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The Minimum Age to Join a Gym

People commonly ask “how old do you need to be to join a gym?”. There are many reasons why teenagers or parents of children might want their child to join a gym. It is important to understand both the policies of gyms concerning minimum age but also the impacts that certain training styles can have on the health of young people.

Minimum Age Policy

There are guidelines in Australia relating to the minimum age you can join a gym and what activities you’re able to participate in. Whilst all gyms are required to meet the minimum guidelines, some have stricter policies and a higher minimum age for membership. As an example, 24-hour gyms like Anytime Fitness are often unsupervised by staff and are therefore stricter on a minimum age for safety and security reasons.

Below is a summarised list of the membership and training guidelines for each age group.

18+ Years of Age

  • No restrictions. Anyone aged 18 or over can join a gym and participate in all activities, either supervised or unsupervised.

16-17 Years of Age

  • Are eligible to join a gym or visit on a casual basis subject to the minimum age requirements of each individual gym;
  • May require parent/guardian approval to join (subject to individual gym policy);
  • Can participate in all supervised fitness programs/classes (i.e. non-weight based, weight-based, water based, boxing, circuits, etc);
  • Are able to use cardiovascular equipment unsupervised;
  • Can use resistance/weight-based equipment unsupervised as long as:
    • a pre-screening questionnaire and assessment has been performed by a qualified staff member
    • an initial training program has been written and demonstrated by a qualified staff member

14-15 Years of Age

  • Are eligible to join a gym or visit on a casual basis subject to the minimum age requirements of each individual gym;
  • Must complete a pre-exercise screening questionnaire prior to commencing any training and it must be signed by a parent/guardian;
  • Parent/guardian approval is required to join as a member;
  • Can participate in supervised non-weights based or water-based programs;
  • May participate in structured or other supervised programs at the discretion of the gym/centre;
  • Can use cardiovascular equipment unsupervised;
  • Cannot participate in unsupervised resistance/weight-based training or classes (including circuits and boxing).

12-13 Years of Age

  • Are NOT eligible to join a gym as a member (casual visits only);
  • Must complete a pre-exercise screening questionnaire prior to commencing any program and it must be signed by a parent/guardian;
  • Can participate in structured or supervised programs at the discretion of the gym/centre;
  • Cannot participate in unsupervised resistance/weight-based training or classes (including circuits and boxing);
  • Cannot use cardiovascular equipment unsupervised.

Under 12 Years of Age

  • Are NOT eligible to join a gym as a member (casual visits only);
  • Must complete a pre-exercise screen questionnaire prior to commencing any program and it must be signed by a parent/guardian;
  • Can participate in structured or supervised programs at the discretion of the gym/centre;
  • Cannot participate in unsupervised resistance/weight-based training or classes (including circuits and boxing);
  • Cannot use cardiovascular equipment unsupervised.

Refer to this document of guidelines for ‘Kids in Gyms’ issued by the NSW government in conjunction with Fitness Australia for more detailed information.

Minimum Joining Age by Gym

Below is a table showing the minimum joining age for the major gym brands in Australia. You should note that whilst you may be able to join a gym when you’re under 18, each gym will have its own special conditions and joining process. Please contact your preferred gym for more information before you attempt to join.

SELECT ANY BRAND TO GET MORE INFO
Years of Age
Gym Name
12
13
14
15
16
17
Anytime Fitness
Club Lime
Curves
F-45 Training
Fernwood Fitness
Fit n Fast
Fitness First
Genesis Health+Fitness
Goodlife Health Clubs
Jetts
Plus Fitness
Snap Fitness
Virgin Active
Zap Fitness
Brand
Minimum Join Age
Anytime Fitness
16
Club Lime
13
Curves
18
F45 training
16
Fernwood Fitness
14
Fit n Fast
14
Fitness First
14
Genesis Health+Fitness
8
Goodlife Health Clubs
13
Jetts
14
Plus Fitness
12
Snap Fitness
14
Virgin Active
13
Zap Fitness
16

Weight Training for Under 18’s

It is also important to do some research into the impacts of weight training for people under the age of 18. There are many views on the benefits, side effects and type of training that should be undertaken. It is important that you build an awareness of:

  • The type of training and exercises that are suitable;
  • The amount of weight recommended to be used and how often to increase the training load;
  • How often should you train;
  • What is the recommended recovery time between training sessions;
  • How long should you train for in each session; and
  • What is the recommended number of sets and repetitions of each exercise to perform.

You should also extend your research to make a fully informed decision on whether weight training is the right thing for you or your child. It should be noted that cardio training and bodyweight exercises are different from resistance/weight training and can be performed by people of any age. It is always recommended that you discuss training options with an expert before you begin your fitness journey.

Where do I find out more?

You should contact gyms in your local area to find out what their minimum age policy is and ask any questions you may have. To find the ones closest to you and how to contact them, enter your address or suburb in our search page. It’s so easy to suss out gyms!

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