17 April 2006

Fitness, First

As part of my ongoing review of gyms that I would like to join (previously: Celebrity Fitness and Fitness Studio), I went for a free trial at Fitness First today. Fitness First, the pioneer of the gym craze in Malaysia certainly deserves a review. Close personal friend Joshua has already become Fitness First's close personal promoter, so I owed it to him to see what he was raving about.

The Fitness First branch at Island Plaza is rather small. In fact I think it's the smallest of the three I visited. However, they do have more cardio machines than either Celebrity Fitness or Fitness Studio. In terms of space, Fitness Studio is the clear winner - with 3 Group X rooms of varying size.

Fitness First, like Fitness Studio also has free beverages but no snack for sale. However, it seems that outside food is allowed because HW pointed out some folks having a mini picnic with their fried bee hoons and salad. In terms of facilities, Fitness First excels in its locker room. It has dry and wet steam rooms for men, and also plenty of shampoo and soap in the showers. I tried out the steam room for the first time in my life. I couldn't stand the dry one but the wet steam room is much more tolerable.

Of course, the main purpose I would like to join a gym is for the Group X activities. The Les Mills system is an obvious choice, but anything else where I can exercise to the music is fine. My timing was bad that time I tried Fitness Studio, but I finally managed to join a class today.

First up was BodyAttack, which Joshua claimed to be a bad start as it's really strenous. On the contrary, I enjoyed it a lot and did not really miss out too much. Though I moved around like crazy, I never once felt light-headed, which is usually a sign that I will black out. After I successfully completed my first Les Mills class, I was raring to go for more. The next class was BodyStep, which is supposed to be Malaysia's favourite session. However I found it to be boring because I couldn't keep up with the step co-ordination. It's really frustrating deciding which foot should step up first, so I left the room after 10 minutes. Joshua insisted I join BodyPump right after that, but I had to be on my way so I just observed them for a few minutes before taking my leave.

Overall it was an interesting experience. At the moment, my choices are either Fitness First or Fitness Studio. One major factor which will come into play when I make my decision is the parking. I paid RM5 for parking at Fitness First, but much less for Studio. And Fitness First is so much farther than Studio for me.

My next trial will be at Clark Hatch. It's the cheapest of the designer gym bunch, so I'll see if I get what I pay for. Anyone has any experience with them?

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