Club: THIRTY NINE MONTE CARLO
Trainers: 5 personal trainers, 3 Pilates, 1 yoga
Type of workout: 50 classes a week, including Signature Group Cycle 2500m, from intense cardio to yoga
Who’s the workout for: Something for everyone
Equipment: TechnoGym Watch & mywellness account
Clients: Bunch of impressive names that cannot be disclosed.
Hardcore level: (0-10): Whatever you want it to be
Open: Every day, 7 am-10 pm non-stop
I’m an outdoor exercise kinda gal, which translates into doing physical activity solo and not worrying about my perspiration levels, which, truth be told, is only appreciated by my dog.
Consequently, walking up to reception at THIRTY NINE, Ross Beattie’s members-only sports club that opened last October, my first thought was sweating in such a swanky place.
Spread over three floors on avenue Princess Grace, the exquisitely designed THIRTY NINE offers more than a sports club but a chance to “discover a lifestyle”, from the Italian restaurant to the hair salon to the members’ lounge. It is, as Ross Beattie describes, “an extension of your home”.
With a few added luxuries, like chemical-free ionic water – anti-oxidant, anti-aging and metabolism boosting – with a pH of 5.5, 8.5 or 9.8, depending which room you are in, an award-winning hairstylist, a board room and cigar terrace. There’s also arts and crafts for kids on Sundays.
Lucy Earlam, Head of Membership, meets me on the 800 sqm multizone sports floor, one level below the main floor, where 50 classes are held a week. She has recommended I try THIRTY NINE’s signature class – Group Cycle Altitude 2500m – followed by an hour of personalised training with Romain Quesada, one of the club’s five PTs, who all speak English. I’m grateful she didn’t suggest suspension yoga, in one of the four cocoons they have. I’m not ready yet for that kind of transformation.
But before the club puts me to the test, I have an assessment with Romain that includes an InBody Test, which scarily tells me everything going on with my insides, including weight and BMI but also Body Fat Mass and Segmental Lean Analysis.
Straight away, I understand through Romain’s evaluation process that THIRTY NINE’s philosophy is not about your ideal weight, but finding a tailored lifestyle-exercise-nutrition ratio. I nervously wipe the corners of my mouth, fearing traces of croissant give me away.
I head over to the Altitude room, where ten other cycling enthusiasts are warming up and wired into TechnoGym on the big screen, flashing members’ user names and eventually their RPM levels. This can be intimidating if you’re hoping to fake your way through a workout, albeit motivating to see how far you can push yourself.
A vibrant Meg led our class with a contagiously upbeat selection of music, and a technique leaning more toward a Les Mill RPM program, which I prefer, than spinning. The class was reasonably tough and good cardio, but the jury’s out on the altitude chamber component.
What I did appreciate greatly is the intimacy of the group. THIRTY-NINE limits class workouts – which, along with access to an abundance of social events, are included with membership – to 10, providing one-on-one attention that goes missing in factory gyms, particularly for Body Pump and Body Combat classes, Vinyasa yoga and Ballet Barre, and Suspension Training and Boxing Bootcamp.
Post-pedalling, Romain is waiting for me, iPad program in hand. I figured he was going to make me do a few sit-ups, plank a little and toss in few tricep dips. After an hour of circuit training on mystery machines, I understand why celebrities have rock-hard bodies.
I love endurance sports but my core is my weakness. Forget a six-pack, I have a one-pack – it’s called my stomach. And although I cleverly try to prolong the break between circuits by asking hard-hitting questions, Romain is on to me. Back to leg presses and climbing. I’ll say one thing, next time my car runs out of gas, I’m good to push.
Behind me, another PT is putting a female member through a rigid kick-boxing session and elsewhere a guy is training on his own with free weights. I admit, I was expecting to be the only person who had upper body parts that still naturally jiggle –my fellow female gymgoers know what I’m taking about – but to my surprise, members come in various shapes and sizes. There are plastic people, but they tend to congregate at the members-only restaurant, where they can be better seen.
During my morning at THIRTY NINE, I catch glimpses of three tours of potential club members, oohing and ahhing over the luxurious but familiar interiors (the club was designed 12 times before settling the final decor) and the impressive scope of high performance fitness tools and services available. You could see in their eyes, they wanted to belong.
I have to admit, I felt the same, sweat and all.
Annual memberships cost €4,900 – or €5,400 if you opt to pay €450 monthly – and €7,900 per couple. A 30-day membership, which can be used for any 30 individual days across the year, is available for €2,500. For more on membership benefits, see 39montecarlo.com.
Article first published April 22, 2017.