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THIS ROOFTOP WELLNESS CLUB IS SYDNEY'S HEALTHIEST HANGOUT

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EMILY SMITH

FEB 6, 2020

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IMAGE VIA PARAMOUNT RECREATION CLUB

Gone are the days where it was enough for fitness studios to offer a workout and then send you on your merry way. Instead, we’re seeing a definite trend in the fitness scene towards combining lifestyle, relaxation, and recovery with a good old-fashioned sweat session.

The modern recipe for success is just that: roll up everything you need to achieve personal well-being into one experience. And none epitomise this work-play-sweat-stay ethos better than the three-storey art deco development crowned by Paramount Recreation Club.

STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM, NOW WE HERE

Paramount Recreation Club, a fitness studio and upscale wellness hangout, is perched upon Paramount House in Surry Hills — a 1940s corner warehouse previously used as the old Paramount Pictures HQ. This building is now home to an ecosystem of separately-run businesses; in addition to the rooftop rec club, that includes Golden Age Cinema, the 29-room Paramount House Hotel, and Paramount Coffee Project.

Your experience starts with The Paramount Coffee Project (unaffiliated with PRC), located in the building’s foyer. Established as a collaboration between Ping Jin Ng of Paramount House, Mark Dundon of Seven Seeds, and Russell Beard of Reuben Hills, the space presents local and international roasters in an educational (as well as delicious!) format, offering roasters the chance to cross-promote internationally and showcase the best of the best coffee. Food-wise, they focus on the unique – you’ll find Miso Ramen, Honey Roasted Pumpkin on Toast, and crumbed eggs among the options to pair your coffee with.

All this and we’ve barely stepped inside. When you’re looking for top-tier (and top-floor) fitness and wellness, you head upstairs.

HOLISTIC HEALTHY HANGOUT

Paramount Rec Club’s light-filled studio and white-tiled patio allow for a versatile set-up, where yoga blocks, rowing machines, squat racks, and bumper plates inside mingle with shaded café tables along the balcony overlooking the neighbourhood’s rooftops. Within this scene, you’ll find more than 100 small group training classes every week, each intentionally capped at nine participants.

Managing trainer James Jackson told Fitt that the concept for the space evolved from thinking about health holistically.

“It was really important to us to provide a program that considered not only the physical body but also mental and social health,” he said. “We thought a lot about the role a health club might play in our members’ lives and wanted to create a space that would allow them to not only work out but hang out too.”

Offering all types of training from boxing, yoga, and Pilates to the signature Paramount Workout, combining strength, conditioning, and functional movement into one 60-minute sweat session, the programming is as refined as the layout itself.

Not feeling the burn? No problem; instead, you can indulge in a full-body Swedish massage to relax and de-stress (yes, please), or book the Rec Club’s signature sports massage, designed to ease deep tension and promote recovery. They also have a physiotherapist on staff to address any mobility concerns.

And if you’re feeling peckish after all of this, the club’s Kiosk offers some mouth-watering, balanced, and nutritious options to refuel! With a motto of committing to “Healthy food, not health food”, the Kiosk promises not to sacrifice taste for nutrition. Using local products and healthy cooking styles, the all-day menu includes coconut and turmeric dahl, tofu burritos, tempeh bowls, and acai and protein pancakes — among many other balanced options!

Fancy some help with meal prep? The Kiosk is also home to a weekly produce market, The Locals Market, held every Saturday from 8.30am to midday! And to make life even easier, you can pre-order and pick up your chosen assortment of fresh, local veggies and fruits. (Don’t mind if we do!)

BEYOND THE GYM

Jackson believes the emphasis on offering a way of life to members has been a key to its success, thus hosting a number of “new and interesting ways” to connect outside of class. Hosting a range of events—including workshops, dance classes, markets, meditation classes, lunches, and DJ sets—there really is something for everyone! Our recent favourites? Wintertime infrared sauna sessions on their rooftop and guest aerobics workouts from RETROSWEAT.

Plus, in February 2020, PRC is launching “My Perfect Month”, a 30-day social activity challenge. Jackson again: “The aim behind the program is to help our members set up sustainable systems for the year and have fun along the way — it includes some great offsite events like our Swim Club, Run Club, rock climbing, and a beach day at Bondi!

And what’s on the (literal) horizon for this health club without borders: a sunset series. Launching at the end of February in partnership with the City of Sydney, Paramount Recreation Club will be hosting monthly gatherings — each month seeing a one-night residency from a different DJ and hospitality like natural wine and delicious, healthy snacks.

As if they hadn’t already made it abundantly clear, the Rec Club is the healthiest hangout in Sydney hands down.

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