You've completed step one of your fitness journey, you've decided to join a gym, but which are the best gyms in Australia?
It all depends on what your intentions are, and what kind of experience you're looking for at your gym, but there are a few that stand out above the rest.
These gyms offer a range of services and facilities, for a reasonable price and under a flexible plan that suits your lifestyle and workout plan.
Below are 5 of these top gyms, with a summary of their unique features, benefits and offers. Grab your favourite protein powder and start working out!
The 5 Best Gyms In Australia
1. Snap Fitness
Snap Fitness is an international gym chain that was founded in 2003 with headquarters in Minnesota, USA.
It currently operates in 19 countries worldwide including Australia. It’s founder, Peter Taunton, was named Ernst and Young’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2010, and the brand has appeared twice on ‘Fastest Growing Franchises’ lists as well as the annual ‘Franchise 500’ list every year for the past 10 years.
Their gyms offer personal training with qualified, expert trainers, as well as functional training that focuses on exercise required in daily life.
Cardio and strength training are also on offer with state-of-the-art gym equipment designed to provide stellar results.
The gyms are open 24/7 so clients can get fit when it suits them, and workouts through MyFit are also available at every hour of the day.
These workouts are changed daily and incorporate 20 minutes of 20 seconds high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, and aim to improve cardio threshold, strength, mobility and agility.
Movements are heart-rate specific so clients can use their heart rate monitors to know how hard they should be working to get the most out of each exercise.
It is easy to sign up online or by visiting one of the numerous franchises and speaking to a manager in person. Members are able to workout at any Snap Fitness location as part of their membership so there are no excuses!
2. Jetts Fitness
Jetts Fitness is a chain of health clubs that began on the Sunshine Coast in Australia in 2007 and have now expanded globally to include gyms in over 270 locations in 5 countries. They are open 24/7 and offer no lock-in contracts for members which allows members to workout on their terms and stay signed up because they want to, not because they are contractually obliged to.
Memberships can be put on hold for minimum 7 days and maximum 8 weeks over 12 months, and it is easy to do so by chatting to a manager.
It is easy to find locations nearby using their website as well as to sign up via the website. Members can access any club worldwide so convenience or holiday will never be an excuse not to get to the gym.
Access passes are able to be swiped at any time of day into any club and once swiped, lights and music will turn on.
J-series workouts are offered at participating clubs and comprise of 30-minute high intensity interval training workouts that are a combination of cardio, strength and fusion training to deliver a full body workout that gets fast results.
Some clubs also offer classes for either free or an additional cost which can be explored by chatting to Club Managers.
Managers can also put members in touch with Personal Trainers who can provide extra instruction and motivation.
3. Virgin Active
Virgin Active is a chain of gyms launched as part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group in 1999. It began in the UK and now has over 250 locations in 8 countries.
As well as members being able to do their own workouts using the equipment provided, an extensive list of classes are on offer.
These include Yoga, Barre, Cycling and Boxing, just to name a few and are all run in custom-built studios. The exercise experience at these gyms is built of the four foundations of fitness that are strength, stamina, stability and soul.
These actually extend to more than just exercise at Virgin Active and are a holistic approach to health and well being.
Free guided tours are available for those considering signing up, who want to see the facilities and learn more about the gym before taking that first step.
These tours are run at all clubs by friendly, informative staff who will endeavor to answer all questions and queries.
Coaches and trainers employed are of a world-class standard, qualified to encourage and motivate as well as allowing their clients to achieve fast and rewarding results.
The website has a section called ‘Coach’ that is an online interactive blog offering a host of information related to health and fitness.
Customers can read up on the latest exercise trends, connect with fellow fitness enthusiasts, learn about nutrition and nourishing their body with soulful foods, and unwind by accessing meditations and mindful practices
4. Fitness First
Fitness First is a fitness centre brand founded in the UK in 1993. They operate over 360 clubs in 17 countries worldwide and have over 900,000 members.
Different membership options are available around the world, with certain memberships allowing access to any fitness centre worldwide and all providing the chance to transform your life.
Over 6000 fitness classes are offered per week so it is easy to change up your routine to ensure your body is always being surprised and doesn’t get used to a routine as this is the best way to get results and ensure you don’t reach a plateau.
Classes include options like Barre Attack (a 45-minute full body resistance and cardio challenge), XT Circuit (lifting techniques and functional movements for strength) and Yoga (a more slow-paced yet strengthening workout).
They offer a 5-day trial pass to try any group fitness class which can also be used to try out the gym in general.
On top of their state-of-the-art equipment and training areas, many clubs also have pools available for members to use to increase their fitness through swimming on their own or by joining a pool AQUA class.
There are many benefits of training in water as muscles are forced to work against the resistance of the water which improves balance, agility and strength. Other member benefits on offer include free towels, exclusive change rooms and luxurious amenities.
5. Anytime Fitness
Anytime Fitness is an international gym chain that was founded in 2002 in Minnesota, USA. There are over 4000 franchises in 50 countries worldwide that are all open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every week of the year.
Members can access gyms outside of staffed hours by using a key. Memberships include access to any Anytime Fitness club worldwide at no extra cost.
Safety is a top priority at every club which all have 24-hour security monitoring and secure key access as well as private bathrooms and changing rooms that can only be accessed by members.
The equipment provided at this gym covers a range of strength and cardio options, including functional fitness items and free weights.
There are open training spaces or rooms for members to perform a range of exercises that they can receive guidance for from qualified, expert trainers. All fitness levels are catered for at this club as well as any fitness goal.
Every membership includes access to the Anytime Fitness app which is a place members can set goals, track progress and utilise over 1100 workouts which will provide inspiration and motivation.
Remote training is a new feature where members can train with a personal trainer without having to be face to face. Trainers can upload workouts to the app so members can access them at any time and place.
How To Get Out of a Gym Contract?
The first thing you'll need to do is read your contract. If you're about to signup to a gym and are attracted by the low weekly or monthly price, make sure you're fully aware of the minimum charges. Similarly to buying a car lease or phone lease on finance, you can't simply change your mind and often need to pay out your contract to leave.
All the gym's we've featured here today offer very clear contracts. If you're heading away soon or unsure of your long term commitment to the gym, don't sign up for a plan, choose the week to week plan or the monthly option that requires a 30 day notice only.
Some gyms don't offer weekly or monthly payments so these one's usually offer you the the ability to transfer your gym membership to someone else. You can use sites such as Gumtree to sell your membership.
If you have less than 12 months left on a cheaper rate it's usually easy to find a buyer. If you've got 24-36 months left, you'll likely have to sweeten your deal with free months or a cash incentive for someone to take the subscription.
Other gyms will let you suspend your contract for a period of up to 3 months once or twice which can be helpful if you're going on a long holiday.
In Australia, given the high student population and temporary visitors, it's all to common for people to simply takeoff overseas instead of dealing with their cancellation. If this is the case, you might find a large debt waiting for you when you come back.
Unfortunately gym memberships are notoriously hard to get out of, so the final word is, if you can't afford it or aren't sure of your situation, don't sign up! Or go weekly or monthly and pay a slighter higher premium for the privilege.
There are literally hundreds of gym chains in Australia, most are only one or two locations in size. If you're looking to subscribe and join a gym brand we hope you'll checkout one of the five we mentioned above.
But word of warning, make sure you know what you're signing up for, how long the contract is and how to leave should you wish! You might have to pay a hefty release fee or payout the rest of your contract.
Vicky is from Melbourne and studied overseas. She loves to write about health, wellness, fitness and student topics. When she’s not at work, you’ll find her drinking craft beers and hiking.