A few options for working out

Updated: 2008-04-21 10:18

One Wellness Centre

The One Wellness Center isn't just the nicest gym I've ever been to -- it's probably the nicest place period. The managing director describes the centre as combining "tradition and technology," -- which is the kind of vague claim that a place rarely lives up to.

But the décor is traditional (lots of wood and muted tones) which provides an excellent canvas for the astounding technology available there. If you're a fan of gym equipment (I didn't know I was until today) then this place is basically utopia. They use "Wellness" technology: every member is given a key which tracks their workout so it can be -- with your permission -- analyzed by the gym's trainers. The machines have inbuilt summaries with little pictures telling you whether you working too fast (a hare), too slowly (a tortoise) or just right (a very encouraging-looking smiley face.) The treadmills have satellite TV and an iPod socket where you can choose your music from the computer's screen. All of the different zones have different music, selected by the center's musical director, which are chosen to be appropriate to the activities which take place there. I could go on, but you probably have the general gist.

As is always the case, such luxury doesn't come cheap: prices range from 2188rmb for three months to 6888rmb for a full annual subscription -- and that is under the introductory offer. However, they do offer off-peak memberships and the fee includes everything, including classes. Plus the changing rooms are probably nicer than your own bathroom so you'll save on water costs at home. Membership isn't open to everyone -- you can apply and they decide if you are One Wellness material -- and its location (hidden upstairs in the building next to Cantineand SHOKAin Jing'an district) is almost as exclusive as its membership. But if you can both find it and afford it, I'd recommend you pop in and try your luck.


All of the branches of Physical are excellently located. None of them offer anything more than you'd expect a gym to offer, but seeing as this is an article about gyms I suppose it's a bit unfair to blame them for that. Each branch differs slightly but it's basically the usual gym equipment / classes / spinning / café set-up. Prices are much more reasonable than at the boutique gyms. It costs 500rmb per month but decreases proportional to the length of subscription you take out. In addition, they are consistently well-equipped and, unlike some of the other available options, used by people who are genuinely more interested in exercising than organic salads or finding a date.

Eternity Fitness Retreat

One thing I've started to notice about these fitness retreats is that they do love their hard-to-find locations. It makes sense in a way -- as I walk past the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant in search of Eternity (the health club, not the concept) I start to understand why they can describe themselves as a "retreat" despite being located in central Jing'an. Once inside, it is a nice little haven. Although it isn't the least pretentious place I've ever been (one of the FAQs on the website is "What does Om mean?"), it's well-equipped and offers an extensive range of classes. Prices are available on application.


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