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Fitness Roadtest: Fernwood Canberra City

Ashleigh Went

Prior to my roadtest, the last time I had walked into Fernwood Canberra City was when I was 16 and in college.

I was a very different girl and it was a very different gym. I had enjoyed training there and loved the environment – I was a bit self conscious, really quite unfit, and had no idea what I was doing.

Well, time has been kind to us both – and I loved training there even more than I had nine years ago.

The time had come for Fernwood Canberra City to shake off their reputation as (dare I say it?!) a gym for old ladies.

They have certainly succeeded – to an extent. What I mean is that they’ve kept the best aspects that Fernwood Canberra City has had since it’s creation – the sense of community (a sisterhood, if you will), support for every fitness level, the luxuries like the sauna, complimentary breakfast and their fabulous magazine.

So what’s different, you ask?

For starters, the gym has changed structurally – there’s the inclusion of a beauty spa (bliss!) an additional group fitness studio, a functional fitness area, more free weights and really high quality equipment. My favourite is the hot pink pin loaded equipment – such a refreshing change from the standard boring black!

fernwood canberra city

Fernwood Canberra City’s heavy weights and tactical fitness space

I haven’t even mentioned what might be the most important part, and that’s the staff. Every time I visited the gym without fail, I was greeted by a big beautiful smile by the ladies behind the desk who were always eager to provide assistance. In fact, there is someone to walk you through every part the experience – from a tour of the gym to how to use the equipment, explain what the classes involve, and even offer food coaching (or an indulgent massage in the spa).

There’s no need to be apprehensive or afraid if you’re joining for the first time, because you will be very well looked after.

Several of my good friends train at Fernwood Canberra City and had given me positively glowing reviews of the Functional Fit classes on offer. My usual training involves high intensity interval training or Crossfit workouts so I was excited to give the classes a go.

I can see why they have such a following – I really enjoyed myself. I loved that they are high intensity (yet still scalable if you’re a beginner) and varied, with every class being different. I also like that they’re short – I like that I was dripping sweat and the end of the session and still had plenty of time to hang around and chat, get ready for work and grab a coffee. The classes I attended had a mix of cardio like running or rowing, free weight exercises like front squats and bentover rows, bodyweight movements like pushups, burpees and lunges.

Fernwood Canberra City's dedicated functional fitness space

Fernwood Canberra City’s dedicated functional fitness space

What I particularly liked is having access to these types of Functional classes as part of a more ‘traditional’ gym membership, as opposed to a standalone facility. That means that you can incorporate the classes into a broader training schedule that gives you variety and the freedom to choose how you want to train, not to mention that in terms of value for money, it’s quite competitive pricing compared to other facilities on the market.

I also tried out a few other classes like the Super Circuit and Abs classes which I also loved. They had a more ‘traditional’ group fitness feel than the Functional Classes, but I liked them as well. If you’re a Les Mills kind of lady, Fernwood Canberra City offers a suite of classes including Body Pump, Body Attack, Body Balance, RPM and Grit.

If you like your workouts with a side of glam, then Fernwood Canberra City really is the gym for you. As I said, there’s a spa, there’s flowers, a hair straightener in the change room, a sauna that you have access to with your membership, nice large lockers to fit that massive gym bag of yours and amenities like hair spray and deodorant. There’s a pink theme that runs through the gym which makes it feel a bit special and girly, and in all honestly it is just a pleasant place to spend your time.

For me, one of the measures of a great fitness facility is ‘would I send my loved ones here?’. Given that my mum is signing up for the 12 week challenge at Fernwood Canberra City, I’m not sure how much of a greater endorsement I can give.

the essentials

What: Fernwood Canberra City
Where: 131 City Walk, Canberra City
Website: www.fernwoodfitness.com.au/clubs/act/canberra-city
Contact: Phone 02 6247 7666 or email [email protected]

Feature image is not of the author 


Ashleigh Went

HerCanberra ACTIVE Editor Ashleigh Went has a passion for all things health and wellness. As someone who loves champagne and cheese almost as she loves a sweaty workout, she's all about living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She can usually be found with her nose in a book, planning her next adventure, in the gym or updating her Instagram @wentworthavenue. More about the Author