The Ultimate Gym Comparison 2021 : Choose the best gym for you

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

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.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

Choosing the best gym for you will depend on what you want to get out of your gym experience, be it joining classes, access to a wide array of equipment, or your budget.

So, whether you're after a gym with a wide range of classes or one that offers unrestricted access, our ultimate gym comparison guide is here to help.

Given that all gyms are franchises pricing and opening times may vary from one branch to the next. Also, due to the current COVID restrictions, opening times may differ slightly right now. It's always wise to double-check the fine print with your local workout hotspot before committing to a membership subscription.

Compare gym chains in Australia:

GymNumber of gymsJoining fee?Cost24 hours?ClassesFurther information
Goodlife Health clubs85$0From $15.29 p/wSomeYesFull review
Fitness First61$0$48 per fortnightNoYesFull review
Anytime Fitness500+$99$16.98 p/wSomeYesFull review
Jetts250+$79 (for fob) + $89 joining fee$16.95 p/wYesYesFull review
Virgin Active11$0 on a 12-month contract$38.50 p/wNoYesFull review
Plus Fitness220+$25$31.40 per fortnightYesYesFull review
Fitness Playground5$99from $16.95 p/wYesYesFull review
City Gym1 (Sydney)$0from $24.94 p/wNoYesFull review
Fernwood Fitness 70+$199$21 p/wSomeYesFull review

You might prefer an online fitness program - If you'd rather workout at home but you still need structure, you can try out a workout from home program. Read our guides on where to buy gym and fitness equipment for home use:


Picture not describedSource: Instagram

1. Goodlife Health clubs

No of gyms: 85

Joining fee: $99 plus an Activation Kit fee (which varies according to your club)

Cost per week of membership: From $15.29 p/w. A 12-month membership is the most popular membership option but they also offer month-to-month and 18-month options. Prices can vary from club to club.

24 hours: 75% of Goodlife gyms have 24-hour access

Classes: Yes, there are group fitness classes which vary from each individual gym. The fitseries classes involve high-intensity strength and interval training to level-up your fitness levels. Other classes include Pilates, Barre, Yoga (also, hot yoga), T25, Body pump, Boxing, Zumba, Cycle, Dance and Tai chi.

Facilities: Basic facilities are available for all, including strength and cardio equipment for group and personal training sessions. There are also specific facilities only available at Goodlife such as the 'Emily Skye Ignite' workout class, classes for kids and 'Mum and Bubs'. Selected clubs also have child minding areas and 24/hr access.

Cons: No Goodlife gyms in NSW

Back to top

exercising

Source: Instagram

2. Fitness First

No of gyms: 61

Joining fee: From $0. Varies from one location to another.

Cost of membership? $66 per fortnight (3-month contract) or from $48 per fortnight (18 months). Flexible membership options are available - either 3, 12 or 18-month contracts. Passport and Platinum memberships allow you to access Fitness First's Platinum and/or Passport clubs throughout Australia. Platinum is the most expensive as it gives the choice of access to both types of clubs. Either way, 18-month contracts are the most cost-effective option. If you don't think you'd get enough use for a contract to be worth the expense, you can also choose to pre-pay for a set number of visits - either 10 or 25.

24 hours: No

Classes: Yes, group ones mostly. Freestyle Group Training sessions are designed as a fun, fast and effective workouts (30 minutes each session) for harnessing your body's natural movement. Group Exercises classes take many different forms and include Hot Yoga, Mixed Martial Arts, Gymnastics Strength Training, Boxing and Pilates.

Facilities: (e.g. private showers, steam rooms) - disabled access, ladies-only areas, lounge facilities, creche (extra cost), sauna and steam rooms, swimming pool, towel rental (extra cost) and personal training sessions.

Training facilities include functional training equipment, free and pin-loaded weights, Olympic Lifting Platforms and cardio equipment, although the exact array of equipment may vary depending on your club. HYPOXI sessions are available at some clubs, which is based on low-intensity movement and healthy eating to encourage your body to burn stubborn fat.

Cons: Very busy at peak times


anytime fitness

Source: Instagram

3. Anytime Fitness

No of gyms: 500+

Joining fee: $99 and $69.95 for an access card

Cost of membership: From $67.95 per month. Only 12-month contracts are currently available.

24 hours:Most locations offer 24 hour access. Some gyms are slightly restricted due to the COVID-19 crisis at the moment.

Classes: These are free and often of the group variety.

Facilities: 24-hour access and security, private showers, private restrooms, convenient parking. Training facilities include cardio and floor areas. Their equipment at most gyms includes cardio equipment, free weights and functional training equipment.

Back to top

man with dumbell

Source: Instagram

4. Jetts

No of gyms: 250

Joining fee: $89

Cost per week of membership: From $16.95 p/w but billed every fortnight.

24 hours: Yes

Classes: Most Jetts now offer JSeries high intensity classes, otherwise the gym offers its own variety of classes.

Pros: No lock-in contracts - just pay month by month, 24/7 access

Facilities: free parking (varies). Training facilities at most gyms include cardio equipment, free weights zones, pin-loaded equipment, functional training equipment and stretching zones. Some gyms also have suspension equipment and functional training zones.

Cons: Not as busy during peak times due to 24/7 opening


virgin active

Source: Instagram

5. Virgin Active

No of gyms: 11

Joining fee: $0 on 12-month memberships

Cost of membership: From $38.50 p/w. Long term (around 12 months) and flexible membership options are available. Flexible memberships don't lock you in but generally, work out more expensive than the long term option.

24 hours: No

Classes: Yes. They include Pilates, BodyPump, cycle classes, yoga, Barre, BodyStep, Bums N Bellies AquaFit and Aqua Zumba. There is a wide range of classes to choose from - over 200, to be exact!

Facilities: Hairdryers, hair straighteners, ironing facilities, cafe/lounge/Internet facilities (varies), pool, spa and sauna facilities, cafe and Wi-Fi access, wall climbing, parking (varies). Gym equipment includes PowerPlate and Kinesis and the gym floor has strength, cardio and functional training zones.

Cons: Quite expensive, busy at peak times, parking not available at all gyms

Back to top

plus fit

Source: Instagram

6. Plus Fitness

No of gyms: 220+

Joining fee: $25 and $29.00 for personal access card.

Cost of membership: $31.40 fortnightly.

24 hours: Yes (most locations)

Classes: Yes, mostly of the group variety. Some of the classes are female only. They range from spin classes to boxing and yoga classes.

Facilities: 24-hour access, private restrooms and showers (varies).

Pros: No lock-in contracts, free fitness programs, Membership Timehold if you can't get to the gym for a bit

Cons: Equipment can be quite basic according to members


fit playground

Source: Instagram

7. Fitness Playground

No of gyms: 5

Joining fee: $99

Cost per week of membership: From $16.95 p/w

24 hours: Yes

Classes: Yes - over 200 of them every week! These range from yoga to High-Intensity Interval classes and the rather unique CircusFit class. Some of these are group classes.

Facilities: Lockers 24-hour access, showers, lockers, health food cafe (some locations). For training facilities, it ranges from cardio and weight zones and the Olympic Lifting area to their signature Functional Training Zone, complete with fun ways to get stronger and fitter. The MindBody studio offers yoga and Circus Fit, which is pretty unique to them!

Pros: Holistic, fun approach to fitness

Cons: Gym can be noisy in some locations

Back to top

snap fitness

Source: Instagram

8. Snap Fitness

No of gyms: 200+

Joining fee: $59 (It can vary)

Cost per week of membership: From $12.95 p/w on a month-to-month basis or from $12.95 p/w on a 12 month plan - however this does vary per club based on location.

24 hours: Yes

Classes: Yes, group ones. Training sessions are of the small group variety.

Facilities: Matrix equipment, individual change rooms, plasma televisions, hairdryers, hair straighteners, ladies only amenities, private showers (varies) and car parking (varies). Gym equipment includes a fully equipped weight area including free weights and pin-loaded machines, functional training equipment, an Olympic Lifting Platform, strength training and a relax and stretch area. Matrix equipment is also available, as are outdoor group classes and spin on-demand classes.

Cons: Not that many classes


city gym models

Source: Instagram

9. City Gym

No of gyms: 1 (Sydney)

Joining fee: $0

Cost per week of membership: $29.95 per week for a flexible contract (free from lock ins) or $24.95 per week for a 12-month contract.

24 hours: No

Classes: Yes, including group fitness programs and group PT sessions.

Facilities: juice/coffee bar.

Training equipment includes a floor dedicated to weight training, plus cardio equipment and a corporate studio with yoga and a running club.

Pros: No upfront fees

Cons: One location, must purchase at least 2 weeks membership if you take advantage of their Direct Debit offer for new members, lunchtimes can be busy

Back to top

fernwood fitness

Source: Instagram

10. Fernwood

No of gyms: 70+

Joining fee: $199 plus an Activation Kit fee (which varies according to your club)

Cost per week of membership: From $21 p/w. An 18-month membership is the most cost-effective option but they also offer 12-month membership for $23 p/w and flexible memberships for $27 p/w. Prices can differ from club to club.

24 hours: Some gyms have 24-hour access

Classes: Yes, often group fitness classes, which vary from club to club. Functional Fit classes involve high-intensity interval training and functional movement patterns. Other classes include Pilates, Yoga, Body Attack (high-intensity group exercises), Body Balance (combining Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates), Studio Cycle, Zumba, Step, Circuit Training and Miss Military Boot Camp.

Facilities: creche (varies), towel hire, complimentary breakfast, hairdryers, complimentary toiletries, luxurious change rooms. Training facilities include Cardio and Strength Training areas. Other Fernwood services include club-specific programs and Food Coaching.

Cons: large joining fee

Back to top

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)

  • Goodlife Health clubs: Monday-Friday, 5:30am-8:00pm; Saturday, 7:00am-2:00pm; Sunday, 8:30am-1:30pm
  • 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 tips before you join a gym

gymcomparison_1

  • 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 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.

gym_comparison2

Back to top

All the best deals on activewear:

THE ICONICTHE ICONIC
Exclusive

25% off sport items

Apply coupon code and enjoy 25% off sport items at The Iconic. Exclusions, T&Cs apply

Last verified

Exclusive

Coupon code ends

CupsheCupshe
Exclusive

$10 off orders over $89

Enjoy $10 off orders over $89 at Cupshe. Including sale. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Exclusive

Coupon code ends

CupsheCupshe
Exclusive

$10 off when you spend over $89

Score $10 off when you spend over $89 at Cupshe. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Exclusive

Coupon code ends

CupsheCupshe
Exclusive

$20 off orders over $129

Shop now to enjoy $20 off orders over $129 at Cupshe. Including sale. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Exclusive

Coupon code ends

Boody Eco WearBoody Eco Wear

10% off your first order

Sign up and get 10% off, exclusive Boody VIP deals, including a special offer on your birthday and early access to new product launches. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Just SunniesJust Sunnies
Exclusive

15% off almost everything

Offer only valid off RRP. Excludes sale items, outlet items. Maui Jim, OTIS & Bask Eyewear.

Last verified

Exclusive

Deal ends

David JonesDavid Jones

Up to 50% off women's fashion, shoes and accessories

Discounts applied at checkout. Valid for a limited time only. Exclusions, T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

CatchCatch

Save up to 55% off

Discounts applied at checkout. Valid for a limited time only. Exclusions, T&Cs apply.

Last verified

City BeachCity Beach

Up to 70% off

Enjoy up to 70% off 100's of styles on clothing, swimwear, shoes and more for men, women and kids at City Beach. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

ModibodiModibodi
Exclusive

10% off everything

Score 10% off when you spend over $100 at Modibodi. Valid for new customers only. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Exclusive

Coupon code ends

PatPatPatPat
Exclusive

15% off site-wide

Use the code to enjoy 15% off site-wide. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Exclusive

Coupon code ends

BoohooBoohoo

50% off everything + FREE shipping over $80

Enjoy 50% off dresses, swimwear, shoes and more. Plus, enjoy FREE shipping over $80 when you use the code. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

SkechersSkechers

Up to 50% off sale

Enjoy up to 50% off memory foam comfort styles GOwalk, sandals, sports shoes and more at Skechers. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

BoohooBoohoo
Exclusive

50% off standard shipping

Shop your favourite styles and enjoy 50% off standard shipping at boohoo. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Exclusive
PrettyLittleThingPrettyLittleThing

Up to 70% off everything

Shop and enjoy a wide range of discounts at the PrettyLittleThing. Valid for a limited time only. Exclusions, T&Cs apply.

Last verified

THE ICONICTHE ICONIC
Exclusive

$20 off your first order

Enjoy $20 off your first order over $99 at THE ICONIC. Redeemable once per customer. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Exclusive

Coupon code ends

THE ICONICTHE ICONIC

Up to 60% off: Mid-Season Sale

Enjoy up to 60% off new added styles from Calvin Klein, Nine West, Gazman and more at THE ICONIC. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

THE ICONICTHE ICONIC

40% off: The Designer Edit

Score 40% off selected designer styles from Kenzo, The Marc Jacobs, See By Chloé and more. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

PE NationPE Nation

Get up to 30% off sale items

Get up to 30% off in the PE Nation sale. Limited stock levels.

Last verified

eBay AustraliaeBay Australia

Up to 60% off sale

Enjoy up to 60% off your favourite brands at eBay. Limited time only. Prices as marked. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Platypus ShoesPlatypus Shoes

Up to 50% off selected styles

Valid for a limited time only. Exclusions, T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

FossilFossil

10% off next purchase

Sign up for Fossil email and receive 10% off on your next purchase. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

GymsharkGymshark
Exclusive

$10 off when you spend $130

Get $10 off leggings, sports bras, tanks and more at Gymshark. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Exclusive
LovehoneyLovehoney

Up to 70% off: Outlet Sale

Enjoy up to 70% off sex toys, sexy lingerie, essentials and more at Lovehoney. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

EtsyEtsy

Up to 40% off clothing, shoes, accessories and more

Shop discounted items and save up to 40% off dresses, shirts, bags, phone covers and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Glue StoreGlue Store

Up to 70% off outlet items

Enjoy up to 70% off selected styles from Superga, Vans, Le Coq Sportif and more at Glue Store. Exclusions, T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

BondsBonds

Up to 50% off sale

Enjoy up to 50% off over 300 styles of clothing and underwear for men, women and kids. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

KathmanduKathmandu

30% off branded gear

Join the Summit Club to enjoy the discount. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

BallyBally

Up to 50% off sale + FREE shipping

Enjoy up to 50% off the Bally™ Spring/Summer 2020 collection including shoes, accessories and ready-to-wear. Plus, FREE shipping and returns. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

ShowpoShowpo
Exclusive

10% off when you spend over $200

Get 10% off when you spend over $200 on dresses, skirts, denim and more at Showpo. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Exclusive
adidasadidas

Up to 50% off outlet

Get up to 50% off selected footwear, apparel and more at adidas. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Quay AustraliaQuay Australia
Exclusive

10% off orders over $75

Use the code to save 10% when you spend over $75 on glasses and accessories at Quay Australia. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Exclusive
Coltorti BoutiqueColtorti Boutique
Exclusive

15% off site-wide

Score 15% off luxury fashion styles from Alexander McQeen, Burberry, Balmain and more at Coltorti. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Exclusive
CettireCettire

Up to 60% off sale

Score up to 60% off selected styles from Jimmy Choo, Salvatore Ferrgamo and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Chow Sang SangChow Sang Sang

Purchase 2 or more selected jewellery and get 10% off.

Purchase 2 or more selected jewellery and get 10% off. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Forever NewForever New

Further 25% off in-store and online

Apply promo code. Offer valid for a limited time only. Terms and conditions apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

LovehoneyLovehoney

Up to 50% off big brands

Enjoy up to 50% off Desire, Lovehoney and more. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

MyerMyer

Up to 50% off sale

Enjoy up to 50% off sale including homeware, appliances, apparel and more at Myer. Hurry, while stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

DangerfieldDangerfield

Up to 70% off outlet styles

Valid on selected dresses, tops, skirts and more. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

THE ICONICTHE ICONIC

Up to 40% off: THE ICONIC Exclusive Edit

Discount applied at checkout. This offer is valid on selected styles from M.N.G, Double Oak Mills, Staple Superior and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

More on wellbeing and health

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

6 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    KyleJanuary 26, 2019

    Hi I’m trying to find a gym in the Beenleigh area that has a low monthly membership no higher than $20 and low to no joining fees?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniJanuary 27, 2019Staff

      Hi Kyle,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      On this page you’re looking, as of this writing, there are 3 gyms at no joining fee.

      With Virgin Active, it is at $0 joining fee is you sign a 12-month contract while Fitness Playground and City Gym both have no joining fee. I’m afraid that both of them are not available in Beenleigh. I suggest that you scout in the said area to find a fitness centre that suits your needs most.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

    Default Gravatar
    GrantApril 6, 2018

    I am with Fitness Playground at Surry Hills but I only pay $16 or so a week?

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiApril 6, 2018

      Hi Grant,

      Thanks for your message and for visiting finder – the leading comparison website & general information service built to give you advice in your buying decision needs. How are you doing today?

      The $16.95 / week is a starting rate given by Fitness Playground. Just the same, we’ll contact the branch and update this page accordingly.

      Please note that we’re a product comparison website and we hold no affiliation with any company we feature on our site. We provide general information on products to assist you in your buying decision process hence we cannot recommend product / service that is rightfully fit for you.

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Nikki

      Default Gravatar
      GrantApril 6, 2018

      Great Thank you for the follow up Nikki,
      I have had my membership for about 6 months I am actually here now and showed this to my club manager and they wanted to know how they could contact you to provide their pricing? Because they don’t believe any member is paying more than $20 something accessing all classes.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoanneApril 6, 2018Staff

      Hi Grant,

      Thank you for visiting finder, we are a financial comparison website and general information service.
      A representative from the Fitness Playground may contact us directly on our pages via chat or email so we can forward their details to our client services team. We do appreciate the feedback and thank you for reaching out.

      Cheers,
      Joanne

Go to site