The first time I visited this gym I was sceptical. Having moved house and given up the luxury of Ascot Vale Leisure Centre, I wasn't sure that Coburg would be up to scratch. The thing is, I consider myself a bit of a gym aficionado. A Leisure Centre Connoisseur, if you will. And I just didn't think that Coburg had what it takes.
You're expecting me to say I was wrong.
True, Coburg Leisure Centre doesn't have an imposing facade or excessively lengthy opening hours, but it blows Ascot Vale out of the chlorinated water on two important fronts: customer service and clientele.
I'm still not sure of the logistics of the building, as Coburg LC seems to sprout like a third arm out of the body of Coburg Primary School. In fact, the first time I visited I walked past the entrance three times, thinking it was the school itself. It's located in Bridges Reserve, between Bell and Harding Streets, just beside the footy oval. Coburg Leisure Centre is like the awkward but friendly younger brother of other Melbourne fitness centres. It's a hybrid sort of place; the Group Fitness room is also the day-crèche, which makes for a nice distraction during your third set of squats as you can peruse the cleaning roster or kids' behaviour pictures which adorn the walls.
The gym room itself is small but definitely adequate, with the usual duo of weights and cardio machines. As a small-ish centre, Coburg LC has a good 'local community' vibe. They run aquatic education classes, have a cafe, and even managed to fit a spa and steam room in. The front desk staff are helpful and attentive, and even completely waived the sign-up fee for me when I joined.
Casual passes start from $5 for an adult swim ($3.80 Concession), but the spa and steam room will cost you extra, and a locker is $2.50. Casual gym is a whopping $19.80 full, and group fitness $11.90, but if you're planning to be a regular there are a variety of options, with discounted multi-visit passes and membership beginning at around $30 per fortnight.
With easy access by train or tram (and free parking, if you drive) Coburg Leisure Centre is open Monday to Friday 6am to 9pm and weekends 8am to 6pm. You can find them through their website or call 9354 3504.