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  • ljrobs
  • Adventurer

    • 46

    • January 27, 2011, 04:24:44 pm
    • South Korea
Going to the gym in Korea
« on: April 11, 2011, 10:22:24 am »
Dear waygooks

Does anyone out there go to the gym in Korea? A friend and I joined recently and I think the cost is fairly good. 120 000W for 3 months and it includes towels and clothes to workout in. We had a bit of hassle with joining as the owner insisted we buy new shoes for gym use only (as is the Korean way). These shoes get left at the gym in your own personal shoe locker...

The facilities are great, but the most annoying thing in the world is that everyone in the gym is a self proclaimed fitness pro and insists on showing you how to use every machine correctly whether it be the owner or a random gym-goer...

Lastly, I'm have the hair of a beast on my chest and the surprise and stares it creates in the bathroom is priceless...
« Last Edit: May 09, 2014, 01:32:37 pm by taeyang »


  • scottdk
  • Veteran

    • 157

    • October 04, 2010, 12:30:13 pm
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 10:30:26 am »
That sounds like a good deal for a gym.  Having shoes just for the gym is a good idea I think, if nothing else just clean up a pair you don't mind using just for gym.  That's what I did when I started.  I also just prefer to bring my own clothes despite having ones provided.

Haha, I think it's funny you mention people helping you because I see so many people doing the most awkward wtf exercises.  I've seen this at a few gyms, not just the one I go to regularly.  For the most part they are genuinely just trying to help you out.  I've have yet to have anyone come up to me and tell/show me how to do something, so that's interesting.  I think usually people keep to themselves.... ionno.  Lol, the hair on the chest thing sounds funny.


  • Aadi
  • Veteran

    • 78

    • September 10, 2010, 02:27:20 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2011, 10:37:24 am »
I live in Seoul and have been going to gym in my neighborhood for 7 months.  40,000 per month is a better deal than I get.

Some advice:
Don't let your skin touch any of the machines.  The two gyms in my neighborhood fail to disinfect their machines regularly enough (or at all, I don't know) and I've had a couple of staph infections.  Now I cover up.

I also wouldn't wear the provided clothes; my gym washes them with fabric softener, not soap.   :o

Your mileage may vary, but my experience here has taught me to be paranoid about the cleanliness of Korean gyms.  I'd never work out in places like this at home but hey, what can I do?  A man's got to lift heavy somewhere.


  • Ectofuego
  • Featured Contributor

    • 920

    • November 02, 2010, 09:21:10 am
    • Mars
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2011, 10:40:36 am »
You generally have many choices when it comes to gym membership.  Some gyms are government subsidized and offer yoga lessons, swimming pools, jimjalbangs inside the gym, personal trainers and such.  The subsidized gyms are generally very cheap..  There is one gym that charged 75k a month in my town and another that charges 40k and offers many mroe amenities.
I'm Jason and I approve this message!


  • Yu_Bumsuk
  • The Legend

    • 2341

    • March 03, 2011, 02:10:36 pm
    • Hicksville, ROK
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2011, 10:43:36 am »
Going to the gym in Canada is now a major pain in the ass. What? I even have to bring my own towel? I have to go outside to smoke? There's no free coffee?

Oh well, at least they don't spit in the showers.


  • Koreak
  • Super Waygook

    • 405

    • November 13, 2010, 08:15:43 am
    • South Korea
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2011, 10:46:56 am »
Dear waygooks

Lastly, I'm have the hair of a beast on my chest and the surprise and stares it creates in the bathroom is priceless...


I know that feeling well.  When I get changed and or shower at the gym, you can hear a pin drop.  Plus, now I know how a goat feels at the petting zoo.  It passes with time once you're no longer thought of as the token foreigner.  However the staring starts all over in January when memberships in the new year increase.


  • Wigfield
  • Adventurer

    • 57

    • September 26, 2010, 03:23:00 pm
    • Seoul, Korea
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2011, 10:52:35 am »
If you've got a friend to go with just relax and enjoy the novelty of all the attention. I work out alone, in a gym run by a bunch of serious Korean bodybuilders. They're helpful enough whenever I need anything but they don't bother me with whatever I'm doing (language barrier has put them off, I'm the only foreigner attending the gym).



  • dustin748
  • Waygookin

    • 15

    • September 13, 2010, 02:03:46 pm
    • Daegu
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2011, 11:00:47 am »
My girl and I joined a gym here. As for most bargains, we bought 6 month memberships in advance and saved a bunch. Ended up paying about 30,000 a month....One note: my gym is pretty small, dumbells only go up to 25 kg...kinda sucks.

I hear ya with the looks, im about 6' 3" and trained back in the states, but I think more than anything im developing a little fan club...haha. Everyone is real nice there and no one insists on giving me advice so I can enjoy myself. There is however a dance class from 7-8pm every day and I'm convinced they are all deaf...I can't even here my own Ipod when the volume is all the way up. Something is clearly wrong...and I thought I liked loud music.

Also love how my gym has three ping pong tables and a billiards table...makes cooling down after a workout that much more fun!


  • GiftofGab
  • Waygookin

    • 13

    • July 20, 2010, 01:25:15 pm
    • Busan, South Korea
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2011, 11:07:11 am »
The only issue with gyms here is being bothered by those seeking to practice English in the middle of your workout...my advice, headphones.  Although don't forget to say hello to the gym owner if they're present.  A good sign of respect and they can be very helpful at times.


  • tazz
  • Waygookin

    • 11

    • March 03, 2011, 09:17:24 am
    • Daegu, South Korea
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2011, 11:09:08 am »
I get some seriously funny stares in the gym, coz Im the only lady in there that uses the weights and resistance machines. Yes its a tiny gym, so not many members, but why dont Korean girls use the weights?? I find this very strange!!


  • isitadream
  • Adventurer

    • 43

    • April 05, 2011, 08:07:06 am
    • South Korea
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2011, 11:12:01 am »
I too contemplated signing up for a gym membership... But then I realized that one of the main reasons I came here is to save money. So instead I'm just going to run after school. Does anyone know of a good trail to run along in Daejeon? Also, if anyone knows how to sign up for races on the Korean websites that would be of some help, too. I tried signing up for a marathon on an English website but all of the races are still the 2010 ones.. .I don't think the sites get updated vey often..


  • tazz
  • Waygookin

    • 11

    • March 03, 2011, 09:17:24 am
    • Daegu, South Korea
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2011, 11:19:49 am »
I also want to sign up for marathons, and have been trying to find out when they are. I found a barefoot mountain run (13km) in May. it looks pretty amesome.
Just thought I'd let you know.


  • ed
  • Explorer

    • 8

    • October 17, 2010, 04:13:23 pm
    • Gumi, South korea
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2011, 11:23:44 am »
I joined a sponsored gym in Gumi, 30k a month less if I go during designed times, it includes the  gym, swimming pool (which apparently turns into a slow moving Korean conveyor belt during the summer) and basket ball court, 2 minutes from my house so not to bad.   


  • Yu_Bumsuk
  • The Legend

    • 2341

    • March 03, 2011, 02:10:36 pm
    • Hicksville, ROK
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2011, 11:26:55 am »
I get some seriously funny stares in the gym, coz Im the only lady in there that uses the weights and resistance machines. Yes its a tiny gym, so not many members, but why dont Korean girls use the weights?? I find this very strange!!

With the exception of a few career athletes most just don't want to look bigger in any way. At every gym in Canada there were always at least a few women who could lift almost as much as me. Not here. Yesterday I found myself staring at a white woman in Daegu ... but staring at her arms, not T & A. It's just so unusual to see a woman with muscle definition on her arms.


Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2011, 11:40:05 am »
I have been working out at a gym in Seoul since January. I am paying 50,000 won/month.  My gym gave me a discount for paying in cash. You guys should also ask for a discount, it's worth a try.


  • zissou55
  • Explorer

    • 8

    • September 06, 2010, 09:38:10 am
    • Busan, South Korea
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2011, 11:43:25 am »
I've been going to a gym near one of the universitites in Busan. It's not huge but it has everything I need. Nobody tries talking to me or showing me how to use machines, and some of the girls here even use weights! So they do exist!


  • rjsinger
  • Adventurer

    • 34

    • October 24, 2010, 05:59:28 pm
    • Korea
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2011, 11:44:07 am »
The most annoying thing about the gyms in Korea is that nobody cleans up after themselves. Back in Canada if you saw a machine or bar with no weight plates on it you knew it was free to use. Here, people stack the weights on, do their thing and then leave everything they took out for the next person. Dumbbells are even worse. The rack is clearly marked so you know what dumbbell goes where. Not only are the dumbbells put back in the wrong spots but most end up in a pile on the floor!

I don't know why people can't pick up after themselves. The same thing happens with kids at a convenience store who enjoy their ramen outside at the tables and then leave all their garbage there when they're only feet from the trashcan.

Anyways, that' s my biggest beef with gyms in Korea. I'm at my third gym now so it's not an isolated incident. Other than that they run pretty smoothly.


Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2011, 11:49:01 am »
Does anyone know if there is a chain of gyms here, I am wondering if I can get a membership that would allow enable me to go to other cities and use their facilities?


  • Halcyon
  • Veteran

    • 111

    • April 22, 2010, 09:05:40 pm
    • Suncheon
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2011, 11:49:43 am »
Going to the gym in Canada is now a major pain in the ass. What? I even have to bring my own towel? I have to go outside to smoke? There's no free coffee?

Oh well, at least they don't spit in the showers.

Smoking at the gym... ::)


  • melissa2009
  • Waygookin

    • 23

    • September 09, 2010, 01:36:11 pm
    • Incheon, South Korea
Re: Going to gym in Korea
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2011, 11:51:06 am »
I get some seriously funny stares in the gym, coz Im the only lady in there that uses the weights and resistance machines. Yes its a tiny gym, so not many members, but why dont Korean girls use the weights?? I find this very strange!!

My friend and I joined the gym just for the winter because there is no way we going running outside during the winter.  We have also found that the women dont use the machines and no one really runs on the treadmills.  My guess is they scared they will bulk up too much.

We paid 300 000 for 6 months which includes classes, squash courts and the floor area.  Our gym is very small but the managers and staff are very friendly and they let you carry on and do your own thing.  No one ever interrupts us or shows us how to do things.  The best thing to do if you are being bothered is to stick earphones in your ears and make no eye contact with people :)