21 December 2005

Fitness Studio

The last time I came back in August, I attended a charity concert organized by the Penang Adventist Hospital. As part of the welcome gift, we each received a complimentary guest pass to the Fitness Studio gym. Dad and I had one, and somehow or other I received another one. So I had 3 passes that I was raring to use but didn't have the opportunity until today.

I recently reviewed Celebrity Fitness at Gurney Plaza, so it was a good time to compare and contrast. Firstly, most of the workout machines from Life Fitness are the same and they are indeed wonderful feats of engineering. It's amazing to me how a collection of metal bars, axels, and pulleys can exercise a particular muscle group. They are definitely better than those equipment found in public gyms. It was great fun trying out all the various equipment and working out my entire body, but if I learnt anything, it was that I am extremely weak. While my friend Alain was pushing 45kg weights, I struggled between 15 and 25kg which is quite a shame because it's not like I have a small figure.

We stayed at the gym from 10.30 to 2.30, but it wasn't 4 hours of exercise - it was an hour of exercise and 3 hours of having free drinks. Their member lounge offers complimentary drinks like hot coffee, Milo, tea, and a range of carbonated drinks (Coke, Sprite, etc). It was definitely fun drinking them and chatting, so we alternated between drinks and exercise.

My main purpose there, however, was to join one of their popular aerobics classes like BodyJam and BodyCombat. I've heard so much about them that I wanted to try it out. Unfortunately, they do not have classes between 11am and 5pm so it's a real shame. But I managed to get a copy of their roster so I'll return some other time to try it out (the Guest Pass allows 3 visits).

Now, let's compare Fitness Studio with Celebrity Fitness. Which one is better depends on what you are looking for:

Fitness Studio:
  • RM100/month

  • Free drinks

  • Computerized locker system

  • No professional trainers advising

  • Steam room (only for ladies)

Celebrity Fitness:
  • RM149/month (1 year contract)

  • No free drinks

  • Need your own padlock for lockers

  • Professional trainers patrol the place and offer tips

  • Steam room and sauna (for both sexes)

Both gyms offer similar aerobics classes, so it's a non issue. Although I sorely miss the sauna/steam room, I prefer Fitness Studio among the two.

The other 'branded' gyms in Penang are Fitness First (the pioneer) and Clark Hatch Fitness. Does anyone have a comment on either one? If not mistaken, Clark Hatch is only RM50 per month. That does sound inviting. When I settle down next time, I'll probably find some gym buddies and join one. There is a gym in my college, but it's pointless without the aerobics classes.

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