With the arrival of summer holidays, we have created a guide to gyms in Singapore for the benefit of those who are looking to get swimsuit ready. We get the low down on the gyms in Singapore so that you can have the information you need to make your pick.
Part One: How to select a gym
While every individual has unique fitness needs, Part One of this guide is created for those who are looking to join a gym and increase their fitness levels.
What to look for in a gym:
- Value for money
- Opening hours
- Variety of facilities
- Proximity to workplace or home
- For travelers, having international access to gym franchises may be a plus
- An all female gym may be suitable for some ladies
- Ability to join on a regular/one off basis
- Personal training
Most Affordable Gyms (or “Public” gyms):
Such gyms have transparent pricing that makes them easily accessible for those on a tight budget. They also offer per entry options, and are perfect for those who are unable/unwilling to commit to a membership that would require you to pay membership fees.
Tip: Try to avoid the peak hour crowds which start from 11:30am-2:30pm where people squeeze in a workout during lunch break or 6pm-10pm where the after office hours crowd hits
ActiveSG Gym [formerly known as Clubfitt] (Cheapest Option)
Mostly located at sporting halls, the advantages of ActiveSG Gyms include being no frills and very transparent pricing. Set up by the Singapore Sports Council, it stocks up basic equipment for weight training purposes. Due to its affordability, it can get crowded especially during peak hours. Do bring your own towels or you may be denied entry.
Pricing: $1.50 for students and seniors, $2.50 for adults
Opening Hours: Mon-Thur (5:30am – 9:30pm) Fri (5:30am – 9pm) Sat (8am – 5pm) Sun (9am – 4pm)
Equipment Level: Basic
View list of outlets here
Run by the Fitlion, a website that supplies supplements, Gymmboxx has better equipment than Clubfitt but can also get pretty crowded because of its affordability. Priding themselves in being a heartlander’s gym built with top premium fitness equipment, Gymmboxx may be the option for those who are willing to pay a slightly higher price for better equipment. Gym users must bring their own towels, and showers are only available to members.
Pricing: $4-6 for 2 hours usage
Equipment Level: Good
Full price and outlet list here
The Gymnation (Editor’s Pick!)
Photo credits: Blog.omy.sg
Located at Senja-Cashew CC, this is the Gymmboxx equivalent of those who live in the West.
Pricing: Under $10
Opening Hours: Everyday 7am – 1030pm
Equipment Level: Good
View outlet here
These are international companies who have the purchasing power to invest in great facilities such as pools, saunas and equipment. However, because their primary concern is business, they sometimes have a poor reputation, even being flagged by CASE for the high number of complaints lodged against them. Most of the problems consumers face involve membership fees and termination policies. Be prepared to face obstacles should you need to terminate your membership for health reasons. They are also known to have varying membership fees, engaging in hardsell tactics and cold calls as well as poor customer service. One such experience is detailed in a blogpost by celebrity blogger Cheryl Tay, which you should read before you proceed to sign on the dotted line.
Tip: If you would like to join one of these commercial gyms but are deterred by the steep price, it is possible to find existing members who are willing to off-load their memberships at a cheaper price on forums (e.g. hardware zone, gym kaki). Alternatively, it may be possible to sign up for a membership at an overseas outlet, which may be cheaper (only applicable to those with overseas access)
True Fitness/True Yoga
Run by the True Group, one of the main benefits of True Fitness is that membership can give you access to all True Yoga and True Fitness outlets, including those overseas. Being one the biggest fitness chains in Singapore, this gives the added convenience of being able to work out anywhere in the island or even while traveling. They also have unlimited classes for members to attend. However, their membership prices can vary from consultant to consultant and they do not have fixed rates.
Pricing: $100-$200 per month
Facilities: Studios, Gym, Locker Room Amenities
Overseas Access: The True Group has 32 centres in 5 countries - Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and China
Special Mention: True Fitness at Suntec City Mall, the biggest True Fitness branch in Singapore offering views of the Singapore Flyer
Full list of outlets and classes here
Being one of the biggest giants in the fitness industry has its perks, including being in prime locations. With its sprawling facilities, exercise studios as well as its trademark classes (e.g. Jackie Chan Signature classes), California Fitness embodies the mega-gym concept in Asia. However, look out for their pressure selling tactics; also, their personal trainers are not necessarily top-notch as with the case for most profit centric gyms.
Pricing: $89 per month (one club access), $119 per month (All club access)
Facilities: Pool, Sauna, Studios, Gyms
Outlets: Bugis, Raffles, Velocity@Novena Square, Orchard Ngee Ann City
Full list of classes and outlets here.
Fitness First (Editor’s Pick!)
Although they don’t have as poor a reputation as California Fitness and True Fitness when it comes to pressure selling tactics or varying membership fees, they have their fair share of problems associated with big chain gyms. This includes the difficulties in terminating memberships and poor customer service. However, with 16 outlets in Singapore, this is a great option for working professionals in the CBD who require easy access to a gym. They also have an extensive range of classes and overseas access for the benefit of frequent travellers, as well as various perks with different F&B and supplement partners. For the price you may be paying for other gyms, Fitness First does offer you one of the most value-for-money for gym memberships in Singapore.
Pricing: Ranges from $100-160 per month/ $1500-$1700 per year (standard)
Facilities: Varies across 16 gyms; some with swimming pool and steam room
Overseas Access: Apply for Passport membership free of charge and valid for 3 months; 300 clubs worldwide
Special Mention: Fitness First Platinum at Marina Bay Financial Centre for views of Keppel Harbour and Marina Bay Financial District and Fitness First at Fusionopolis for three levels of panoramic views of the West as well as a 25m, 5-lane rooftop swimming pool and cardio room with personal audio and visual entertainment.
Full list of outlets here
Photo credits: is.asia-city.com
A smaller player than the rest of the mega-gyms, Celebrity Fitness is the new kid on the block aiming to compete with the big boys in the industry. In spite of this, it is plagued with issues that the bigger international gyms have such as no transparent pricing, membership termination problems and poor customer service. However, they do offer high-end facilities such as treadmills that come with Internet access and personal TV screens as well as lockers that can be accessed by swiping your membership card.
Pricing: Varies. Students pay less ($50-$80) Adults pay between $90-$130
Facilities: Sauna and pool at the Downtown East Outlet
Overseas Access: Available with VIP membership
View outlets here
Premium Commercial Gyms:
For those who are looking for more, these are the gyms to pick. These gyms offer state of the art equipment - they’re big and well equipped with machines for both cardio and weights from the most premium brands. They also tend to be transparent (hardly engaging in hard sell tactics) and are mindful of professional conduct. Although these gyms tend to be the priciest around, they offer an unmatched experience when it comes to equipment and service (e.g. being provided with workout equipment, clothing and even iPods). They also ensure that their trainers remain top notch, requiring them to undergo fitness tests frequently to meet fitness standards
Pure Fitness (Editor’s Pick!)
This is the gym of choice for those who are willing to pay top dollar for the full range of premium equipment. They provide workout clothing, free iPods and headphones for your time in the gym. Other luxury amenities include free Wi-Fi, free-flow coffee, soft drinks, apples and a juice bar. Their machines are equipped with DVD entertainment system as well as individual cable TV screens. With a wide variety of group classes and dedicated fitness trainers, they also offer skyscraper views of Marina Bay Sands, ArtScience Museum and Esplanade at their Asia Square outlet as well as Orchard Road at their Knightsbridge outlet.
Pricing: $150-$250 per month
Facilities: Pool, Sauna
Overseas Access: Yes, with an all-inclusive membership. Otherwise, there is a daily drop in rate for every access.
Special mention: Book lessons conveniently via both iOS and Android
Full list of outlets here
Photo credits: lifestyleasia.com
Run by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, Virgin Active is a global chain that recently opened its first Southeast Asian branch in Singapore. It’s an extremely well equipped gym with new, state of the art machines as well as novel fitness classes such as ZUU (pronounced “zoo”). Originating in Australia, this new fitness concept is a strength and endurance training regime based on high intensity exercises that mimic primal movements using only body weight. Workout attire is provided (except shoes) and you can even take naps in their zero-gravity sleep pods. They also provide RFID membership cards for locker access and you can even use it to make payments at the salad bar after your workout. There’s only one outlet now, but Virgin Active has plans to open six to ten more clubs over the next five years in the CBD and heartlands.
Pricing: One-time activation fee of $199 and a weekly fee of $42.50
Overseas Acesss: Membership includes access to Virgin Active’s worldwide clubs and facilities
Full list of classes here
Photo credits: globalvillagedirectory.info
Located on the 16th floor of Harbourfront Centre, this is an exclusive and extremely well equipped gym targeted at the savvy gym-goer. They also provide personalized services that are not typically found in other fitness centres such as concierge, spa, and child minding services. A private club with limited membership, Sky ensures that you get VIP treatment by keeping their numbers small. They also offer a bio-physical assessment scan that reveals more physiological details than the standard body-fat measuring machine. With an in-house café that serves up protein shakes and turkey burgers, you’ll never have to pack another protein shake to the gym. On top of that, you get undisrupted views of Sentosa Island and Mt Faber.
Pricing: Starts from $170 per month; $75 for students
Facilities: Sauna, Spa, private pilates room
Overseas access available for all members: India, Philippines, KL
View outlet here
Found Part One useful? Hop over to continue reading Part Two!
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