Whether you’ve been religiously hitting the gym for years and are looking for somewhere new or are on that January fitspo train and ready to throw money at a membership that you may never use, there are plenty of gyms in Brisbane for you. But to be one of the best, they need to have more than just a few treadmills and a weights area full of sweaty bros—they need passionate trainers and owners, engaging classes that you’ll be willing to wake up at 5am for and a community of like minded gym junkies who’ll simultaneously be your motivation and competition.
Well, prepare to start lining up some trial sessions, because we’ve found plenty of Brisbane gyms that tick all the boxes, and you’ll find them below.
Mount Gravatt, Chermside and Newstead
If luxury fitness was ever a vibe or concept, Total Fusion is that imagined. TF’s three locations are all a sight to behold and a burn to be felt with the gang offering five different studio spaces, 30 different class styles and over 130 different classes every week—think yoga, cycle, reformer pilates, barre, HIIT and fusion. After sweating it out (or zenning it out), at the Newstead location you can head to the Refuel Bar for some tasty as healthy goodies. The facilities are actually out of this world, from the Himalayan salt wall built from over a thousand salt bricks in the yoga studio to the cold towels available to take into the heated classes. And no, you don’t need to in head-to-toe Lululemon to fit in—just willing to give every class your all.
Not only is Function Well one of the best gyms in Newstead and Teneriffe, but it’s also one of the biggest, featuring three distinct zones. As an official subsidiary of CrossFit, you best believe their CrossFit sessions push you to your absolute limits, but if you’re not into almost meeting Jesus after your workout they also have (slightly chiller) yoga, pilates, metcon, strength and conditioning, boxing and HIIT group workout classes. The gym floor is open 24/7 if you’re just looking to do your own thing, and after a session you can take advantage of their restoration equipment. From ice baths to infrared saunas and Normatec Boots (basically a lymphatic massage boot that just so happens to be the cure for post-leg day dead legs) and even meditation spaces with acupressure mats and chromotherapy lighting, this gym gets 10s across the board.
We well and truly have to sound the royal trumpet for InspireCycle—if you're up for a rave and burning a few hundred calories, this is your workout. The name of Inspire’s game is their spin classes that are driven by the beats in the music. Think choreography, routines, high energy and rave-esque lights conducted by bad-ass instructors that give powerhouse entertainers a run for their money (Ari and Scott we are looking at you). Not just a killer full-body workout, one track in the 45-minute experience is even dedicated to keeping you inspired—with endorphins flowing, inspirational track booming and instructors giving you one hell of a motivational speech as you cycle, the whirlwind of a class is somehow as good as a cracking therapy session. If spin ain't your thing, head to the rumble room to be pushed to your limits in a boxing-based workout. There are cleats to use for free for your spin class, student discounts and all-round the most welcoming gym environment we’ve enjoyed.
Nestled conveniently right on Edward Street in the city, Olympia Transformations is truly a force to be reckoned with. If come January, the ol’ new year's resolution of getting an outstanding rig is once again on the list, these guys are your one-stop shop. If the before and after pics aren't enough to convince you, perhaps the hoards of 5-star reviews will be. Maybe these impressive reviews are due to the actual SLIDE included in the HIIT workout circuit. All the classes are broken up by beginner, intermediate and advanced so you won't have to pretend you're not puffed next to the bloody bodybuilding champion of Queensland. The guys at Olympia are confident that if you don't love their gym (heads up, you will) after seven days, you can cancel your membership for free.
If you haven't heard of FitazFk, sorry but you've been living under a rock. Fitaz’s specialty lies in their quick but high-intensity HIIT classes—FK strength, FK HIIT, or FK box. These classes are usually pretty short and sweet, with 30-45 mins of pure metabolic boosting. That's right, HIIT classes like FitazFk’s help you burn more calories while at rest—FK yes. Under the beautiful airy high ceilings you can also get amongst some mat pilates and yoga (FK Sculpt) and Flex and Flow classes (deep stretching classes that honestly make you forget even the concept of sitting in an office for 8 hours a day). All the trainers are super qualified and have years upon years of experience not only in the commercial gym setting, but most of them have had careers as pro athletes—i.e. they're not fk-ing around, you’re in the best hands in the industry for any and all classes you do.
You’ve definitely seen 12RND around the way, but little do you know these gyms are a chain of powerhouses. Founded by four-time world champion boxer Danny Green, 12RND is boxing and strength training with 12 three-minute rounds, complete with a different full-body workout every day in under 45 minutes. The workouts are a combination of boxing skills and drills, high impact and explosive training and there’s no schedule—just rock up and jump on in at any time. Franchise owners are almost always on hand in the gyms, and you get loads of one-on-one attention and instruction from the instructors. If you're still tossing it up, head on into one of their 16 different locations for a free trial class, borrow some gloves and see if it's your vibe.
Bunker down and get ready to grind at Club Bunker, a gym constructed by two fitness industry veterans with the goal of a community feel and fun workouts. Kick-off with a body composition scan which measures body fat percentage, muscle and body water (yes so you can actually FACTUALLY know where to target rather than just floundering around). Then, let the pros get to work giving you the workout of the century with yoga, pilates, strength, conditioning, CrossFit or HIIT classes, not to mention private training. Bonus, your pooch can hang out in a little dog-friendly zone while you get your pump on, and there’ll be a tasty coffee awaiting you on your way out. The best bit? There are no joining fees.
Now, not many gyms boast the evangelical devotion from what feels like 95% of society that F45 does. That one friend that is always looking like a snack? You can absolutely guarantee that they do F45. Standing for Functional 45 (minute long workout), F45 has the masses converted, and we sigh as we say this, but it is well warranted. The circuits are already set up when you get there—no faffing around waiting for old mate gym bro to be done rancidly sweating on the bench press, just get in, smash it (and your legs) and you're off on your way again. The challenges that we all know (god that one friend do be posting their progress on their stories a lot though) and love, while they are not for the faint of heart, are for those who want to uncover their absolute best mind, body and soul and expect drastic results. For said results, you can head to one of their 12 locations all around Bris. Oh heads up, a medicine ball is about to become your best friend and worst enemy.
Exclusive class alert! Studio Fitness in Newstead is where you'll find Brisbane's only lagree class—sort of like pilates, but instead of focusing on stretching larger muscles and strengthening smaller muscle groups. The lagree method focuses on intense bodybuilding techniques combined with no to low impact movements. If you're starting to get just a little too pro at your regular pilates class, or if you've had injuries and can do longer cop the high impact on your joints, it's time to shake it up with lagree at Studio Fitness. It may be fun to scoot along on those reformer machines, but the lagree burn is no joke.
Ever wanted to give someone a good ol’ knuckle sandwich? The slow driver on the road, the mansplainer at work, or even your housemates that are breathing too loudly. Work out your aggression at Nuckle Gym in Newstead, where they are all about the classic boxing workout on crack. Heaps of pads, abs, fight conditioning drills and sweat galore is what's on offer in the Gymbox, Lunchbox and Cardibox classes. The motivational instructors teach you punching techniques and basic footwork all the while banging beats keep the energy high. Our fave is the Parkbeat class, saved for the last Saturday of each month and held in various parks around the inner city. Pull up for an outdoor workout that mixes boxing, bodyweight and high-paced HIIT.
Prefer an outdoor workout? Check out Brisbane’s best stair runs.
Image credit: Urban List archives