Fitness Hut is a Portuguese chain of low-cost gyms that’s essentially taken Ryanair or Easyjet’s approach to air travel and applied it to gyms. There are no frills like fresh towels, a friendly receptionist, or even shower gel in the showers – you’ll have to bring that with you.
But, do you even need all of those things? They’re definitely nice to have, but without them Fitness Hut is able to charge membership prices that start from around €5.50 per week.
Most of the Fitness Hut gyms have plenty of cardio machines and a reasonable weights area, neither of which are too busy if you visit outside of the peak hours. They also have a easily cancelable month-to-month contract, which is great if you are only in Portugal for a few months and can’t commit to a 12-month contract.
Where the gyms are located
Fitness Hut started in Lisbon, and this is where you’ll find the majority of their gyms. If you’re in Lisbon, there’s a good chance that there’s a Fitness Hut located nearby (along with plenty of other gyms as well).
Fitness Hut have begun expanding into other parts of Portugal including Porto, Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Guimarães, and Viseu. Most cities only have one or two clubs so, although there may be a Fitness Hut in your city, there might not be one in your actual neighbourhood (yet).
Tip: you can see a list of all of their gym locations here.
Registering with Fitness Hut
If you have a Portuguese bank account, you can actually signup for Fitness Hut online. This is great as it’s much faster, and means you can avoid doing the obligatory (but normally unnecessary) tour of the gym. If you don’t have a Portuguese bank account, you’ll probably need to go into the gym to sign up.
The reason you need a Portuguese bank account is to pay the registration fee (usually around €10-15). This is done through the multibanco functionality on the Portuguese ATMs, and foreign bank cards don’t have this service.
As well as the registration fee, you’ll also need to pay for your membership which is taken as a direct debit. You don’t necessarily need a Portuguese bank card for this: I was able to use my N26 bank account, for example.
Note: If you know someone with a Portuguese bank account, you can ask them to pay the registration fee for you using their multibanco account.
Note 2: The Fitness Hut website is in Portuguese but, if you don’t speak Portuguese, you can translate using your browser or Google Translate.
Around one working day later, you’ll get your access code by e-mail which will allow you to access the gym. At some point, someone in the gym will probably ask to take a photo of you as well so that they can make sure you’re the only one using the account.
When you sign up, there are a couple of different membership options.
- Sign up at just one club or get access to all the Fitness Hut clubs
- Sign up for all-hours access or just off-peak hours
- Sign up for a 12-month contract or a rolling month-to-month contract
The more flexible you make your membership (e.g. multiple clubs, all hours, and month-to-month contract), the more expensive it’ll be and vice versa.
Tips for using Fitness Hut
You’ll need the following
Fitness Hut, as mentioned is a no frills gym. This means that you won’t have any of these things at the gym, and you’ll need to bring them with you.
- Shower gel: No, the showers don’t have shower gel or shampoo.
- A towel: You’ll need to bring your own towel. You’ll also need a towel that you can use in the free weights area (workout towels and tissues aren’t provided).
- A lock: It’s best to get a combination lock, as you don’t want to lock your keys inside the locker or lose your keys.
- A hairdryer: You can either bring one or, do what a lot of the men do and dry your hair using the hand dryer.
Avoid Peak Hours
The biggest complaint about Fitness Hut is that the peak hours are just too busy. This is a complaint with a lot of gyms, not just in Portugal, but it seems to be a big issue with Fitness Hut.
Peak hours generally means the evening after people have finished work: anytime from around 16:30 onward, but really around 18:00-20:00. Mornings, even pre-office hours, ae actually not that busy. As Google tracks everything we do, you can see when the peak hours for your local gym are.
Fitness Hut open up new gyms all the time, and often allow you to pre-register for when they open. It’s probably not worth pre-registering as many of their gym openings have been delayed in the past.
You can get a day pass, if you want to try it out
If you’re not sure if Fitness Hut is for you, you can get a day pass to try it out. You can buy these online using the Trainaway app (around €9), or you could just sign up on the month-to-month plan and cancel if it’s not for you.