Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. Register, Login & Password

    • Q. Why do I have to register?

      Does registering on the site and logging on each time you use it seem like a schlep? Well, what if we tell you that by doing that, you’re getting individualised information? Our system can ‘see’ everything about you – your health assessment, your choices, measurements and more, so we can give you all the tools and know-how you need to really personalise your fitness journey.

      Of course, registering with a username and password makes sure your information is kept safe and can only be accessed by you.

    • Q I forgot my username and/or password. What now?

      No sweat. Just click on ‘Forgot username’ or ‘Forgot password’. Follow the prompts to get your username or set up a new password.

    • Q How do I change my personal details or password?

      From the homepage, click on your name. To change your password, go to security details. If you need to change any personal details, just click on ‘edit’ details.

    • Q Why do I need a password?

      Your personal details belong to you and no-one else. Choose a strong password and keep it safe (we’ll help you with this when you register). Our website complies with the Electronic Information Act, which means that your data is kept safe and all information is handled with privacy and confidentiality.

    • Q Why am I having trouble logging in with my email address?

      Either your email address isn’t unique (are you sharing an email address with someone?) or you haven’t registered with it yet.

    • Q Will I still be able to log in with my current username?

      Yes. You will be able to carry on logging in with your username. You now just have the option of logging in with your email address too.

    • Q Why am I being asked to change my password?

      We’ve upped our security settings, which is why we need you to reset your password before you can access the site. We know it’s a drag, but we won’t ask you to update it again. It’s a once-off thing. Make sure your password is 8 characters (or more), with an uppercase letter, a lowercase letter, and a number.

  • 2. Move

    • Q My workout routine is too easy. How do I know the system has chosen the right level for me?

      Your workout routine is based on the information you gave us in the health assessment, if you chose to complete it online. If your current workout routine isn’t working for you, you can redo the part of the health assessment that talks about your exercise habits.

    • Q I would like to swap an exercise that is currently in my routine.

      Our workout routines are designed to bring variety to your exercise routine. You’re free to mix and match. Just make sure that you replace existing exercises with similar ones or use similar equipment, so that you don’t over-use the same muscles and get a good full-body workout.

    • Q How do I decide on a starting weight, and how do I progress with my weights?

      It’s very important to start with the correct weight. It might take you two or three sessions to get it just right. Try this method: Use a light weight, one that you think you can easily manage, and complete the required number of reps. If you can easily complete the required sets with the required reps, you can up the weight.

      The weight is correct if, on your last set, you can manage 70 – 80 % of the reps (in other words, if you have to do 10, you get really tired at 7 or 8).

    • Q Can I target a specific body area with weight training?

      In order to shed body fat, you need to do a combination of both cardiovascular (e.g. walking or cycling) and resistance exercises (e.g. circuit machines, dumbbells or body weight bearing exercises such as push-ups and sit ups). By challenging your body in a number of different ways, you’ll build muscle, keep fit and healthy, and beat the bulge. Don’t forget to combine your exercise efforts with a calorie-controlled meal plan.

    • Q I want to fight the flab on my tummy. What can I do?

      It’s very difficult to target any specific area to get rid of fat. If you’re fretting about your flab, try getting a calorie-controlled meal plan with matching shopping list and recipes first. Browse our weight loss articles and get moving by selecting a workout routine to help you lose fat and tone up.

      For the best fat-fighting results, choose a workout routine that offers a full body workout, including cardio and strength exercises. You should be exercising for about 40 - 60 minutes on five or more days of the week.

    • Q I’ve just found out I’m pregnant. Do I need to change my exercise routine?

      Congratulations on your pregnancy! Here are some tips to keep your body and your bump safe and sound:

      During the first trimester, exercise must be very carefully monitored and only undertaken with a doctor’s approval. If you are given the go-ahead, keep your workouts low impact. The safest activities are those where your body is supported. Try swimming and cycling for instance. Avoid exerting yourself. This can cause your blood pressure levels to increase rapidly and isn't safe for your baby.

      During the second trimester, it’s a little safer to exercise, but it should also be done only with a doctor’s approval. If you don’t feel too confident about exercising, swimming is a safe option (provided you can still get in and out of the pool safely). Supervised exercise sessions are always a good idea. This can be done with a registered biokineticist who will assess your fitness and design an exercise programme especially for you.

      More pregnancy exercise tips:

      • When swimming is prescribed as an exercise during pregnancy, it doesn’t mean you actually have to swim lengths. You could also walk the length of the pool at a comfortable pace, or just enjoy moving your body in the water.
      • Attending ‘impact’ group exercise classes may not be the best choice of exercise since it may involve jerky movements and jumping around, in which case you are more likely to lose your balance and feel discomfort.
      • High intensity exercise (including classes and resistance workouts) are not optimal as your body temperature rises rapidly, which is not optimal for the baby's development.
      • Make sure that you’re drinking enough fluids to replace the moisture lost during your workout, and always try to eat a small fruit (or drink a carbohydrate drink) after your exercise session. This will ensure that both you and your baby have enough fuel for sustenance during and after exercise.
      • Try to concentrate on core exercises, light cardiovascular activity and avoid crunches and sit ups. Avoid stretching during pregnancy because your muscles are more lax than usual and any active stretching may over-stretch the muscles.
      • Exercises that involve activating your pelvic floor muscles, also known as 'kegel' exercises are recommended during all stages of pregnancy. It involves lying on your back (not advised during the last trimester) and coordinating breathing and lower abdominal muscle contraction. This prepares your body for birth and assists you in regulating breathing during exertion so as to avoid blood pressure 'spikes' (increases).

      Activating your pelvic floor is quite simple, but to maintain that contraction during your normal activities and while you are exercising may be quite a challenge. Follow the steps below:

      • Breathe in slowly and then breathe out.
      • As you breathe out, ‘suck in’ your belly button and bring your tail bone in underneath you (concentrating on holding in your urine) - this activates the deep tummy muscles.
      • Now, with your stomach ‘sucked in', keep breathing normally.
      • Do these exercise as often as possible throughout the day, as it will take a lot of strain off your back and help you maintain good posture.
  • 3. Eat

    • Q How do I know I can trust the meal plans, shopping lists and nutrition articles?

      All the meal plans, shopping lists, recipes and articles have been created by registered dietitians taking the latest nutrition science into account to make sure that you're receiving the best nutrition advice possible.

    • Q What is my recommended daily calorie allowance?

      When choosing your meal plan (age, weight, height, gender and activity level), we are able to calculate your daily calorie allowance. This is shown in ‘Eat’, and your meal plan will automatically reflect your daily calorie allowance. We have 310 meal plans in our database, so we guarantee that we’ll find one that suits your needs.

    • Q Can I swap the days or meals on my Eat plan around?

      Absolutely! As long as you stick to the amounts given, and you don’t eat three suppers in one day, you can chop and change as much as you like. But remember, variety is the spice of life, and our bodies need different foods to stay healthy. Don’t get stuck in a food rut where you end up eating the same foods all the time.

    • Q When is best to eat if I’m working out?

      When to enjoy your meals is up to you – find what works for you. We recommend, when exercising before breakfast, that you drink 125 ml of 100 % fruit juice or eat a fresh fruit before your workout. If you’re exercising later in the day, it is best to eat two hours before your workout. For example, if you’re exercising at 5.30 pm, eat your afternoon snack no later than 3.30 pm, and then have your supper as normal.

    • Q I find it hard to stick to my eating plan, because I forget to eat.

      If your day allows for routine, set alarms on your cell phone to go off at times you could take a break to enjoy a healthy snack or meal. This way, you can ‘train’ your body to adopt healthier eating patterns (including not skipping meals). Or, turn eating into a social pastime by finding a buddy who can enjoy a meal or snack break with you. Once your body and blood sugar levels have adapted to your new eating pattern, your ‘internal clock’ will remind you when it’s time to fuel up.

    • Q I’m not hungry when I need to eat.

      If it’s time to snack and you’re not hungry, don’t force yourself. Rather add that snack to the next meal, or leave it out for that day. But, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of food every day, consider revising your meal plan. Make sure you enter values that accurately correspond with your weight, height, and activity level.

    • Q I’m still hungry after meals.

      If you’re following a meal plan for weight loss, bulk up your meals with veggies to make sure that you are not getting hungry. See the list of ‘free veggies’ on the meal plan to find out which are low in calories. Give your body some time to get used to your new plan – it usually takes about two to three weeks to adjust to a new eating or exercise plan.

    • Q I can’t seem to use all the fat and sugar servings per day.

      Of course that's not a problem. Just remember that the calorie count for your meal plan has been carefully calculated, so don’t feel guilty using them. The right amount of fat is an essential part of a balanced diet, so consuming too little could be just as bad as getting too much. Also, if you’re very active, those sugar servings will help to maintain normal energy levels, so you don’t need to shy away from them.

      That said, if you’re simply not enjoying the amounts of sugar and fat servings, you could revise your meal plan. Make sure you enter values that accurately correspond with your current weight, height, and activity level. For best results, stick to the portions set out in your meal plan.

    • Q I don’t want to cook different meals for myself and my family.

      Everyone in your family can benefit from your healthy meal plan. They are simply healthy eating guidelines based on your dietary preference (whether it be Kosher, Halaal, vegan, Indian, African or vegetarian). You certainly don’t need to cook separate meals for yourself and your family, though the amounts and portions sizes may vary for kids or a partner. Of course, if anyone in your family, including yourself, has a food allergy, this needs to be taken into account when planning family meals.

    • Q I am allergic to some foods. How do I address these allergies when following my meal plan?

      If you have one or more food allergies, you need to find suitable alternative ingredients to replace the ones you're allergic to. We’ll help you do this by providing shopping lists and allergy information (check out our Learn section) that will guide you when choosing alternative ingredients.

    • Q What is mycheatmate?

      mycheatmate can help you understand how many calories (or energy) are in each type of food or drink that you have a weakness for.

    • Q How do I use mycheatmate?

      Click on ‘Eat’ and then ‘mycheatmate’. Step 1 will include confirming your latest weight measurement (in kg’s or lb’s), and then you have the option to select ‘Drinks, Eating out or Snacks’. Once this selection has been made, it’s time to choose your activity or the workout time and see what has to be done to work off those unwanted calories!

      It’s best to avoid the naughty stuff, but use mycheatmate over and over again to get to grips with the details.

  • 4. My club

    • ‘My club’ is an area that includes specific club details, as well as a detailed history of all of your club visits. Click on ‘My club’ and then scroll down to view your preferred club’s specific information or on the right-hand side of the screen, click on ‘Club visit history’ to view your visits.

    • 4a) My club: Club details

      Q How do I set my preferred club?

      Selecting the club that you’d like to view is the first step. Once you’ve made this selection, you have the option of setting this club as your preferred club. This means that every time you log in, the default club timetable and information that you see will be for this club.

    • Q How do I filter my timetable?

      The timetable that you see is for the club you selected. By clicking on the ‘Filter’ button, you’ll be able to add filters which will show only these selected classes in the future. Search for classes or scroll down and select, by clicking on ‘Save’ and then ‘Apply’, the filters will then be activated and only these classes will show.

      Your default view of the timetable will show ‘This timetable is currently filtered on your preferred classes.’ Should you wish to remove filters, click on ‘Filter’ again and ‘Clear’.

    • Q How do I book my indoor cycling classes and squash courts?

      Click on ‘My club’, and in the Club Details area you’ll notice a button that says ‘Online bookings’ – click on this button and you’ll be taken to the bookings page. If you access this page from the ‘My club’ section, you’ll automatically be logged in and can then make your booking.

      If you’d like to make your booking even faster, you can navigate to the top right-hand side of the page as soon as you log in and click on ‘Online bookings’ right next to the ‘Log off’ button.

      Remember, to save that booking to your membership information you need to be logged in first. If you access the bookings page from the Virgin Active South Africa website, or by using the direct url (tech fundies will know what this means!), you will still need to log in first – so best to log into myvirginactive first and make your life easier!

    • 4b) My club: Club visit history

      All club visits are sent to a central system, which is updated on a daily basis, and then displayed on your myvirginactive homepage.

      Q Where can I view a history and detail of all my club visits?

      Click on ‘My club’ and then the button that says ‘Club visit history’ – you can select the time period you would like to view and see all of them in one go.

    • Q Sometimes it takes a while for my club visits to show on my homepage. Why is that?

      You can expect a slight delay in the display of your club visits because this information is only updated once a day. It may happen that your club visits weren’t yet available at the time of the update and therefore isn’t on your homepage yet.

    • Q If I use my ID to get into the club, does it count as a visit?

      Yes, it does. Just remember that you can only use your ID 3 times to get into the club. On the fourth time, you won’t be able to get in and it may show as a failed visit on our systems, so you won’t see it displayed on your homepage.

    • Q I visit different clubs. Do you only show visits to my home club on myvirginactive or all clubs?

      We show all your visits to all clubs. This information is gathered simultaneously, but delays are possible. For example, in cases where a specific club’s network is down, there may be some delay in displaying your visit to that particular club.

    • Q My visits aren’t showing at all. What could cause my visits not to display on my homepage?

      Here are some of the possible reasons why your club visits aren’t showing on your homepage:

      • You’ve tried to access your club with your ID four times in a row.
      • Your account is in arrears.
      • You’ve tried to visit a club other than your home club to which you don’t have access.
      • You’ve cancelled your membership or your membership has been suspended.
      • You’ve tried to access the club, but you need medical clearance before you can do so.
      *Are you tracking your club visits for health insurance purposes? Please note that your myvirginactive club access stats may vary from those of your health insurer, because some insurers don’t count more than one club visit per day.
    • If your club visits are not showing, please call +27 860 200 911

  • 5. Communications

    • Q I’m not receiving any emails from myvirginactive.co.za, but I’d like to.

      Make sure you opt into receiving correspondence from us – if you haven’t opted in, you can change your settings by clicking on your name next to your picture.

    • Q I don’t want to get any emails.

      You can click on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email by clicking on your name next to your picture. If we can change your mind, please talk to us by clicking on ‘Send Feedback’.

  • 6. Settings and self service

    • Navigate to the top right side of the page and click on your name. You’ll see that we have an entire section for you to manage your security details (settings), as well as your contact details, banking details and your Wi-Fi pin (Self service).

  • 7. Online bookings

    • You can book a class, sunbed or squash court online, just register or log in to www.myvirginactive.co.za. Classes can be booked by clicking the “book” button on the Timetable (home page). Other group exercise classes, sunbed bookings and squash court bookings can be made by clicking on the tab on the top right menu called “online bookings”. From here, click on “make a booking”.

      You will be able to follow the prompts on the screen to book your slot and then you’ll receive confirmation that your booking has been successful.