Fitness clubs are one of many new luxuries in China, with most appearing in the past ten years and transforming the tastes and leisure time of its citizens. Guangzhou, like other large Chinese cities and a few small ones, is home to some of the most modern fitness training centres in the country. Among the larger centres, many of the exercise offerings are the same; you’ll find equipment training, aerobics and dance often with a badminton court or swimming pool. You’ll find rooms for leisure and relaxing. For some customers, choosing between these gyms comes down simply to what facilities they have and what deals they offer. For others the choice is largely personal, made more by the club’s physical layout and volume of music than by what type of classes they provide.
If you want a fitness club which meets your best personal standards, rather than just adequate ones, you should research thoroughly. That includes spending time there to see for yourself what the environment is like. Many gyms will offer one free workout to help you make that decision. While you’re at the club it’s not a bad idea to talk with a few customers about their experience. Price is also a deciding factor and you can expect to spend several thousand RMB for yearly membership. However, most gyms will give large discounts on membership, usually between 10 and 30%.
How do you get them? One piece of advice is to check at the end of the months or during holidays, since that’s when many are offering discounts. Another is to treat it like any other negotiation – suggest your uncertainty with joining or your dissatisfaction with some of what you see there. You’ll likely be offered a better price to win your membership in a very competitive market.
Below I’ve compiled five of the better fitness clubs in the Guangzhou area. Most have more branches than listed here, so you might want to call and check if there’s one closer to you.
Total Fitness Club
Total Fitness Club is the largest gym club in southern China, having sixteen branches in Guangzhou, and nine others in cities throughout the province. All of the branches are over 2,000 square meters and have professional equipment and professional trainers, many of whom are from abroad. The club also offers the largest number of fitness courses in the region.
Total Fitness Club is known for their top-end training equipment, which includes brands such as Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, Star Trac and Precor. One new model fitness machine, Precor AMT, allows the user to change his stride and position without pushing any buttons. They also offer aerobics, dance and martial arts training in a broad range of styles. While you’re there you can relax at their sauna, leisure room or internet café.
Prices: Membership runs between 788 RMB for one month and nearly 20,000 RMB for three years. A one time visit is usually over 100 RMB. You can hire a fitness trainer for 200-400 RMP per hour.
Total Fitness HeadquartersView In Map
Add: 4th floor Xianglong garden, No. 181 Tianhe Bei Lu, Tianhe District, Guangzhou
Tel:020 8525 0000
Total Fitness Panyu BranchView In Map
Add:6th floor, No.38 Shiqiao Fanhua Road, Panyu District, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 3451 0898
CSI–Bally FitnessView In Map
CSI–Bally Fitness is the largest gym chain in China and is actually a Sino-USA joint venture. They have over 40 branches in fifteen cities in China, including Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Taiyuan and Guiyang. With strong financial support and advanced technical support they claim a strong reputation with the public. CSI–Bally gyms are all about 2,000 square meters and contain a gym, training room, aerobics room, boxing room, dancing room, sauna and lockers.
Prices: Membership cards go for between 2,000 and 20,000 RMB depending on how long the card is for and when you will usually go. Prices are highest on the weekends. A one time visit costs about 150 RMB and you can work with a trainer for 100-200 RMB per hour.
Add:1-3/F, East Tower, Swimming Pool, Tianhe Sporting Centre, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 3879 8886
Getting there: Take metro Line 1 and get off at Tianhe Sports Center, C exit. The east gate of the sports center will be on your left; enter it and the club will be on your left.
Olopo Sports Club
Olopo has six branches in Guangzhou, including one out in Huadu. It’s mostly popular with locals, even though some complain that the equipment is a bit old. Still, they offer most of what any large club has including personal trainers, and do it at a fairly nice price. Their three-story building is made up of a first-flood badminton court, a second floor swimming pool and a third-floor gym. Along with the exercise facilities, they also provide yoga, aerobics and dance lessons.
Prices: You can get a sports card for 1,600 RMB for 50 visits or 2,200 RMB for one year. A single visit is 50 RMB. Private coaches cost 180 RMB for one hour or 1,600 for ten sessions. Their badminton fee is not included in the regular prices, but you can get 20-40% off if you have a card.
Olopo Sports Club Yuexiu BranchView In Map
Add: No.147-149 Yuexiu Zhong Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou
Tel:020 8381 6339 / 8381 2126
Getting there:Take metro Line 1 and get off at Peasant Movement Institute (Nong Jiang Suo) station. You’ll find a middle school on your right. Walk past the school and turn right at the first corner. Go on about 600 meters the club will be on your right.
Olopo Sports Club Huadu branch View In Map
Add:Huxin Island, Xiuquan Park, No.56 Xinhua Road, Huadu District, Guangzhou
Tel:020 8681 0982
Getting there:Take the 706 bus at the Guangzhou Zoo bus terminal and get off at the Xiuquan Park bus stop. Walk through the front gate of the park and keep walking straight about five minutes. Cross the bridge on your left and the club will be in front of you.
Fairy Sports ClubView In Map
Fairy Sports Club in Liwan is popular with local middle class and white-collar professionals. Along with the large gym, badminton and dance areas, they also have an international standard swimming pool and offer physical therapy with both Chinese massage and water therapy. Their elegant building and inner décor are a positive change from the standard.
Prices: You can get a membership card for between 2,080 and 3,980 RMB depending on whether it’s a time-count card or a yearly card. The membership card does not include the fee for physical therapy, which runs between 25 and 80 RMB per hour. Personal trainers cost 180 RMB per hour.
Add: No. 189 Huadi Dadao Bei Road, Liwan District, Guangzhou
Tel:020 8189-0017 / 8189-1329
Getting there:Take metro Line1 and get off at Fangcun station, D exit. You’ll be at the entrance of a tunnel. Walk toward Huadi Dadao Bei Road about 200 meters, and the club will be on your right.
Nirvana FitnessView In Map
Opened in 2000, Nirvana Fitness is one of the older fitness clubs in China, and one of several 5-star ones. They combine traditional Chinese practices such as massage with Western fitness regimens. Their thermostatic swimming pool helps to set them apart, as does their broad variety of dance courses.
Prices: Their one-year card goes for 3,000-5,000 RMB and one visit for 200 RMB. You can hire a personal trainer for 200-300 RMB.
Add:2nd floor Bolilang Square, No.912 Binjiang Dong Road, Haizhu District, Guangzhou
Tel:020 8422 3828
Getting there:Take the 204, 266 or 83 bus and get off at Dajiangyuan bus stop. The club will be just on your right.
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Oct 03, 2012 02:14 Report Abuse
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Jan 19, 2011 22:22 Report Abuse