Gyms 2018 Review & Ratings – Canstar Blue

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Compare Gyms in New Zealand with Canstar Blue. Les Mills, Anytime Fitness, CityFitness, Jetts, and Snap Fitness were compared on value for money, equipment and facilities, flexibility and perks, group fitness, personal training, staff availability, atmosphere and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Les Mills

World-wide operators but proud of their Kiwi roots, Les Mills stays ahead of the field for customer satisfaction.

Les Mills, still flexing on top

Thanks to its unique fitness programmes such as BODYPUMP®, RPM® and GRIT®, this popular New Zealand institution has also made a big impression internationally.  Around since the early nineties, Les Mills doesn’t consider itself your average gym. Offering fitness classes, personal training sessions and some of the latest technology and fitness equipment, some of the latest activities to hit their floors include a completely new cycling experience using digital projections creating a futuristic roller coaster like workout, and  Les Mills Virtual, a new type group fitness.

Any gym goer who has been to Les Mills knows that their facilities and fitness classes are hard to beat, but such perks don’t come without a cost, and this may be why they only scored a mid-rating, three stars for value for money.  But, despite other gyms scoring higher – CityFitness received five stars and Anytime Fitness and Jetts scored four, it seems the verdict is that Les Mills perks are worth paying extra for.

Topping $120billion globally, the health and fitness industry in New Zealand is estimated to be worth in excess of $490 million with the Exercise Association of New Zealand estimating a staggering 717,000 Kiwis are members of a gym. That’s nearly a fifth of our population!  Overwhelmingly, our survey showed that the people’s main motivations for joining a gym were to improve fitness and/or feel healthier, but just over half also said that they wanted to lose weight.

So, if you’re thinking of joining a gym or undertaking exercise in general, what should you be aiming to achieve?

How much exercise should I be aiming for?

According to the World Health Organisation adults between the ages of 18-64 should be aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity every week.  This could be in the form of organised activities such as joining a gym or as informal as housework, gardening or regular walking and should always be in sessions of at least 10 minutes in length.  For additional health benefits aim to increase exercise time to 300 minutes per week or increase level of intensity from moderate to vigorous.

Benefits from these levels of regular exercise can include reducing risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and mental illness, as well as increasing general cardio and muscular fitness as well as emotional wellbeing.

Our survey showed that most people (44%) go between three and five times per week but incredibly 5% of people managed to go every day.  That’s either dedication or dedication to get value for money from their membership fee!

How much is a gym membership going to cost?

Depending on the gym, membership deals vary and often start at a ‘basic’ level that allows you to ‘bolt on’ additional classes on a pay-as-you-go basis, right through to 12- month contracts that usually offer better value if you can be disciplined enough to go regularly!  Some of the bigger chains also offer different levels of membership that allow you to either pay more to access all of their locations or pay less and be restricted to your nominated branch.

As part of our research, we asked New Zealand gym members how much they’re spending each month on membership and found the mean spend was $55.00.  At a regional level, Aucklanders registered the highest spend at $64.00, followed by Cantabrians spending $49.00. Gym goers in the Waikato spent the least at $46.00 per month.  If you are contemplating joining a new gym, bear in mind that when you join you may also be liable to pay a joining fee and a security or access card fee (on top of your monthly membership fee) that could add a few hundred dollars to your bill.  We also recommend always talking to a gym before you sign up as these ‘additional costs’ are often popular waivers during promotional periods.

Baby boomers at the gym

One group of people who did tend to pay more were Baby Boomers.  As our population ages, we obviously have an eye on keeping fit and healthy and it looks like something respondents to our survey take very seriously.  Busting the average monthly spend of the younger generations, our 60 pluses spend around $85 on keeping fit with personal development programmes being their most popular activity.  But aside from working up a sweat, it seems they’re a sociable lot too! Not a single one of our baby boomers said they minded people talking to them when they are at the gym, this compared to 16% of Gen Yers and 11% of Gen Xers.  Let’s hope they’re talking to each other otherwise their conversation may not go down too well!

Ten things that annoy us at the gym

It doesn’t matter if you visit the gym every day, once a week or once in a blue moon, there’s usually something that bugs us when we’re there.  So, just in case you were wondering, we thought we’d share the top ten things that irritate people the most:

  1. We hate not being able to get on that piece of equipment we want.
  2. The gym being smelly or untidy. We all know that
  3. Dirty or smelly changing and shower facilities.
  4. People not using a towel and sweating over the equipment.
  5. Equipment hoggers. Do they really need to be on there so long?
  6. People not replacing or resetting equipment
  7. Loud grunters. You know the ones!
  8. People who watch you. This was more of an issue for women with 33% saying they didn’t like people looking at them as opposed to 18% of men.
  9. Show offs. Every gym has at least one!
  10. The music or TV choice.

Most gyms are pretty open to constructive feedback, so if you have any of these pet-peeves, leave a message for your gym and they should at least try to address it. If you’re unhappy with your club’s response, then we hope our customer ratings help you make the switch to a gym that better suits your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue commissioned I-view to survey 2,500 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers who regularly visit a commercial gym that is part of a chain (i.e. has gyms in multiple locations), where they pay a membership/attendance fee, in this case, 592 New Zealanders.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

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