Today we review Dukes Gym.
This inner eastern Melbourne gem is delivering some high class value for its members – offering a dedicated ladies area, free coaching and technique checks, as well as an extensive gym floor and array of equipment (+ much more).
We met with the owner, smashed out a session and absorbed everything this beauty has to offer. If you live in the Richmond/Abbotsford and surrounding areas, look no further than Dukes.
Let’s dive in.
About Dukes Gym
Dukes Gym was started in 2017 by owner Jonathan Quieros, who saw an unmet need in the industry. Jonno noticed that gyms either offered you a room full of equipment with no support, OR, 1:1 support with under equipped facilities and unmanageable membership fees.
He wanted to create a facility that had the unique combination of a large array of equipment and an extensive gym floor as well as the guidance and coaching to go with it – for an affordable price.
Thus, Dukes was born.
Dukes has two locations – one in Richmond and another in Abbotsford, with membership gaining you access to both facilities.
What Makes Dukes Gym Different?
Dukes really goes above and beyond to ensure that their members have the best experience possible. Having seen how hundreds of gyms are run, we can say without a doubt that Dukes listens to the needs of their members and provides on that feedback.
Dedicated Ladies Only Area
One of the most noteworthy attributes that initially impressed us about Dukes Gym was the presence of a dedicated ladies only area. As a fitness coach to hundreds of teenage students in the gym at Melbourne Girls Grammar, I have the insight of seeing how many young women feel when first starting off and finding their feet in a gym environment.
Having such a space shows that Dukes gym really does put themselves in their members shoes, giving them the confidence to train ‘like no-one’s watching’.
Non-Crowded Facilities & Extensive Equipment
One of the most frustrating aspects about gyms – which is quite blatant among your ‘average’ commercial facilities – is when they are absolutely packed out during peak times of the day.
Having someone’s sweat sprinkle onto you because their bench is a little too close for comfort or waiting 20 minutes to use the squat rack is a pet peeve that’s certainly not worth paying $2 less a week to experience – especially in this new COVID landscape.
Lucky for you, Dukes has you covered. The moment we stepped foot in Dukes, we were blown away by the never-ending row of squat racks and boutique-esk equipment, not to mention the breathtakingly impressive atmosphere that encapsulates it all.
Not only are the facilities second to none, Dukes also offers an exclusive ‘coaches corner’ service, which allows members to spend 20 minutes with a highly qualified coach on a regular basis.
Whether you need a technique or form check, have questions about your training or nutrition, or simply need some programming guidance, the coaches corner is all included in your membership, for no extra cost!
This in itself is worth hundreds of dollars if you use the service regularly.
For those who want to take their training to the next level, or simply want some supervised training by themselves or in a small group, Dukes also offer small group & personal training.
Although this will cost you extra than a standard membership, this service is perfect for anyone needing extra motivation or support, approaching a big event e.g. wedding or show with a limited time frame, or even for people who need more individualised programming for a specific goal.
Upon signing up at Dukes, you’ll receive an access pass, which allow you to train whenever you like, even during non-staffed hours. Although 24/7 gyms are becoming more mainstream, there are not many memberships that offer 24/7 access in conjunction with all of the aforementioned membership benefits.
How Much is a Dukes Gym Membership?
A standard membership at Dukes Gym starts at $16.95 per week, with month to month, 6 week and 6 month contracts available. As with most gyms, the longer you sign up for, the more you’ll save on a weekly basis. The sign up fee at Dukes Gym can also be as little as $0.00, depending again on your membership terms.
From the hundreds of gyms we have seen, the value on a membership at Dukes Gym is difficult to beat. Dukes offers general access memberships for independent training, small group training, and expert personal training. They differ from gyms such as your F45s and Body Fit Training, which are dedicated group fitness facilities who charge a lot more for membership.
What’s the Environment Like at Dukes?
The moment you walk in to Dukes, you’ll be impressed. The gym floor is extensive, the environment is new, clean and tidy and most members know each other. The staff are outwardly friendly and engaging, will always greet you upon arrival and are always happy to have a chat (without trying to sell you something).
Both Dukes locations are a class above your typical commercial gym, sporting an almost ’boutique’ strength club feel, without the price tag or pretentiousness. Training here truely will be the highlight of your day.
Most members at Dukes gym have a focus on strength training and using compound movements such as the squat, deadlift and bench press to achieve their fitness, strength & aesthetic goals, however, there are still plenty of members who take advantage of the cardio machines and functional training areas to perform more of your ‘Strength HIIT’ type training.
Whether you’re into Strength Training, Olympic lifting, Powerlifting, HIIT or boxing, Dukes has the space and equipment to suit your needs.
Members tend to be younger, mainly in their late 20s or 30s, and there is a relatively even balance of men and women (more so than commercial gyms), which can certainly be attributed to the ladies only area.
If you’ve recently moved into the Richmond area or are simply looking for a new gym to call your second home, we highly recommend Dukes. Sure, you may be able to find a gym that’s a few dollars cheaper each week close by, however, the equipment, support and value you’re getting from a Dukes membership is second to none.
At Get Gym Fit, we’re here to help you navigate the confusing and intimidating experience joining and getting started at the gym can be when you don’t have support or guidance. Dukes is a gym that will do wonders for your fitness journey – you can get started with a membership at Dukes here.