If you’re looking to improve your physical and mental health you might want to join a reliable, well-equipped gym that suits your personality and needs. Heading to the gym regularly can increase your energy levels, help you sleep better, enhance your general strength, relieve stress, and make you feel better all round. Gyms can also be great places to meet new friends.
In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a gym, and share where to find the best in Canberra.
What makes a great gym?
With so many types of gyms on the market, it can be overwhelming to decide which is right for you, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned gym junkie. What’s important is to select a gym with the right atmosphere and equipment, as well as one that is safe and positive for everyone.
Here are a few key factors you should consider when choosing a gym:
- Membership value. The fitness industry and gym landscape are evolving with members wanting more value. You’ll want to assess several factors when choosing a gym, beyond price. Does the gym have a sense of community? What services does it provide? Does it offer enhanced training experiences, say with coaching and new technology?
- Screening. No matter what gym or training experience you have, all gyms should demonstrate due diligence to new members. You’ll need to fill in certain forms and will want a gym that will provide guidance on technique and feedback for your personal progression.
- Equipment. The equipment in a gym can make or break your exercise routine. The best gyms in Canberra are stocked with a wide variety of top-quality and well-maintained equipment. The question is whether the equipment is the right kind for you.
- Staff knowledge. Staff should be properly trained and qualified to perform the duties they’re performing. Check the gym’s website for staff credentials so you’re confident you can ask questions about using all equipment and exercising in a safe way.
- Affordable and flexible. Many types and levels of gym memberships are available, depending on factors like the number of times you’ll head in for a fitness workout, whether you want classes, what hours you want to train, and length of membership. Prices vary and take into account the hours a gym is open for training.
- Community. Gyms with a great sense of community will inspire you. Staff should be motivating and encouraging. They should make you feel welcome and comfortable.
The best gyms in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
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.
Stockade Training Centre in Fyshwick is a state-of-the-art martial arts and boxing fitness centre catering to all levels from absolute beginners to elite athletes. It is a premier combat sports gym, with more than 1,000m2 of training equipment and mat space, a boxing ring, plenty of boxing bags and a dedicated wresting, grappling and BJJ training area.
Many Olmypic, Commonwealth and world-class athletes have trained and coached at Stockade. Most coaches have competed and place at international and national levels and they’re serious about helping members improve their fitness levels and even prepare for competitions.
Stockade Training Centre offers classes for amateur sparring, boxing, cross training, Mixed Martial Arts sparring, Muay Thai, wrestling and more. The gym is a safe and fun environment that is ‘ego’ free and family friendly. Even kids boxing is available for children aged eight and over, a great way to introduce younger enthusiasts to the principles of boxing.
Flexible membership options are available.
As satisfied member Bronwyn Sainsbury said on Google, “The only place in Canberra to train, they have an amazing staffing team and are always kind and friendly …”
The Den Canberra caters to all fitness levels and abilities and makes everyone comfortable regardless of their fitness level. Whether a professional athlete or a beginner, The Den Canberra offers something for all levels of intensity, focusing on stability, mobility and conditioning.
The gym’s ethos revolves around teamwork – ‘We all train better when training together.’
Many classes are available, including strength and conditioning, metabolic conditioning, aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, strength sessions and adrenaline-boosting workouts. The flagship session at The Den is the 20/10 interval session, based on Tabata principals and designed for people just starting to improve their overall fitness, health and wellbeing, all the way up to professional athletes motivated to continually improve.
At The Den, members are treated equally, not by their fitness level. Motivating, supporting and encouraging one another is a priority. Experienced coaches are part of the team.
Opening hours and class timetables are flexible. Memberships are too, starting with casual visits, and including 10-session passes and unlimited session memberships. Gym only memberships are also available.
Steph Selmes wrote on Google, “Been going to the den for nearly 18 months seriously the best training facility in Australia! They are highly knowledgeable and experienced coaches.”
With 30 locations across Canberra and others planned to open soon, Club Lime is the ACT’s answer to all things health and fitness. Club Lime has a wide range of market-leading strength and cardio equipment, group exercise classes and small group or personal training options to choose from.
Their great family of professional personal trainers all have in-depth fitness knowledge and expertise and are on hand to help members achieve their goals.
Club Lime offers a motivating and non-intimidating environment and a wide variety of equipment, classes and other activities, so there’s heaps of choice. Most locations are open 24/7 so members can train how they want and when they want. With Club Lime there are no lock-in contracts, just a 30-day, no-sweat, money-back guarantee.
Alan Anthony wrote on Google about Club Lime Belconnen, “Got all the good weight training equipment and also has a massive studio where u get free classes once you’re a member. Totally worth it!”
Elements4Life, affectionately known as E4L, is a market leader in delivering functional training programs in Canberra. E4L specialises in High-intensity interval training (HIIT), High-volume interval training (HVIT), Variable-intensity interval training (VIIT), strength cycles, personal training and semi-private training, always focusing on personal growth and movement quality.
E4L is about experience, teamwork and community vibe, as well as driving better results using science backed programming and well-structured workouts.
The E4L team believes training and health is a lifestyle choice and they’re passionate about working with like-minded members who live by the same values.
In Canberra, E4L leads the way in trademarked modular functional training systems and multi-experience services – Smart™ Experiences and Elements4Life for Harrison gym members and (soon) multiple Smart™ training experiences for Belconnen members.
Each unique E4L Smart™ training experience is built on scientific principles catering for multiple training styles, personal space compliancy and personal preferences. Multiple training experiences are offered. All Smart™ experiences have a cap on space so everyone has room to move when training.
E4L’s coaches are highly trained and experienced, each with a Certificate IV in Fitness, at a minimum, and a Master Functional Trainer certification.
The motivating and enthusiastic E4L team are market leaders in fitness experiences, compliancy, hygiene, innovation and facilitation. Their approach that’s smarter by definition and better in execution.
As satisfied member Christopher Van-bael wrote on Google “Great gym and awesome trainers. The gym has all the equipment needed and the group sessions are great for building strength and fitness. Highly recommended this gym.”
Fitness First is a popular, well-equipped national gym chain with fitness centres in Civic and Deakin. It’s great gym option for those keen on supplementing individual weight or cardio training with group exercise classes. Choose from Bodyattack, High-intensity interval training (HIIT), Bodypump, Shockwave, yoga and more. Free guest passes and flexible membership options available.
As Jonathon Balzanelli wrote about Fitness First Deakin on Google, “This gym is a fantastic and welcoming environment that has all the facilities … I rate this highly and it’s also very very clean!”
If you’re looking for more information on gyms and other ways to get in shape, check out our articles on The Best High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Classes in Canberra and The Best Martial Arts Schools in Canberra.
Your experience with gyms in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the gyms listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.