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All about South Korea => Life in Korea => Topic started by: seoulbusan on October 05, 2021, 10:55:05 pm

Title: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: seoulbusan on October 05, 2021, 10:55:05 pm
For the people placed in rural areas in Korea by EPIK. What was like for stuff you could do?

And more importantly is there at least one gym within the area or at least 1 hr away ??
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: vicarious on October 06, 2021, 08:10:15 am
I have a set of dumbbells with removable weights, so I can use the same set for multiple kinds of workouts.  With minimal equipment at home, you can get in a great workout and build muscle or maintain, depending on your goal.  Home pull-up bars are another option, as well as resistance bands.  These are all relatively cheap on coupang.  I never have to worry about touching the same equipment as sick people, or someone hogging a machine or bench.  Makes for a peaceful workout experience every time, at my own pace.
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: seoulbusan on October 06, 2021, 06:16:11 pm
Not EPIC, but rural.

There are 4 gyms where I live, and if you head out in 3 out of 4 directions into really 'small town rural', it's only a 20-40 minute bus ride into where I live. In the other direction, there is a satellite city 30 minutes away, and another smallish size city 40 minute aways.
Even in the most isolated villages, you'll always be less than an hour to a gym. However, bus times can be a problem, if you don't have your own transport.

I'm like 'vicarious'. I have a bench, dumbbells, barbells, bands, kettleballs, a bike trainer...etc at home. But, I have room for a home gym. Not always possible.

As for stuff to do!! Well, if you're not into city life (bars, clubs, shopping, big museums, restaurants etc), and again depending on how rural you are, then there's fishing, hiking, photography, exploring,...and there are still things like going out for coffee, or a drink. Maybe even a movie theater not far away. Just use your imagination. I've lived rural for well over 20 years, and I rarely get bored. And, if I do, Ijust go to a bigger place for a day.

Thats pleasing to know that there will be a gym 20-40 mins away even in really isolated places. Which is a relief haha, the gym is like my sanctuary, would go after work.

How about public transport? I know there are buses but are there subway stations or train stations nearby too ? And is kakao taxi or normal taxi available in those rural areas
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: seoulbusan on October 06, 2021, 06:18:40 pm
I have a set of dumbbells with removable weights, so I can use the same set for multiple kinds of workouts.  With minimal equipment at home, you can get in a great workout and build muscle or maintain, depending on your goal.  Home pull-up bars are another option, as well as resistance bands.  These are all relatively cheap on coupang.  I never have to worry about touching the same equipment as sick people, or someone hogging a machine or bench.  Makes for a peaceful workout experience every time, at my own pace.

Currently using a home gym now because from where I'm from we are under lockdown so would not want to see another home gym again hahah

Plus I'd imagine with the stuff I usually do it would disturb my neighbours there with the noise.

Hopefully all that stuff would be easy to resell though if you move out !
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: Kayos on October 07, 2021, 08:04:02 am
I live extremely rural. There is a gym in the nearby town, though it is expensive, small, and always busy at the time I can go there.
People won't share machines because of how busy it is, so you'll see people do nothing but bench pressing for like 2 hours, because the thing they want to use after is already being used, and the person on that doesn't want to move because the thing they want after is being used too. Basically I was paying around 100k won per month to use the treadmills (cause the guys that go don't really want to do cardio) after 1 month I stopped and got my own set up.

I had the room so invested in a small home gym set up: got some resistance bands, an exercise bike, a bench, a cable machine + squat rack + pull up bar combo, a barbell with some weights, and a couple dial adjustable dumbells.
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: Kayos on October 07, 2021, 08:05:38 am
Thats pleasing to know that there will be a gym 20-40 mins away even in really isolated places. Which is a relief haha, the gym is like my sanctuary, would go after work.

How about public transport? I know there are buses but are there subway stations or train stations nearby too ? And is kakao taxi or normal taxi available in those rural areas

Buses in rural areas tend to finish really early, and rarely have subway stations. Taxi's are a thing, but in rural areas you typically have to pay in cash. And depending on where you are, it can be pricey getting back home in a taxi.
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: OnNut81 on October 07, 2021, 08:43:02 am
Thats pleasing to know that there will be a gym 20-40 mins away even in really isolated places. Which is a relief haha, the gym is like my sanctuary, would go after work.

How about public transport? I know there are buses but are there subway stations or train stations nearby too ? And is kakao taxi or normal taxi available in those rural areas

No one can give you an accurate answer without knowing where you will actually be living.  I would forget about subways.  As far as teachers I know that have taught in rural areas they have been placed in the nearest big cities/towns/suburbs and have a commute to their schools.  It's very likely you'll be in an urban area that has a gym or two at the least. Might have to go to a local community centre.  Unless you get really unlucky (lucky for some) you'll have access to the basics.  I used to visit a friend that taught in a hick town and he was placed in a city of around 100,000 that he commuted from.  You should be OK.  If not, I think Kayos really wants to tell you more about his home gym, despite your stated lack of interest, so that you can also make one. 
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: Aristocrat on October 07, 2021, 08:53:06 am
For the people placed in rural areas in Korea by EPIK. What was like for stuff you could do?

And more importantly is there at least one gym within the area or at least 1 hr away ??

Depends what you mean by 'rural'.

A 'myeon' is the smallest settlement (according to my CT), but myeons vary by size and development. Some myeons are the size of small cities and some are tiny villages. You'll just have to find out when you get here, your only option might be to get a home gym.
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: Renma on October 07, 2021, 08:54:30 am
It depends on what you mean by rural as well. My first placement was a small rural city, more of a town really. It was considered  a bumfuck town by other foreigners and Koreans alike, and you could walk from one end to the other in about 45 minutes. It had a lot of amenities though, plenty of regular gyms, couple with a pool, and some dedicated to boxing, jujitsu, etc. Some top notch restaurants and pocha's, sizeable uni student population, etc.

A lot of these more rural place are being developed rapidly as well, new areas are being built up and more varied businesses are moving in. I'd say a placement like this is more likely than a super rural 면 (myeon) or village, so I wouldn't worry too much. If you do end up in a small gun or similar, you could request to live in a nearby city and commute to work. I had a friend who did so after he got sick of living alone out there and having to get the early final bus home every time we met up.
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: Kayos on October 07, 2021, 09:29:28 am
No one can give you an accurate answer without knowing where you will actually be living.  I would forget about subways.  As far as teachers I know that have taught in rural areas they have been placed in the nearest big cities/towns/suburbs and have a commute to their schools.  It's very likely you'll be in an urban area that has a gym or two at the least. Might have to go to a local community centre.  Unless you get really unlucky (lucky for some) you'll have access to the basics.  I used to visit a friend that taught in a hick town and he was placed in a city of around 100,000 that he commuted from.  You should be OK.  If not, I think Kayos really wants to tell you more about his home gym, despite your stated lack of interest, so that you can also make one.

Not really, I was just giving my experience with gyms in a rural area, considering I live in a place where, they could probably have a sign at the entrance to the town with the number of people here, that is adjusted as people come through. As there is likely less than 1000 people in the town I live in. And at the time I posted, his statement of not wanting a home gym wasn't up. May have been a bug, but there was only the OPs message, and 2 others when I made my first post. and the OPs 2nd message didn't show up until after I posted my first one. And I didn't get the usual "More posts have been made since trying to post your reply"
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: hangook77 on October 07, 2021, 10:37:09 am
Don't expect air conditioning.  Sometimes even no heating though sometimes they may have slightly.  Don't expect much equipment nor much cardion equipment that isn't cheap in quality except maybe some treadmills.  Basically the treadmill and some free weights are all they are good for mostly.  Suppliment it with your own exercise outdoors.  Nowadays, I think many don't sanitze that well and make you wear masks which are uncomfortable with heavy breathing and sweating.  So, I boycott any gym until covid is done. 
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: hangook77 on October 07, 2021, 11:31:50 am
Really!!! Are rural gyms that bad these days? The ones that I used to inhabit years ago, were all smallish, but well decked out..air con, heating..the works. I imagine there may be some substandard ones floating around, but you make it sound like it's the norm.
I'm genuinely surprised.

Really?  I haven't worked out at one for years, but I did pop into a couple in my old country town out of curiousity.  They didn't seem any different.  Cheap quality bike and an elipitcal.  Both awful to exercise on.  Some equipment which was minimal.  Only decent thing was the free weights, though even in many cities they have only one set of those and some Korean duide takes one and does every exercise under the sun hogging it which made even a city workout annoying cause you had to wait for this guy forever.  Like I'd take 6 and do some reps, then 8, then 10, then 12, then 14 or so.  Koreans workout differently it seems.  Then resting between sets they keep it there and won't let you borrow it for a set.  (Though I do insert myself myself sometimes cause otherwise I'd never get my workout done.) 

I like to do some free weights then hit the eqipment section and do some re enforcement exercises.  Some city gyms have good elipticals which are my favorite, though I did force myself to jog on the treadmill as well.  In less hot years (like a few years back), I use to bike a lot outdoors cause I liked it better than indoor artificial cardio.  Boy, those country gyms really left a lot to be desiered.  Now if you are in a rich rural area close to Seoul, it may be different. 
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: seoulbusan on October 08, 2021, 04:36:04 pm
It depends on what you mean by rural as well. My first placement was a small rural city, more of a town really. It was considered  a bumfuck town by other foreigners and Koreans alike, and you could walk from one end to the other in about 45 minutes. It had a lot of amenities though, plenty of regular gyms, couple with a pool, and some dedicated to boxing, jujitsu, etc. Some top notch restaurants and pocha's, sizeable uni student population, etc.

A lot of these more rural place are being developed rapidly as well, new areas are being built up and more varied businesses are moving in. I'd say a placement like this is more likely than a super rural 면 (myeon) or village, so I wouldn't worry too much. If you do end up in a small gun or similar, you could request to live in a nearby city and commute to work. I had a friend who did so after he got sick of living alone out there and having to get the early final bus home every time we met up.

sounds like from the comments though that its likely youd be placed somewhere with a gym at least. so that a start.

in terms of your friend, he could actually request? i heard epik or the schools were strict with the accommodation of where you can live and stuff
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: seoulbusan on October 08, 2021, 04:39:52 pm
Not really, I was just giving my experience with gyms in a rural area, considering I live in a place where, they could probably have a sign at the entrance to the town with the number of people here, that is adjusted as people come through. As there is likely less than 1000 people in the town I live in. And at the time I posted, his statement of not wanting a home gym wasn't up. May have been a bug, but there was only the OPs message, and 2 others when I made my first post. and the OPs 2nd message didn't show up until after I posted my first one. And I didn't get the usual "More posts have been made since trying to post your reply"

all good about the home gym, i dont mind, but yeah ideally i dont want to get a home gym setup, reminds me of lockdown, and i love that gym atmosphere vibe

how do you have enough space for a squat rack lol, isnt the apartments really small. and does it make alot of noise with the neighbours, as ive gotten that with my home gym here (not in korea)
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: Renma on October 12, 2021, 08:01:48 am
sounds like from the comments though that its likely youd be placed somewhere with a gym at least. so that a start.

in terms of your friend, he could actually request? i heard epik or the schools were strict with the accommodation of where you can live and stuff

As a new teacher, it depends. With Epik, you'll finish orientation and arrive in your designated town a couple of days before your teaching contract starts. I've known a few people who went apartment seeking with their co-teacher that same day, and others who were told it wasn't possible. It depends on whether the school has signed/renewed the apartment lease already, and if the school has the time/willingness to find an alternate for you. If it's to be done, it would be as soon as you arrive because once the rental contract is signed then that's that for the year.
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: Kayos on October 12, 2021, 08:15:48 am
all good about the home gym, i dont mind, but yeah ideally i dont want to get a home gym setup, reminds me of lockdown, and i love that gym atmosphere vibe

how do you have enough space for a squat rack lol, isnt the apartments really small. and does it make alot of noise with the neighbours, as ive gotten that with my home gym here (not in korea)

I live really rurally and my apartment is decently sized. I use the living area as my kinda gym area, though I move my exercise bike into the bedroom so I can play video games while biking :P
I'd say my squat rack takes about 1/4 of my living area, so there is enough room for stuff around it.
Also, there are only 3 apartments in my apartment building. I'm the only one on the bottom, my landlord is directly above me (she isn't home from 6am - 11pm) and I'm not particularly loud during my weight training. haha.

The gym/s in my area are expensive, small, and crowded (during times when I can go there at least) - though, this will likely depend on which area you go to when/if you come here.
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: Aristocrat on October 12, 2021, 08:38:58 am
all good about the home gym, i dont mind, but yeah ideally i dont want to get a home gym setup, reminds me of lockdown, and i love that gym atmosphere vibe

how do you have enough space for a squat rack lol, isnt the apartments really small. and does it make alot of noise with the neighbours, as ive gotten that with my home gym here (not in korea)

Know exactly what you mean. I prefer to train alone, but a few months a year it's nice to be around the gym vibe.

My squat rack at home is on the budget end (no safety rails) and I've only got 120kg of plates, but that forces me not to go overboard with the weight and focus on speed of the lift as opposed to maxing it out. You can buy some pretty cheap padding/gym mats.
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: Kayos on October 12, 2021, 09:26:18 am
Know exactly what you mean. I prefer to train alone, but a few months a year it's nice to be around the gym vibe.

My squat rack at home is on the budget end (no safety rails) and I've only got 120kg of plates, but that forces me not to go overboard with the weight and focus on speed of the lift as opposed to maxing it out. You can buy some pretty cheap padding/gym mats.

oo, do you have a link to the padding/gym mats? That is something I'd like to get, more for doing lunges. My toes feel like they get crushed even when doing them, even on my yoga mat. haha
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: Aristocrat on October 12, 2021, 09:45:40 am
oo, do you have a link to the padding/gym mats? That is something I'd like to get, more for doing lunges. My toes feel like they get crushed even when doing them, even on my yoga mat. haha

Sorry, can't remember.

It's a black jigsaw style gym mat. One of my cats ended up scratching it up a bit so I bought a second bit of cheap vinyl padded mat, it's meant for floors, but it was cheap, the cat can't scratch it and it's very effective. So, I've got 2 layers.

For lunges, you want to push off the ball of your foot, not your toes. Two effective lunge variations I use is to either mount your back leg over a bench or chair or to push your back heel against a wall. The second variation encourages you to lower and engage the hips more.
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: Kayos on October 12, 2021, 10:01:44 am
Sorry, can't remember.

It's a black jigsaw style gym mat. One of my cats ended up scratching it up a bit so I bought a second bit of cheap vinyl padded mat, it's meant for floors, but it was cheap, the cat can't scratch it and it's very effective. So, I've got 2 layers.

For lunges, you want to push off the ball of your foot, not your toes. Two effective lunge variations I use is to either mount your back leg over a bench or chair or to push your back heel against a wall. The second variation encourages you to lower and engage the hips more.

Yeah, just when my trainer puts in the standard lunges, he does do ones where my back leg will be on a bench too, my back foot is usually on my toes, and it's my back foot that ends up with sore toes while doing it lol. I've had 3 trainers say my form is fine when doing them though, but I always have issues doing standard ones without a big gym mat/padding.
But cheers, I might have a look on gmarket or something later.
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: hangook77 on October 12, 2021, 12:13:33 pm
Depends what you mean by 'rural'.

A 'myeon' is the smallest settlement (according to my CT), but myeons vary by size and development. Some myeons are the size of small cities and some are tiny villages. You'll just have to find out when you get here, your only option might be to get a home gym.

When I lived in a small city (IE 60,000 people) or a county (a gun), these were rural with lots of incorporated rural farmland and mountains.  The small city felt very much like a larger gun.  Was nothing there except small marts and Korean restaurants.  It did have a lotteria.  As for me and others, we all lived in the main built up part of the county or small rural city.  That was where the housing was though it was often older.  A good size deposit can get you an older apartment either in a high rise or a low rise "Mansion" as they call it.  (Who comes up with these names?)  In that rural area, there will be a gym but it may not have much.  On the other hand you would hear occasionally of an education office putting someone out in the boonies like a myeon or a ri which are very rural areas away from the built up area.  It might be an old house or there may be some kind of rooming house in the area.  Kind of a bad deal unless you are getting something in return. 
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: kristadawn on October 12, 2021, 02:49:07 pm
For the people placed in rural areas in Korea by EPIK. What was like for stuff you could do?

And more importantly is there at least one gym within the area or at least 1 hr away ??


the gyms in my area are SUPER expensive there's only one branch and its about 130,000 A MONTH!?!?! so i just work out at home now with a yoga mat the price was insane. i did pay 3 months for 350,000 I saved 40,000 but that price is still expensive! But they can do it  because they are the only gym branch in my area.
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: hangook77 on October 12, 2021, 03:17:18 pm

the gyms in my area are SUPER expensive there's only one branch and its about 130,000 A MONTH!?!?! so i just work out at home now with a yoga mat the price was insane. i did pay 3 months for 350,000 I saved 40,000 but that price is still expensive! But they can do it  because they are the only gym branch in my area.

Any six month discounts?  That is a crazy price.  I usually found 80k a month expensive but that was pre covid.  It's possible after covid and I go back next year, I may find these price hikes at mine too.  Could just be the crazy inflation we were all talking about on another thread.  Sometimes if you buy for a year or six months you get sale prices and discounts.  But you may have to wait for those to see.  Keep an eye out. 
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: Kayos on October 12, 2021, 03:21:59 pm
Any six month discounts?  That is a crazy price.  I usually found 80k a month expensive but that was pre covid.  It's possible after covid and I go back next year, I may find these price hikes at mine too.  Could just be the crazy inflation we were all talking about on another thread.  Sometimes if you buy for a year or six months you get sale prices and discounts.  But you may have to wait for those to see.  Keep an eye out.

In my area, 80k per month was the 1 year at a time rate. I think it was down to 100k per month if you went 6 months, and was about 120k per month individually.
But, those prices were during a promotion the gym was running, and was last year or 2 years ago.
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: hangook77 on October 13, 2021, 11:45:10 am
As a new teacher, it depends. With Epik, you'll finish orientation and arrive in your designated town a couple of days before your teaching contract starts. I've known a few people who went apartment seeking with their co-teacher that same day, and others who were told it wasn't possible. It depends on whether the school has signed/renewed the apartment lease already, and if the school has the time/willingness to find an alternate for you. If it's to be done, it would be as soon as you arrive because once the rental contract is signed then that's that for the year.

You didn't tell EPIK you wanted your apartment beforehand?
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: Renma on October 13, 2021, 11:56:56 am
You didn't tell EPIK you wanted your apartment beforehand?

Not sure what you mean? EPIK won't even tell you what city you're in until the last day of orientation where you sign the contract. Anything to do with your apartment will be between you and your school once you arrive after orientation. EPIK themselves are glorified recruiters and everything after is done via your MOE/POE.

Anyway, my first apartment I was very happy with. Decent sized, clean, good location, well maintained. The owners lived in the building and would come fix any issues I had immediately, and always gave me food from their farm or chatted with me, and I'd help them out with carrying furniture etc if they needed it. When I  later changed cities I went to a budongsan and found my own apartment.
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: hangook77 on October 14, 2021, 12:39:42 pm
Not sure what you mean? EPIK won't even tell you what city you're in until the last day of orientation where you sign the contract. Anything to do with your apartment will be between you and your school once you arrive after orientation. EPIK themselves are glorified recruiters and everything after is done via your MOE/POE.

Anyway, my first apartment I was very happy with. Decent sized, clean, good location, well maintained. The owners lived in the building and would come fix any issues I had immediately, and always gave me food from their farm or chatted with me, and I'd help them out with carrying furniture etc if they needed it. When I  later changed cities I went to a budongsan and found my own apartment.

Thought there was an option on the application to choose your own place and take the money.  Sounds like they changed things from several years ago then from what I ehard at that time.  EPIK turning more and more into dicks.  I actually just used a recruiter years ago and went straight to the POE and the local ED office.  I rememebr telling them I wanted an air con before I agreed to accept their placement rather than with a hakwon in Seoul.  They said they would try to find me a place with one.  Then I arrive and the local ed office tried to go back on their word and not give me one.  In this summer's heat?  I really chewed them out when I got here and made them go get me one.  Either way, I told the recuiter I'd take the rural posting if they gave me an air con and I made them keep their word.  (They were afraid I would leave.)  Never dealt with EPIK even though I technically belong with them.  Never did their hour long phone interviews either. 
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: hangook77 on October 14, 2021, 12:41:33 pm
Anyways, if you are coming for the first time, take the EPIK apartment.  If you are transferring from another job and know Korea and can afford it, get your own place.  It can be hot and miss however.  Many places want to give you the cheapest places they can get.  Some will give you a decent place just to be nice.  Getting your own place lets you avoid some of the uncertainty. 
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: Renma on October 14, 2021, 12:53:47 pm
Thought there was an option on the application to choose your own place and take the money.  Sounds like they changed things from several years ago then from what I ehard at that time.

Oh, yeah it is an option still. However, because they prevent you having contact with your school until after orientation, it's unlikely a new starter will get that option. And on that first day you arrive, changing your apartment depends on A) If your school has already signed the rental lease and B) If your handler/coteacher etc have time or the will to help you seek a new place if you don't like it. I've known new arrivals that immediately went apartment shopping with their co, and others who were told it's impossible.

Renewals have a better shot at getting the housing allowance, though technically it is at the school's discretion (the admin team's discretion really) . They can deny the option if they want.
Title: Re: Gyms in rural areas
Post by: seoulbusan on October 14, 2021, 03:15:17 pm
Really?  I haven't worked out at one for years, but I did pop into a couple in my old country town out of curiousity.  They didn't seem any different.  Cheap quality bike and an elipitcal.  Both awful to exercise on.  Some equipment which was minimal.  Only decent thing was the free weights, though even in many cities they have only one set of those and some Korean duide takes one and does every exercise under the sun hogging it which made even a city workout annoying cause you had to wait for this guy forever.  Like I'd take 6 and do some reps, then 8, then 10, then 12, then 14 or so.  Koreans workout differently it seems.  Then resting between sets they keep it there and won't let you borrow it for a set.  (Though I do insert myself myself sometimes cause otherwise I'd never get my workout done.) 

I like to do some free weights then hit the eqipment section and do some re enforcement exercises.  Some city gyms have good elipticals which are my favorite, though I did force myself to jog on the treadmill as well.  In less hot years (like a few years back), I use to bike a lot outdoors cause I liked it better than indoor artificial cardio.  Boy, those country gyms really left a lot to be desiered.  Now if you are in a rich rural area close to Seoul, it may be different.

Lol haven't worked out in years but not going back to the gym until covid is over and recently popped into a rural gym ? Bit inconsistent there