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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
    equipment.
  • 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
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John Moulis 11:01 pm 30 Aug 17

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.

batmantrilogy 11:43 pm 28 Oct 15

+1 for Elite Physique and AIS

zllauh 4:13 pm 27 Jul 15

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

Nerde 1:33 pm 24 Sep 14

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

CFitter 6:35 pm 13 Jun 09

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!

jakez 10:00 am 11 Jun 09

Why call it Club Slime if you like it?

Die Lefty Scum 9:46 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.

BellaBoo 10:07 pm 30 Apr 09

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.

Danman 11:27 pm 21 Mar 09

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.

prettysam 6:06 pm 21 Mar 09

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 Al 12:37 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 bastard 9:37 am 15 Mar 09

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

Special G 6:56 am 15 Mar 09

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.

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