Best Exercise Club in Taipei

Which is the best health club in Taipei city/county?

  • California Fitness
  • Alexander
  • Youthcamp
  • Taipingyang (tunhua stores)
  • Gold’s Gym

0 voters

I recently called Alexander Gym, requesting information about joining their gym. At first they said I had to sign a contract for 5 years. Then after I pushed it, they said one year. They said I had to have something like a stamp in my passport that said one year (I am assuming she ment one year visa). I told her that my company will apply for a visa 3 months after I have worked for them. This did not get her to budge. I know I could go somewhere else, but they have a pool I can swim in and it is near my work.

I am wondering if anyone else has run into this problem? I never thought it would be so difficult just to work out! Or if anyone knows of another place to swim, that would work too. But first, what is the real deal with Alexander?

Thanks

Fish out of water

Will try to help you out here… with Alexandar, first need to know which branch you actually called. There are a bunch of locations for this particular club around the city. I do know a friend of a friend who works as a trainer there and perhaps could help you find out some more information. She works at one branch location in particular. Let me know where you are situated for location, and I see if I can help you find out a little more about getting in. :smiley:

Thank you so much for your help. It was the SongPing location, however I am most interested in the new location planning to open next month near Warner Village.

I do appreciate your help.

Fish Out of Water

Zhenni, regarding your initial post, I think they’re jerking you around. First of all, you do not have to sign a five year contract - they have plenty of other packages available. The passport inspection business sounds ludicrous also. Stand up for your rights - if they f*ck with you make a stink. Do you speak Chinese? If not, make sure you bring a Chinese speaking firebrand with you. Don’t bring someone who acquiesces too easily. Also, if you ever have a problem with a clerk, switch to a manager. In my experience, most entry level customer service people in Taiwan are morons when it comes to dealing with foreigners.

I dropped by the new location next to Warner Village Friday evening for a bit - although they’re not yet open, they are giving tours to prospective customers, so I availed myself.

It’s a nice place - very modern, but not as big as California, where I’m currently a member. The music they were blaring was ridiculous, but then again so is the music at California, most of the time. They don’t have as many machines as California, nor do they have as many free weights. They do have a sauna and steam room, but fairly small (at least in the men’s section). California’s jacuzzi, steam room and saunas are much bigger. Alexander’s also has lockers that are too small for men who would come to the gym straight from work, in that the lockers are too short to accomodate a hanging suit jacket, and too small to hold a briefcase, athletic bag, shoes, clothes and toiletries. The lockers at California, while not large enough (IMHO), are still considerably bigger than the ones at the new Alexander. Alexander will be open from 6:00 to 12:00 am, just like California.

They have a pool that is 150cm deep (no danger of drowning! :smiley: ) - but they have some strict pool rules, including the mandatory use of swimmming goggles and also the mandatory use of swimming caps, even if you have a shaved head, ala Michael Jordan. I asked why, since I reasoned that it couldn’t be a hair problem, but they just said that noone is allowed into the pool without one. Weird. California has no pool.

I think the cost at Alexander is too much, though. For a five year membership, they gave me a quote of $68,000NT, while California is currently offering a lifetime membership for $50,000NT. Both deals do not require payment of monthly fees. Alexander has many more locations around Taiwan than California. California currently has three locations in Taipei, with plans to open more throughout the country. California also has 437 clubs throughout North America, Europe and Asia, including HK, Bangkok and Singapore. Membership in one club guarantees you access to all of them.

California isn’t perfect by a long shot, but it’s not bad. I’m basically happy with them. I just wish the music could improve!

Hope this helps… :sunglasses:

Zhenni,
I spoke with my friend who has a friend working at this health club. She had personally never heard of this regulation.

I believe for the most part that Alexandar sets a standard that you at least need to be legally employed here in Taiwan to use their facilities. I continued to ask them why, and pushed for them to give me an explanation why this was the rule. I asked maybe three times why this was the case, with a very confused tone. Finally the woman I spoke (a sales person from same Song Ping branch you called, that my friend connected me to) with began to fold, and told me that you actually didn’t really need this paperwork.

You just need to show them (honestly just convince them they can trust you) that you are working with a company here.

I think their fear of putting up these psuedo regulations is fear that you will then leave abruptly and ask them in return for a portion of your money back.

The angle best to take with these sales people is persistence, and you will find that if they do not have an answer or cannot find one, that the rule probably does not stand true, as was my impression.

Regarding the lifetime memberships available at California and Alexander’s: isn’t it a case of “restricted access” to other clubs around the world? In other words, if you join a center in Taipei, you can use another club at another location, but only for about 2 weeks…

I’ve been trying to find some info on the Net about this - damn the computer - but it seems to be one of those hazy issues that’s not covered in detail. It was actually a “Gold’s Gym” in the USA that mentioned the 2 week thing.

A “roaming” lifetime membership would be an attractive option for those who intend to hang around Taipei for a few years before repatriating. But I’ll be buggered if I’m going to spend the $50k and then find that I can’t use it permanently at another location.

Maoman, were you given any clear indication of this?

I applied at the Wen Xin branch in Taichung. It was a one year membership.

After three months, I started to ask when I would get my membership card. For the next 8 months, my membership card was being “processed” at “E-sun” bank (jerks).

Result: I get my membership card on the 11th month. So I can conveniently go into the gym for one month. For the previous 11 months, I had been using my reciept which by the eleventh month was a crumpled piece of trash resembling toilet paper.

The membership cards typically include a mastercard. Since I’m not a citizen here, it’s impossible to get a credit card without a citizen willing to be my guarantor…so it took the idiots 11 months to get me a gym card without the mastercard.

I was about to explode by the 11th month. I had Taiwanese coworkers complain for me. But I feel, why should I need people to complain for me??? I shouldn’t have to resort to that. Yes, I can speak Chinese. But my Chinese isn’t fluent enough to have a heated argument and chew people out. YOU KNOW?!?!

I kept on going to Alexander’s because it’s a high quality gym. But I really hold a grudge.

By the way, I moved to Tainan, and I got a 5 year membership anyway for 25,000 the first year, and 1,000 per month for the following 4 years.

Oh, and let me exercise my sarcasm:
“E-Sun” is such an appropriate translation. I think it’s because the E looks like a Chinese mountain character turned on its side with the middle caved in, right? JERKS

Thanks Maoman. So there are basically two western style gyms in Taipei in the proximity of Warner Village? California doesn’t have a lap pool? So where do people go to swim? :s

Weight training is my exercise of choice and I’m having trouble finding a suitable gym in Taipei. Taiwanese don’t seem to be quite as interested in lifting heavy things as Americans are. I’ve found a few gyms that seem to have machines but little in the way of free weights. What I’m looking for is a gym in Taipei with a fairly serious weight training section, dumbbells up to 60kg range would be great but I’d be happy to even find a pair of 45kg.

There is a gym on the corner of Ren’ai and Guangfu that I was told by a guy friend who used to work out there had great weights. But I can’t remember the name, I will try to get the information for you soon. Also Gold’s Gym should have what you are looking for, they are located at the Da’an MRT station.

IanW, finally got the business card.

Olympia Gym
phone: (02) 2345-6021
fax: (02) 2725-2804

B1, #420, Jen-ai Road, Section 4, Taipei (although I am almost certain it was #430 on the address block), it’s on the southeast corner of Jen-Ai and Kwang-Fu South Roads.

6 months = NT$5,500 for men

Lots of free weights, but the only problem is that ventilation isn’t very good. You should also have a look at Gold’s Gym at the da-An MRT stop. My friends who work out seriously seem to like that place as well. Not as fru fru as California Fitness from what I hear.

I go to Gold’s on Xinyi and Fuxing. It’s pretty good and cheaper than California.

What’s the price at Gold’s? Yearly, monthly, etc. Also what kind of equipment do they have? Any squash courts? Do the guys piss in the showers like everyone says they do at other gyms?

I was looking for a health club like California Fitness just without the hype and crowds. Alexander is without the hype, but they are crowded and I don’t like to wait in line to use the equipment. I don’t mind paying a little more (up to a point) for something nicer and less crowded. Any suggestions?

Go to the corner of Roosevelt and Shida Rd, next to Taipower Building MRT station. There is a good gym there which is much more affordable than California etc. No-frills, but all the right equipment. It is run by a Arnie’s Taiwanese Clone, a good bloke who speaks very good english. The adress is #61 or 63 Shida Rd. Check it out.

Tamhas,

You mean the Muscle Gym??
Oh. hmmmm…Peanut head WILL whip you into shape if you can stand it!!! But his facilities are quite limited compared to the other gyms like Golds, Alexander, or California. He has no sauna, offers no classes, no steamroom, no proper dressing rooms at all, it smells a bit rank in there, and the A/C sometimes craps out. Coach Huang aka “peanut head”, follows you around and yells at you to do more reps, which some may find motivating, I suppose. He is quite a nice bloke really. And he is waaaaaaaaay cheaper than those hoity toity places…
but I’d recommend the gym across from Taiwan University if you just want the basics and save $. At least they’ve space and a few more treadmills.

Mucha,
Golds has loads of equipment, but no squash courts or whirlpool.

There’s also “Olympia” gym on Section 4 of RenAi Rd, near the corner of GuanFu Sth Rd. It’s about $5,500/6months, if you say you’ve been referred there by a member. However, you too may suffer from claustrophobia should you venture in.

It’s mostly free weights and weight-machines, although if I remember correctly, there’s also a small aerobics floor. The staff are friendly and it’s cheap(er). The opening hours are pretty convenient, but not as good as Golds’ or California’s which really seem to be going for that “nightclub” feel (open late, cheesy techno music, and lots of lycra). Ph: 2345 6021

The gym Alien says is opposite Taiwan University is the one I go to. Small but good. Very small sauna and suntanner which I think you can use and a few (just a few) treadmills bikes etc and weights.

I got 9000 for a year, but no monthly fees. Also have 3mth, 6 mth and tickets (ie 12 times). Very quiet at lunch times.

If small, cheap and basic suits you, it’s more or less opposite the bus station by the gates of Taida, in the same lane as the Fish Cafe and has a sign just saying ‘Gym’ in English. A B1.

Bri

Is Clark Hatch along Tun Hwa North Road (and adjacent to Civic Blvd.) still open?

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Mucha Man:
[QB]What’s the price at Gold’s? Yearly, monthly, etc. Also what kind of equipment do they have? Any squash courts? Do the guys piss in the showers like everyone says they do at other gyms?

Sorry for late answer Mucha geezer … i pay 1888/month at golds for a 2 years contract but can terminate it if i leave taiwan. They have all the treadmills stuffs that everyone wants but its not as funky as calif…
As for the showers I am not sure about the mens but yes the women piss in them at golds, and sometimes in the steam room judging by the smell … but the cleaning service is very efficient so the smell does not last. No squash room no pool no nothing but machines, but pretty good classes, I recommend the boby combat ones

But I heard calif has lowered down their prices (1800/month ) so if I was you I would go calif they are way funkier and more nightclubby than golds and way bigger, and cuter ppl… the music at golds is really naff, they loooove Ricky Martin and play him in loop, at Cali its really clubby and its dark, ( Golds has these yellow naff lighting), so its like going clubbing but its cheaper and better for your health!