You only need to witness the sheer volume of activewear on show in Sydney‘s streets to realise that fitness is an obsession with residents of the Harbour City. Whether you’re looking for a high-intensity workout at a gym in the Sydney CBD (city centre), a friendly, inclusive club in Potts Point or pole dancing classes in the suburbs, we’ve selected the best gyms in Sydney so you can join in the fitness craze.
Once owned by Hollywood A-lister Russell Crowe, this Riley Street institution was founded by leading trainer Chris Feather, a former professional footballer who’s now one of the go-to fitness gurus for Sydney’s leading CEOs, actors and athletes. This training gym located within a large New York-style warehouse has a simple philosophy: We value integrity, persistence and hard work over aesthetics and ego. We build resilience.
Centennial Health Club
Indoor palm trees. Bold colours. Rock climbing walls. A 10m (32ft) ceiling. This ultra-modern Moore Park gym has been designed to look and feel like a resort, providing a fun and friendly environment in which to get a sweat on. Small group classes including Kangoo (where you jump with super springy boots), Off The Wall (using straps and bars attached to the wall), and Stretch Me Skinny (self-explanatory) are some of the workouts you can expect here.
Speedo Fitness Club
You can’t talk about Sydney’s fitness scene without mentioning Bondi Beach – the place where the Speedo brand was born a century ago and where activewear is the compulsory today – and SFC is the best gym in the neighbourhood. This 24-hour health club is kitted out with modern equipment and decor and has the only heated indoor pool in Bondi Beach. There’s also a surf academy.
This Inner West health club is one of Sydney’s most inclusive gyms, tailoring group exercise classes for people of all ages and fitness levels. At Ruben’s describes itself as a holistic fitness centre that believes in a balanced and complete workout. If offers a huge range of mind and body classes intended to boost fitness, increase energy, assist with weight loss and even keep you focused when it comes to your diet.
There’s more to this boutique rowing studio than regular rowing. Crew’s fitness classes partner high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on the WaterRower with workstations focused on toning, sculpting and strengthening exercises for a full-body workout. Based smack-bang in the middle of Sydney’s CBD, Crew is the best gym in Sydney for city workers trying to squeeze an intense session into their busy schedule.
Level 8 of Sydney’s famous Dymocks Building – which houses Dymocks Main George Street bookshop on the ground floor – is home to Australia’s first free-standing Xtend Barre Studio, now one of eight in the Harbour City and 22 in Australia. The Xtend Barre method combines pilates and dance to create a dynamic workout that delivers cardio, strength, endurance and flexibility. It’s a full-body exercise that can be tailored to participants of all fitness levels.
This design-focused space – think exposed brick, floor-to-ceiling windows and scaffolding – was inspired by trendy US fitness clubs that feel as much like day spas as gyms. Situated in the salubrious inner-city suburb of Paddington, Flow Athletics offers a wide variety of yoga, spin and strength training classes in dedicated single-purpose rooms. Flow runs on the theory that for every cardio session, you should do one strength and one yoga session, to prevent injury and promote a holistic approach.
The pole dancing fitness trend has exploded in Sydney over the last few years, giving the core one hell of a workout. And with locations in the inner western suburb of Camperdown, as well as in Gladesville, Parramatta and Penrith, Sydney Pole is the go-to pole fitness studio in the Harbour City. The gym promises to give you a chance to escape your day-to-day and explore your unique self, all while working up a sweat. There are dance, conditioning and pole technique classes available.
While some other Sydney health clubs are dedicated to seriously hardcore athletes, this Potts Point gym is devoted to the everyday athlete. With a team of experienced personal trainers, well-equipped facilities and a culture based on consistency, progression and diversity, P.E. Dept sets out to make exercise feel more like an experience than a chore. It claims to be the antidote to the testosterone-fuelled franchise gyms and somewhere you can come to socialise, with friendly trainers and a judgement-free atmosphere.
Welcome to one of Sydney’s most convenient inner-city boutique gyms. Situated on Broadway near Central Station, iTrain accommodates athletes of all fitness levels, with everything they need – dedicated cardio zone, pin-loaded weights machines, strength training equipment, free weights, kettle bells, boxing gear, battle ropes, plus a 25m (82ft) heated lap pool and spa for a quality workout.
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