Female-only gyms: What’s available?


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Female-only gyms: What’s available?Looking for a place where you can work out in a safe, supportive environment? Female fitness centres are on the rise, with many of them offering equipment or workout options designed especially for women.

The single-sex gym trend has favoured female-only gyms, with male-only gyms lacking the popularity to succeed the way female fitness centres have.  With a number of perks such as cafes, creches and pampering treatments, here are some of the female gyms thriving in Australia.


Veteran Fernwood has been operating in Australia since 1989, and now has more than 69 clubs and 68,000 members. In 2008 Fernwood was named joint winner of BRW’s Most Successful Private Business companies under $100 million, and has regularly appeared in their top 10 fastest growing private companies list. The gym was also this year’s winner of Canstar Blue gyms customer satisfaction award.

As the largest single sex gym in Australia, Fernwood has a location in most metropolitan and some regional areas across the country, and offers everything from classes to gym equipment and personal training.


Curves has been around since 1992, and is a circuit-based women’s only fitness centre aimed at those with busy lives, who find it hard to make time for the gym. The gym boasts an efficient full body workout in just 30 minutes through the use of its circuit. Members can either complete circuits on their own, or participate in classes like the ‘Curve Circuit with Zumba’ for something different.


Similar to Curves, Contours Women’s Fitness gym provides a total fitness and weight loss circuit workout that takes just 29 minutes from start to finish, including warm up and stretching. The workout combines weight bearing equipment with a cardio workout, so you’re improving your strength and your fitness at the same time. The US-based gym was imported into Australia over a decade ago and now has 150 locations across Australia.


Businessman Dave Hundt was responsible for the introduction of Contours Gym in Australia, and also opened the successful EnVie Fitness in 2012. EnVie professes to plug a gap in the women’s fitness sector – with some gyms such as Contours catering for older, less fit women, while 24 hour gyms that suit younger women are usually unisex and often have large periods of the day or night where there are no staff in attendance, which is a safety concern for customers. EnVie was created to compete with these round-the-clock gyms by providing female-only gyms from 5am to 10pm.

EnVie members can workout in a comfortable, safe environment, and the gym offers a variety of workout options suitable for beginner to advanced fitness levels. The gym currently has several gyms in Victoria and New South Wales.

Body Shape

Body Shape started as Australia’s first female-only fitness centre in 1984. The centre was originally part of an old squash court building at Sans Souci in Sydney’s south and quickly became a friendly meeting place for women who were looking for a non-intimidating exercise environment.

In 1994, the Sans Souci centre was transformed into a modern facility, and from 1998 onwards Body Shape expanded to include three additional centres, all located in New South Wales. The gym offers traditional gym equipment, free workout space and group classes.

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