If you’re a special kind of #fit person who “doesn’t sweat”, you’re in for a real shocker. Unless you’re a dehydrated dolphin that hasn’t swum in years, you’re going to be sweating up a storm during the five toughest workouts in Melbourne. We highly recommend spacing visits out…possibly by a month or two. These aren’t for the fainthearted.
Leo Berry’s Gym
It’s totally normal sprawl across the floor, arm flung out to the side, failing miserably to catch your breath during the circuit at Leo Berry’s Gym. Think of it as initiation and find comfort in the knowledge that literally everyone else is in the same boat.
The hour and a half circuit is split evenly between pad work, bags and cardio. It’s the kind of deliciously addictive high-intensity class that keeps locals (and non-locals) coming back. Trainers are neurotically helpful when it comes to learning proper technique, so whether this is your first time throwing a punch or you’re a seasoned boxer, you’re guaranteed to gain a few tips.
Bring your own wraps and gloves, or there’s a small selection of mismatched pairs for public use. Circuit classes run at 6.30pm Mondays, Wednesdays and 8am on Saturdays.
Reward yourself after: Head to A Thousand Blessings for coffee and a bowl of seasonal mushrooms. On Saturday morning, Gleadell Street is also transformed to a lively produce market.
Previously KX Cycle, United Ride boasts the same location, top facilities and trainers as its past life. It’s one of the hottest new spin studios in Melbourne. Classes usually run for 45 minutes, and combine traditional cycling elements with upper body weights and core training.
A full body, calorie killing workout, classes are set in a pitch black room with candles for an encouraging, welcoming atmosphere.
Reward yourself after: Nutrition Bar is open bright ‘n early everyday, and is the perfect pit stop for a recovery smoothie or post-workout acai bowl.
Tucked into a corporate area of Cremorne, along Cubitt Street, Progression Fitness is a boutique gym spanning just 450 square metres. But don’t underestimate the gym because of its size.
The space manages to combine a boxing zone, bike room, indoor three-lane running track and Iron Edge training equipment into one astonishingly clever design. (You may not think it’s so clever when you go straight from pushing a 30kg sled to resistance cycling.)
Indoor and outdoor bootcamp-style classes rotate regularly, and include everything from cycling to strength-conditioning; boxing to yoga. Just remember: they’re only yelling at you because you’re not trying hard enough (ie you’re not dead).
Reward yourself after: Denis The Menace does take away breakfast, with most dishes under a tenner.
The HIIT Factory
Yarraville, Northcote, Werribee & Various Locations
With most classes wrapping up at the half-hour mark, The HIIT Factory have no qualms about working you hard for every single minute of the class. Focusing on high-intensity interval training with a particular lust for bodyweight exercises, workouts are deceptively simple…and anything but easy.
Expect high-intensity skipping (no, we’re not kidding), kettle bells and plenty of burpees. As most classes involve little to no equipment. All classes are kiddie-friendly too, so there are really zero excuses.
Reward yourself after: At your favourite local! If you’re hanging around Yarraville, head into Heal.Thy Self Co.
Specialising in TRX training, studio classes include TRX Suspension Training, TRX RIP Training and TRX Functional Training. Yes, the team is a big fan of TRX. TRX was originally invented by a former US Navy Seal to keep troops fit while on deployment, and is a particular kind of body weight torture. Classes range from 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
The studio also offers Pilates, with both Matwork and Reformer sessions.
Reward yourself after: At The Grain Store, because you bloody deserve banana gingerbread.
We opened it up to our readers, and they didn't disappoint. Here are the best places to workout in Melbourne.
Image credit: Judd Apatow