If you are searching for the best gyms in Austin, check out my favorites: Big Tex Gym, Hyde Park Gym, Richard Lord’s Boxing Gym, and Blacksheep Boxing & Muay Thai. These are all gyms I’ve experienced and interacted with, and I assure you they are the best.
I have been a member of or worked at 17 gyms, from old school training facilities to sports training complexes to country club and shiny fitness clubs. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the U-G-L-Y. There are some benefits to most of these type gyms, but let me tell you about the best.
The Importance of Finding the Right Gym
A determined person can make a successful training environment in many situations, but the biggest cheat code of all is to find a great gym. It’s not even a cheat, actually; quite the opposite.
Of course you have to find a gym that ha the check boxes you need: open hours that fit your schedule, equipment you like, maybe childcare or classes you are looking for.
But more important is finding your style, and your people. If you’re at a gym that doesn’t let you use chalk, runnnn away. You can’t grow there. If you’re at a gym that gossips and puts others down, run even faster. Good gyms are the most supportive environment you’ll ever find.
It might take a few tries, but finding a gym that’s conducive to hard work, support and continued growth is the way. It’s the way you’ll find progress, fulfillment and results.
How to Find the Right Gym
My number one suggestion is to find a local gym. You’ll find the truly passionate, on-fire-for-the-sport people and trainers there. It won’t be an ordinary corporate drab situation filled with shiny ellipticals. You’ll find real true grit at a local gym.
Start by contacting any people you know in the area and see what they recommend. Most people who love gyms have tried, or at least know of, a few in the area.
You can also check out forums and see what people are saying about local training facilities. Check out Reddit or google “best gym in Austin” or whatever you are searching. People sure don’t hold back their words online so you’ll get some honest reviews.
Big Tex Gym
Big Tex Gym is easily the most equipped facility in Austin. They have equipment for bodybuilding, including a posing room, strongman equipment with indoor turf, and powerlifting gear including calibrated plates and specialty bars.
The owners are amazing people who cultivate a positive supportive lifestyle where everybody supports each other. The vibe is truly second to none; high energy and motivated all the time.
Big Tex also has equipment that is highly valuable and hard to find in regular gems, like the Jacob’s Ladder climber, a variety of glute and hip thrusting options, reverse hyper extension, tires, sandbags, stones, logs, and farmers walk implements.
Big Tex Gym feels to me like the future of fitness; there’s always has something fun happening, and something to get involved with and excited about at BTG. Whether a strongman event, powerlifting competition, yoga classes, weekend competitions or fight nights on conjunction with Blacksheep Boxing and Muay Thai, there is something that’ll stoke your fire.
At a five dollar day rate you have nothing to lose by trying it out. Memberships available too.
1921 Cedar Bend Dr A 130, Austin, TX 78758
Hyde Park Gym
Hyde Park Gym has the greatest history yet any gym I’ve ever been a part of. It was formerly owned by Mike Graham, who is a legend in the lifting world, and even used to weld his own equipment to get precisely the lifts he wanted. The gym was later bodybuilding great Dave Goodin. Over the years Hyde Park has built a stunning number of successful bodybuilders, powerlifters, and weightlifters.
In addition to the serious lifting competitors, Hyde Park is also a neighborhood gym. There are multiple generations that work out there and many non-competitors who just love the unique feel of the gym. The walls are covered in history and pictures of long-ago meets and now retired competitors.
I was with a client one day when a man and his teenage son walked in. He asked to look around, and after a few minutes, pointed to a picture of a bodybuilder on the wall. “That’s your mom”, he said. I never got the backstory, but what a sweet moment to witness.
Hyde Park Gym is just full of fantastic people, including the members, trainers, and the owner. I’ve been blessed to know so many of them over the years and I’ll always be grateful for the friendships I made there.
Hyde Park still has a great training atmosphere and fun events like the Push Pull in the summer, which is the rowdiest lifting event I’ve ever been to.
With it’s abundant platforms, great equipment, specialty bars, and a killer location in Hyde Park, I hope Hyde Park Gym is around forever.
Hyde Park Gym has guest passes and memberships available.
4125 Guadalupe Street, Austin, TX 78751
Richard Lord’s Boxing Gym
Richard Lord’s Boxing Gym is a fantastic combination of nostalgia, history, tradition, and modern day hard work. There are posters on the walls of fights, fighters, events of the past, and it is now pulsing with young energy and work.
Richard is an extremely accomplished fighter and coach, and runs his gym dispensing great technical knowledge. His gym is full of charismatic and funny people who help you through the sweat fest. I have so much fun every time I go! But don’t get complacent- they know how to box!
I go to the boxing gym for exercise, so I’m definitely not one of his trained fighters. I never intend to get into a real boxing match. Despite that, the genuine experience and dedication to boxing is what I love about Lord’s Boxing Gym. It’s highly motivating to me to be surrounded by people who are passionate about what they work so hard at.
It’s so much more genuine than a pop up fitness boxing business that focuses more on fitness. I know this seems disingenuous coming from me because I do go to his gym for fitness. But let me tell you, they know how to condition people too!
Richard’s facility is as real as it gets – like Hyde Park and Big Tex, it has good equipment that you don’t find at commercial gyms. He also has LOTS of jump ropes, and tires to pull.
Lord’s Gym is unique. It is a one of a kind place, and it’s full of fun, fun supportive people.
There are a variety of classes to participate in at the gym, and you can get a membership or 1:1 sessions.
5528 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78757
Blacksheep Boxing & Muay Thai
Blacksheep Boxing & Muay Thai is fantastic training environment for a few fighting disciplines. Blacksheep has a large sparring area and ring, and lots of bags on the walls for members’ use. They have a variety of classes and experienced instructors for both group and on-on-one sessions.
Blacksheep is fun and high energy, and it’s filled with interesting and dedicated people. They are located next to Big Tex Gym where I work, and seeing everybody at Blacksheep, including the employees and members, is one of the highlights of my day.
1921 Cedar Bend Drive, Austin, TX 78758
If yours isn’t on the list, let me know what’s your favorite Austin gym! I love knowing what gyms are around, even if I haven’t been yet.
If you haven’t, try one of the gyms I listed above. They’ll all take care of you and you might even find a place where you fit right in. Let me know – can’t wait to hear from you! kathryn@Kathrynalexander.com