Advance Fitness & Gym, Saigon
143 Nguyễn Du, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 6:00 – 22:00, Sat: 7:00 – 20:00, Sun: 8:00 – 18:00
NB. Google currently states 5:30 instead of 6:00 as the beginning of the opening times Mon – Fri. However signs in the club state 6:00.
Cost: 200k dong per visit, or 600k per week or 1.7million dong per month.
Location and Entry
Advance Fitness and Gym is well-located centrally in Benh Thanh. You’ll need to go through the clearly marked building and take the lift (or stairs if you like) up to the fourth floor. The gym and related fitness rooms take up the whole floor, so just head straight on for the reception area, directly across from the lift.
Friendly staff informed me this club is one of six in the Advance Fitness chain in Ho Chi Minh. It was built just over a year ago, which explains why it still looks spick and span!
This is a large top of range modern club on par with any major chain of gyms. Aesthetically it looks stunning, it’s clean and everything works. Free towel? Yep. Free water? Yep – and it’s cold too. Or warm – your choice. I was given a key upon arrival for a medium sized locker.
Before you head into the gym you’ll probably have spotted a fairly spacious Zumba studio and next to it, a dance studio. Upstairs you’ll also find a large boxing ring, with loads of functional equipment and boxing equipment, as well as (slightly randomly) a couple of rowing machines!
The main gym is to the left of reception and in the form of a large open plan training area, which is easy to find equipment in. Within this room is a separate room designated for stretching and floorwork.
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The weight training area makes up the majority of the main gym. You’ll find a full set of dumbbells up to 40kg and sets of barbells from 10 to 30kg neatly racked together, both straight and curled.
There are 2 multistations with squat racks and pull-ups bars combined, along with a simple squat rack. You’ll see a Smith machine and several loadable resistance machines, which include a low row, lat pulldown, shoulder press and a decline bench press.
In the centre of the room there’s a cable crossover machine with pull up bars, a lat pulldown, resisted row and assisted pull up bars. On the side, cables are used for a prone leg curl machine and pec dec. You’ll also a see a reasonable range of both upper and lower body resistance machines, including an incline bench press, abs benches, leg extension and hip extension benches.
The cardio equipment here is very modern and in excellent condition, although I was surprised at the lack of variety. You’re in luck if you want treadmills as there are 9 of them. Bikes are also a winner – 2 upright and 2 recumbent, but I couldn’t see any other cardio on this floor at all, ie no crosstrainers, steppers etc. However if you go up to the fifth floor, you will find a boxing ring which contains a couple of rowing machines and 3 Spin bikes.
Making up the cardio equipment, Advance Fitness and Gym certainly goes to town on functional equipment. In the main gym, you’ll find a few kettlebells, battleropes and stepboards, but where the gym really goes to town is in the stretching area and… the boxing ring!
Yep, there is an entire room within the gym, dedicated to stretching, or should that be “Stretching”? When I went in, to my amusement, I found not one, but five people lying on mats, seemingly fast asleep! In the 20 minutes I was in there (genuinely stretching and doing core work!) only one of them roused! The room has aircon but is considerably warmer than the main gym, and I wonder if it is partly intended for relaxation, post-workout (or instead of workout!).
Certainly the room was not entirely intended for sleep – I found a wide variety of gym toys here, including more stepboards and BOSUs, medicine balls from 1- 5kg, trampets, plyoboxes and core bags. I couldn’t find any mats, even though only 4 were in use. I went to ask reception, who kindly retrieved one from out of the studio for me. Not sure where they are meant to be kept! In contrast to the rest of the gym, this room was surprisingly untidy, though it was simple enough to find what you need.
There is yet more equipment in the large boxing ring…
In addition to an actual boxing ring, you’ll find a wide variety of functional equipment here, including but not limited to boxing bags, gloves and pads. There a couple of weight training benches, and plenty of floorspace here too. You’ll also find some heavier medicine balls than you’ll find in the stretching room and a few lightweight freeweights.
Studio and Classes
The superb-looking large spacious studios are dedicated to Zumba, Yoga and Boxing respectively.
Advance Fitness and Gym is truly superb with top of the range facilities. The only exception to this is the lack of range of cardio equipment. The gym is extremely spacious with plenty of floorspace everywhere to do your own thing. It is by far the most expensive gym I’ve found, at 3-4 times the price of the other 3 I’ve used so far nearby. It’s also by far the biggest I’ve found and probably 2 – 3 times the size of the others, if I’m talking about the gym alone. Then of course there are the studios to consider, so I can certainly understand the price difference. I certainly recommend the club if price is no issue and you don’t need a bigger variety of cardio equipment. This is the most attractive club I’ve found in Ho Chi Minh yet!
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