Fitness is big business in Australia. And that is a very good thing since Australia is one of the most overweight countries in the world. The fitness industry is expected to grow by a healthy 5% in the next two years.
Reality TV shows have contributed to the increase because they are basically commercials for fitness services like gyms and personal trainers. Who knew that television could actually get people off the couch and into the gym?
If you are ready to take your fitness and health seriously, a gym membership is an excellent first step. If you live in a major city, you are in luck because you have many choices.
6 Tips to Choose the Gym that is Right for You
1. Location is Important. This is one of the most important factors to consider. You probably want a gym that is nearby. The barrier to exercise becomes greater with every 15 minutes you add to your travel time. Look for a gym that you can stop by before or after work, or one that is near your home.
2. Cleanliness. Gyms are always going to be sweaty places but you want a gym that is well kept and cleaned. Be sure to inspect the showers and bathrooms at a gym before signing up.
3. Cost and Contract. Many gyms have discounts and coupons. Be sure to read the fine print in any contract. Dissatisfaction with gym contracts is one of the major complaints. Look for hidden costs before signing.
4. Personnel. As with any business, you want good personal trainers and customer service.
5. Access. There are many 24-hour franchise gyms, but you need to decide whether a low-service/high-access form of gym is the best fit for your needs., At the very least, be sure to check the hours to make sure it fits with your workout schedule.
6. Equipment and Facilities. You know what you like to do. A body builder wants free weights, a person who wants yoga classes, and someone trying to lose weight wants cardio machines like stair steppers and elliptical exercise machines which are very popular, while baby boomers enjoy a walk on a treadmill. Do you need a sauna or steam room? Is a swimming pool important to you?
Find the gym that fits your specific desires so you stick with your workout regimen.
If you are looking for something other than a major franchise group or gym chain, you can find locally owned gyms in your town. There are also many high end and specialty gyms in cities. For someone who just wants to do some cardio or weight lifting before work, a stand-alone gym is a perfectly fine option.
Most Australians however recognise the benefits of joining at a well-known fitness group and with that in mind, we have provided plenty of information throughout the website about the major gyms in your local area.
An Overview of the Main Fitness Providers & Gyms in Australia
YMCA. This family oriented gym is a good choice for those desiring a strong community atmosphere. There is a YMCA in most urban centers.
Jetts 24 Hour Gym. There are 195 gyms in Australia. The equipment is well maintained and the staff is friendly and attentive. The facility is clean and well lighted. They may not have the equipment necessary for serious weight lifters though. This is a good, basic gym for most people. They do not offer classes. Read our review.
Snap Fitness 24 Hour Gym. There are currently 100 locations in Australia so there might be one near you. These are independently owned franchises so memberships are not always transferable if you move. These gyms are compact so they pack a lot into a relatively modest space. The equipment is adequate with plenty of cardiovascular machines. They offer personal training services at all the locations. Classes vary according to location. Read our review.
Anytime Fitness. There are a whopping 260 clubs now. They are in every state and territory of Australia. Like most 24 hour gyms, they have basic offerings and equipment, but no classes. Compared with Jetts, Anytime Fitness tends to have a little more weights equipment for resistance training. Read our review.
Plus Fitness 24/7 Gyms. There are 100 locations in Australia. Plus Fitness provides a range of equipment and is gets good reviews. There is a $99 joining fee. Your membership extends to other Plus Fitness gyms in other states. Read our review.
Step into Life. The leaders in outdoor group personal training. If you like exercising outdoors, Step into Life is a great option for you. Read our review.
Fitness First. For so many years, Fitness First were the ‘big player’ in the Australian fitness industry. Although still a significant force, they have downsized in terms of total number of clubs across Australia. Read our review.
Goodlife Health Clubs. The company has experienced some steady growth of late, especially since taking over some previous Fitness First gyms. They currently have gyms in 5 Australian states. Read our review.
Fernwood. The original ‘Ladies Only’ gym in Australia. Fernwood combine the comfortable environment of a masculine-free workout with the larger gym floor space of the bigger commercial gyms, such as fitness first. Read our review.
Curves. Renowned for their 30 minute circuit workouts for ladies, Curves burst onto the Australian gym scene in the early 2000’s. They have a massive footprint globally with over 10,000 studios!
Contours. Like Curves, with a Contours membership, you will receive access to quick circuit workouts and a ladies-only environment.
EFM Health Clubs have over 65 fitness coaching studios across Australia, with more than 20 in Melbourne and over 35 in Adelaide – it is funny that most people have not heard of them! EFM do very little mass-marketing, as they specialise in running local community health clubs and small to medium sized fitness coaching studios.
EFM is in between a personal training studio and a regular gym, allowing the affordability of a gym membership, all the latest equipment (EFM use premium Life Fitness equipment), but plenty of 1-1 attention.
As an EFM Health Clubs member, you will have your own Fitness Coach that helps you through your daily fitness program – setting your machines for you, checking your technique and most importantly, helping you get to your goals quickly! EFM Health Clubs have over 65 fitness coaching studios across Australia.
Other forms of exercise: Be sure to read our article on treadmill hire as this may be an option for you also!