The best gyms in Canberra

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Exercise with a view at Stellar Women’s Gym in Phillip. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

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.

Stellar Women's Gym

Stellar Women's Gym

The Women’s Gym at Stellar offers state-of-the-art facilities, qualified staff and a friendly atmosphere. Open 24-7, and located on the top floor of Woden’s Stellar Building, this all-female facility is about living a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Over 400 square metres, is a wide range of new equipment and functional fitness space. Equipment includes free weights and pin-loaded equipment. Traditional cardio equipment is in the gym and so is a range of HIIT cardio equipment. Kettlebells, medicine balls, core bags, suspension trainers and other equipment are all available.

Stellar has a beauty bar and a relaxing green room—a calm social space to have a cuppa, catch up with friends and freshen up after working out.

Women’s Gym members have access to more than 100 group fitness classes. They also have members’ access to the Stellar pool, with graded depths, warm water and the latest filtration systems. The pool is 17 metres long by 8 metres wide.

Qualified and experienced female trainers at the Women’s Gym help members achieve their health and fitness goals, including through personalised work out plans. They can assist with weight loss, setting up gym programs, injury rehabilitation, sports specific training and advanced training techniques.

Opal Club and Diamond Club memberships are available with no joining fees or lock-in contracts. The Women’s Gym is open 365 day a year. Staff are on site from Monday to Thursday, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, and Sunday from 10am to 2pm.

On Google, Ste F wrote, “I really enjoy working out in the Women’s Gym. Lovely atmosphere, great, easy-to-use equipment and lots of space to work out.”

50 Launceston Street
Phillip ACT 2606
F45 Erindale

F45 Erindale

What is F45 training? The ‘F’ stands for functional training, a mix of circuit and HIIT style workouts, geared to every day movement. It all happens in 45 minutes of sweat-dripping, heart-pumping fun in a team training environment. F45 Erindale is motivating and life changing.

Classes at the F45 Erindale studio are designed to unify the body’s muscle groups and make members feel and perform better in all aspects of their lives. Cardio, Resistance and Hybrid classes are on offer, as well as Recovery Sessions.

Cardio classes use different energy systems for a maximum burn. Resistance training, which applies functional movement patterns, is essential for muscle mass and bone density. Hybrid classes give members the best of both worlds, combining cardio, resistance, agility and core movement. They increase endurance, fire up metabolism and improve strength. Recovery sessions complement F45 Erindale’s training sessions, combining passive and active exercises and stretching techniques.

Born in Australia, F45’s variation keeps members challenged and eager to grow.

Karen Porter wrote on Google, “This gym is the best. It is group training and I love it because it is daily training at the same time with the same people and it is guided so no thought is needed. I have gained muscle, lost fat and made new friends. Winning!”

9C/20 Gartside Street
Erindale ACT 2903
Stockade Training Centre

Stockade Training Centre

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 …”

7 Kembla Street
Fyshwick ACT 2609
Elements4Life

Elements4Life

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.

Gym floor at Elements4Life

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 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 Jacqui Carswell wrote on RiotACT “E4L is definitely the best gym in Canberra. I have been a member since we came out of the COVID lockdown and Joe, Erin and Sab have supported me to work hard and feel great.”

Units 79-81/170 Flemington Road, Harrison
2 Ibbott Ln, Belconnen

The Den Canberra

The Den Canberra caters to all fitness levels and abilities and makes everyone comfortable regardless of their fitness level. 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.

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.”

Club Lime

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.

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!"

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, the best martial arts schools, best CrossFit gyms, best yoga studios, best Pilates studios and best boxing schools our city has to offer.

For advice on improving what and how you eat, check out our article on the best dietitians in the Canberra region.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I expect from a good gym?

A good gym should be well-equipped, hygienic, staffed with professional and friendly trainers, and offer a wide range of classes, including for those who prefer guided exercise to independent work outs. When shopping around for a new gym, do some trials to get a feel for the place. Take note of some of these qualifiers, and look out for the most important one - how comfortable you feel in the gym!

I'm a beginner. Can I still join a gym?

Absolutely. A good gym caters to all levels of fitness and experience, especially to those who don't have a lot of experience working out in gyms. A good place to start would be to take a few classes your gym offers, or consider hiring a personal trainer to guide your fitness journey, gain great results and keep you safe from injury.

Are gyms worth the membership price?

This depends on what kind of membership you're looking for. Gym memberships are priced on how many facilities you have access to. Lower-tiered memberships can, for example, give you access to the basics and all the classes on offer, while higher-tiered memberships might give you access to things like steam rooms, pools, discounts on items for sale, and maybe some deals on personal trainers. Think about what you're trying to get out of going to the gym and if any of these services will help you. Then decide which gym is best for your needs.

How often should I go to the gym?

Going to the gym more often is going to show you faster results, but you need to be careful not to risk injury by overdoing it. Depending on your fitness level you could go a couple of times or perhaps even 3 to 4 times a week. There is no hard and fast rule and frequency depends on your goals, fitness levels and how much time you have to commit!

What should I do at the gym?

When first starting at a gym, the array of equipment and number of classes can feel a bit overwhelming. Talk to staff and ask for recommendations based on your fitness goals. Even ask for a quick tutorial on how to use any equipment you're unsure about. You can also try out different classes. Pretty soon you'll have a pretty good grasp on what works best for you.

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jacqui carswell9:16 am 04 Mar 21

#E4L is definitely the best gym in Canberra. I have been a member since we came out of the COVID lockdown and Joe, Erin and Sab have supported me to work hard and feel great. The team will not only help you get physically strong but when you add the community of members, this is the best decision I have made to ensure I stay mentally strong.

I can not recommend Elements4life enough. I’ve been a member of the gym for 6 years and it has become my second home. The community is amazing, supportive and a just great group of people who train hard but also have a lot of fun. The coaches are very supportive and have helped me drop over 60kgs down from over 160. I’ve always felt welcome, accepted, part of a team from day one and encourage those of you thinking of joining to do so. The SmartTeam sessions are interactive, varied and provide a challenge every session. I’ve never committed to anything this long in my life and E4L has helped me realise my passion for fitness and am so happy that I walked through the doors 6 years ago. Thanks to Sab, Erin and Joe for creating an amazing space that is so special to me. I’m so grateful for everything that they have helped me achieve. I now have the confidence and ability to get out there and do things which I don’t know that I would’ve had the courage to do so without the support of E4L.

Sebastian Jago1:21 pm 27 May 20

One thing I do know is Erin, Joe and myself love coaching and love what we do here at Elements4Life. Our E4L community has really grown and we can proudly call everyone our mates and they inspire us everyday. It is humbling being in a role such as this where fitness, training in a team (or on your own too) and working for better is so important to so many people. It can however be taken for granted, especially when it is taken away from you. Recent events have highlighted this fact and I think everyone who trains on a regular basis can agree how important your coach, your training mates and your regular programming truly is. We are so grateful to be able to do all of this again (once this world event subsides) and can’t wait to see everyone back at Elements4Life doing what they love. Bring on the reopening I say and let us gym junkies back into the game. It’s time. Feel free to reach out to us too if you want to see what we are about.

Definitely golds gym, no other… child care facilities, smoothies, supps, training and posing rooms, cardio strength the whole lot. great staff and it is a great environment! HANDS DOWN GOLDS GYM, I train there each day and couldn’t be happier

I’ll put my two cents worth in. I’ve been at Club Lime since Gold’s Gym collapsed a year ago. I’ve found it really good. Several gyms around Canberra including the mother of all gyms – the incredible CISAC in Belco (“The bull pen”) which has three floors of equipment plus an Olympic sized pool *and* a branch of Elite Supplements. It reminds me of the sadly departed State Sports Centre in Melbourne which was privatised then closed down by Jeff Kennett’s government in 1993.

What you want from a gym is up to you. But once you settle in and gain more knowledge you can eventually write your own programs and exercise alone, or else pay extra and be coached by a PT. Writing your own program comes with time. As you get engrossed in the BB culture you discover more and more exercises. You put some in, you take some out. You might stop doing the cable shrug for traps and do the muscle up instead. You might stop doing the dumbbell pullover and do it with the hammer curl bar instead. The sky’s the limit.

Gym training and fitness work is never dull or boring, it has saved a lot of lives as many men who suffer depression have taken up the weights which has warded off the black dog and prevented self harm.

Take it from me, a 40 year gym veteran.

batmantrilogy11:43 pm 28 Oct 15

+1 for Elite Physique and AIS

why not try cross fit.
just saw famous you tube hit video of bar brothers and i have gone mad watching them.
gym junkies cannot do what they can . crazy

Anyone who has a problem with so called ‘posers’ is just jealous. I mean, do you even know them personally?

Amen to CrossFit!
It’s the sprot of Fitness!
Its something you can do anywhere with minimal equipment – commercial gym, home or outside or get right into it with a good set up.
It does have a HUGE focus on safe and propper form (as everything should but unfortunately neglected far too often!) But in saying that there are countless workouts you can do with pure body weight and basic movements to get great results it’s all about the variety, intensity and functional movemetns!

Certainly no posers… egos left at the door!

Hot chicks… if getting heathly and fit is your goal… who cares!

Cheap as chips if done at home/outside minimul equip or with classes and instruction can get a little more pricey but you get what you pay for really.
CrossFit Base runs from the Southside.

3, 2, 1…go!

Why call it Club Slime if you like it?

Die Lefty Scum9:46 am 11 Jun 09

Thanks for your input RAers. I’m sure that you’ve all been dying to know which gym I ended up joining, so I’ll end the suspense: I joined Club Slime in Tuggers for about $650. The equipment and space is very impressive. I avoid peak hours so I can’t comment on the busier times but during th day its blissfully free of poser types, while parking is ample and free. My only complaint is the occasional but outrageously loud Ministry of Sound-type music that can be heard over the top of an iPod on full volume. As for me, the man-boobs have already dropped a cup-size and my pipes are ready to burst. Look out for me this summer – I’ll be the bloke down at Pine Island kicking sand in everyone’s faces.

First post…long time reader.

I’m looking at joining Alive at Mawson. Can anyone tell me what its like?

Just after a easy going gym, just want to use the treadie, cross trainer etc. Maybe a few weights.

Don’t want to pay a fortune…which I’ve done previously at Flames – its just not for me.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Just saw this thread and if your immediate concern is to get rid of your man boobs, may I suggest aerobic rather than anaerobic workouts.

Get your heartrate up and keep it up.

Gyms are handy for this, light free weights, lots of reps and sets – cross trainers, rowers, and exercise bikes, but not the be all and end all.

Someone mentioned running, but for lower impact extreme cardio, punch out 10km a day on your bike, tackle some hills, do sprints and interval training on the flats. My pet peeve is exercising for no gain, so I generally avoid gyms and prefer to get my exercise in the outdoors rain, hail or shine.

The first time I got stuck in 2 torrential downpours on my way home, I arrived refreshed and with a huge grin on my face. Nothing like playing in the rain to bring the kid out 😛

The first morning I rode to work, I got there with ice on every forward facing surface, I was not smiling then, but it set a benchmark that I am yet to break.

I will not deny that gyms are not good, but there are far less posers out on the paths at 0645 and 1700 on my 3 days I ride to work.

It is really good to have a chiseled chest that women ever wanted.
Many of us wants to have a sexy and perfect body in order to catch others attention.
It’s amazing to have these products and help us get the body we’ve ever dreamed of.
Of course there are lots of guidelines online on how to lose man boobs and have a great chiseled chest.

Gungahlin Al12:37 pm 15 Mar 09

I joined FF in Civic when they opened and am therefore on a reasonable rate. But there are far more expensive gyms around. They are comparable with CISAC for instance, about the same as Bodyworks (but FAR better facilities), way way cheaper than Flames.

FF should have secured the vacant place next door before it go hired out, as the group classes room is too small and that bloody pillar in the middle is a pain. Some of the more popular classes like Attack, Step, Pump and Balance are getting crowded – they need more classes to thin it out a bit. They did promise on opening to have Cardio Box classes but I’m still waiting…

The clientele are mainly there to do what they need to do. The only creepy one is a little guy who hangs around in the change rooms and showers hoping someone will be interested…

Slightly off topic: CISAC’s lack of cleaning and maintenance is pathetic. The pool surrounds are very slippery and have been for 2 years – they are clearly coated with algae. I have raised this multiple times with staff on deck and on the counter. I’m told “management don’t listen to us” and that the floors are hosed every day. I try to tell them that it clearly isn’t working and they need to Gernie the floors, but never does anything happen.

My son slipped just walking (I was right behind him) and his head just missed the steel step at bottom of the water slide – would have peeled him open if he hit it. I find it difficult to walk around the pools without slipping – it’s far worse with kids and the inevitable running.

CISAC has already had one coroner’s inquiry into a death there – what will it take to get them to clean the place properly??

Pommy bastard9:37 am 15 Mar 09

Let’s hope Mrs G doesn’t find out about Mrs G, it could lead to all sorts of shenanigans.

Mrs G who’s post appears above is not my Mrs G who simply posts under my login every now and then and signs off as Mrs G.

jakez said :

Yeah bodyweight exercises are great. I’m too performance based to rely on them now (I need maximal strength and explosive strength for my sport), however people really don’t need a gym membership to start.

Ditto to that. It’s amazing how effective bodyweight exercises can be…I got particularly good results for upper body and core strength from Pole Dancing classes…but I guess that’s not really an option for most guys!

But for more targeted results for sports I have been very happy with working out at Fitness First in civic.

I mostly go on Friday nights after work or on the weekend and it’s pretty much empty then. I love Friday nights with my PT since there’s plenty of space to do creative exercises as well as traditional weights…and anyone there on a Friday tend to be there to workout and not pose/pickup, although pumping out a few pull-ups tends to get some attention as a girl.

Before you settle on a gym it’s worth checking out deals they’re all offering – my FF membership is only $13 per week which is around half price than normal cos I signed up at the right time : )

Yeah bodyweight exercises are great. I’m too performance based to rely on them now (I need maximal strength and explosive strength for my sport), however people really don’t need a gym membership to start.

Besides, there’s nothing like a one legged squat to tear down someones ego.

Deckard @29,

If you have genuine man boobs, winter is the only time you can go outside and have a waddle. Summer is all about airconditioning. The sun is evil.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy6:24 am 13 Mar 09

Buy yourself a decent pair of runners and get outside. Unless you’re a bodybuilder everything you need for an all body workout can be obtained in the great outdoors. Empty kids playgrounds pose a wealth of opportunity for adult exercise

Great advice. I used to go to the gym a lot as a uni student, but over the past few years have been getting into bodyweight exercise and calisthenics, and am much stronger and healthier than when I was using weights regularly. I’d suggest starting with bodyweight type exercises, then once you have done this for a while, buy the few pieces of equipment you want and use them from home. Also think about learning boxing, as the exercise component is awesome for body conditioning.

If you want to firm up and lose the manboobs, this will probably be a better approach than paying to use workout machines that simulate the real thing. As for weights, get strong enough to lift yourself first.

R086 said :

-Maximum hot chicks ( you are there to get fit and healthy, not pick up… And good luck picking up at a gym as most girls are there to train & not be harrased by a jerk skinny guy)

It’s not necessarily about picking up, being a jerk or harassing anyone. Having a good looking woman around can be motivational in itself without even interrupting anyones workout. I have no doubt it’s a similar situation for women when there is a good looking male around.

That said, some of the music videos that play can get a bit distracting.

jakez said :

Incidentally, as far as I am concerned if you are willing to spend the amount of money that places like FF want to spend, you either don’t know what you are doing, you have very specific needs (trust me YOU don’t), or you like to waste money.

Or it’s the only convenient gym to your location. Being male I can’t go to Fernwood (given some of the stories I’ve heard over the years thank goodness for that) so that leaves either the pool gym which is open less hours and in the opposite direction to I am going, or FF which I practically have to walk past every day to and from work.

Having to walk past it every day makes me feel guilty if I don’t go in and actually use my membership 😉

Now if they would only spend some of the money we pay them on actually maintaining the facilities properly. Mostly it’s fine, although the showers/sauna etc can get a bit not nice. Also some of the equipment is showing the amount of use it’s been getting – yes it does get reported.

Yes their hard sell is a bit annoying and I haven’t tried to leave yet so I’m not sure how painful that will be.

FC said :

Now I’m not usually a gym going person (preffering team sports and other active activity), however I once accompanied a friend to the Vikings Gym at Erindale. The facilities were fine, however I was shocked to see a fair few of the ladies in full makeup.
I found this quite strange. But then throughout my workout I noticed that there seemed to be more loitering and chatting the the muscle men than actually sweating.

Vikings is a ‘salt of the earth’ kind of gym; nothing fancy, cheap-as-chips, friendly staff (not up-themselves wankers), decent classes and equipment. But the bogan-quotient is predictably quite high, given the location and cheapness-factor (bogan quotient ascertained through application of my patented ‘number-of-teeth-per-person’ bogan scale). I like it there though; comfortable, don’t feel the need to dress up/slap on the lippy etc… most people there to actually exercise. There seems to be a few ‘hot chicks’ too (bogan-hot, but still hot). I am not one of them 🙂

Harry’s was good. I figure it’s gone though. ANU was excellent, heaps of useful toys and enough to go around. Fernwood was bloody horrible. Only good thing was they wree mostly obsessesd with the lose-weight machines and left the free weights, presses and things alone while they waggled away hoping to become thin.

I really hated Fernwood quite a lot actually.

DLS go to a gym where there are NO hot chicks until you’ve lost the manboobs.

I’m a members of Flames Fitness at Lyneham. Although it is costly, for someone who needs the motivation, or has no idea what they are doing I highly recommend it. I joined Flames as I needed to do rehab training, and (most of)the staff there are amazing !

Even though it isn’t directly one on one training with a trainer, someone is there helping you out – and pushing you to keep working or work harder. Plus they actually want you there – they call if you miss a session, or havent been in awhile.
What other gym calls you if you havent attended in awhile – they don’t care, they got 12months membership out of you already.

flying doormat8:31 pm 12 Mar 09

Edge Fitness at Weston (below the indoor cricket centre) is good. Heaps of weights and other equipment to smash those man boobs

vg said :

Buy yourself a decent pair of runners and get outside. Unless you’re a bodybuilder everything you need for an all body workout can be obtained in the great outdoors. Empty kids playgrounds pose a wealth of opportunity for adult exercise

Too true. I used to go to a gym and the gym instructor didn’t understand why anyone went there in the summer. Winter’s a different story, but in the warmer months get a bike, go for a run, push ups, sit ups, there’s plenty you can do in your own backyard.

ANU keeps me happy.

-Ample free weights + benches – not that I use them much, but sure, there seems to be enough
-Minimal roid-monkeys / poser types – there’s posers, but they’re harmless enoough
-Maximum hot chicks – so long as you don’t feel TOO creepy perving on 18 year olds 😉
-Value for money – though fees just went up, it’s still good value.
-Parking – like they said, just don’t go between 830 and 5pm weekdays..

swamiOFswank8:15 pm 12 Mar 09

Hey…I’m a Limey and haven’t noticed too many roidmunchers, posers or unhygienic types lurking around. There’s tons of equipment, my 12 month package deal was cheeeeeep and basically they don’t bother or harass me – no hard sell, no junk mail, no annoying bimbo’s with cornflake box fitness quals… It’s all been really professional.

Aside from that I have a set of plated dumbells, a barbell, a fitball and some resistance bands at home so that when I can’t be stuffed going to the gym, I can at least get some stretching and toning stuff done.

I think you need to re asses your rating system before you join a gym…

-Ample free weights + benches – ( yeah fair call, no one likes to wait for equipment)
-Minimal roid-monkeys / poser types (The roid monkeys are usually seperate from the posers…From what I have seen the people that are obviously are on roids are the ones who go to the gym to train and thats it… They dont care what the new skinny guy is doing)
-Maximum hot chicks ( you are there to get fit and healthy, not pick up… And good luck picking up at a gym as most girls are there to train & not be harrased by a jerk skinny guy)
-Value for money ( Dont be cheap, have a look around and if you happen to see a gym that is awesome but costs more, its def worth the extra coin)
-Parking (if you really want to get fit and healthy, walk or ride to the gym 😉 )

My 2c

Buy yourself a decent pair of runners and get outside. Unless you’re a bodybuilder everything you need for an all body workout can be obtained in the great outdoors. Empty kids playgrounds pose a wealth of opportunity for adult exercise

I too recommend that ANU gym – they are not a commercial operation so they’re focussed on providing a good service to members, not just ripping them off for the greatest amount of cash possible.

If you go in the evening after work or morning before work parking is fine. Rates are very reasonable and the gym is in excellent condition, shiny new equipment and very clean and tidy. If I recall Personal Trainers will set you back only like 40 bucks an hour, which is less than market rate. The manager of the gym used to be a bloke named Lenny, don’t knwo if he’s still there but he was a great trainer and an all round nice fellow.

Elite: Minimal roid-monkeys / poser types = 1/10

+1 for Elite (http://www.elitephysique.com.au/)

I’ve been a member at Bodyworks Mawson, Fernwood (although that surely doesn’t apply to this thread), Fitness First Deakin and Elite.

Bodyworks and Fitness First were PACKED with ‘roid munchers and far too many barbie-like girls in full makeup hogging the treadmills. Not to mention the fact that they were overpriced and always packed with people.

Elite is popular, but the staff are dedicated and genuine (not people who see an ad on TV to become a Personal Training in two weeks). There are plenty of weights and machines available at most times of the day, and the other members are friendly and helpful.

Plenty of eye candy of the genuine sort too (i.e. no makeup, fit bodies and just lovely girls =])

Best gym in Canberra
The one in my garage

Crossfit loves you
Set up your own garage gym (along with ths article) and play all the ACDC you like
I recomend Thunderstruck and Back in Black
There are always plenty of free weights available from All Classifieds, expect to pay around $1-2 per kilo or pound

1, 2, 3 go

Ditto on the ANU – cheapest in town, same facilities.

I highly recommend Life Personal Fitness at Kingston. It is a small outfit that just caters for reasonably priced personal training sessions. They can be shared sessions or individual sessions and you only pay for the sessions you want or need. You don’t pay gym membership, ie, you only pay for the sessions. Good value for money and it means that you are not locked into a contract, ever. The other good thing is that the only people in the gym at the same time are other people doing training sessions. It is not an open gym.

colourful sydney racing identity4:48 pm 12 Mar 09

Elite is the best gym I have been to. Can not rate it highly enough.

Fitness First in the city is passable, although people often look shocked if you do any powerlifting – deadlifts etc

Club Lime Belconnen – lots of equipment, way too many posers. What can you say about a gym that has couches in the free weights area?

University of Canberra Gym – limited equipment, minimal posers, good old-school gym.

The Total Gym.

On a scale of 1 to Chuck Norris, it scores highly.

johnny_the_knife4:29 pm 12 Mar 09

+1 for Elite Physique. It is an exceptionally well laid out gym, good instructors, good classes, top notch equipment etc. I think it costs about $50 per month

FC said :

The facilities were fine, however I was shocked to see a fair few of the ladies in full makeup.

I can’t stand women who ‘exercise’ in full slap. Particularly ones that make a big song and dance about huffing and puffing when a well-muscled bloke walks past.

I’m a member of Alive in Belconnen. They have fitness centres across Canberra, but I can only talk about their set up in Belconnen.

-Ample free weights + benches
Tick.

-Minimal roid-monkeys / poser types
Tick. Though they can be funny to watch when they are there at the same time as me in any case. (Yes, hello Argh-nold. I find you amusing.)

-Maximum hot chicks
Hmmm? Being a chick I find that one difficult to answer. None of the other chicks there have floated my boat, but there are some mighty fit buff female instructors there.

-Value for money
Tick. I pay $40 a month. Though other members have different payment schemes.

-Parking
Tick. And it is free.

jakez said :

Incidentally, as far as I am concerned if you are willing to spend the amount of money that places like FF want to spend, you either don’t know what you are doing, you have very specific needs (trust me YOU don’t), or you like to waste money.

That’s a bit of a generalisation!
I actually signed up for FF because a PT who is excellent happens to work out of there.

I’m also within walking distance and dont have a car, so that is a major reason for using the Civic gym too, AND I can go there in my lunch breaks.
There’s really no reason for me to use another gym, so you can shove your “3 reasons why you would spend that amount of money on a gym” … 🙂

Now I’m not usually a gym going person (preffering team sports and other active activity), however I once accompanied a friend to the Vikings Gym at Erindale. The facilities were fine, however I was shocked to see a fair few of the ladies in full makeup.
I found this quite strange. But then throughout my workout I noticed that there seemed to be more loitering and chatting the the muscle men than actually sweating.

Trunking symbols3:46 pm 12 Mar 09

Southern Cross at Woden – by far the cheapest and best-equipped gym in Canberra.

Don’t use Flames Fitness at Calwell.
It is a rip off.

My boyfriend went, they were charging $50 a fornight but had a special on (if someone joined up and said you had referred them you were supposed to get a months free member ship or something along those lines). So one of his friends signed up and said he had been referred by… he called up couple of days later inquiring about his free membership, and was told that he wasn’t going to get it.
No reason why, just that it wasn’t happeneing.

Then when his contract had expried he had organised to go and have his final assessment, when he arrived he was asked if he would like to renew his membership. He didn’t want to because it was so expensive.
He was then told that he wouldn’t be getting a final assesment unless he renews.
I understand that they do this to get their clients but he was told when he signed up that he would be recieving 2 assesments.

Now he goes to club lime and loves it.
It is always clean and a great price too.

mrnamjama said :

Having a home gym can be problematic for those of us with limited space in flats…

I’ll pay that. Having a squat rack in your bedroom probably isn’t for everybody.

ANU gym is great, as long as you can accommodate parking there somehow and you have a degree from an Australian uni (any uni, not just ANU!) to get the cheaper rates.

I’m at Elite Physique at the moment and it’s a great gym – the staff are knowledgeable and like to help out. The owner is there all the time and gives out advice left right and centre. Plenty of dumbells, lots of racks in the heavy weights room, lots of cardio machines, lots of ‘machines’ in the general workout area (and more freeweights).

Having a home gym can be problematic for those of us with limited space in flats…

Incidentally, as far as I am concerned if you are willing to spend the amount of money that places like FF want to spend, you either don’t know what you are doing, you have very specific needs (trust me YOU don’t), or you like to waste money.

I only need a squat rack, a bench, a barbell, two dumbbells, and plates, so naturally I lift from home.

However if you wanted me to recommend something, I’d recommend the ANU gym. It has a good array of equipment and you have access to the heavy lifting room when the ANU Weightlifting Club aren’t using it (which isn’t that often). From memory, there was plenty of scattered ass to perve on as well.

As for value for money, I have no idea. I went to ANU for 2 years before I switched to UC so I qualify for alumni rates. It’s one of the cheapest for me and for students but I don’t know whether its good value for people who aren’t connected to the uni.

As for roid monkeys, I always found the stupid young fools benching and curling for two hours to be far more annoying and unfortunately the uni crowd fits that mould. They never got in my way though (although they were another reason why I now lift from home).

Parking: It isn’t fantastic but it’s alright.

Meg4n said :

I’m pretty sure the posers tend to follow the hot chicks.

FF is expensive enough to keep most of the posers out. 🙂

At least from what I’ve noticed anyway. I spend more time getting my arse kicked by the PT than standing around watching everyone else. 😛

I’m pretty sure the posers tend to follow the hot chicks.

Pommy bastard2:57 pm 12 Mar 09

Alive (nee “Bodyworks”) Belconnen.

Ample free weights + benches: 8/10 during off-peak, 5/10 during peak
– Minimal roid-monkeys: 9/10,
– Maximum hot chicks: 7/10.
– Value for money: 8/10
– Parking: Usually can get a free park there for your workout.

Fitness First in Civic.

Go at the right times and there’s plenty of room (and hot chicks) to do your thing.

Avoid it during weekday lunches (12-2) and Afternoons (5-7) and you’ll love it.
Nice equipment, good facilities etc etc…

To score it…

– Ample free weights + benches: 10/10 during off-peak, 5/10 during peak
– Minimal roid-monkeys: 8/10, cant avoid these types, but they havn’t ever been a problem while I’ve been at the gym.
– Maximum hot chicks: 10/10. At risk of sounding like a perv… Yes, there’s plenty. I’ve heard that FF in civic has some of the highest female membership rates in Canberra.
– Value for money: 3/10 EXPENSIVE! make sure you get a good contract deal if you want to make it worth it, otherwise it costs a lot!
– Parking: It’s Canberra Centre, dont think I need to explain it.

elite physique is worth having a look at – in the morning, free parking, in the evening, free parking, midday, no clue. no vulture sales people, just a group of professionals hell bent in making you fit. I will go back, soon… beats the hecki out of flames, and club lime, but that is my opinion…

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