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The Ultimate Gym Comparison: Helping you choose the right gym for you

There are a lot of gyms out there, but knowing which is the best gym to choose can be hard. We've collated all the information, so you don't have to.

You've decided to join the gym, well done! Now, where do you start?

There are so many gyms to choose from. Choosing the best gym for you will depend on what you want to get out of your gym experience. Some people want to join for the classes, whereas others just want a wide array of equipment to choose from.

When you go to some franchised gym websites, it's hard to actually know whether there's a joining fee, or what the weekly cost will be. Don't worry, we've gathered all the information for you so that you can see what each gym offers and whether it suits your needs.

So, whether you're after a gym with a wide range of classes, or one that's open 24 hours, our ultimate gym comparison guide is here to help.


GymNumber of gymsJoining fee?Cost24 hours?ClassesFacilities (varies p/club)Cons
Anytime Fitness3,000+$99$15.95 p/wYesNoPrivate showers, 24-hour security, free Wi-FiNo classes and less equipment
Fitness First65$75 (3-month contract)$33 p/wNoYesSteam room, sauna, hair dryers, hair straighteners, shampoo, body wash, conditioner, towel rental, ironing facilitiesVery busy at peak times
Jetts250$89$14.95 p/wYesNoPrivate showers, 24-hour securityNo classes and basic equipment
Virgin Active6$35$32.95 p/wYesYesSaunas, steam rooms, pools, climbing wall, sleep pods, body washNo parking in the city, quite expensive, busy at peak times
Plus Fitness212$99$16 p/wYesYesPrivate showers, 24-hour securityNot many classes and less equipment
Fitness Playground3$0$40 p/wYesYes24-hour access, showersPricey
Snap Fitness2,000+$59$34.95 p/monthYesYes24-hour access, showersCan't freely use any other club, not many morning classes
City Gym1 (Sydney)$0$15.35 p/wNoYesSteam rooms, juice/coffee bar, internet, private showers, hairdryers, ironing facilitiesOnly in one location
Fernwood Fitness 69$199$22 p/wYesYesOnsite creche (varies), towel hire, complementary breakfast, hairdryers, internetLarge joining fee

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Opening hours for non-24-hour gyms

Fitness First: Monday-Thursday, 5:30am-10:00pm; Friday, 5:30am-9:00pm; Weekend, 6:30am-7:00pm

City Gym: Monday-Friday, 5:00am-12:00am; Saturday, 6:00am-10:00pm; Sunday, 8:00am-9:00pm


Staffed hours for 24-hour gyms (varies per club location)

Anytime Fitness: Monday-Friday, 10:00am-7:00pm; Saturday, 10:00am-2:00pm

Jetts: Monday-Thursday, 10:30am-7:30pm; Friday, 10:30am-4:00pm

Virgin Active: Mon-Thur, 5:30am-10:00pm; Friday, 5:30am-9:00pm; Saturday, 9:00am-5:00pm; Sunday, 10:00am-4:00pm

Plus Fitness: Monday-Thursday, 10:00am-3:30pm; Friday-Saturday, 10:00am-2:00pm

Fitness Playground: Monday-Friday, 10:00am-7:00pm; Saturday, 9:00am-5:00pm; Sunday, 10:00am-4:00pm

Snap Fitness: Monday-Friday, 10:00am-7:00pm; Saturday, 8:00am-12:00pm

Fernwood Fitness: Monday-Thursday, 6:00am-9:00pm; Friday, 6:00am-8:00pm; Saturday-Sunday, 8:00am-1:00pm


Top 6 tips before you join a gym

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  • Make sure you check the location of the clubs. If the gym you want to join is closer to your home or work, you're more likely to keep going. There is no point joining a gym that you have to travel an hour to get to, let's be realistic.
  • Think about what you want to get out of the gym. Are you better to attend classes or are you motivated enough to keep going with your own routines? Choose the gym that fits in with what you want to do at the gym.
  • Use the free trials. Don't be scared to walk into a gym and get a 7 day trial. This is going to be the best way for you to find out if the gym offers you what you want. Also trialling a gym out at the time you'd be going is a great way of finding out if the gym is going to be too busy at your preferred times.

  • Make sure you can afford the weekly payments. You don't want to sign yourself into a yearly contract and then find out you can't afford to eat for the rest of the month! No-one wants that. And cancelling your contract can be costly.
  • Freeze your account. If you know you're going away for a few months and won't be using the gym, look into whether they offer the ability to freeze your account. Most gyms will freeze your account for 8 weeks (often reducing the total payment to a few dollars a week, or maybe even zero), but worth checking first.
  • Sign up to a gym in person. Often when you actually sit with someone in a gym, they can offer you a few free personal training sessions or a reduced price. There is no harm in asking. They may even be running a promo that you don't know about.

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Clare Cribbin

Clare works as the assistant publisher in the shopping team here at finder.com.au. Whether you're after the best fashion deals, promo codes for your favourite store or just wanting to know what to buy your brother for his birthday, she has all the knowledge.

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