Fitness Gym Clubs in Singapore

Mega fitness gym chain California Fitness closed down recently and it caused an uproar in Singapore and Hong Kong. I’m not sure about you but it wasn’t entirely surprising and it was more like sad than surprise to me that such thing had to happen. They are known for selling lifetime memberships and such scheme will lead to eventual downfall, for sure.

I did try California Fitness before, using a group buying voucher (the company has closed long ago) I bought for $30, many years ago. Back then, I was very unfit and had little interest in exercise. I only attempted to exercise because it was the school holidays and I was getting fat. Anyway, I never attended more than twice even though I had 1 month unlimited.

Basically I was young and felt intimidated by how huge the gym was. I felt shy to use any equipment and felt lost in the classes. So much has changed since and the gym has finally closed.

Anyway, that’s not the topic for this post. For this post I want to talk about and compare the differences between all existing mega fitness gyms in Singapore in case anyone needs a new home after California Fitness.

And since this is a yoga blog, I’ll also talk about the yoga classes within these gyms. While the gym environment is not the most ideal to practice yoga in (think loud upbeat musics), this information will be useful for those who wish to one membership which can meet both objectives.

You could be a yoga practioners who wishes to keep fit in a gym, or gym goers who also wish to do yoga to complement your workout. Or perhaps you do not solely want to do yoga, but wish to take up fitness classes like Body Combat, Zumba, Pilates etc too. Having a separate membership for yoga may be too costly so here’s a guide to choose the right gym for you, to meet your yoga needs.


1. Fitness First

Number of outlets: 16
Gym: Good
Yoga class frequency: 4/5
Yoga class quality: 4/5
Yoga class facilities: 2/5
Locations: Mostly near offices – 7 clubs in CBD, Changi Business Park, Mapletree, One North. A few clubs in residential areas and shopping districts.
Price: $$

The teachers are decent and the number of classes they have are numerous enough for consistent practice, but the lack of a dedicated room with proper mats ruins it all. The heated room does not even have a proper heater on the ceilings. The people attending are mostly new to yoga so you won’t get a very good environment. While the class types are mostly basic, friendly to beginners, they do offer unique styles like Aerial Yoga.

The crowd you can expect here are mostly people who work nearby and tempted to sign up because of corporate rate discounts, but they may not be that crazy on fitness. But of course there are some serious gym goers too.

Unique benefits:

  • Members of 12 months and more can bring a friend in on weekends, no questions asked.
  • Members can use Fitness First clubs all over the world. Examples includes: UK, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia.

P1220508 (900x675)

2. True Fitness

Number of outlets: 7
Gym: Average
Yoga class frequency: 5/5
Yoga class quality: 5/5
Yoga class facilities: 5/5
Locations: Presence in both heartlands and central
Price: $

It began with True Yoga and only few years later, they acquired Planet Fitness to become True Fitness. This could be the reason why yoga classes are taken more seriously in True Fitness compared to other gyms. While I have no good words to say about True Yoga facilities and management wise, their classes are still legit and it is still better than yoga classes conducted at gyms typically. At True Fitness, they have a room specifically for yoga with proper Manduka mats and props, and not just use a multi-purpose room with generic exercise mats for yoga classes. The Chevron house outlet has the most yoga classes, so people thinking of having only 1 outlet access to True Fitness should get that outlet. You can find yoga classes of various levels, including more advanced classes (something very rare at gyms). The new Chai Chee outlet of True Fitness comes with aerial yoga classes.

They also have many yoga classes a day at all their outlets. If you want more yoga, they have the all access yoga + gym membership as well and it is still cheaper than most other gym’s membership, but do note that there’s only 1 True Yoga club, so if going to Pacific Plaza is not your thing, you can try having all access gyms only to access yoga at all 7 clubs. You can get it for under $100 if you buy it from someone online if you want a shorter commitment.

Yoga aside, the gym facilities at True are known to be not that fantastic, but still passable. The management is known for hard selling so that’s probably the lousiest part of it.

The crowd you can expect at True are mostly people living nearby, many locals and some who aren’t fitness maniacs but just signing up to motivate a healthy lifestyle (but probably only comes in twice a month).

Unique benefits:

  • VIP members can access clubs within the region, in Malaysia, Bangkok and Taiwan.
  • Dedicated yoga room in almost every gym outlet.

P1220512 (900x675)

3. Pure Fitness

Number of outlets: 1 (soon to be 3)
Gym: Very good
Yoga class frequency: 1/5
Yoga class quality: 2/5
Yoga class facilities: 2/5
Locations: CBD
Price: $$$

This gym chain from Hong Kong is fast expanding in their country. Soon you’ll see 2 more outlets in central Singapore, which is about time since the clousure of their famous Knightsbridge Orchard outlet was chased out of the premises to make way for the new Apple Store. Unlike the other gyms mentioned, the yoga classes at Pure Fitness are kept very basic and minimal – it’s just called yoga and the classes are infrequent and short. It’s clearly not for one to grow in yoga practice here. I guess it’s for fitness purists (hahaha) who wants to really train, so most of their group classes are fitness based.

However, the beauty of this gym is that you can add on to access their Pure Yoga clubs on top of your gym membership fees. Yes, I mentioned that here we are looking to have yoga and gym in one place, but with the new Pure Yoga Asia Square Tower 2 located so close to Pure Fitness Asia Square, it doesn’t seem to be a problem to cross over between breaks. And I hearsay the new outlets will be situated near their current yoga clubs. Their Pure Yoga clubs are excellent for yoga and they are true purists about it, offering only yoga and no hybrid forms like Body Balance, Pilates or Bollywood Dance in their yoga clubs. So you will get the best of both with 1 membership, just that you need to walk a little. Besides, separating the yoga sanctuary from the gym does give you a more quiet environment for practice.  Free trial is available if you’re interested. To find out more, read my Pure Yoga review here.

The crowd you expect here are well, kind of cooler than usual and with higher membership fees than the neighbourhood friendly gyms, you don’t just sign up for fun. You can expect people serious about fitness here as well as those trying to look cool.

Unique Benefits:

  • Pole, aerial hoop and aerial silk classes available
  • Able to add on Pure Yoga (3 outlets), a legit yoga studio, for around $30 – $50 extra a month on top of Gym Membership.

 

4. Amore Fitness

Number of outlets: 9
Gym: Good
Yoga class frequency: 1/5
Yoga class quality: 1/5
Yoga class facilities: 2/5
Locations: Mostly heartlands
Price: $$

This is the only women’s only gym chain (only Tampines outlet is unisex) and I guess it’s the most women friendly place. The place is less intimidating for women compared to other places which may throw newcomers off. Many women are shy to go to the gym, afraid of looking silly when they do not know how to use any machine. I myself included.

The group classes here offers yoga, but on a very infrequent basis. They simply call it “yoga” without specifying which style and this is not a good sign. Mats are generic exercise mats which they put away after each class. They have more of other classes like Pilates, Stretchfit as well as a whole lot of aerobics and dance classes. This would appeal more to older women I guess, so young women keen on yoga should think twice about this.

Being located mostly in the heartlands, you can expect the crowd to me homemakers and probably people who gym to keep active rather than to fulfill fitness goals. What’s attractive to their female customers is their spa boutiques which are located in every outlet.

Unique benefits:

  • Women’s only
  • Linked to Amore Spa

P1220500 (900x675)

5. Virgin Active

Number of outlets: 1 (soon to be 2)
Gym: Very good
Yoga class frequency: 2/5
Yoga class quality: 4/5
Yoga class facilities:
Locations: CBD
Price: $$$

This gym is premium gym nicely polished and with cool facilities. Definitely not a basic gym. However, they have fewer yoga classes compared to Fitness First, but more than Pure Fitness for sure. The classes are classified by style (Vinyasa, Forrest Yoga etc) and they even have aerial yoga, so at least they made the effort to, but still with only 2 or 3 classes a day, it is not enough for a serious yogi. I guess this place is more for fitness-centric people who does yoga only very occasionally.

Being quite a premium gym, you can expect serious gym go-ers. Definitely not many regular people who gyms to try keep fit, but people who knows their stuff well, probably somewhat like Pure Fitness. Difference is, Pure Fitness members can top up a small amount to add on Pure Yoga to their membership, but for Virgin Active there’s no sister brand.

Unique points:

  • Sleeping pod
  • Anti-gravity yoga available

Conclusion

To make things simple here’s the conclusion to help you decide on your one membership:

1. Full time yogi, part time gym go-er:

  • Steal: True Fitness all clubs membership
  • Splurge: Pure Fitness + Pure Yoga all access membership

 

2. Full time gym go-er, part time yogi:

  • Steal: Fitness First
  • Splurge: Pure Fitness + Pure Yoga all access membership

 

3. Full time gym go-er, very occasional yogi:

  • Steal: Amore or Fitness First
  • Splurge: Virgin Active or Pure Fitness

 

Special category:

Sometimes you just want to keep fit, and sometimes means once a month or once in two months, be it gym or yoga – you just want to move to feel like you’re doing something. You are also not keen on commiting to a minimum period of 12 months. You just want something which you can sign up for a month and cancel when you wish to, without penalty.

4. Part time gym go-er, part time yogi:

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s