Looking for a place to workout? From bells-and-whistles chains to budget community centres LAVIEZINE presents the best gyms across Shanghai.
Ambassy Club 上海鸿艺会
This is a popular gym and clubhouse attached to Ambassy Court, a high-end housing estate. Members can use an indoor and outdoor pool, plus a good gym on the third floor. There’s also a cafe in the basement with decent coffee and sandwiches. In the summer, the outdoor pool is a big hit on the weekends with Ambassy residents and health-club members. Membership’s about 7,000 a year.
Add: 1500 Huaihai Zhong Lu
Phone: 021 6437 9800
Hours: Mon – Fri 6:00 – 22:00; Sat – Sun 8:00 – 22:00; Outdoor pool 8:00 – 19:00
One Wellness Centre
The One Wellness Centre is a boutique fitness club located in Loft 98 near Jing’an Temple. It is a gym carrying the latest innovations from Technogym as well as Kinesis and The Wellness System. They offer classes in Yoga and Tai Chi and have a cafe serving gourmet health foods, wifi for all members and a therapy area offering massage, acupuncture and reflexology.
Add: 2/F, Bldg C98 Yanping Lu
Phone: 021 6267 1550
Hours: Mon – Thu 6:00 – 23:00; Fri 6:00 – 22:00; Sat – Sun 7:00 – 22:00
Physical (Raffles City)
Physical is a popular gym with various locations throughout Shanghai. They have cardio equipment, free weights and a large floor for classes such as yoga, belly dancing and kickboxing. Personal trainers also available for private tutorials.
Add: Raffles City, 7/F, 268 Xizang Zhong Lu
Phone: 021 6340 3939
Hours: Daily 7:00 – 22:30
Eternity Fitness (Jing’an)
This one is a “boutique fitness center” that offers small classes in yoga, personal training, sports injury massages, boot camp, body shaping. It’s located in a lane house, with studios that are spread out over a few levels. Instructors hail from various contries. The place also has its own juice and snack bar, and two relaxing lounge areas with Internet access. All of their classes are conducted in English, and they offer over 15 types of yoga classes including ashtanga, flow, hot, hatha, power, pre and postnatal, yoga kids, tai chi, and meditation. They also offer spa treatments and massages to relieve any post-workout tension. A variety of memberships are available, and the drop-in price is 200rmb.
Add: Rm101, 861Jiangning Lu
Phone: 021 3135 1791
Hours: Mon – Thu 10:00 – 23:00; Fri – Sun 11:00 – 19:00
Clark Hatch Fitness Centre (Xingguo)
Taking a holistic fitness philosophy coupled with the traditional western fitness tenants, the gym offers services and programs geared to patrons looking for both.
Add: Radisson Plaza Xingguo, 78 Xingguo Lu
Phone: 021 6212 9998
Hours: Daily 6:00 – 23:00
Despite the American sounding name, this big, energetic gym experience is actually from Hong Kong. The 4000sqm Shanghai branch, which takes over nearly two floors of Huaihai Lu’s Infinity Plaza, features a high-energy soundtrack of house music and around 20 of each of the core cardio machines such as treadmills and ellipticals as well as an ‘endless’ rotating staircase and the Treadclimber, a hill-hiking simulator. There’s also a boxing ring for sparring practice and an extensive weights area, although usually only one of each machine, which can cause waits at peak weekday evenings, but there is enough variety of equipment that it’s never too much of a problem. The only thing missing is a pool.
Add: Fifth Floor, Infinity Plaza, 138 Huaihai Lu, Huangpu District
With more than 35 branches across the city, Will’s Gym is a Shanghai fitness empire. Some of its older locations admittedly have awful reputations, but this branch on Gubei Lu rivals the recently-opened Xintiandi outpost as one of their better options. It’s full of buff young things getting toned, and well-equipped with everything from fitness machines to weights, with a well thought-out layout and a leafy window view from the treadmills. There’s a decent-sized kidney bean-shaped pool and both hot and regular yoga rooms. Service is attentive – you get your body mass index and muscle ratio tested by a Lycra-clad personal trainer practically before you walk through the door for the first time.
Add: 555 Gubei Lu, Changning District
A vast 6,000sqm space inside the Kerry Hotel Pudong beside Century Park, Kerry Sports pitches itself far above the dusty treadmills and forlorn free weights of the average hotel gym. There’s no need to wait for equipment with over 80 first-rate Star Trac machines complete with cable TV and headphones. Elsewhere there is a Power Plate plus a dedicated ‘triathlon area’ featuring specially customised bikes, treadmills and a baffling swimming simulator on which you can practice your stroke on the comfort of dry land. The Express Workout Zone plots a route through the weights and resistance machines, giving you a full 30-minute workout without the need for a personal trainer (although those are available too). Away from the exercise, a relaxing café serves up healthy juices and free WiFi. Upstairs is a plush 25-metre swimming pool, complete with a kids’ splash adventure zone.
Add: Kerry Hotel Pudong, 1388 Huamu Lu, Pudong
Noble Center Health Club
Part of a gigantic neon-lit complex, this 10-year-old health club is popular with locals but flies under most expats’ radars thanks to its far-flung location. It’s only five minutes from the metro, though, and worth it for access to one of the best indoor pools in Shanghai. The marble-clad lobby houses badminton (48RMB/hour) and squash courts (80RMB/hour) plus a circuit-training gym (closed outside class hours). Upstairs is a great place for a cardio workout, with banks of cross trainers, treadmills and exercise bikes; strength training is catered for with a large, dedicated free weights area. Around the atrium it can feel a bit like exercising in a corridor, but even during the peak 6-7pm hours it’s never busy. Aside from the gym there’s a separate spinning room, a ‘stretching area’ equipped with yoga balls and mats, a 300sqm group class studio and snooker tables, but the real jewel in the crown is the 50-by 25-metre pool housed in a huge, light-flooded glass pyramid.
Add: 1688 Caobao Lu Xingzhong Lu, Songjiang District
Mr & Mrs Fitness
Mr & Mrs Fitness has seven gyms across the city, but the Tongchuan Lu branch near Langao Lu metro (previously home to Mind Over Body gym) is one of the biggest and best. It boasts an army of modern running machines, weights machines and dumbbell racks, a 25-metre by 12-metre swimming pool and nice touches such as a large boxing punchbag. Its strength, though, is in the variety beyond the basics.
There’s a room for spinning, a circuit training room, a separate yoga section, a table tennis table, a large basketball court (320RMB/hour peak times; 200RMB/hour off-peak) and several badminton courts (55RMB/hour peak times; 40RMB/hour off-peak).
Add: 56 Tongchuang Lu, Putuo District