Advancements in technology have created a new brand of 24-hour gyms where members are able to work out at any time of the day or night.
Daniel Weeks, part owner of 24-Fit Gyms, said new technology was crucial in enabling them to operate as a 24-hour gym.
“We rely on technology such as entry access control and surveillance cameras to reduce overall costs,” Mr Weeks said.
“Because of these technical advancements, we are only staffed during peak usage hours, which lower costs and benefits members by offering $11 weekly fees.
“Without it we wouldn’t be able to function as an all- hours, affordable and prime-position gym.”
However, State Champion 400-metre sprinter and personal trainer at RAW Fitness, Rosie Kelly, said while these new types of gyms were technologically savvy, she had concerns of member’s safety when using equipment and exercising late at night.
“It worries me that there aren’t full time staff to oversee the use of equipment; basically technology has replaced people and I question its safety,” Miss Kelly said.
“Even people who are experienced with weights and treadmills can have accidents, but in our gym there is always someone to answer a question or come to your aid if you need it.”
Mr Weeks said there are a number of technical practices used in all 24Fit gyms which made them “a very safe branch of gyms”.
“There is 24 hour surveillance monitoring and alarm buttons which connect directly to local stations for both police and ambulance assistance,” he said.
“Also we have duress alarms that people can wear, so if something happens say injury wise, the appropriate help can dispatch efficiently.”
A recent survey of locals conducted by On The Record at Norwood Place on Norwood Parade, found 60 per cent would want access to a 24-hour gym and 80 per cent said they would prefer a contract free gym membership.
The survey also found 55 per cent would want their gym to be staffed all day from 6 am to 9 pm.
Dulwich resident, Henny Moody, said she recently left her local gym as the low cost, simplicity and no lock-in contracts at 24Fit were too good to miss.
“The fact that I can leave at any time I want while paying only a fraction of the costs of other gyms is basically why I joined,” Miss Moody said.
“I actually like that there aren’t always people around, you just use your personal ID key at the door, look at the camera which recognises your face and you’re in.”
Whereas, Burnside Goodlife member, Catherine Andruchowcyz, said the face to face contact at her gym was irreplaceable.
“I can’t imagine being alone in a gym, it would be weird and I probably wouldn’t feel safe,” she said.
“Also I would never join somewhere that doesn’t have any classes like ‘Pump’ or ‘RPM’, that’s pretty much all I do at the gym.”
Mr Weeks said he recognised 24Fit gyms are “not everyone’s cup of tea”, but said over time the change in consumer behaviour of when and where they want to work out would provide a stable market.
“By no means will we take over [the market], but I predict there will be a polarisation of the gym industry, where models like ours will grow, as will the larger gym operators at the other end,” he said.