Wanted: Canberra’s least confrontational gym or health club

gungsuperstar 26 August 2012 52

Hi all, this is the increasingly expanding Bill.

I never thought I’d be the type. The type that gets up at 5.30am to go to the gym. Or who gives up time at the pub after work to go to the gym. But alas, after too many beers after work, my doctor has finally convinced me that it’s time to give up the smokes and pizza and get into a gym.

So I’ve never set foot inside a gym. Without having done so, everything I’ve heard from friends and colleagues, and everything I remember from high school suggests that I hate jock culture.

So I’m looking for Canberra’s least confrontational gym or health club. I don’t know if I’m dreaming – but what I, and many in my situation need is a complete absence of pretension, of jocks, of yuppies, of any sort of judgment whatsoever.

For the purposes of what might be a useful resource in a society increasingly aware of obesity, it might be nice if people suggested any particular features that the gym has – for example, I’m interested in gyms with a swimming pool, and with access to a personal trainer to get me started. Others might be interested in other features.

I’m prepared to travel pretty much anywhere in Canberra to at least check out the right gym.

Thanks Rioters


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52 Responses to Wanted: Canberra’s least confrontational gym or health club
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Dickson Gym Northside Fitness | 24hour - gym memberships Dickson Gym Northside Fitness | 24hour - gym memberships 7:35 pm 13 Nov 15

[…] Wanted: Canberra’s least confrontational gym or health … – You’ve never set foot inside a gym, but you think most are full of yuppies and jocks and you’re prepared to travel across Canberra to avoid them. […]

kakosi kakosi 10:34 pm 07 Sep 12

Take up swimming and walking instead. A lot less traumatic on your body and a hell of a lot cheaper.

sportsmum sportsmum 8:52 pm 07 Sep 12

I realise that this is a few weeks after the original post, but can I suggest you consider a personal trainer instead of a gym? It seems like you might be in need of some specific, tailored information on both diet and exercise and a good PT can offer this. Bec Brown at Peak Performance in O’Malley is great, I’ve also heard good things about Flames Fitness and Elite Physique, and I’m sure there are other good trainers out there. A trainer can get you started, show you the path and then you can follow it after you stop seeing the trainer. Best of luck to you.

TanyaGendle TanyaGendle 3:31 pm 29 Aug 12

I would check out strive holistic personal training in Deakin. They are located in a big house and all the training rooms are private, not only do they offer one on one training, they also can help you with you diet. http://www.strive-training.com

Gav75 Gav75 8:21 pm 27 Aug 12

I would highly recommend Energy Fitness Center in Holt; Very helpful, knowledgeable and motivating staff and a very friendly atmosphere. They provide health assessments, programs and PT packages at very reasonable prices.

Traveller Traveller 8:14 pm 27 Aug 12

Hi Bill,

Glad you checked out Evo at Hotel Realm today. I have been a member there for around 5 months and it is best gym I have ever been a member of! Having access to the pool and steam room is what sold it for me.

I go before work and on the weekends and it is never packed. They also give you a free towel each morning which is very handy.

It is an older crowd in the gym, all very polite and friendly and there is absolutely no looking or gawking going on.Their customer service is also excellent, I wrote to them when I first joined as there was a very things that I thought could be improved and they responded promptly and fixed them.

I used to be a member of Fitness First in Deakin but it was very dirty and no pool.

Good luck with your journey and I hope you find the right gym for you.

friskyfilly friskyfilly 7:30 pm 27 Aug 12

I love going to the gym and Im fairly self conscious of my size too and can easly feel intimidated by the fit and fantastic, but I still go. You quickly get over the nerves when you realise only a small percent havethe “perfect body” and they are usually too busy checking themselves out the whole time to even notice you. The majority of people are no different to you all there with the same goal in mind, to get fit and stay healthy. everyone has their headphones on and in their own worlds. ages range from late teens (not so may) up to 80 year olds. I went to body blitz a few years back regularly and was so surprised at how many senior citizens were there in the weight and cardio area. That was a nice frendly gym and i believe now 24 hours.

I now go to energy fitness in Kippax and love it. I think the most important thing is to join a gym close to either home or work, whichever you will be departing from to go there the most. If you have to travekl far yo wont feel like it and choose to go home instead. I love energy fitness. Iused to be a loner at the gym, but this is close to my home and so many people/friends are members that i now have a gym buddy and finding it to be more social experience and enjoyale than i thought Id ever be willing to do. staff are nice, know your name, equipment is high end, classes and really goodand its a reasonable orice too.

biggest thing though dont worry about who else wil be there, just focus on your goals and before you know it you will be chomping at the bit toget back there. gym buddys are good they help to get you there so maybe join with a friend or go to a gym where you know people, but do make sure its within your locale. Good luck soon to be shrinking Bill

gungsuperstar gungsuperstar 7:02 pm 27 Aug 12

birder said :

I do think exercising helps with losing weight beyond just the calories burned. I feel better, more energetic, happier. Also, I think more carefully about what I put in my mouth, because if I go to all the trouble of getting up before dawn, working out like crazy, etc., then I don’t want to eat it all away in a few bits of a Krisy Kreme.

This is the essence of my thought process too. Without a semi-serious training regiment, the dietary changes I tried to make failed miserably. If healthy activity becomes a normal part of my lifestyle, then health eating is bound to be as well.

Thanks to everyone for their kind, helpful, insightful posts. In particular Gigantor, I found your post quite inspirational. And people tell me that the comments section of the Riot Act is full of trolls!

I’ve checked out a couple of gyms today – I checked out the one at Hotel Realm, the one at Rydges Capital Hill, and Club Lime in Civic (despite it’s lack of pool). IF I’ve found my gym today, it’s Hotel Realm – but I’m going to keep looking at some of the places suggested in this thread.

Unfortunately it wasn’t until reading the suggestions in this thread that I realised that swimming pools in a gym were a rarity – as much as anything else I’ve said, that probably indicates my level of ignorance over gyms. I thought every gym had one!

Genie Genie 5:04 pm 27 Aug 12

I would highly recommend the Aqua program at the AIS ! Brilliant instructors

Alternatively since you sound like you’ve never exercised before and have no idea what you’d be doing I’d recommend giving Andy at Trick Fitness a call. They write you a tailored program and run you through it every session. It’s great motivation and also great to learn the basics of what exercise you should be doing for you.

CISAC and Flames Fitness are the 2 gyms I would recommend you never join.

watto23 watto23 4:53 pm 27 Aug 12

From all the posts, you should have realised now that you’ll be fine at a gym.
I also find a regular personal training session at the gym helps keep you motivated.

you just have to keep trying to find out what motivates and works for you.

Athryn Athryn 4:14 pm 27 Aug 12

Hey mate,
I’m pretty much in the same boat as you. I’m really over weight as well and really self consious of the way I look.
I joined Fit n Fast recently and been a couple of times. They don’t seem to be too bad. They don’t have a pool but heaps of cardio equipment. Best of all they’re really cheap!! With my membership, I can also bring a budy to train with me. If you’re interested the offer is there to come along with me and try them out.
Cheers,
Athryn

dtc dtc 2:47 pm 27 Aug 12

Mothy said :

Shared the OP’s apprehension initially about being judged by jocks and yuppies (read: people who “belong” in a gym to the fat-man’s mind), but was pleasantly surprised to be left well enough alone. I don’t know what caricature of human interaction my paranoid mind thought was going to happen, but think of it as the gym equivalent of having sand kicked in your face and you’re there.

The jocks and body builders are mostly focused on how they personally look. They only care about you if you might look better than them (or lift more or whatever). The smart ones then might admire or ask you about training; the dumb ones scowl hard at you and pretend they havent seen you.

If you dont challenge them, they honestly will not care at all – some might try to help you out, but thats it.

I forgot to add in my earlier post two things:

1. weights/resistance exercise is pretty good for losing weight as well, dont focus on aerobics

2. get a PT to explain everything to you first, dont just rock up and start lifting stuff. The ANU has (had?) a few classes eg strength and flexibility, which took you through all of the lifts

Good luck and go for it.

MollyJoe MollyJoe 2:33 pm 27 Aug 12

I go to Energy Fitness in Kippax, the staff are really friendly and genuinely interested in the people that go there. Whenever I’m there it just seems to be normal people working out, no jocks or yuppies! When I signed up they gave me a health assessment with a PT who wrote me a program based on what I told them. They could be worth a call, from memory they do a free trial to get started.

Mysteryman Mysteryman 2:06 pm 27 Aug 12

Good on the OP for having a go and being willing to change.

I used to go to Club Lime. It was ok, but very expensive. I switched to Body Blitz in Belconnen a few years back and I love it. It’s a 24 hour gym, with more (and better) equipment that the other 24 hour gyms in Canberra. More importantly, the owner (John) takes great pride in the place and is usually there from 8am to 6pm, 5 days a week. He’s friendly, helpful, and great at showing you proper technique and tailoring a workout plan for you.

If you are self conscious about the commencing at a gym, 24 hour access can be very useful as you have the opportunity to pick quiet times for working out until you feel more comfortable. There are a mix of people who use Body Blitz, but they are all there to work, not to fluff around, so I don’t think you’ll feel judged or out of place.

ace2279 ace2279 1:55 pm 27 Aug 12

Hi OP

I don’t have any advice on a gym for you but I can help you quit smoking if you’re ready to do so.

We have a 96% success rate on the first session and we back it up with a lifetime guarantee – you start smoking again we’ll do a back up session free of charge.

More info is at http://www.onehourquit.com

Cheers

Mothy Mothy 12:46 pm 27 Aug 12

Gigantor said :

People laugh and make fun of fat people eating a BigMac, however they admire and respect fat people for making and honest effort into changing there lives.

As a fat man who has done both, I concur.

Been a member of CISAC Belconnen, advantage of that one is it is big enough to walk in, find some equipment, and do your own thing.

Shared the OP’s apprehension initially about being judged by jocks and yuppies (read: people who “belong” in a gym to the fat-man’s mind), but was pleasantly surprised to be left well enough alone. I don’t know what caricature of human interaction my paranoid mind thought was going to happen, but think of it as the gym equivalent of having sand kicked in your face and you’re there.

Thanks also to the OP for reminding me that my membership (and attitude) had lapsed.

dtc dtc 12:10 pm 27 Aug 12

I agree with the comments that no one looks at you. Well, lets be totally honest – you walk into a gym and people will look at you. If you are ‘hot’ (either sex), they will probably sneak more looks at you (all the mirrors help). If you are not ‘hot’, then you will generally just be completely ignored. So much like the rest of the world. I have never seen anyone suggest someone shouldnt be at the gym – although if you are a skinny 19 yr old guy doing bicep flexes in front of the mirror I will look at you with disdain. Everyone starts somewhere, whether its to lose weight or to progress from bench pressing with 5kg on the bar.

The key to a gym is going. So above all you need to pick 2 (or 3 or whatever) times a week and say ‘this is my gym time, nothing else’. So pick the times you can make it and will make it. After a month you will start feeling edgy if you skip a session.

Then pick a gym that you can access at those times. eg: if you hit the gym at 7am before work, you need a gym that is between you and your workplace and has good showers and somewhere to park out front. If you go at lunch, it needs to be walking distance to your work.

Also, have a look at the ‘fathead’ website; agree or not with it but it gives you some interesting discussion around diet.

Gigantor Gigantor 11:50 am 27 Aug 12

Gungsuperstar, 4 years ago I was in mid 20’s and 185KG and about 45% body fat. My doctor was extremely blunt with me and said your most likely going to die young of any number of illnesses/ diseases unless I did something about it. Currently I am between 105 – 110KG with approx 10% body fat and perfectly healthy and Id like to share my knowledge to help you, cause from experience it will change your life immensely.
First things first you will never out exercise a bad diet, as said previously its an easy 80/20 split diet to exercise. You work that part out and the battle is almost won.
Next, if you are self conscious about going to the gym, you really dont need to be. People talk about gym junkies as”crazy eyed roid munchers” and such, however this is all a stereotype and far from the truth in my experience. I have found people that fit into this category do not care about what others look like or how much they lift, its all about effort.
People laugh and make fun of fat people eating a BigMac, however they admire and respect fat people for making and honest effort into changing there lives.

Good luck and stay with it, its so worth it

Disclaimer – I am not a qualified/licensed fitness professional, and I also have no affiliation to any fitness business. I pay my weekly fees like everyone else and this information is based all on personal experience

birder birder 11:16 am 27 Aug 12

I’m at Active Leisure Centre in Erindale, which has a pool, fitness centre and personal trainers. I also go early – I’m there by 5:45 most mornings. There are plenty of less-than-fit exercising;it’s friendly and non-judgmental. I have 25+ kilos to lose and I’ve never felt anything but support. (Actually, most people ignore each other as they listen to their music – and there’s nothing wrong with that.)

However, you should go to a centre that is close to you. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but at one point I saw a study that shows if a gym is more than 17 minutes drive from your house, you won’t use it.

Have you tried Weight Watchers? Eating is 90% of weight loss. I burn about 500 calories in an hour of hard exercise at the gym. That’s about 2 lattes. I love Weight Watchers because it’s about developing a better relationship with food, about developing healthy habits that will last a lifetime. It’s definitely not a quick-fix but it works over the long term, if you are willing to put in the hard work. One of my favorite sayings, “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.”

That said, I do think exercising helps with losing weight beyond just the calories burned. I feel better, more energetic, happier. Also, I think more carefully about what I put in my mouth, because if I go to all the trouble of getting up before dawn, working out like crazy, etc., then I don’t want to eat it all away in a few bits of a Krisy Kreme.

Best of luck and keep us updated!

Rollersk8r Rollersk8r 10:37 am 27 Aug 12

ummmm_no said :

LSWCHP said :

I’ve been going to the Kaleen gym (now Club Lime) for about 6 years.

It’s not super duper in terms of size or equipment, but there aren’t too many dicks, and most people just get on with lifting their weights, using the machines or participating in the classes.

I stopped going a few years back after repeatedly being called “gook” by tattooed patrons with an apparently strong affiliation to a certain Croatian-speaking nation, but had a good stint for a few years before that. I’d imagine those sort of problems can probably be mostly averted by choosing the right time of day…

Seriously?? I’ve been a Kaleen regular for 6 years and have never seen anything like that. Main reason I’ve stayed is there are zero pumped up goons. Well, none in the mornings.

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