Getting Healthy in Chongqing – A Gym Guide

Getting Healthy in Chongqing – A Gym Guide
By Elaine Pang , eChinacities.com

Burgeoning waistlines serve as an unofficial indicator of Chongqing’s economic performance and a testament to the controversial reputation of the local cuisine. Steeped in chili oil, Chongqing cuisine is not exactly health food (think: hotpot). To cater to the growing upper-class (in terms of wealth and waistlines), gyms and health clubs, known literally as “body-building clubs, have been mushrooming all over Chongqing. Gyms in Chongqing cater to every budget, making it no excuse to be anything less than svelte in a place famed for producing the most beautiful girls in China. With the bewildering array of fitness offerings out there, here are some pointers as you embark on the quest for your fitness haven.

For language students or teachers, campuses are usually equipped with gyms, albeit small ones devoid of satisfactory shower facilities. But this should not be an issue as you can simply head back to your on-campus apartment post-workout to shower. For those living in one of the spanking-new condominiums, your estate probably boasts of a decent gym and swimming pool. Unfortunately, monthly conservancy charges are usually exclusive of gym or swimming admission fees.

A Little Advice

For the rest – including those afraid to encounter a familiar face at their neighbourhood gym – do take note of the following:

  1. How to find a gym: this is the easy part – most have uniformed sales staff distributing leaflets in the vicinity and will take you to hidden lifts which you would probably never be able to find on your own.
  2. Membership fee structure: signing up for a longer membership period usually entitles you to a better deal. Should you have signed up for a shorter period initially, enquire about topping up the difference to switch to a longer plan.
  3. Negotiable fees: most gyms have no published membership fees, implying that prices are negotiable. Moreover, gyms tend to run membership drives, so do enquire about current promotions.
  4. Try before you buy: ask for a one-day passes at least.
  5. Bring your own: most gyms don’t provide towels and toiletries.
  6. Classes with a local flavour: apart from traditional offerings of yoga and Latin dance, the more adventurous may appreciate taichi or minority dance classes.
  7. Smoking in the changing rooms: surprisingly, this is not prohibited in the men’s rooms in some gyms.

 

Here’s a listing of some of the fitness options in Chongqing. The rates given are meant to be used as a guide, as gyms tend to run promotions from time to time and may even allow negotiations.

1) Surmount Fitness Club 超越健身
Part of a country-wide chain, Surmount provides value for money for the fitness enthusiast. The sprawling interior encompasses seemingly endless rows of treadmills and other fitness equipment to please the serious gym-goer. Classes offered include Pilates and belly dancing. Personal training at this gym goes for about 150 RMB an hour for an English-speaking senior trainer. One of the trainers used to be a martial-arts instructor, so it is possible to customise personal training sessions in that direction.  

The only drawback is that the shower rooms may not be up to the standards you are used to back home and the steam room is not always turned on. But this is unlikely to deter the true fitness buff on a budget. If you have an existing membership from an outlet in another province, it is possible to get a membership transfer. Here are the branches in Chongqing.

Shapingba Branch沙坪坝店 View In Map
Add: 5F, beside the main gate of Chongqing Normal University, Shapingba District, Chongqing
地址: 重庆市沙坪坝区重庆师范大学正门旁五层(沙坪坝区天陈路12号附32号)
Tel: 023 6533 4008
Opening hours: 09:30-22:00

Jiefangbei Branch解放碑店 View In Map
Add: 4F, Yinzhou Shangchang, Jiefangbei, Yuzhong District, Chongqing
地址: 重庆市渝中区解放碑银座商场四层
Tel: 023 6373 8891 ,023 6373 8892
Opening hours: 09:30-22:00

Jiangbei Branch 江北店 View In Map
Add: 4F, Jingtiancheng, Huangnibang, Jiangbei District, Chongqing
地址: 重庆市江北黄泥磅御景天成四层
Tel: 023 6785 4008, 023 6785 4009
Opening hours: 09:30-22:00

Rates: 899 RMB (3 months), 1,299 RMB (1 year), 1,499 (2 years)

2) H.P. Fitness Club 海派健身会
With branches in various parts of the Yubei district, H.P Club caters the noveau riche in the area. Hence, decor tends towards the over-the-top with posh reception areas and elaborately-designed sitting areas. Facilities are pretty close to international standards. The main attraction of the Longhu and Jingang branches would be the decent-sized indoor swimming pool which allows for year-round swimming. As the floor area of their outlets range from 4,000 to 8,000 square metres, gym enthusiasts may find the gym area a bit small. However, as membership schemes start from a year long, exclusivity is guaranteed. Here are some branches.

Longhu Branch 龙湖店 View In Map
Add: 3F, Changan Jinxiu Shangpu, Songpai Lu, Yubei District, Chongqing
地址: 重庆市渝北区松牌路长安锦绣城商铺三楼
Tel: 023 6796 1777
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00

Yanghe Branch 洋河店 View In Map
Add: 1-4 Floor, Yanghe Tiyi Guan, Yubei District, Chongqing
地址:重庆市渝北区洋河体育馆1-4楼
Tel: 023 6700 3777
Opening hours: 10:00–22:00

Jingang Branch 金港店View In Map
Add: 3-4 Floor, Jingang Gouwu Cheng, Yubei District, Chongqing
地址:重庆市渝北区滨港路金港购物城3-4楼
Tel: 023 6717 5111
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00

Rates: 3,200 RMB (one year, gym only), 3,800 RMB (one year, gym and pool)

3) Gyms in Five Star Hotels
Most Five Star hotels have gyms and swimming pools that are open to public for a fee. These are usually pricier than they typical local gym, but facilities are guaranteed to be of the standards you are used to back home. Also, opening hours are longer in order to cater to hotel guests. In addition to monthly and yearly membership schemes, hotel fitness centres usually offer pay-per-use rates. Prices are around 50-100 RMB for a day and 4,000 RMB for a year. Here are some options.

Intercontinental Fitness CentreView In Map
Add: 101 Minzu Lu, Yuzhong District, Chongqing
地址:重庆市民族路101号洲际酒店7楼
Tel: 023 8906 6888 - 6481
Opening hours: 06:00-23:00

Hilton ChongqingView In Map
Add: 139 Zhong Shan San Lu, Chongqing
地址:重庆市中山三路139号
Tel: 023 8903 9999 - 6988
Opening hours: 06:00-23:00

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Keywords: Gyms in Chongqing gym advice Chongqing finding gym Chongqing budget gyms Chongqing

1 Comments

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1

Bob
comment|23086|0

Been to Surmount Fitness Club in Nanning and it is the most awful gym I have ever walked into or worked out in anyplace in the world. And I have been all over the world. Would not recommend it. Smoking is ok, spiting on floor/workout area ok, mold on walls and floors,peeing in shower room sink, weights and cables were rusted, mirrors broken and left alone/not fixed and this only touches the top of the problems.
Do not recommend it unless it is the only thing available to you..

Dec 24, 2011 00:08 Report Abuse