By Mayyah Gordon
Mar 11, 2019

Best Value Gyms in Hamilton


As the sizzling ‘beach-bod’ season draws to its inevitable close and the first few weeks of semester begin to take over, there may be no better time to beat the university blues with a new motivational drive. We've compiled the crème de la crème of noteworthy gyms in Hamilton that offer competitive student rates in a bid to compare the standard of these facilities, the equipment, and the programs that may tailor to a broad range of fitness interests. So without further ado, here’s what you need to know about Hamilton’s gym market in order to make an enlightened decision on where to forge and maintain those gains in these cooler months.

$9.20 pw for tertiary students
Beginning with an obvious fan favourite here on campus, this facility is optimal in terms of its on-campus location for one. The facility offers one of the cheapest all round membership rates in Hamilton for tertiary students, and in many respects, that's pretty hard to beat for overall value. You can enjoy the cardio equipment, activity rooms, squash courts, weights room, and the endless indoor pools to name a few. Catering to its own students as well as the wider community, the UniRec also offers great group-based exercise classes, and exercise/nutrition consultants to help you beat the vicious cycle that is the recurring internal monologue of “it’s just bulking season, baby”. Whether you’re a high-performance athlete or a casual gym-goer, the UniRec has the facilities, the friendly staff, the rates, and the location to meet everyone’s needs. In comparison to most newer gyms though, I must say the upstairs weights room could do with a little decorative revamp.

Flex Fitness CBD
$16 pw for tertiary students
As a 24/7 gym this place really offers no excuse to its members not to fit in their workout. You’re eligible to use of all of the equipment and have full access to the bootcamp-inspired fitness classes run by a small group of great, motivational trainers. If you’re into hygiene, individual changing rooms, and tradie lads, chances are you’d like it here. As well as all of that, if you just happen to be in the market for a pre-workout trim, there’s a barber shop just upstairs. Another bonus? Flex Fitness members employ one of the best plate re-racking policies around in my personal opinion, but hey. However, in the spirit of ending such a praising paragraph with a negative just to leave you second-guessing yourself, I’ll put this out there. The only downside to this gym seems to be the nipple-baring, tank top-wearing grunters. My advice is to simply monitor their visitation hours and pick your workout times accordingly, especially if listening to Hercules over there summon the underworld with 20kg dumbbells puts you off too.

Les Mills
$19.95 pw for tertiary students
Ah, yes. As the pinnacle of your fitness dreams and expectations, Les Mills pretty much stacks up to its name. With the most popular array of group fitness classes to suit anyone and any fitness level, and facilities that provide a quality experience for its members - such as the sauna, an outdoor functional training area, and a beauty of a weights gym - it’s no surprise that this gym has always been in such high demand. But with high demand comes a rather high occupancy rate, and therefore a pretty constant peak time; expect your quietest visit to be between 2pm-3pm unless you want to fall privy to working in your bench sets with two other gym-bros.

Core MMA
$20 pw for tertiary students
Like a setting from the MMA series Kingdom (if you know, you know), this place is as tough as what you can imagine any hard-core mixed martial arts gym to be. From memory, the classes are intense, from knowledge, the trainers are passionate, and from my pop in on Friday, the equipment and protective gear within their newly based facility inside the CBD is state of the fucking art. With one Olympic sized boxing ring, an intimidating octagon fighting cage and boxing bags galore, Core MMA practically invites your raging study angst through their doors. With a great student rate, you’re welcome to all classes during the week and use of modern cardio equipment in between rounds, such as airmill rowers and assault bikes. The vast gym area is filled with functional training spaces for all your strength and callisthenics needs, as well as cushy crash mats for all-important take-down practice. And if that still doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s a freaking foam pit in the back! If you’re in need of diversifying your exercise regime or are simply keen on learning some new skills, then the discipline of MMA and the facility that Core offers is pretty unmatched for beginners and experts alike.

City Fitness/Snap Fitness
$6.99- $9.95 pw on basic memberships
Let’s not act like these two gyms need their own analysis paragraphs, alright. If you’re seeking affordable, local, and pretty much conventional then either of these gyms will offer just that. With membership prices for general equipment usage being so cheap, it’s no wonder that these are popular student gyms. Unfortunately, those rates don’t include any group classes or the flexibility to cancel anytime. Thus, the potential to keep em’ coming back for that endorphin hit is more or less subject to the terms and conditions of your own negligence.

Fastlane Fitness
$22.90 pw
If swimming is more your physical activity forte, then Fastlane Fitness is where it’s at. The gym offers a great combination deal to all members for the use of all regular equipment, and the 10 lane swimming pool, as well as six weeks worth of assessments and programs with qualified personal trainers. The facility is sleek, modern, and well equipped with an impressive range of classes to help you meet your personal fitness goals. With no joining fee, an easy 10 day membership cancellation policy, and casual swim visits from $5.50 a dunk, there really is few cons to mention here!

To round this week’s Valid section off, I’ll leave you with a few words from none-the-wiser. We’re all adults here, and by that I mean you must have at least some semblance of financial responsibility so this shouldn’t need to be said, but make sure to heed that fixed term contract. Additionally, free gym trials exist for a reason. Take it from a serial gym-hopper - giving those free trials a go before you completely sign up will save you a lot of hassle in the long run. Lastly, whether you’re a sporting veteran, or are new to the realm fitness looking for a little change within your everyday study-eat-sleep-repeat pattern, then keep in mind the benefits of maintaining your health and physical well-being this year. It’s all well and good to have a brilliant mind, but it takes a little more than copious amounts of reading to keep that mind sharp. Whatever your particular goals or fitness interests (if any), that sexy mind and body are deserving of a little TLC - all in the name of mild, exercise-based self-affliction. However, if all other means of self-love fail to act as a driving force in this area, then an external bonus would be keeping that bod bangin’ for the boudoir.  

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Waikato University