Things To Do

Sweat It Out At Melbourne’s Best Boutique And Independent Gyms

By Kate Fleming
24th May 2023

Attention all gym junkies, Melbourne has some new gyms on the scene who are definitely showing their bulk compared to the chains. There are also plenty of small, boutique gyms that offer a more personalised approach than the giants. Maybe 2021 is the time for a change, whether that be joining a gym or swapping yours for a small business. We’ve got the scoop on Melbourne’s best boutique and independent gyms right here for you. 

BalanceNorth Health & Wellbeing

BalanceNorth is a new studio and the first of its kind in the northside suburbs offering an extensive range of services and movement classes. Under one roof you'll find physiotherapy reformer pilates, physiotherapy-led group exercise classes (clinical pilates), dietetics, remedial massage and myotherapy, relaxation massage including hot stone massages and podiatry—so matter if you're chasing a new way to sweat or you're after a holistic approach to your health, BalanceNorth has absolutely everything you need and could want. BalanceNorth brings together expert health practitioners, a modern studio and a green outdoor space. It's the hidden oasis in Melbourne’s inner north that you definitely need to try, and best of all, they're offering 5 pilates for $50 so best get in quick. 


South Yarra

While 1R gym is all the way from the UK, they’re opening their first Australian gym (and their largest) in South Yarra. The complex has been designed by Melbourne’s Foolscap Studios and it is huge. At 800sqm, they’ve got a smoothie and coffee bar, free prosecco Friday nights in the 1R bar, an activewear retail space showcasing local designers, and that’s before you even get to the workout spaces. They offer three classes by the names of Reshape, Rumble and Reformer which are all accompanied by playlists—curated by psychologists for maximum motivation. Post workout, the Repair room is fully stocked with Grown Alchemist products, Dyson hairdryers, GHD hair straighteners and a dedicated phone for ordering drinks at the bar—this place is luxe.  



If you’ve always wanted to give proper strength training a crack but been put off by costly 1:1 PT fees, Uplift is the gym for you. Uplift is a strength-focused group training facility that focuses on progressive programming and individualised nutrition coaching to bridge the gap between personal and group training. What makes them a cut above the rest? Uplift uses online mobile tracking, where each session members track their progress in reps, sets and weights — allowing the coaches to keep you accountable and members on top of their progress. They also offer bespoke nutrition programs that focus on protein, fats, carbohydrates and total caloric intake for each individual’s specific goals. Kiss goodbye to fad dieting and hello to a flexible and holistic approach that’s proven to deliver lasting results.


South Yarra

LA-based gym Barry’s has just launched their first Melbourne venue following the success of their Sydney branches. Known for their famous Red Room—get your head out of the gutter, we’re not talking Fifty Shades of Grey-style—their science-based approach is designed to help you be the best version of yourself. The new studio will also have the Barry’s Fuel Bar to help you rehydrate after your sesh, plus they’ve got Dyson hairdryers, complimentary towels, Oribe hair care products and a retail facility for all your Barry’s merch.


Cremorne and Sandringham

Exclusively for all the females out there, FoxFit is here to help you get fit without the macho men around. Open since 2011, the FoxFit team already has ten years of experience behind them. They offer 45-minute classes capped at ten people across four different workout styles—functional training, interval training, strength training and personal training. Their memberships vary to suit different budgets, so there’s no excuse for why you shouldn’t get moving. 

Chris’ Gym


If you’re after a smaller-scale gym offering a more personalised approach, then look no further than Chris’ Gym. They’ve got loyal members who keep coming back year after year for their down-to-earth, no fuss attitude. There’s no card or sign in system here, just a dedicated team of experienced trainers. They may be on the small side, but their equipment is top quality and their programs are tailored to get you kicking goals while actually enjoying yourself.

A|F Training Studios


When it comes to luxury, we don’t often think of gyms, but that all changed when Ashley Faithful hit the scene with his boutique CBD Training Studio. Taking 5-star hospitality into the fitness industry, Ashley’s gym is all about the client. Down to the last detail, this gym is bougie AF. They’ve got a custom water fountain which dispenses both tap and sparkling water, executive shower and bathroom facilities, a private yoga and meditation space, and a concierge service offering in-house laundry and steaming facilities. The studio is also equipped with an Evolt 360 Bio Body Scanner which assesses physical health and body composition—hello futuristic. 

Happy Melon


It’s all in the name. Offering classes in meditation, yoga, pilates and fitness, you’ll be one Happy Melon after a trip to this mind and body-focussed studio. They offer classes in the studio, online and in the Malvern Gardens if you prefer an outdoor experience. Fully equipped to maximise your wellbeing, the studio even has an on-site garden and tea station for you to unwind in before or after your session.   

Leo Berry’s Gym and Boxing Club


You didn’t think we’d leave this one out did you? One of Melbourne’s most iconic and historic community fitness clubs is Leo Berry’s Gym and Boxing Club. Founded by the legendary boxer and trainer back in 1954 before moving to the current site in 1987, the club has been an institution and a valuable space for underprivileged and disadvantaged youth in the area for decades. Their trainers are genuine, competitive boxers, who will train you up from any starting point—whether you want to increase your fitness or compete. 

Now that your body is taken care of, pay some attention to your mental health with these mindfulness activities.

Image credit: Urban List

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.