The best gyms in Central Canberra

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People working out

Anytime Fitness, one of Canberra’s most recommended gyms in Central Canberra. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Keen to improve your fitness? Whether you’re a newbie to the world of fitness, or a devoted fan, you might be thinking about joining a quality gym. Well-equipped, professionally run gyms are amazing places to work out and improve your health and wellbeing.

Taking out a gym membership has many perks. It gives you convenient access to a wide range of gym equipment and gym classes. Supportive gyms are motivating and inspire you to work out often. Welcoming gyms are also amazing places to meet new people.

But how do you choose the best gym for your needs, when there are so many types on the market, all with different membership options?

In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a gym, and share where to find the best in Central Canberra.

What makes a great gym?

Choosing the right gym can help you fast-track your fitness goals. Well-trained staff can support you to build your strength and optimise your health.

It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a gym in Central Canberra:

  • Affordable and flexible. To be motivated to go to the gym regularly, you’ll want an affordable and flexible membership. That’s one that suits your needs. Consider factors such as opening hours, types of classes, price, and access to amenities like a pool and sauna.
  • Quality equipment. The equipment in a gym can make or break your exercise routine. The best gyms in Tuggeranong have a wide range of top-quality and well-maintained equipment. This enables them to cater to all interests and fitness levels.
  • Membership value. You’ll want to assess several factors when choosing a gym, beyond price. This will ensure you get the best membership value. Ask whether the gym has a sense of community. Enquire about the services it provides. What amenities does it offer?
  • Staff knowledge. Check staff qualifications, credentials and experience. This will give you confidence that staff can answer your questions and help you with equipment and exercises.
  • Community spirit. Choose a gym with a great sense of community that is inspirational and motivating. Chances are you’ll head to the gym more often if it’s a welcoming, comfortable space.

The best gyms in Central 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 maintained a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Fitness First Canberra

Fitness First Canberra is a supportive gym with a wide range of services, equipment and amenities, including the cardio theatre, cycle studio, free weights, loaded weights and large gym floor. Members enjoy free parking, free wifi and a lounge. The Fitness First app keeps members motivated with fitness programs and on-demand group class exercises.

On Google, Lauren Toohey wrote, “Great equipment and nice big space. Awesome facilities … clean and well laid out …”

Anytime Fitness Central Canberra

Anytime Fitness Canberra City, Kingston and Dickson clubs have a wide range of equipment and facilities so members can work out 24/7 with around-the-clock security. State-of-the-art cardio, strength, free weight and functional training equipment is available. So too are coaching services, as well as personal, small group and specialised training, and Pilates. Classes are free. Anytime Fitness has 24-hour security. Some hours are staffed.

Scott Dunphy wrote on Google, “Great facility. This gym meets all expectations. A big shout out to the Club Manager who makes you feel so welcome each time you enter the gym and is so helpful with queries.”

The Den Canberra

The Den Canberra is about stability, mobility and conditioning. It thrives on providing rewarding physical fitness conditioning sessions designed for all fitness levels, including those just beginning their health and wellness journey. The flagship program is the 20/10 interval session. The Den is supportive and encouraging.

Anthony Sullian wrote on Google, I started at The Den a couple of months ago and have never looked back. A great environment where you’re not judged or surrounded by pretentious people.”

The Athletic Club CBR

The Athletic Club is Canberra’s home of regenerative training. The Athletic Club CBR believes everyone has the capacity to better their body through regular movement and development. A private, small group and coach-led facility, The Athletic Club CBR offers a system of effective practices for regenerating health, fitness and wellbeing for the long game.

On Google, Tonny Mutagubya wrote, “The Athletic Club is more than just a gym. It's a family … It has made working out so much fun for me.”

Alive Health and Fitness

Alive Health and Fitness promotes wellbeing as a way of life. Members are supported to remove the mental barriers to working out, including with the latest programs. A wide range of classes, equipment and facilities are available. Alive Health and Fitness supports weight loss, weight gain, muscle definition, sports specific training and injury rehabilitation, in a challenging and non-intimidating environment.

James Emery wrote on Google, “Have been a member for many years. Staff and trainers are helpful and ready to assist …”

If you’re looking for more information on gyms and other ways to get in shape, you might like our articles on the best high-intensity interval training classes, best CrossFit gyms, best martial arts schools, best yoga studios, best Pilates studios and best boxing gyms the ACT has to offer.

Your experience with gyms in Central 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 in Central Canberra listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I expect from a great gym?

A great gym should be well equipped and offer quality amenities. It should also have professional, friendly staff and trainers. The best gyms have a wide range of classes covering all fitness levels and a vibrant atmosphere. You’ll also want a gym that is neat, organised and hygienic.

What should I do at the gym?

Your best step forward is to talk to staff and ask for ideas based on your fitness level. Some gyms offer quick tutorials on equipment use and some provide you with a workout schedule.

How do I get the best membership deal at a gym?

Talk to gyms about special offers and discount opportunities. Most gyms run deals at various times and are willing to explain these. Also ask about off-peak training times, which can be more economical than going to the gym at the busiest times of day or night.

Are gyms worth the membership price?

One thing is for sure: buying a membership and not going to the gym is a waste of money. Gym memberships are priced on factors such as services, amenities, equipment and scheduling. Do your research and assess how much you want to pay.

How often should I go to the gym?

There’s no hard-and-fast rule about the number of times to head to the gym each week. Many people go at least once a week and some more frequently. The number of times depends on many factors. One is your fitness goal and how quickly you want to see results. Another factor is whether you have physical issues requiring you to go more or less often. Remember: it’s important to prevent injury, so pace yourself.

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