I know first hand what it is like finding a new gym when you move to a new place and don’t know many people or have any recommendations – it’s hard to want to commit to it, or even know where to start. This was my experience in Canberra. Canberra is a very transient city, so I thought it might help some other Canberra newbies too to have a personal recommendation, written from me to you. I went to Next Gen Canberra and it was AMAZING. I wish I had found it earlier. I’ve never found a gym this good, so I had to share it with you!
If you have been following along on my instagram, you will know that a few months ago we moved from Canberra to Sydney. There were a number of reasons why we made this move, and from an outsider’s point of view, the decision seemed easy – just move to Sydney! A friend asked me what was holding me back, and I told her “I just really like my gym in Canberra”. Yes, it was ACTUALLY a reason to not move! So, if you have recently moved to Canberra, or you are an established local looking for an incredible gym, I would highly recommend Next Gen Canberra. Here’s why:
Next Gen Canberra
Next Gen Canberra is technically a lifestyle club, not just a gym. It has facilities for you to use every day of the week, no matter your mood you are in. It can be used for fitness, relaxation, children, socialising and even date nights.
Okay, let’s start the obvious one, the gym. The gym has an impressive collection of exercise machines. There a fair bit of space in the gym to do your own circuit workouts too. The weights area is also separate from the cardio machines, which is nice to not have people watching you do your weights while they’re running on the treadmill. There is an option for extra personal training on top of your membership, however with the classes I didn’t feel I needed this.
Next Gen Canberra Gym Classes
The classes are also really great, I was going to classes all the time because there were so many great trainers and only a few that I didn’t find were suited to me. I’m pretty picky with class instructors so to have more than a couple I enjoyed was great! They have a massive selection of Les Mills’ classes, as well as a few others like Zumba (not a huge fan of the Zumba here, but most other things were great!), Boxing, Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates. The timetable is really impressive, most days there are over 10 classes a day. I never felt bored of the classes, which is saying a lot for me.
Overall, this gym is impressive, and I think if you were only getting gym access, this membership would be well worth it. This is the membership I started out on.
I also met some great friends at the gym, that I still keep in touch with, even after leaving (hello Bec, you superstar! Miss you girl!).
Tennis and squash courts
The club has a relationship with Tennis Australia so they have access to indoor and european clay tennis courts. These courts are world class and can be used for social or competitive play. My husband and I had a few hits on a weekend afternoon and it was such a fun way to exercise together! There are also 6 glass backed squash courts in the gym.
As anyone who has spent any time in Canberra knows, the winters are very cold, the summer’s are very hot, and nearly all seasons are sunny! Next Gen caters for both of these extremes with both an indoor and outdoor pool!
Rees and I were able to expose Finn to the water (no beaches in Canberra makes that difficult). Whilst we didn’t use it, there are also lessons available for kids and adults if you are looking for something more.
THE SPA! Seriously, amazing. There were many afternoons where Reis and I were feeling pretty stressed, so we would drop Finn off at the crèche (more on that below) and we were able to have an afternoon relaxing in the adult only spa.
There is nothing that has made me feel more calm than those days. The massage water fountain in the spa was the best for relieving shoulder tension. They also have a sauna, steam room and ice shower. It was the perfect way to spend some quality, distraction-free time together!
One thing that was ESSENTIAL for me while looking for a gym was a good crèche for my 1 year old son Finn. I needed to be able to drop him off and know he was safe and being cared for while I was working out. And this is exactly what I got. He loved going to crèche and it gave him some good time to socialise with other kids and adults, as he doesn’t go to day care. The team that run the creche are so caring for the kids, I miss Cindy and the team a lot! You do pay a small fee each session, but it gets you and hour and a half kid free, which allowed me to get a good quality work out session in, eat a meal and check some emails while I was there. This was nothing short of life saving in giving me some ‘me time’.
Other kid’s programs
From the age of two the club offers kids group active classes and school holiday programs. I look forward to the next time we live in Canberra so we have the opportunity to utilise these services too. I can’t wait to get active with Finn!
I have to talk about the cafe here. If you’ve seen a cafe food shot on my instagram, there is a good chance it was taken here. The cafe is incredible and has a juice and smoothie bar, and fridge full of bliss balls ad a menu full of nutritious options for the health-conscious. And the sweet potato chips and butter my buns smoothie need a specific mention, one craving of these alone has me considering the three hour drive to Canberra!
Kids soft play room & computers
On one side of the cafe there is a soft play room for kiddies, so you can eat in piece. On the other side, there is a quieter room, that has a whole row of Mac computers ready for your use! There is also free wifi and newspapers.
Invite your friends for a coffee
You can also bring non-member guests to the cafe! Next Gen very quickly became the meeting place for my fellow mum friends, we would drink coffee in peace and catch up while our kids kept themselves busy in the soft play room. On the other side of the spectrum, I have had many business meetings and work sessions here, being able to utilise the crèche for Finn while I can be productive in the cafe.
Meeting areas + hair & nails
There’s a lovely outdoor terrace by the pool with tables and chairs and barbecues (you can see it in the background of the picture above, with the pool to the right) for your personal use, and there is a nail and hair salon on site.
Can you see now why I didn’t want to leave?
I love this gem of a gym. I look forward to checking out their Ryde location here in Sydney, I’ve heard it is just as good. They have a few other locations in Australia and New Zealand too. If you have any questions about about my experience at Next Gen Canberra, feel free to contact me.