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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 to choose can be hard. We've gathered 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 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$99From $15.29 p/wSomeYesFull review
Fitness First61$0$48 per fortnightSomeYesFull 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
Snap Fitness200+$59from $14.95 p/wYesYesFull review
City Gym1 (Sydney)$0from $24.94 p/wYes, Monday-FridayYesFull 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 with 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, Mum and Bubs, and classes for kids. Selected clubs also have child minding areas and 24/hr access.

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exercising
Source: Instagram

2. Fitness First

No. of gyms: 61

Joining fee: From $0 – varies depending on location.

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: Some

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

Facilities: 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.

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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.

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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 will offer its own variety of classes.

Facilities: Free parking at some locations, and 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.

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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: Classes include Pilates, BodyPump, Cycle, 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 at some locations. Gym equipment includes PowerPlate and Kinesis, and the gym floor has strength, cardio and functional training zones.

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plus fit

Source: Instagram

6. Plus Fitness

No. of gyms: 220+

Joining fee: $25 and $29 for personal access card.

Cost of membership: $31.40 fortnightly

24 hours: Yes (most locations).

Classes: Yes, mostly group classes ranging from Spin Classes to Boxing and Yoga. Some of the classes are female only.

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

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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 every week. These range from Yoga and High-Intensity Interval classes to the rather unique CircusFit class. Some of these are group classes.

Facilities: Lockers, 24-hour access, showers, 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 a class that's unique to them.

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snap fitness

Source: Instagram

8. Snap Fitness

No. of gyms: 200+

Joining fee: $59 (price can vary).

Cost per week of membership: From $14.95 p/w on a month-to-month basis, or from $14.95 p/w on a 12-month plan – this does vary per club based on location.

24 hours: Yes

Classes: Yes, group classes. 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.

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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: Yes, 24-hour access is available Monday-Friday

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.

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fernwood fitness

Source: Instagram

10. Fernwood

No of gyms: 70+

Joining fee: $199 plus an Activation Kit fee (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 (some locations), 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.

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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 at attending 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 facility 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 facility out at the time you'd usually be going is a great way of finding out if the gym is going to be packed out when you'll likely be visiting.

  • 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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    6 Responses

    1. 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

    2. 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

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