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Canberra’s Best Gyms

By Emily Morris - 15 August 2017 53

Canberra Gyms
This has been updated for August 2017 

Whether you want to lose weight, bulk up, or maintain your fitness, joining the gym is a fantastic way to boost your health and eliminate stress.

That being said, finding a reliable, well-equipped gym isn’t always easy. That’s why we have put together a list of Canberra’s best gyms as decided by you.

That’s right – we read through your comments and critiques to determine which gyms in the Canberra region are worth joining. Check out the list below.

What Makes a Great Gym?

Depending on your age, gender, and fitness goals, what makes an ideal gym will change. But, there are a few key criteria that all worthwhile gyms must have.

Here they are:

  • Equipment. The equipment in a gym can make or break your exercise routine. We believe all the best gyms in Canberra are stocked with a wide variety of top-quality, clean
  • Staff knowledge. Want a personal trainer? They better be knowledgeable enough to help you achieve your goals. Want to work out on your own? A gym’s staff should be able to answer basic fitness questions, and be confident adjusting and using the equipment.
  • Affordability. A gym membership shouldn’t break the bank. Instead, the cost should be reflected in the quality of staff and equipment.
  • Flexibility. A great gym should meet your unique requirements, whether that’s specific opening hours or flexible membership and pricing options.
  • Relaxed atmosphere. Working out can be difficult if the gym’s atmosphere makes you uncomfortable. Loud music, screens everywhere, and creepy gym-goers can be real deal breakers.

The Top 4 Canberra Gyms According to You

We went through your feedback and put together this list of the top 4 gyms in Canberra. Let’s get right into it.

Elite Physique

Take control of your training at the 24-hour Elite Physique gym. This Canberra gym was the most popular among our commenters, and with quality equipment, a variety of training classes, seasonal membership specials, and friendly, dedicated staff, it’s easy to see why.

Elite Physique offers group training, weight training, power lifting, boxing classes, and other sport specific training programs. The knowledgeable staff welcome anyone and everyone into their gym – whether you’ve never worked out before or are a self-confessed gym junkie.

Our commenters had nothing but positive things to say. Johnny_the_knife summed up his experience with Elite Phsyique, writing “it is an exceptionally well laid out gym, good instructors, good classes, top notch equipment.” Another commenter, Fox, wrote this, “Elite is popular, but the staff are dedicated and genuine… There are plenty of weights and machines available at most times of the day, and the other members are friendly and helpful.”

Fitness First

Fitness First is a popular, well-equipped chain of gyms around Australia, and their fitness centre in central Canberra is no different.

Although not quite 24-hour, Fitness First is a fantastic option if you enjoy supplementing individual weight or cardio training with group fitness classes. Choose from BODYATTACK, HIIT, yoga, BODYPUMP, Shockwave, and more.

One commenter, Grundy, had a fabulous experience with Fitness First, and gave our readers some valuable insider advice: “Avoid it during weekday lunches (12-2) and Afternoons (5-7) and you’ll love it.”

ANU Fitness Centre

Achieve and exceed your fitness goals at the non-commercial ANU (Australian National University) Fitness Centre. This fun, non-intimidating gym is ideally situated near the centre of Canberra, and boasts a variety of machines, pin-loaded equipment, free weights, and more.

The ANU Fitness Centre offers their members a number of services, including group fitness classes, personal training, custom group training, and wellness guidance.

Boomacat, one of our commenters, raved about the ANU gym in Canberra, writing “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.” They also mentioned the quality and cleanliness of the machines: “Rates are very reasonable and the gym is in excellent condition, shiny new equipment and very clean and tidy.”

Life Personal Fitness

Looking for something a little more intimate? Life Personal Fitness is a small outfit that offers affordable shared and one-on- one personal training sessions. You work closely with a trainer to boost your fitness and improve your health.

One of the key benefits of Life Personal Fitness in Canberra is the membership structure; there is no lock in contract, and you only pay for the sessions you attend.

“Good value for money and it means that you are not locked into a contract, ever,” wrote commenter youami. “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.”

Which Gym Will You Pick?

Decided on a gym? Ready to smash your fitness goals?

Let us know down below which gym you attend. Do you like it? Why? Why not?

What’s Your opinion?

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53 Responses to
Canberra’s Best Gyms
johnny_the_knife 4:29 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

Gobbo 4:08 pm 12 Mar 09

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

-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.

Tick. And it is free.

grundy 3:53 pm 12 Mar 09

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” … 🙂

FC 3:48 pm 12 Mar 09

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 symbols 3:46 pm 12 Mar 09

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

folkie 3:42 pm 12 Mar 09

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.

jakez 3:32 pm 12 Mar 09

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.

mrnamjama 3:29 pm 12 Mar 09

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…

jakez 3:24 pm 12 Mar 09

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.

jakez 3:22 pm 12 Mar 09

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.

grundy 3:02 pm 12 Mar 09

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. 😛

Meg4n 2:59 pm 12 Mar 09

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

Pommy bastard 2:57 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.

grundy 2:54 pm 12 Mar 09

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.

peterh 2:53 pm 12 Mar 09

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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