The best CrossFit gyms in Canberra

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There are many ways available to you to get fit – join a gym, take up Pilates, go for regular runs. But CrossFit is one of the few ways that is guaranteed to challenge you and yield great results – and we’ve got plenty of great CrossFit gyms right here in Canberra.

CrossFit may sound daunting – it is characterised by high-intensity interval training, combining cardio and strength to truly push you to your limits, but all the while in a safe and professional environment. So if you’ve decided that the next step in your fitness journey is to join a CrossFit gym, it’s important that you know exactly what you’re looking for. But what, exactly, sets a great CrossFit gym apart from the rest?

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most important things you should consider when looking for a CrossFit gym, and give you an informative guide to some of Canberra’s top gyms.

What makes a great CrossFit gym?

Whether you are new to CrossFit or a seasoned veteran, it can be tricky pinpointing what exactly makes one CrossFit gym so much better than another. When searching for your new favourite gym, keep an eye out for the following traits:

  • Encouraging, experienced instructors. If you’d like to work with an instructor to improve your fitness, look for a gym that only hires experienced, encouraging trainers. Yes, they should push you to your limits and help you achieve the results you desire – but they should also respect your boundaries.
  • Welcoming, judgment-free atmosphere. If you’re a beginner, joining a CrossFit gym can be daunting. The best gyms welcome people of all ages from all walks of life at all fitness levels.
  • Good programming. As CrossFit is a very challenging kind of exercise, it’s important that trainers communicate with clients to make sure that you are being given the safest and most effective training, and not taking on too much of a challenge too early. A good CrossFit gym will program workouts in a smart way that will get you stronger and fitter without overdoing it.
  • High-quality equipment. The CrossFit gym you join should have a diverse, top-quality range of equipment that’s clean and well maintained.
  • Well priced. Some of you might want to head to the gym twice a week; others, every single day. The best gyms offer flexible, reasonable pricing options.
  • Convenient timetables. CrossFit gyms will have classes on offer guided by professional trainers, which are perfect for someone just starting out. You want to make sure your gym offers classes at times that fit in with your schedule.

The best CrossFit gyms in Canberra

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To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

CrossFit Woden

CrossFit Woden sets itself apart with its all-inclusive approach to classes and their lifetime commitment to their clients. Their team of dedicated and professional coaches will stick with you for decades, like your doctor or your dentist. At CrossFit Woden, expect to make a real connection with your coach who will see you through your fitness journey from beginning to end.

As Shebby Parisa writes in their Facebook review, “Super friendly gym, the coaches and other members make you feel welcome straight away. Very good programming also. Highly recommend!”

Crossfit Smash

CrossFit Smash is a friendly, welcoming gym with several locations across Canberra. Committed to creating a sense of community through their training sessions and classes, the enthusiastic instructors help you develop your skill and fitness – all while having an absolute blast. Whether you’re a beginner or have been training for years and years, the team at CrossFit Smash would be happy to have you.

As Paul Pembroke writes in their Facebook review, "Great gym. Best coaches. Know how to tailor a workout to your specific requirements, good focus on mobility and technique as a way of building strength. Awesome and supportive community."

CrossFit SFS

The team behind CrossFit SFS – which stands for ‘Strive for Success’ – believe that everyone is an athlete in their own right. And, by harnessing your full power through varied functional movement, everyone can reach their full fitness and strength potential. Offering a range of classes throughout the day – as well as free childminding for parents – CrossFit SFS makes it easy and convenient to dedicate time to your body, mind, and confidence.

Mathew Morris had the following to say in their Google review of their experience at CrossFit SFS, "Best community to be apart of and best gym in Canberra. SFS definitely has something for everyone to strive for."

Adapt CrossFit

For more than a decade, Adapt CrossFit has been helping people in Canberra get fitter, faster, and stronger. They provide high-intensity classes in the early morning, mid-morning, and evening, ensuring you can find a class time that works for you. Dedicated to creating a supportive environment, Adapt hosts monthly membership catch-ups to keep you motivated and on track.

As Robert Rigby writes about their experience at Adapt CrossFit in their Google review, "The team at Adapt Crossfit have the equipment, expertise, energy and enthusiasm to help you turn your life around... Great atmosphere, friendly people, I am the fittest I have ever been thanks to the crew at Adapt."

CrossFit Three Flow

With classes every day, as well as tailored individual and group training, CrossFit Three Flow caters to all fitness levels. With a specialist focus on technique, you’ll learn exactly how to move your body to boost your fitness while minimising the risk of injury. The friendly, passionate coaches are all fully qualified with years of on-the-job experience.

See what Sam Vernon wrote in their Google review of CrossFit Three Flow, "CrossFit Three Flow is legit. (...) Made to feel super welcome, easy to arrange drop in classes, great equipment and the coaching was great. Highly recommend if you are looking to try CrossFit, looking for a new gym in Canberra or in the city for a short time."

After more recommendations for places to exercise in Canberra? Check out our articles on the best gyms, the best HIIT classes, the best martial arts schools and the best Pilates studios for some helpful guides to the best places in Canberra to get you started on your fitness journey.

Your experience with CrossFit gyms in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Do you work out at a CrossFit gym? Which one? Share your experience in the comments area below, whether good or bad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I do CrossFit as a beginner?

According to its original creators, CrossFit can be scaled for all levels - so, yes, beginners can absolutely do CrossFit. However, CrossFit is fundamentally a challenging kind of workout no matter the level, so it's paramount that you consult with your gym to figure out what program will be the best for you and your needs in order to avoid injury.

What kind of exercise is CrossFit?

CrossFit is characterised as high-intensity interval training, which have you doing strength and aerobic exercises at a fast pace and a high level. You'll be lifting, squatting, sprinting, pushing and pulling weights, helping you to get fit and challenge yourself more than you would normally.

How often should I do CrossFit?

The original creators of CrossFit recommends that you exercise 3-5 times a week with 1 day off in between, but you should definitely take this at your own pace. A professional trainer at a CrossFit gym wil be able to help you build a program that challenges you without overdoing it.

Do I need to do CrossFit in a class?

Yes. CrossFit is a very intense and challenging exercise, so it's in your best interest to be in the care of a professional trainer who can provide you with a safe environment to work out in. Furthermore, many of the exercises will have you using one machine for a long time, and sprinting across the gym, so it's widely accepted as poor gym etiquette to practice CrossFit in a public gym outside of a class.

How is CrossFit beneficial?

If you take up CrossFit, expect to see a very general improvement in your fitness and strength. It can improve your physical strength, burn fat, improve agility and balance, and your stamina. CrossFit doesn't target a specific area of the body or fitness, and results will vary from person to person.

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I would say follow joseph rakich on youtube. I have been following his programs and schedule and you would save up on the trainer .

I’m a fan of anytime fitness from the point of view that you can have access to any anytime fitness gym worldwide. From memory there is a waiting period of 3 months to access this, but if a gym is closer to your work and find the occasional lunchtime workout useful, but on weekends the one near home better you have that benefit. Plus I tend to do a sunday arvo/evening workout when its dead quiet at the gym. Many gyms close at that time.

Otherwise look for the bootcamp/PT sessions run by PT’s around the lake or in various parks. They are cheaper than crossfit and arguably provide a better service. Then extra exercise you do can be walking/body weight stuff.

The gym at ANU is great, cheap (only $16 a fortnight) they have a heavy weights room as well as all the normal gym gear. They have personal trainers, and they also run classes called tactical fitness which are fantastic crossfit style workouts.

batmantrilogy6:21 pm 04 Nov 15

+1 for Anytime Fitness Gungahlin.

initially even i started with cross fit but later realized that strength training and power lifting is more necessary we cannot add up more weight than our body weight in cross fit.

#hitthegym #beastmode #gains :p

Greyhaired 30yo4:43 pm 04 Nov 15

I’ve been attending Gold’s at Gungahlin since February this year and love it. I’m probably going to sound like a salesperson, but here goes.

Having been extremely nervous as I’d never set foot in a gym in my life, I was made to feel welcomed by all the staff including the owners – who introduced themselves as I was training – reception and managers. I feel a sense of community there which I didn’t expect from a gym, let alone that one as I had heard it was a huge meathead/heavy lifters gym (I don’t fit that category). There are every stereotype of gym goers there but it depends on what time of day you go as to what you come across.

There’s (free) classes on at 6am so the carpark looks full but there’s no one on the machines/weights etc. It’s pretty much empty until 9am when the parents come in (classes then too). There have been some mornings I’m the only person in the place bar the receptionist. I haven’t been there between the hours of about 10am and 5pm, so can’t say what goes on then. From 5pm you usually get the lifters (I like to call them the big boys) and it can get a bit crowded. There are also classes on at night which are really popular. There are also quite a few girls who attend at varying times who enter figure competitions and others who train seriously who are happy to give friendly and helpful advice if you ask for it.
There are several different trainers with different ‘styles’, and different specialities so that was great for me – I wanted strength and technique coaching, I’d already lost the weight I wanted to. The trainers are all great and would be able to write a program for you to follow by yourself and happy to catch up whenever you are.

There are new treadmills, new stairclimber thingys and I think the machines are great. I’ve heard from the more serious lifters that the lifting platforms are great, although everyone says it would be good to have another set of dumbells for the busier times. All classes are free with your membership and they have yoga too.

Your Gungahlin membership also gives you access to Fyshwick and soon to be opened Tuggeranong, all of which are open 24 hours. Also Westside which I believe is open during the summer.

There is also a creche at Gungahlin which is really popular.

The are downsides just like any other gym. People don’t re-rack their weights. I know this happens everywhere, but being a smaller gym (especially the second level) this can pose serious trip hazards and also potential injuries if the person unloading isn’t strong enough/warmed up. I don’t believe the receptionists should have to run around cleaning up after people, and believe that it should be strongly encouraged and people reminded by management/receptionists that it is the individuals responsibility to do it. I’ve spoken to members of other gyms where they are quite strict on it.
Another downside is the parking. I’m not sure what the builder was thinking but 10 car parks is not enough – there is heaps of overflow on the dirt behind though.
The only other downside is the building itself is a little small and the second level (there are 3) especially feels squishy, but they are constantly refining the layout which I appreciate is a work in progress.

The other things I love are what I call the ‘extras’. There’s free fruit on Fridays, they have an industrial coffee machine that produces great coffee, there are protein bars etc in case you need a snack and plenty of merchandise which can be snavelled up cheaply if you wait for a special. They have also recently teamed up with a local business to supply pre-made Balance Meals which can be bought individually or ordered in bulk. There are also regular seminars run by a life coach and have also just launched a great 6 week challenge. If you are interested in supplements you can get 15% off at Aussie Supps stores as well, I know the manager at the Gungahlin store is particularly knowledgeable. The other thing I give extra points for is community involvement – they sponsor some more serious sporting teams in the ACT along with a few social ones and also enter teams in fundraising walks/runs and all sorts of muddy obstacle course events throughout the year.

Hope that helps.

Anytime Fitness Gungahlin.

You can pay for your gym entry, and then pay extra for PT sessions. I was doing fortnightly sessions and had a program in between.

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