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FLYEfit: an exercise in low-cost gym operation that works out for gym owners and goers alike.
The low-cost gym chain FLYEfit has tweeted it will be opening another gym at Jervis Street, its first branch right in the city centre. This Irish chain of gyms, most of their current 15 scattered around Dublin, has been around since 2011.
From where I come, which is Slovakia, I used to exercise in the FIT UP! gym. I paid a VIP membership of €40. I could go to any of six gyms in the country and enjoy my late-night workouts, free drinks, and even solarium now and then.
I loved it, but when I arrived in Dublin I thought: “The costs of living here are much higher. Gyms must ask big money to become a member”. My landlords, as well as a few other acquaintances, recommended FLYEfit to me in the end.
I need my gym time because of pressures and stresses I often find myself under. FLYEfit, I believe, tackles the issue of mental health, on its part, by creating a network of professional and welcoming gyms for an affordable price: a total of about 60,000 FLYEfit goers by mid-2019 is a clear proof.
A low-priced membership
Along with a one-off joining fee of €25, I pay only €32 a month to access all gyms in Dublin. It is a bit less if you decide to do your workouts just in one gym. In addition, you can enjoy free classes and exercise from very early mornings until late hours. I am pleasantly surprised by the fact I pay slightly fewer euros than in Slovakia.
Back home, I also had to sign a contract, although I am not a contract person at all, but FLYEfit is great at this – no contract at all and I myself can manage my membership.
FLYEfit Tallaght is said to be the largest of 15 FLYEfit gyms (Image: FLYEfit)
It is fair to say right now that FLYEfit rival, Ben Dunne Gyms, is a bit cheaper. I have never been to any of this Irish chain’s 10 branches as none of them is close to my place. Yet, I could try the gym after my work on my way back home. I will consider it.
But here comes advice for anyone wandering around the city and trying different gyms to find the best for them: it may not be a good idea economically. FLYEfit and Ben Dunne Gyms both charge €10 for a day visit. It would be great if they introduced a free trial.
Today, I work out in the larget FLYEfit gym, in Tallaght, since it is the nearest FLYEfit gym to where I stay. I also like the premises and the vibes of it.
When I went there for the first time, I got a little confused when I saw turnstiles in front of me. A gym receptionist would welcome me back home. Only then did I realise my credit card is the thing that will get me into the FLYEfit gym. But do not worry, no swiping required on the way out! You still need to push a button to leave, though.
It does not necessarily have to be a credit card that you use as your gym access card. It can be any card with a black magnetic strip and at least 10 digits. FLYEfit says it can be either your Dunnes Stores Gift cards, Tesco Club Cards, Nandos Cards, or Costa Coffee Cards, and so on. You can set it all up in your account.
If your card does not work, all is not lost! There is always a computer next to the entrance to resolve the issue. You can change your access details on the computer right away and not miss out on your daily workout routine.
FLYEfit introduction tour
Within my membership, I may join any of free classes such as spin, conditioning, yoga, and boxercise. I would love to try boxercising before I leave Dublin. There is however more to choose from, and all timetables are available on the FLYEfit website.
The gym in Tallaght has its own spin studio, but other classes are held in the huge open-space, warehouse-like gym area with different sections such as cardio, free weights, squat racks, and a strength training area. Some may not, but I actually like the idea of the whole gym community working out in one enormous space.
One huge plus regarding FLYEfit is an opportunity to book a free introduction class online. This is especially useful for those who have never been to a gym. It is always good to know how to use gym equipment safely and in the right way. I did not take part in this class, which I regret, as I have no idea how certain equipment is to be used. So, I just move on to something different.
I am not going to tell you what kind of equipment I found at Tallaght. Suffice to say there is simply everything from weights to a boxing zone, and although FLYEfit is a great place to work out, there is no solarium or sauna to relax in.
FLYEfit gyms open at 5:30 and close 11:30 on the working days. Even when you cannot make it to any of the free classes, you can still get in later and get your routine done. Opening hours at the weekend are also quite long.
George’s Street, Macken Street, Portobello and Swords gyms are even open 24/7. But! All these gyms are closed on Christmas day, just like everything else in Ireland, unfortunately. By the way, FLYEfit’s rival is closed on five days a year.
And the great news is coming up right now: FLYEfit will be opening a new gym at Jervis Street. I am quite happy about FLYEfit’s choice of location for its new gym. However, it will be interesting to watch a fight over gym goers between the two Irish chains of gyms – FLYEfit and Ben Dunne.
Upon my first visit to FLYEfit Tallaght, I forgot to bring my own padlock, so I did not lock my locker. Just like not booking my introduction tour, this was not the best thing to do. My cap disappeared.
The next FLYEfit is… FLYEfit Jervis Street. More details to follow… pic.twitter.com/fIx8Kq8U5i
— FLYEfit (@flyefit) December 6, 2019
You can, however, find a few vending machines in the gym. This was, again, a new thing to me. You can buy drinks and snacks but also, allegedly, a padlock or a sweat towel from the vending machine. I will point out there are free drinking fountains as well, which will save you some money.
In 2017, FLYEfit recorded revenues of €11.2 million and its profits more than doubled in just one year, according to Fora. Two years later, FLYEfit also opened its first gym outside Dublin, in Cork.
The gym business seems to be thriving, but it comes as no surprise given my positive experience there.