2017 Gyms

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Compare gyms in New Zealand at 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.

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2017 award for gyms

Most Satisfied Customers | Les Mills

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

Les Mills work out for customer satisfaction

With roots stretching back to the early nineties, the New Zealand phenomenon known as Les Mills has left its fitness training footprint across the world. But it’s here on home turf where it’s bagged its most recent win.

If you head to the gym today, you’ll find that matching leg warmers and sweat bands are out (maybe they’re due for a return!) and the big aerobic dance classes that spawned a hundred celebrity fitness videos may not be todays’ fashion, but the health and fitness world is still big business.  In New Zealand, the industry is estimated to be worth in excess of $490 million and on a global scale it’s thought to top $120 billion.  As the industry continues to grow, Exercise NZ estimate a staggering 717,000 Kiwis are members of a gym.  But why do they go?

The latest Canstar Blue survey (published September 2017) revealed a desire to generally improve fitness, lose weight and feel healthier were the most common reasons people gave for joining a gym.  In addition, once they had joined, two thirds of the gym members we spoke to said they managed at least three visits per week.  Even so, 30% of people have good intentions to go to the gym but manage to find an excuse not to, and 44% of gym goers feel guilty if they miss a session.

What level of exercise should we 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.

How much do gyms cost us?

Depending on the gym, membership deals vary and usually 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 $60.50.  Aucklanders registered the highest spend at $69.10 with Canterbury and Wellington managing to spend only $50.60.  Bear in mind that when you join a gym you may also be liable to pay a joining fee and additional security or access card fee (on top of your monthly membership fee) that could add a few hundred dollars to you bill although.  It’s always worth talking to a gym before you sign up as these ‘additional costs’ are often popular waivers during promotional periods.

Gym memberships and contracts have come under recent scrutiny from the Commerce Commission and as a result, a number of unfair practices in the industry, such as locking consumers into extended termination periods or reserving the right to changes services without prior notice, have been changed.

Ten things we hate about gyms

It doesn’t matter if you visit the gym everyday, once a week or once in a blue moon, there’s usually something that bugs us about going to the gym.  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. Equipment hoggers. Do they really need to be on there so long?
  5. People not using a towel and sweating over the equipment.
  6. People not replacing or resetting equipment
  7. Loud grunters. You know the ones!
  8. Show offs. Every gym has one!
  9. People who watch you. This was more of a problem for women with 28% reporting unwanted attention.
  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 and where they pay a membership/attendance fee – in this case, 462 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. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.