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How to Find a Good Gym in Hong Kong

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  1. #11

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    Apr 2014
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    I'm also looking for what ivor is talking about. A power rack, a bench and an area to do deadlifts.

    I checked, TF, Physical, Pure at MK. Stayed away from California.
    Pure is by far the best! One of those cases where paying more actually gives you more I guess. They only offer 6 months and yearly subscriptions though (got them to offer me a 3 months) or really expensive monthly ones.
    As ivor said, it's not the best place to go if you are lifting weights.
    Physical seemed better in that regard, but they too only have one rack and it gets more crowded than Pure in the evening.

    I went to a PT style/ studio at Nathan and Dundas street (road?) for the past month which worked out perfectly. Only one rack and some crossfit gear but the place is practically empty! I had to leave that place because they have a combo squat/smith rack and if you lift heavy you can't get inside the rack and use the safety pins (you can still squat freely though).
    If that's not a problem for you, maybe you can check it out.

    Btw, are you doing 5x5 or something?

    edit: Forgot to mention I also visited YMCA at Waterloo road. It's cheap, has the rack and everything but there are many local gearheads and the place is not that clean.

    Last edited by Peterel; 29-04-2014 at 02:59 PM.

  2. #12

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    Pete/ Ivor. If you join pure please let me know if you need a training partner. Think we train similarly

    Sent from my GT-S5301 using GeoClicks mobile app


  3. #13

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    Apr 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivor.houlker:
    Thanks DeannaX - I found three crossfit gyms here:
    http://www.crossfit852.com/ - 13/f Li Dong Building, 7-11 Li Yuen East St, Central
    http://www.crossfittyphoon.com/ - G/F, 38 - 40, Third Street, Sai Ying Pun
    http://www.crossfitasphodel.com/ - Unit 11C, Wah Ha Factory Building, 8 Shipyard Lane, Quarry Bay

    I've been a member of a crossfit gym before, and the way it is structured is not for me. I would love to use their equipment, although I would want a bench - last time I checked bench press isn't really a crossfit thing - perhaps you could share what kind of equipment your particular gym has?

    Anyway, the pricing on those websites seems a little over the top for what I'd be getting.
    I go to crossfit typhoon in Sai Ying Pun. They do have a few benches, but flat ones only. Lots of bars and plates for Olympic lifts, farmer's carry, even a giant tire. But you are right, the pricing is high especially if it doesn't exactly suit what you are looking for. I wish you luck in finding something that fits your needs and budget.

  4. #14

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    Apr 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivor.houlker:
    Hi Max - in that case, can I ask where do you work now?

    While I'm glad you think the PURE PTs are of a good standard (presumably you're implying the CF ones are not?), I find the number of PTs in Hong Kong quite a shock. For contrast, my previous gym in the UK had no PTs (although there was a weekly lifting class). Even the most overpriced commercial gym I've been a member of in the UK (David Lloyd) had at most two or three PTs at any given time, mostly helping older clients.

    Clearly this is a very different (and more profitable) business model. However I would question whether it's more beneficial to people in general. Perhaps you can tell me why there are so many PTs here?
    Hi Ivor, i recently came back from australia and working as a part time fitness instructor and a private personal trainer. First of all i just wanna say, that is a relly good question for the fitness industry and all of those things i had never ever think of it. To be honest i don't really want to judge which is good which is bad, but i can tell. The fitness industry around the world is all about business and commercial. * even though in Australia * Pure Fitness is one of the best gym in Asia. They have a very high standards in PTs or customer service. The thing why you say they have no Fitness Instructor at all. It was because Fitness Instructor all over the world * not just HK * they are just lazy, doing nothing in the gym, not professional at all, they are new to the industry. So theys why there was a lot of issue come out. Think about if u are a boss of one of the gym, are u willing to pay for someone like this?
    For me, HKer are very smart for calculating stuff and business aswell. At the end, Business is Business. There is no standard

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    2,447
    Quote Originally Posted by maxwong777:
    Hi Ivor, i recently came back from australia and working as a part time fitness instructor and a private personal trainer. First of all i just wanna say, that is a relly good question for the fitness industry and all of those things i had never ever think of it. To be honest i don't really want to judge which is good which is bad, but i can tell. The fitness industry around the world is all about business and commercial. * even though in Australia * Pure Fitness is one of the best gym in Asia. They have a very high standards in PTs or customer service. The thing why you say they have no Fitness Instructor at all. It was because Fitness Instructor all over the world * not just HK * they are just lazy, doing nothing in the gym, not professional at all, they are new to the industry. So theys why there was a lot of issue come out. Think about if u are a boss of one of the gym, are u willing to pay for someone like this?
    For me, HKer are very smart for calculating stuff and business aswell. At the end, Business is Business. There is no standard
    Not biased at all eh?! What a load of rubbish. Gyms aren't charities but any decent gym (outside HK!!) cares about their clients, even if it's only a reputation issue for some. Pure may be the "least bad" chain gym in HK but least bad doesn't mean good!!!

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by maxwong777:
    Hi Ivor, i recently came back from australia and working as a part time fitness instructor and a private personal trainer. First of all i just wanna say, that is a relly good question for the fitness industry and all of those things i had never ever think of it. To be honest i don't really want to judge which is good which is bad, but i can tell. The fitness industry around the world is all about business and commercial. * even though in Australia * Pure Fitness is one of the best gym in Asia. They have a very high standards in PTs or customer service. The thing why you say they have no Fitness Instructor at all. It was because Fitness Instructor all over the world * not just HK * they are just lazy, doing nothing in the gym, not professional at all, they are new to the industry. So theys why there was a lot of issue come out. Think about if u are a boss of one of the gym, are u willing to pay for someone like this? For me, HKer are very smart for calculating stuff and business aswell. At the end, Business is Business. There is no standard
    Hi Max - thanks for your considered and honest answer. Since it has never occurred to you before to question the ethics of your profession, let me enlighten you further about the situation from my perspective by means of a short anecdote.

    I was at PURE today and ventured for the first time into the 'machines' section in search of somewhere to do dips. There was a PT with his client on the seated lat pulldown thing. The client was doing a wide grip pulldown at a 45 degree angle (leaning back). The PT was simultaneously doing a triceps pushdown on the bar for every rep.

    From my perspective, I see a poor guy who has been bullied into buying PT sessions because he thinks he knows nothing about 'working out'. If you think you need a PT to help you use the weights machines (badly) you have been conned twice over.

    As you say, there is no standard. They are very smart and business-savvy in exploiting their position of perceived authority. However, for every 'smart' HKer doing this 'smart' business, there must be a whole lot more stupid ones paying their wages.

    It just makes these HK gyms a bit depressing to be honest. I won't be joining PURE - sorry justjoe86 and Peterel (yes, I do a 5x5 routine). I might check out the place you mentioned on Nathan/Dundas roads - what's it called? I can squat without the safeties as long as they don't mind me dropping the bar.
    bibbju, DeannaX and justjoe86 like this.

  7. #17

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    Dec 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivor.houlker:
    Hi Max - thanks for your considered and honest answer. Since it has never occurred to you before to question the ethics of your profession, let me enlighten you further about the situation from my perspective by means of a short anecdote.

    I was at PURE today and ventured for the first time into the 'machines' section in search of somewhere to do dips. There was a PT with his client on the seated lat pulldown thing. The client was doing a wide grip pulldown at a 45 degree angle (leaning back). The PT was simultaneously doing a triceps pushdown on the bar for every rep.

    From my perspective, I see a poor guy who has been bullied into buying PT sessions because he thinks he knows nothing about 'working out'. If you think you need a PT to help you use the weights machines (badly) you have been conned twice over.

    As you say, there is no standard. They are very smart and business-savvy in exploiting their position of perceived authority. However, for every 'smart' HKer doing this 'smart' business, there must be a whole lot more stupid ones paying their wages.

    It just makes these HK gyms a bit depressing to be honest. I won't be joining PURE - sorry justjoe86 and Peterel (yes, I do a 5x5 routine). I might check out the place you mentioned on Nathan/Dundas roads - what's it called? I can squat without the safeties as long as they don't mind me dropping the bar.
    I didn't join pure for the PTs... It is an OK place to train though and they let you deadlift without moaning (At California I actually got told not to deadlift!)

    What I'm saying is I agree about the PT situation, but don't convince yourself any other HK gyms are better
    Last edited by justjoe86; 03-05-2014 at 10:26 PM.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by justjoe86:
    I didn't join pure for the PTs... It is an OK place to train though and they let you deadlift without moaning (At California I actually got told not to deadlift!)

    What I'm saying is I agree about the PT situation, but don't convince yourself any other HK gyms are better
    I'm doing a free trial at California now - I might end up coming back to PURE in the end, but I wanted to check for myself what the alternatives are first. I'm sure the PT situation is not unique to PURE, and possibly worse in other places - I didn't mean to suggest otherwise.

    As for California, I specifically checked with them whether deadlifts etc. were allowed after you mentioned it (made them come up and watch me to be sure they understood what I meant). They seemed fine, but if I were to join I'd definitely want to get it in writing.

    Similar to PURE, the Mong Kok California has a small weights area with only one power rack. However, everything is hex plates - meaning any exercise where you lift the bar off the ground is going to be awkward. The equipment generally seems cheaper, and the rack isn't high enough for a tall westerner to press inside. The stretching area is small. The relatively spacious boxing area is 'only for use with personal trainers' as is the 'personal training area' (hence the name). Lots of people trying to stretch awkwardly in a corridor. It's a shame, because the gym is really quite big - it's just that almost all of the space is taken up with either cardio machines, or every imaginable variation of isolation weights machines.

    They also tried (and failed) to get me to buy a padlock! I don't understand why they'd want to annoy potential members so much for the sake of 25 dollars.
    Last edited by ivor.houlker; 08-05-2014 at 06:48 PM.

  9. #19

    Another thing worth knowing for anyone considering giving California a try:

    Before letting me use the gym, they weighed me and measured my body fat using a consumer-grade bathroom scales set that they had recently acquired via taobao. On the basis of this they concluded that I should definitely try and lose some body fat (the readout showed 19%). I'm tall and thin and actually trying to gain weight, so this gave me a good laugh, but if you are more self-conscious about your body this kind of thing could be genuinely upsetting.

    JaredHK likes this.

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    7,478
    Quote Originally Posted by ivor.houlker:
    Another thing worth knowing for anyone considering giving California a try:

    Before letting me use the gym, they weighed me and measured my body fat using a consumer-grade bathroom scales set that they had recently acquired via taobao. On the basis of this they concluded that I should definitely try and lose some body fat (the readout showed 19%). I'm tall and thin and actually trying to gain weight, so this gave me a good laugh, but if you are more self-conscious about your body this kind of thing could be genuinely upsetting.
    Hope you gave them an appropriately deliberate facepalm

    Btw I agree hex plates are annoying. Check out causeway bay or ifc pure. They have a platform with eleiko plates. So nice deadlifting there. Causeway bay is probably the nicer one, and cheaper to join.

    I only joined all clubs because I walk through ifc everyday so I reduce the chance to make excuses to skip a workout!

    Sent from my GT-S5301 using GeoClicks mobile app
    Last edited by justjoe86; 08-05-2014 at 08:28 PM.

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