We are living in Melbourne for over two months now; the house is filled, most of the organising is done, the kids are settling in at school and Oliver is flying out to Brisbane quite regularly. It is now time to start thinking about me. So time to work at next item of our Australian bucket list: the search for a gym.
My wishes? I am looking for a gym that offers a nice variety of group lessons. Being almost at the source of the Les Mills here, Bodypump, Body balance lessons are a wish, but also some free style dance classes and step lessons would be great too.
Google maps helped me locating the gyms nearest to our house. It turns out that we are right in the middle of four gyms, that are all between 3-5 km away.
- Monash Aquatic Centre in Mount Waverley
- Ashburton Pool and Recreation Centre in Ashburton
- Fitness First in Glen Waverley
- Re-creation in Burwood East
Strangely enough, even though we live in Mount Waverley the gym in Mount Waverley is actually the one that is the furthest away from our house.
Gym membership prices
The first thing I have to get over are the prices they charge here for being a member of a gym. They are still at the pre-Basic Fit* level. The four gyms that I visited charge between $30- $50 per fortnight (per two weeks) and all have a joining fee between $50 – 125.
Prices are a big secret at some of the gyms. At one gym I was told the rates, but could not take a copy home with me. You can only get the prices when you visit and the starting fee seems negotiable sometimes.
Cultural differences at Zumba try-out class
So far I have done one Zumba try out class at Fitness First. I prefer to test a free style lesson, because the own flavour of the instructor comes out. I have been in many different Zumba classes and not one of them has been the same. The Less Mills lessons are relatively equal everywhere, since it is a fixed program.
Cultural differences became evident quickly. The instructor came out in a glittery shirt and was carrying a bag full of goodies. The spirit is high and it seemed very normal to interact with each other, giving our neighbours high fives and singing along. The highlight was when she opened the goody bag and pompoms came out. So we all looked like cheer leaders and no one seemed embarrassed by it. Coming from a country where ‘doe maar gewoon dan doe je gek genoeg‘ (act normal this is strange enough) is the norm this does take some getting used to. I was very sorry that I did not take my camera to capture this….
The advantages of the Monash Aquatic Centre and the Ashburton Pool & Recreation Centre is that entrance to the pool in included.
At the Fitness First you have access to all the Fitness First Clubs in Australia, which might be very handy for Oliver.
I do have three more try out cards here from the other three gyms, so I will try out the other’s as well. Although I do think that I found my gym already. Re-creation in Burwood-East has an extensive amount of group classes, quite a few dance workouts, specialised yoga classes, the lowest fee and no fixed contract.
* Basic Fit is a chain in the Netherlands that offers less frills and service, therefore charges lower prices. This has created a revolution in the prices at other Fitness Centres. Most of the prices have gone down since.