Read this to find out how to join a gym to do fitness in Ghent. Learn about the gym and fitness options available in Ghent, where they are located, what is unique and extra special about them, and how much they cost to join. Also get some money saving tips and gym customs in Belgium and suggestions on what to look out for in the small print when joining a gym.
Gym and Fitness Chains in Ghent
At Coupure you’ll find Stadium fitness (plus points for English website!). It is equipped with a full gym with power training and cardio machines and a large selection of live group classes. There is also a cross-training section, a climbing wall and squash courts. Membership rate is about 40€ a month for a year. It can be a bit hard to reach by car with limited parking options. There are 3 other Stadiums in Brussels which you also can train at.
Oxygen Fitness is a chain with facilities in Gentbrugge, Dok Noord and De Sterre in Ghent. With a membership you can visit any facility. Some of the facilities also include an indoor playground for children. The gyms have a good selection of power training and cardio equipment. There are also live classes. An annual full membership is about 35€ a month.
JIMS fitness is another chain with facilities at Rooigemlaan and Overpoort. The full yearly membership is around 27€ a month, but you need to pay extra to take a shower. Fully equipped power training and cardio studio and live classes.
Basic Fit has facilities in six locations in and around Gent, with a ladies only one in Ledeberg. Some of them only have gym equipment and no live fitness classes. However, they do have virtual classes every hour, meaning a screen will act as the instructor. 2 of the facilities in Ghent are open 24/7. Basic Fit has 700 gyms around Europe, and as a member you can train in any of these. Train here for 20-30€ a month with flexible subscription, and you are even allowed to share your membership card with anyone you live with!
Independent gyms in Ghent
Escape Fitness in Sint Denijs Westeren offers a fully equipped gym and live lessons. And free coffee! Full memberships are about 400€ a year.
Fit is located in Dok Noord and market themselves as personal and providers of qualitative live group fitness lessons. To train there costs 450€ a year, with flexible options such as one-off lessons (10€ each), and 10x cards (90€ each).
Venice Beach by the Ghelamco Arena costs 79€ a month. Fully equipped modern gym, live lessons, cross fit and various personal training options (for an extra fee). Opens already at 6:30 or 7 in the morning.
First Class Gym is a small power gym located near the U.Z. This is for anyone who likes bodybuilding and weightlifting. Train there for 30€ a month.
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program consisting mainly of a mix of aerobic exercise, body weight exercises, and weightlifting. There are gyms in Ghent specialising in Cross Fit, but many gyms has cross fit sections and/or classes embedded in their facilities.
CrossFit Gent is located in Sint-Amandsberg. They state on their website “Everybody is welcome to join us and we love to have people from other countries becoming a member or Drop-in for a class.” They offer a free test week. Prices range between 70 – 85€/month for unlimited membership fees.
Crossfit Cargo is located in Dok Noord and offers crossfit classes for a fee of 90 – 110€ a month. They also have 10x cards for 140€. They offer a free test lesson.
Fit Out is a convenient gym if you are living in the east of Ghent. With two locations on the outskirts of the city, one in Destelbergen and one in Lochristi, it is handy for those using the motorway. They offer a free trial week, group lessons, personal coaching and wellness facilities. Prices range from 58 to 78 euros/month depending on how long your subscription runs for. There’s also a 120 euro joining fee but this includes the first month.
Outdoor gyms with basic fitness appliances are located in the Blaarmeersen and Rabotpark and are free to use.
Most gyms offer personal training, check with your gym directly to see what they offer.
Some independent personal trainers:
These trainers organise in addition to 1-to-1 coaching also group lessons. See their websites for more information.
Sport by the city of Gent
The city of Gent has a sports department and offers some fitness classes in commune houses and sport facilities in various neighbourhoods. You can sign up for a whole year or get a card you can use for various sports. The website is only in Dutch and it’s a bit difficult to navigate.
Tips for joining a gym in Ghent and Belgium
Most gyms only open around 9 or 10AM until 10PM. If you like morning workouts before going to work it might be difficult to find.
The gyms tend to be open 7 days a week, with earlier closing times at the weekends. Sometimes they are closed for national holidays. For exact information about opening hours please check your gym’s website.
Sometimes they have different opening hours during the summer holidays and a reduced amount of classes.
Terms and conditions
In general the gyms are quite inflexible with shorter memberships and you need to immediately sign up for a whole year. There are exceptions, best is to check directly with the gym in question.
You should ask about extra admin fees and on-boarding costs. You can pay the yearly membership upfront or do a standing order (doorlopende opdracht). Then the gym charges your bank account every month. Do read the small print to check your termination options. Sometimes it can be up to 3 months, and if you stop it in the middle of a month it only starts counting from the first of the following month.
Often you can’t put your membership on hold for travelling abroad. You can put it on hold for medical reasons. A doctor’s note is obligatory, and you will likely need to pay an administrative fee.
Money saving tips
Gyms often offer a free try-out and have discounts for students. Sometimes they offer discounted so-called ‘off-peak’ memberships, meaning you can train weekdays until about 4PM, when the gym is usually not busy.
The top months for joining a gym are January and September. During the off-peak months gyms offer discounts, extra free months, no on-boarding fee, personal trainer sessions, refer a friend bonus and so on to attract new members.
Often you can get a reimbursement of 10 – 25€ if you apply for it via your health insurance provider (Partena, OCMV…). Ask about this at your gym or health insurance provider.
Did we miss a gym or do you know a crucial piece of information that should be added? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or let us know in the comment section below.
Want to know about other sport options in Ghent? See our the Square.Gent sport section on biking, bike routes, winter sports and forest walks here.
About the author:
Jenny is originally from Finland and moved to Ghent in 2009. Now she works as self-employed organising events, supporting businesses with marketing and helping people starting their own businesses by being a community manager of Entrepreneurs Anonymous & co-organiser of Freelance Business Day. Find out more and connect with her on LinkedIn.