Gyms

Where to Work Out in Hong Kong

1) PURE Fitness

What: Arguably the best gym in Hong Kong. Provides T-shirts, shorts, socks, towels, yoga mats, boxing equipment, up-to-date DVD library, cardio equipment with personal TVs, iPods and DVD players, headsets, sauna, steamroom. Group classes include Bodypump, Bootcamp, spinning, muay thai, pole dancing and more.
Locations: IFC, Soho, Admiralty, Mongkok, Causeway Bay
Cost: Depends on length of contract, number of locations and whether you include Pure Yoga. Ranges from HK$600 – HK$1,200/month; but whatever you do, remember to negotiate HARD!
Trial period: 7 days
Website: www.pure-fitness.com

2) Fitness First

What: Pretty decent gym with reasonable membership fees. No personalised TVs on your machine. Bring your own workout gear.
Locations: Sheung Wan, Central, Wanchai, Tsim Sha Tsui, North Point, Taikoo
Cost: About HK$500/month, depending on length of contract.
Trial period: 3 days
Website: www.fitnessfirst.com.hk

3) Seasons Fitness

What: A somewhat luxurious place to work out with a gym, day spa and even a 20-metre pool. Overlooks Hong Kong park and has group exercise classes too.
Location: Central, Kowloon Bay
Cost: Around HK$1,000/month (?)
Trial period: 1 day
Website: www.seasonsfitness.com

4) California Fitness

What: A gym for the masses, reputed to be full of vain men and annoying, in-your-face salespeople. Sign up here only if you can stand being sold to every time you step in and out of the building! Equipment is run down except for at newer locations like The One (TST) and L Place (Central).
Locations: Central, Causeway Bay, Wanchai, Quarry Bay, Mongkok, Kowloon Bay, Tuen Mun, Whampoa
Cost: Around HK$300-400/month
Trial period: 7 days
Website: www.californiafitness.com

5) Physical Fitness

What: Super local gym combined with beauty centre, poster boyed by Cantopop ‘Heavenly King’ Aaron Kwok and his super chiseled (and photoshopped?) abs. Sometimes you can get a deal off Groupon or some months of membership thrown in with your memberships to other companies like PCCW. Basic gym to work out at.
Locations: Causeway Bay, Quarry Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mongkok, Mei Foo, Shatin, Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun, Sheung Shui
Cost: Dirt cheap (around HK$200/month, but you get what you pay for)
Trial period: 7 days
Website: www.physical.com.hk

Disclaimer: This list is by no means a be all and end all to gyms in Hong Kong and feature my personal opinions only. I am not professionally affiliated with any of the gyms, but I am a Pure Fitness member. I chose to join Pure Fitness because I like how clean it is, the wide variety of classes, the fact that I don’t need to bring a ton of gym gear with me to the gym, and its close proximity to my workplace — but everyone has their own reasons for choosing their gym. Hope this helps!

51 thoughts on “Gyms

    • Sorry James I don’t have a link. It’s pretty random and I don’t know if they are doing that anymore. But if you keep an eye on Groupon (www.groupon.hk) they have really cheap Physical memberships on sale from time to time.

  1. John says:

    This is a really bias review, don’t believe a single words that are said above. I am guessing the writer are probably someone from Pure fitness.. Anyway I am disappointed, period.

    • Hi John, I don’t work for Pure but I am a member there. As much as I like Pure, it does have its downsides too (crowded, too mass, expensive, etc.) but it’s still the best option for me in Hong Kong. Hope you find a gym that suits you too!

  2. Gym Seeker HK says:

    Thanks Erica – the post is helpful!!

    I’m hearing mixed things on negotiating on Pure Fitness though, most people I’ve come across said they were unable to negotiate anything, full stop. Can you provide some more insight?

  3. Erica how much commission is pure fitness paying you then, your review totally bias one of based on personal opinion how many of the other gyms have you visited or joined may i ask? The review is vague and has been not certify I would advise people to visit all the gyms and try their trial period prior to joining. Another tip is just because you visit one branch it does means the standard is the same for the rest of the others.

    • Hi Joe, think whatever you want. This happens to be my personal blog with (surprise!) my personal opinions on gyms, fitness, Hk, etc. and if you don’t like my opinions you are free to go elsewhere. If you do not find this post useful please visit all the gyms yourself and write your own “unbiased” summary.

  4. eC says:

    erica, wanna give u a thumbs up for the work you did posting the info. Keep up the good work. There’s quite a few smaller gyms out there, but this is a good list for the more “mass appeal” gyms.
    I am curious though, on how you fare on getting the “best” deal ($600?)for Pure fitness. Any pointers? Feel free to PM me.

    Cheers

  5. Ricky says:

    Hi Erica. Thanks for the great intro guide above. I am visiting HK for about a week (but don’t wanna be sitting around doing nothing!) and am wondering if you know that any of the gym above offers a casual membership rate (i.e. pay per visit)?

    It looks as though the popularity of your blog has ruffled a few feathers with some gyms that didn’t fare so well on it. I wonder which gym Joe and John own/work for? And I wonder whether they are actually the same person. ;)

  6. Grat says:

    i have been working out in hk in the past 10+ years from physical to pure fitness (currently). i totally think the review here is valid and it worth every penny for pure fitness. i am not going back to physical or california

  7. nic says:

    very nice review…. I may be moving to hk and need a gym to go to….was leaning towards cali due to their longer hours…but also considering physical since it’s very affordable….is there anything else i should know about any of these places?

  8. Katie says:

    I come from London and just moved to HK. Unfortunately I didn’t think much of Pure for value – on your recommendation I went for a visit to the one in Central today and it was a little average – only 2 rowing machines, one of which was being fixed at the time! I used to go to a gym in London and it was cheaper (£69 pm) and the classes were much better (more diversity) and there was far more equipment. Pure reminded me of Virgin Active Broadgate prices but was seriously not as nice. It didn’t even have a pool. The free t-shirts and shorts was I agree a good touch, but overall the gym is not worth the money I’m afraid.

  9. wayne says:

    I’m going to hong kong for 3 weeks.. I heard you have to have Hong Kong ID to use the gym in hong kong, Is that true?

    • Hi Wayne, I think it depends on the gym. But I know some of them take visitors from overseas for day passes so I don’t think it’s true.

  10. Frank Moniz says:

    Hi Erica,

    Was hoping you could help me find a gym. I’ll be staying across from Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park for 4 nights. I do mostly Cross Fit and old school weight resistance. Where would you recommend I go?

  11. Jan says:

    Just come back from Physical TST, does that smell there or what!!!
    The sales person wanted from me per month $799, as I told him about your price he said that this would be for a 10 year contract LOL
    Before I was at California and this sales guy was very pushy. Did not smell and was clean.
    How much do you pay at pure per months?

  12. jenny says:

    Physical Fitness, Sheung Wan.
    Me and my colleague joined this fitness few months ago in a week apart, I pay $ 750 per month 2 years contract. she pays less because she bargained.

    This is an average fitness centre but the amount of rudeness of 1or 2 staff(PT Staff to be more precise) makes it a total disappointment. I’ve been member in California fitness and Fitness First in the past and never met such a rude,unprofessional,ill mannered staff who swears next to members and occupies few machines for himself with his personal stuffs. As there is only one of that,we asked to use and he gave us attitude,saying he using it. How Professional!!!!!!!

    we don’t recommend this gym and we can’t wait for our 2years contracts to end.

    • Hi Yipie,

      I believe Pure allows drop-ins but it will probably cost upwards of HK$250 a visit. Why don’t you try other workouts like muay thai, crossfit, or some of the outdoor bootcamps that you can pay per visit? Some that I would recommend are Warrior Muay Thai, Crossfit852 and ApeFit respectively.

  13. Noel says:

    Im on vacation in Hong Kong, I live at Shek Yam East. Is there a gym near by?? Please Help, im getting fat. The Food in HK is very delicious :)

  14. Athena says:

    Hi Erica, you blog seems pretty helpful. I am going to work in 2 IFC for a week in HK this month. I’d like to do the 7 days trial at Pure Fitness since it’s also located in IFC. I don’t really know how to get around. I am just wondering how the trial works. I’ll be staying in TKO during my visit but in the past, I haven’t noticed any gym there. I’m looking for some reasonably priced classes or access to a gym. Any good advice?

  15. Ray says:

    I’ll be there for approximately 2 weeks. I do not have HK ID.

    I want to try a gym nearby. I’ll be living in Causeway bay. Any good ones to recommend? can you purchase a weekly pass?

  16. Lava says:

    I am a member of Pure gym in Causeway Bay. And Its really the best among other HK gyms. Yes, it has some things that I dont like like overpriced a bit, no negotiable ( experience of 3 people) but comparing to others ( I checked Fitness First and California) is much better. Much. Its new ( still:) , there are no many people even during busy hours and everyhting works…so far… We ll see then.

  17. Hilary says:

    Hello Erica morning, just come across your nice blog :) I am a Uni student and looking for a new gym ( currently workout at a clubhouse). I read all the above comments and very interested in joining Pure IFC ( cuz I live in the same district). May I know how much is it per month this 2014 new year for a 6 month and 12 months contract and how much is the joining fees for joining only fitness ? If I like it there I will consider yoga later. By the way, I am a ” on a budget” Uni student, is there really no chance for negotiable hehe, thanks.

  18. Macy says:

    Thanks for the info,
    I joined physical this January and to be honest, it was horrendous! Maybe should have listened to you and joined a PURE gym but there was none near me (Yuen Long). If its ok, just want to share my review with fellow gym-goers;
    Breaking into two parts:
    Positives:
    8/10 for cleanliness- including women’s changing rooms and machines
    Mirrors everywhere!!! (can be seen as negative) you can see yourself in every single angle possible…can be very annoying as you can also see how many people are staring at your backside and you can’t even change machines as they will STILL see you.
    Digital scales. I have counted 12 so far! Dotted around the gym floor and Women’s changing rooms so you NEVER forget to weigh yourself and compare yourself to the waif thin females of Hong Kong!
    Negatives:
    The staff are incompetent. I’m not even sure why they have badges that say ‘Assistant supervisor’, ‘personal trainer’ and ‘receptionist’. They act like random young people that have been plucked off the streets that have experience in sales. The staff DO NOT care about your well-being, health or how you use their machines, all they want is your money! That’s why when I asked them a fitness question (how to slim my thighs with exercise!), they said “Umm, let me ask my supervisor” (this was a guy with a ‘Personal Trainer’ badge) and then he returned to say “I’m sorry, I don’t know. Maybe you can search internet for pictures?”
    Cost: I was first quoted $650 HKD per month! I could not believe the audacity! I whittled it down to $400 a month but that involved going to the gym reception 3 times, speaking to 7 different members of staff and a lot of valuable time.
    Only allowed to use ESSENTIAL equipment: medicine balls, heavier dumbbell weights (>8KG), stability balls and yoga mats IF you are partaking a personal training session in the personal training sectioned off area. By the way this ‘session’ seems to involve the PT having you in a very uncomfortable/sexual position and holding this position for 5 minutes (no cardio/weight training was seen!)
    Staff are unprofessional, always seen joking around with each other (as in play fighting!!!) and 9 out of 10 are rude. They also look as if they have nothing to do – standing around in groups and chatting OR coming to have a good minute’s stare at you while you plank, then leave when they are caught by you! Also, a TIP if you are thinking of joining…if you want to speak to ONE member of staff, not five…as them to come to the seating area. Otherwise, every single staff will LITERALLY come close to you to listen to what you’re about to say! Ridiculously nosey! Or just bored… there are about 3 members of staff to 1 customer!
    No ‘females only gym’ – perverts/staff. Probably why all the women are seen NOT working out, but sitting in the steam rooms in their towels, with their paper-style face masks on.
    No floor space/stretching area – must stretch amongst all the machines. Very cramped. Perverts staring.
    The staff make a MASSIVE deal about towel rental!!! When I signed up, they told me the price that I negotiated was “NO! NO TOWEL INCLUDED!…you must bring your own! Okay…?! You want towel..? You pay extra!” Oh Lord! It was no big deal to me anyway, back at home – it’s normal to bring your own towels for your own gym dirt! Having said that, one day I forgot my towel so I asked at reception if I could rent one. It took 4 people to make this decision!!! (This included 2 so-called ‘Assistant supervisors’) And 10 minutes!!! And in the end I didn’t even walk away with a towel! In the end, one staff said “ok, you can have towel but it is $30 to rent for one day” I said that I don’t have my purse but I don’t mind paying tomorrow if they put it on my record. They flatly refused.
    Basically, there is a very good reason why this gym has over 200 machines and I see less than 10 people (customers) each time…and I go at 10/11am!
    I have now quit this gym because I am moving home to UK but when I come back, I will be sure to check the others out!

  19. dennis says:

    hi hilary,
    can you recommend me a gym in mongkok area for pay per visit as I’m only there for 3 weeks, mainly free weights.
    thanks

  20. JohnS says:

    Here are my gym reviews, having been a member of each of these for periods longer than a year (and I definitely don’t work for / own shares in any of them!)
    Pure: the best service by far (non-pushy sales staff, no need to take your own workout clothes or towel, can put a hold on your membership if you travel longer than one month) but expensive.
    California: comparatively cheap, sales staff a bit pushy but tolerable, annoyingly have to take your own padlock; at the L-place one in Central, the machines are claustrophobically close together.
    Physical: the Central one is really nice and was in a price war with California when I joined so I got 14 months at $299 per; BUT the sales staff are actually intolerable (started hassling me about renewal with EIGHT months remaining on my contract and, towards the end, would hassle me twice per visit, on the way in and on the way out.)
    Government gym, e.g. at HK Park Sports Centre: $14 ($13 off-peak!) per hour or $180 per month, you can’t beat that with a stick! Obviously not the same range or number of machines as at the commercial gyms but I’ve never had to wait long for a particular type of machine to get free. The big hassle is that you need to get into the system by attending a “briefing session” which is insanely difficult to arrange … but once you’ve done that, you’re a member of every govt gym in HK for ever!
    Nowadays I alternate the govt gym with bouldering at Da Verm in Sai Ying Pun – this is a great way to get super-ripped and is very sociable too!

  21. Jonny says:

    Hey iam really happy about this informations. But iam coming this Year First Time for Holiday to Hong Kong ( iam from Germany) and alli thought about was:,, Dude where can you do your Workout!” And maybe i found here some places 😁

  22. Andy says:

    I’m moving to HK next week, will be working near Tsuen Wan. Am looking into government gyms in the area, i noticed 2 or 3.
    How are staff there? Do they have personal trainers? Or at least staff that recommends what to use for which goal?

    The price is unbeatable. At first I wont have much choice anyway but to go for cheap. But “public” sounds good. Are there usually lots of people at those government gyms?

    Thanks for the review Erica.

  23. Josemourinho says:

    Great job Erica! everything you blogged about is legit and I can testify for it for the most part. Pure is indeed regarded as the best amongst my peers, california is the place to go to if you want to be put off from going to the gym for good, physical is highly dependent on location, I had visited about five or six different locations and imo the shatin one is the best by far as they (surprisingly) never hassle you once you are inside the facility.

    There is one gym that I would STRONGLY ADVISE YOU TO STAY AWAY FROM and it is Grand Waterfall at Kornhill. The people who run it are complete idiots who treat their members like dirt. I had been going there for the past two months, using their gym but not their pool because I wasn’t sure if it was included in my plan, when last wednesday the reception lady asked me if I’d wanted to gym or swim. Seeing that it would be nice to try out the pool, I unknowingly took the offer and got given a special wristband for accessing the pool area. Cool. When I checked out, they realized that my membership didn’t cover the pool, so they told me about it, and I thought to myself that lady must have asked me by mistake in the first place. Alright. All is good and I return to use the gym every day for the past four days. Then today, something completely farcicle happened. I was refused entry by the receptionist. Upon asking why, they told me to step aside, I waited and did as I was told, only to be greeted by a rude lady who told me that my membership has been terminated unilaterally (two weeks early) by them because I have broken the rules by entering the pool area. Incredulous. I tried hard not to laugh out loud as I explained to them what had happened and that I was handed the pool wristband by your receptionist by mistake, but she ignored me and started serving another customer, leaving me standing there looking like a fool. Then they sent their manager, who trumped that lady in rudeness by demanding that I leave immediately, without giving me a hance to explain what had happened. He called the security on me even though I was calm as a sheep. Completely and utterly gobsmacked. If anything it was them who owed me an apology for their mismanagement. Which means I need to find a new gym right NOW (and yes I have lodged a formal complaint with the consumers council but these govermment agencies will always take weeks to act). Which explains why I’m on this blog…

  24. chloe says:

    Hi I’m visiting family in tuen mun for 2 months and are from uk, just wonder what options do I have in terms of joining a gym for short period of time. I mainly wanted to go for classes but do wish do use other facilities. Last year I went to physical and they wish to charge me 9 hundred something for a 12 months contract! Bloody hell fire…. maybe someone here can shot me some light. Thanks

  25. JohnS says:

    Andy: this may be a bit late now, sorry. Govt gym: no staff that I know of though I sometimes see pairs of people who are obviously one personal trainer and one client. You can find freelance personal trainers easily enough but you will still need to do a “briefing session” to get into the govt system. I just use info from exrx.net to design training regimens.

  26. Tom Carter says:

    Hi Erica, Firstly, may i take this opportunity to thank you for your time and effort here. I am moving over to HK August 14, i will be staying in Tin Hau, near to Victoria Park and am looking to join a top notch gym/spa. Ideally, it will have a pool and spa and great fitness and weight equipment. Equally importantly, it will be spotless and slick. Is there anything like this? I would pay a max of HK$ 1600/mo…don’t mind travelling minimal distances, ideally a max of a 15min walk…

    • Hi Tom,

      The closest gym to Victoria Park that I can recommend is Warrior Muay Thai, but they do not have a pool. It’s a joint gym by Coastal Fitness crossfit and muay thai training that also runs circuit classes, which will definitely get you in shape. Try it out!

  27. Eric says:

    It’s been 10 years since I joined Fitness First in Taikoo Place. I am quite happy with this gym. Staff is friendly and not pushy.

  28. Wil says:

    HKJosemourinho – That’s very horrible experience you had in Grand Waterfall. Big thanks for sharing your story to warn others. I had tried 2 months in Action Waterfall at Olympic, the staff there are friendly and no hard sell. Lucky me !

    I had experience in Pure IFC, Admiralty, IFC, Soho and Langham Place. It’s really the best gym in HK, well that solely based on my experience so far. I didn’t continue to renew the contact due to too pricey lol. My friend just joined a branch in Langham with 800 dollar per month (only for Langham) and 650 dollar for one off joining fee. 950 will include yoga at all locations. If you wanna go different locations, it will be 1200 dollar. This information I got from my friend last week.

    Some said Gym in UK is far much better with value for money and I absolutely agree but hey we are in HK.

    Anyone has tried out Fitness First in Kwun Tong? Wondered if anyone are currently with FF and how much.

  29. lois says:

    hey can I haggle the prices in any of these gyms? You know they charge me double at physical cos I haven’t been here for 7 years which pissed me off so I just walked out. I’m new to this so I’m not sure hpw to go about it.

  30. JohnS says:

    Haggle: California, yes; Pure, no; Physical, probably; the others I don’t know; and even the policies of the three I mentioned might’ve changed. Good luck with it and let us know how you get on.

  31. Jan says:

    That’s really helpful Erica since I am comparing Pure and Fitness First.

    I had horrible experience with California and Physical which I will never return to them.

    California basically just scared me away during my first visit. I went to the Mongkok center for a site visit and they required me to present my HKID card to register as I were entering into a private area (members only). I handed in my ID card to the receptionist for registration but she kept my card and said would return the card only on my way out. Then 3 personal trainers (a.k.a. sales person) surrounded me and kept me in a small “consultation room” after the so called site visit tour. I could only get away when my friend (who I have texted him when I’m being held) came for rescue.

    Physical – I went to Physical in mid-March 2014 and joined a 15 months gym membership and 20 sessions of Personal Training sessions (which will be expired in 6 months). Before I signed the contract I told them I would be on business trips from time to time and not comfortable to have the 20 sessions finishing in three months, so they told me I can get extension for up to 9 months with the proof of air tickets.

    So I signed up on site and have the whole membership and PT sessions started on 1st April. Their office called me saying my PT sessions were expiring in mid-September (instead of Oct as I assumed) and later I found out they put my PT sessions in effective on the day I signed the contract which is even before the start of my membership. Obviously no way I could get my 20 sessions done in 6 months because of frequent travels and I asked for extension with the air tickets proof, and now they said I could only top up my PT package if I want to have extension. Such a scam!

    For the rest of my experience with Physical, I couldn’t agree more with Macy and Johns.

  32. I recommend yoga, Anahata being the best studio – not ramped like the gyms, with like minded people creating a peaceful atmostphere, changing rooms very clean with full amenities and the teachers are amazing !

    But if you would like 1to1 I recommend me, as a yoga therapist and teacher ;)

  33. vanilla thunder says:

    i agree with the comment on california fitness. people there are scumbags, trainers are scumbags, they cheat and will always try to cheat on you. i had a very bas experience on one of their branches, i almost got inti the fight with the staff as they do not want to accept their wrongdoing.

  34. Henry says:

    Seasons in central is the worst gym I ever had. The facilities are aging / swimming pool is tiny / personal stuff got stolen in the gym from time to time / PT always approach and aggressively ask you to sign up

    What’s worse, the sales there are very unprofessional. They rejected my application for suspension because I am not gonna extend my membership.

  35. t edward says:

    Pure at causeway Bay: A lot of the staff are friendly but like many places the managers are incompetent and rude and want to try scam you as much as possible. I’m guessing the real root of the problem lies not in the actual people (though their attitude sucks at best) but with the actual company. I paid 2.5k per month bec wanted a monthly package as didnt know if would be staying longer…but i knew i’d be there at least 2 months. only afterwards at renewal did they mention that for 3 months it 4.9k so less than for 2 months. so i said since i wasn’t notified of this at the start and since this would have been a more attractive package to me, can i pay you the remaining amount and get 2 more months? they said no. i argued that it was due to their misrepresentations at the time of sale and that therefore if i do want 3 months, i will end up paying 7.5k (!) rather than the already hugh price of 4.9k. but they just wouldn’t budge. in fact i even threatened to complain to consumer protection agency (whatever it’s called here in HK, not sure anymore?) but in the end (after about ten emails back and forth and numerous phone conversations) i gave up because couldn’t be bothered with the hassle anymore. what really f’s me off is the fact they’re already ‘ripping’ me off anyway and to you would have thought to have conceded to my pretty reasonable requests wouldn’t have been so difficult?? but they just wouldn’t do it. and as such they just portrayed themselves as money obsessed, ignorant, unfair scammers. it’s a shame really because the brand could be something better than that. apart from this, i went to all pure fitness gyms on HK island, and they all suffer from the same ailments, namely that they lack staff members being at hand to explain stuff…most top gyms in the UK (London, which are much cheaper than this, plus have pools and good sauna and steam facilities, unlike Pure), have staff who are ready and more than willing to help at all times…not there simply to make a profit.
    So for on month, I’m paying 1.5k to use the shitty California gym in central…in the uK this would probably be what you’d get as a state gym, so subsidised whereby you pay about £25 (HKD300) per month, if that. I won’t even go into detail about the crappinness of the old equipment (probably breaching many safety regulations incidentally), the overall lack of cleanliness, the overall unfriendliness and unwillingness to help on the part of the staff…because i could go on and on…But one thing’s for sure. No f’er will ever intimidate me or try pressure me into buying any of their garbage PT, and when they approach me i always tell them where to go before they even get close…and if they annoy me i tell them to f off. simple. if i see anyone being treated badly by staff i immediately stand in and tell the staff member to push off. done.

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