Think of gyms and you might think of musclebound fitness obsessives casting nasty glances as you attempt to lift weights. But Nr1 Fitness gyms aren't about that at all. Here, customers of all nationalities, ages and body types can feel at ease, with top-notch machinery at their disposal 24/7. Not in shape after lockdown? No problem, find your nearest Nr1 Fitness location, sign up online for as little or as long as you like, then receive a hefty 30% discount plus an entrance code by email within a few seconds – and the gyms are all yours. You can also join a group class or hire a personal trainer, all instructors and PTs speak English and Hungarian.
Special discounts for WLB readers!
Locating your nearest Nr1 Fitness gym and signing up is easy – follow this link for details – and the hefty 30% discount breaks down as 4,958 forints/month for one year. You'll receive your entrance code by email, and this allows you to use any of the four gyms around Budapest. There's even an extra 10% DISCOUNT for WLB readers on all memberships by using the exclusive discount code WLB10% when purchasing your membership online.
Conceived in Norway, Nr1 Fitness set up in Budapest in 2016. Now they have four gyms, three downtown at Oktogon, Kálvin tér and Rákóczi tér, and one up in Óbuda with plans for further expansion around Budapest and neighbouring countries.
The concept is to keep it simple and make top-quality equipment available to everyone, 24/7, with no hidden costs, and no pricey supplements. The use of a technological advanced access system also eliminates queues of people waiting to check-in for their work-out during rush hour!
Top machines, tremendous staff
As with any business, whether it's a gym or a restaurant, it's the staff that makes it. And here, it's not just the personal trainers or group instructors offering easy smiles. All gyms have reception staff between 3pm-10pm weekdays, currently longer in the case of Óbuda, so customers can feel at ease, especially at the outset.
Meet the team
Join the international crowd
Childhood friends and Nr1 Fitness owners Ivar Braatveit and Henrik
Thorsnes outlined their inclusive approach: “We don’t judge! Our concept
is to provide gyms for everybody, based on a need we saw for more modern,
friendlier, cleaner and more affordable gyms with longer opening hours. This should particularly
meet the demands of international gym-goers, many of whom are used to paying €20-€35/month
for well-equipped gyms in their home country. Whether from the UK, Ireland,
Australia, Germany, Spain, Norway or Venezuela, our total client
group consists of over 70 different nationalities, and foreigners make up about
50%-60% of our total member base. You feel this international vibe
immediately when you walk into our city-centre gyms, great places to make
friends – or learn a new language if you take the earphones out and feel like
being social – without forgetting about your work-out of course!”
Why Nr1 Fitness?
Fancy a quick work-out before work? Great, go for it. You can’t sleep and feel that a run on the virtual trainer will take your mind off things, images of distant cityscapes going by as you pound rubber? All yours. There’s a wedding to go to next spring and only a personal trainer will work your body into the kind of dress you’ll look fabulous in? No worries – and your programme also comes with a smile and empathetic understanding.
Many of us lead sedentary lives, in front of screens, in the car, eating what we shouldn’t. That needn’t change completely, but a little regular exercise, at our own pace, whenever we want it, should add a healthy balance to our lifestyle.
Group classes now include Body Shape, Zumba, Functional Training and Yoga on the agenda, with plans to introduce more, such as Stretching and Self Defence courses, in the near future.
Group training with Ildikó 'Dikó' Pásztor
Looking out for the signature orange sign, we walked into the chain’s largest gym, near the many offices around Kolosy tér on Lajos utca in Óbuda. This gym in Óbuda also has a separate room for classes, led by the indefatigable Ildikó Pásztor, Dikó to her friends, colleagues and many satisfied customers.
A ball of energy, this attentive personal trainer conducts the Functional Training group of varied ages and fitness levels rotating around ten stations. Each piece of equipment works different parts of the body, and each can be picked up or stepped onto in at least two different ways.
Using the full-length mirror, Dikó’s trained eye constantly scans the group to see if she can assist or advise as the music picks up and everyone works towards another welcome break.
Having warmed up professionally beforehand, and advised Dikó of any strains or injuries, each participant is in safe hands for the hour-long session. Repeat custom is the norm.
Tünde Moravcsik, Personal Trainer
Dikó’s colleague Tünde Moravcsik works mainly one-on-one, where the personal touch is also paramount. Her current customer portfolio comprises age ranges from 20 to 60, all different personalities and body compositions.
Assessing their needs and limitations, Tünde puts them through their paces, encouraging them while counting down the lifts on the bench press or time in the TRX. Again, stretches and warm-ups preface any session.
The equipment used – the elliptical trainer, the TRX, the bench presses, the rowing machine, the customised treadmills – are open for all to use, of course, not just those hiring Tünde to be their personal trainer. These are constantly cleaned and monitored, so that any necessary little repairs are spotted and fixed straight away.
Ultimately, Nr1 Fitness would like to have a presence right across Budapest, just as it has around Norway – with everyone now out of lockdown and looking to reactivate their lives, it's a viable ambition. Membership allows use of all gyms, in any case.
Nr1 Fitness always has attractive offers available online – currently a year's membership with 30% DISCOUNT breaks down to 4,958 forints/month, introductory group class access for 2,499 forints – but a monthly unlimited group class pass is only 11,999 forints. And don't forget your WLB discount – get an extra 10% DISCOUNT on all memberships by using the exclusive discount code: WLB10% when purchasing your membership online here.
And why not join the open day KICKOFF event at the Óbuda gym with free try-outs on 18 October? Find more info about the event here.