Work it Out: Shanghai’s Gyms

Work it Out: Shanghai’s Gyms
By Susie Gordon ,

Finding a decent gym in Shanghai isn’t the easiest of tasks. They all claim to be the best on their own websites, and people want different things from their gym experience, so it’s hard to know which one will suit you. Prices vary too, so how do you know if you’re getting your money’s worth or being ripped off? We’ve had a look at a range of gyms to give you a brief introduction to what’s out there. Once you’ve read it, visit the ones you like the sound of, just to get a feel of things, and to see whether a particular gym will be right for you. If gym workouts aren’t for you, Shanghai has wide range of outdoor exercise equipment you can utilize for cheap and convenient workouts.

Eternity Fitness Retreat
If you don’t mind splashing out on your gym membership, Eternity Fitness is worth checking out. It calls itself “the one-stop shop for total health” and is definitely a gym with benefits. It’s a boutique health club as well as a regular gym, and offers personal training from high profile instructors, nutritional advice, over 30 group classes including yoga, Pilates and martial arts, and a juice bar. Eternity was the first fitness club in China to introduce the BootCamp regime – a tough course of exercise to get you in shape quickly. The gym is housed in a trendy four level ex-concrete factory just north of Jing’an Temple.

Opening hours: 7am-11pm daily.
3F, 2 Yuyao Lu, near Xikang Lu

Xpat Gym
For all the Gubei hippies out there (come on, there must be some) the rather functionally named Xpat Gym is the place to go. With its origins in Taiwan, Xpat focuses on New Age methods of holistic fitness. Its motto is “western philosophy and eastern techniques”, and it offers classes in yoga, Pilates, core strength, balance and flexibility. Your wallet needs to be flexible here too, as membership isn’t cheap. Call or visit the gym for a personal price plan. Opening hours are 6am-9pm daily.

Address: 2000 Jian He Lu, near Hongqiao Lu

One Wellness Centre
Calling itself Shanghai’s premier boutique fitness club, One Wellness offers a whole range of healthy stuff for discerning customers. The One Wellness Centre is a boutique fitness club located in Loft 98 near Jing’an Temple. It is a gym carrying the latest innovations from Technogym as well as Kinesis and The Wellness System. They offer classes in Yoga and Tai Chi and have a cafe serving gourmet health foods, WiFi for all members and a therapy area offering massage, acupuncture and reflexology.Yearly membership is usually ¥7888, but they are currently (as of August 2009) offering a special price of ¥6205, or ¥1588 per month. One day passes and corporate memberships are also available. Opening hours are 6am -11pm daily.

Address:98 Yanping Lu, near Xinzha Lu

Total Fitness Club
This is your bargain basement option. It ain’t the cleanest and it ain’t the shiniest, but it’s a lot cheaper than some of the other options. If it’s a no-frills, back to basics workout you’re looking for, try Total Fitness. They have aerobics classes, free weights, cardio machines and a boxing ring, which attracts a clientele somewhat removed from the classic expat toned/bronzed brigade. Total’s Changshou Lu branch has closed recently, so the Nanjing Xi Lu one is the only option. Memberships start at a very reasonable ¥2000 for eighteen months, and prices are negotiable. Opening hours are 7am-10.30pm Monday -Friday, and 8am-10pm at weekends.

Address: 5-6/F, Zhong Chuang Building, 819 Nanjing Xi Lu
Tel: 021-6255 3535 

Physical Fitness
This is another option for those who aren’t ready to part with half their monthly salary for their gym membership. Physical is a good entry-level choice as far as gyms are concerned. They have everything you need for a decent workout including cardio stuff, free weights and class space. Classes include yoga, belly dancing and kickboxing, and there are personal trainers on hand for one-to-one sessions. One criticism of Physical is that the gyms get very busy, so think about off-peak membership if you have the flexibility. Memberships cost around ¥2000 per year. Opening hours are 6.30am-11pm Monday –Saturday, and 7am-10pm Sunday.

Xuhui branch: 4-6/F, 1111 Zhaojiabang Lu, near Hengshan Lu
Huaihai branch: 1/F, South Tower, Hongkong Plaza, 283 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Huangpi Nan Lu
Huangpu branch: 7/F, Lane 268 Xizang Zhong Lu, near Hankou Lu

Tel: 021-6390 8166 

Will’s Gym
Will’s is something of a powerhouse on Shanghai’s gym scene, with 14 locations around the city. Each branch has classes, cardio equipment and free weights, and for an extra fee you can work out at all of the locations. Membership ranges from ¥1000 to ¥3000 per year depending on the location. Will’s has partnerships with Reebok and Miss Sixty so members get discounts. Opening hours are 10am-10pm daily. Visit their website for a full list of locations.

Zhongshan Park branch: 88 Huichuan Lu, near Changning Lu
Hongqiao branch: Maxdo Center, 86 Xianxia Lu, near Zunyi Lu
Pudong branch: 5 Yinxiao Lu, Century Park, near Huamu Lu

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