The pair announced plans last year to disrupt our approach to health and fitness with the capital’s first “medical gym“ in the former Dover Street Market building directly opposite the members’ club.
The rich and famous typically head to Lanserhof’s exclusive retreats in Germany and Austria – the flagship of which is the Austrian Alps-based Lanserhof Lans – for between two and three weeks. Lanserhof at The Arts Club will provide Londoners treatments inspired by Austrian doctor FX Mayr’s fasting and detox concept a little closer to home.
An army of onsite medical experts, nutritionists and therapists use pioneering analytics and equipment to create bespoke health and wellbeing plans for members. There’s a strong emphasis on sports science, too. An induction package, for example, includes an MRI body composition analysis, spine and movement analysis and cardiovascular screening.
This is designed to be complemented with holistic therapies, like nutrition plans, acupuncture and deep tissue massage, and rehab treatments like cryotherapy and vitamin infusions, topped off with some seriously high-end pampering, all of which is charged on top of membership.
It’s prehab delivered with “medical precision“, they say.
I begin my tour of the club in the members’ lounge which is decked out with the signature Lanserhof brass panelling, plush velvet sofas and fancy light installations. Guests can order healthy snacks and drinks from a menu which provides a helpful reminder of core Mayr principles like “every bite should be chewed at least 30 times“, “leave four to five hours between meals“ and “drink a large glass of water 15-30 minutes before each meal but avoid drinking during“.
Tea is a big part of Lanserhof culture, you won’t find any coffee knocking around here. There are 10 signature blends and rehydration stations on each floor of the club. The “active“ tea is a blend of green tea, lemon verbena, lemongrass and apple slices, while the “detox“ tea contains birch, pansy and melissa leaves with dandelion root – both are delicious.
We head down to the spine lab on the lower ground floor, which feels a bit like a NASA testing room, with various space age looking kit. The Centaur (below) tests for muscle imbalances in the spine and back, using this information personal trainers can deliver highly tailored exercise programmes.
Next door is the Styku 3D body scanning device which uses circumferences to predict your percentage of visceral body fat (the fat around your organs), calculate your basic metabolic rate and assess your risk of certain health conditions in just 35 seconds.
A cryotherapy chamber also sits on this floor where members can go and freeze it out for up to three and a half minutes for recovery in between training, while others use it to treat chronic pain or sleep deprivation.
We take the lift up to the gym, a bright space kitted out with Technogym equipment complete with micro-chip technology that remembers everything about your workout, from the height of your seat to the weights you lift, ensuring the utmost efficiency when it comes to exercising. Programmes and tests will be routinely revisited every few months to assess progress, I’m told.
“Our members are very busy people,“ they explain. To take the hassle out of carrying kit, members can also opt in for a butler service, for another additional cost, where their sportswear is laundered after use and delivered fresh for the next visit.
Up another floor there’s a studio where unlimited yoga, HIIT and reformer Pilates classes are held for intimate groups of eight or 10. In a room off the studio sits the Icaros, a gaming workout which combines virtual reality and fitness. The game involves wearing a headset flying through virtual woods and attempting to jump through hoops to score points while on the machine in the plank position, it’s a two-minute ab workout designed to fire up your core.
“When we’re under the influence of virtual reality, when we’re not used to our surroundings, the way our muscles react is increased tenfold,“ says personal trainer Tim Harris. “It’s a new way of training.“
Adjacent to the studio are plush dressing rooms with LANS Derma in-house products and EVO shampoo. Detoxing and revitalising beauty treatments are on offer using only the finest German skincare brands: Royal Fern, Augustinus Bader, and MBR Medical Beauty Research.
On the sixth floor lies the infusions suite where guests can have blood tests to find out what they’re deficient in and then receive bespoke vitamin and mineral infusions. Another gadget can apparently deliver the purest form of oxygen into your bloodstream to detox and boost cell regeneration.
Is this the gym of the future?
Rosie Fitzmaurice was a guest of Lanserhof at The Arts Club where annual membership is £6,500, plus an initial joining fee of £1,500 if you’re not an existing member of The Arts Club. Butler service is an additional £1,000 per year.