world”.

Modipane, who works at Virgin’s Greenstone branch, had popped in to visit the new club.

Aupiais said membership at Alice Lane would be capped at 4 000 to ensure exclusivity.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.