Get fit as a fiddle on any budget


Obviously, the services and equipment vary and that depends on how much you are prepared to pay for your membership.

If you are on an entry-level package, you are guaranteed to find treadmills, free weights, elliptical machines and strength equipment such as chest presses and incline benches. The fancy ones, however, can come complete with boardrooms, spas and shoe-shine services.

Affordable gyms

Gym membership fees shouldn’t deter you from achieving your fitness goals. There are many gyms that offer workout spaces with quality training equipment at an affordable price.

Planet Fitness and Virgin Active, for instance, have entry-level packages that promise members respectable training experiences at a cost of around R200
per month.

The new kid on the block, Viva Gym, which has branches in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth, is a good example of quality offering at an affordable price. For R250 you get to utilise the Viva Gym for a month without having to be tied to a contract.

“We believe that everybody should be striving to be fit and healthy, and to do this we have made it as convenient and affordable as possible,” the company said in a statement.

“We do this by cutting through all of the unnecessary extras that drive up monthly fees at existing gyms, such as swimming pools and steam rooms. Viva has instead decided to focus on providing a modern, energetic and innovative exercise experience that will appeal
to all.”

Viva has treadmills, strength equipment, aerobics and spinning classes, and showers. And there’s a bit of free Wi-Fi thrown in too.

The posh health clubs

If you are looking for a highly personalised, premium health and wellness experience, you might have to dig deeper into your pocket and consider a package similar to the Virgin Active Collection.

Recently launched in South Africa, packages at these health clubs range from R1 250 to R2 000 a month.

For that members receive high-performance training facilities, the latest cardio and strength equipment, a bank of Wattbikes (described as the world’s most intelligent exercise bikes, which are used by Olympic cyclists), and dedicated Pilates and suspension yoga studios.

Members also have access to a fully equipped boardroom with Mac workstations, wireless printing and unlimited Wi-Fi.

Virgin Active Africa managing director Ross Faragher-Thomas says the business suite was added because “members like to use Collection clubs as a professional space as well”.

Members of the Collection health clubs also receive a complimentary shoe shine, towel and concierge service. If they need medical attention while at the gym, a suite of wellness experts is on hand with biokineticists, physiotherapists and dieticians.

But this service comes at an extra cost and so do the spa treatments and the “groom den”.


Are you planning to exercise and get fit this year? What does your gym offer?

SMS us on 35697 using the keyword GYM and tell us what you think. Please include your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50

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