Image: Sick of fighting off 12 people just to get some weights? Here’s what you need to know.
Last Sunday afternoon, I got a serious craving to go to the gym and do a nice little HIIT session.
This has literally never happened to me before – usually I have to drag myself to the gym, mentally kicking and screaming – so I decided to take full advantage of the feeling… and go to the gym.
When I got there, I was shocked by what I found. There was barely anyone in the gym. A couple of people were on the treadmill, and one guy was using a weights machine. But I was in a separate little freestyle training area, and there was absolutely no one else in the area with me.
It was different. I was thrown. I put my mat down in a corner, and grabbed some equipment, and started doing my lunges and squats and push-ups, fully expecting someone else to come into the area at any moment and ask to use the 4kg medicine ball that I’d taken for my own use:
But no one came. And I had the best workout of my life. I stayed for a full hour, and lunged my way around the entire room, and did stupid-looking but effective moves because no one was watching.
So. It turns out that Sunday afternoons are an awesome time to go to the gym. Excellent. But I wanted to know all the other times that the gym is at minimum capacity, so that I can slot my workouts into those times and therefore avoid other humans forever.
I had a chat to the National Future Product Manager of Fitness First, Adrian Holdsworth, to find out the peak times for gyms.
Adrian told me that there's a difference between inner-city, CBD gyms and suburban gyms.
Speaking of the gym, workouts are always more enjoyable when you wear fitness gear like this:
Because they're generally populated by workers, inner-city clubs have three peaks during the day. They get a huge influx of people between the following times:
6:30am - 8am
11am - 1pm (40% of people actually come in at this time)
5 - 7:30pm
So if you'd like a quieter gym - try to go outside of those hours. Adrian says that if you can even just push your lunch hour by half an hour - to commence at, say, 1:30pm - you'll be rewarded with far less people.
"If you can just push it to the fringes of the peak times, it'll be so much better for you," he says.