Gyms in Penang
Hey and welcome to my page on gyms in Penang! I had the fortune to spend two months in this awesome city. What’s to love about Penang? Well, apart from being ideal for hiking (Penang Hill, the National Park and the Botanical Gardens to mention a few), it’s got a huge range of excellent, affordable restaurants and coffee shops. Oh and did I mention gyms…
I managed to get to eight gyms in my two months here (woohoo!), which included one month of membership at 7 Days Fitness, chosen for its proximity to my accommodation and great range of classes. It’s also got some of the best facilities of all the gyms here in Penang. It has some serious rivals though – check out all gyms in Penang below!
I’ll list gyms in price order with the most expensive day-pass rate first. Some of these do offer free trials though so it’s worth checking them out.
1. 7 Days Fitness – RM 38 per day (could change with new management)
7 Days Fitness Penang is one of the most conveniently located gyms for most accommodation in George Town, Penang, just five minutes walk from Komtar bus station, rivalled only by Seven Star Gym and Ultimate Fitness Center. Of all the gyms, it is the most attractive with stunning decor, all new equipment, and very surprisingly, not many people using it. I joined this medium-large gym for a month as I liked it so much, paying RM 80 on Fave. Since then I have learnt the gym will be taken over new management, so I’m unsure if rates will change.
Overall I highly recommend this gym as it ticks all the boxes – location, a great gym for cardio, weights and functional work, 10 Spinning classes a week and 16 classes in the main studio. I recommend going for a free day (if they continue to offer it) and check Fave for offers of a good monthly rate if you’ll be there longer than a week or two. The aircon here works, but not as well as some of the other clubs.
2. Oxygen Fitness – RM 35 per day
Oxygen Fitness Penang is a large gym located in Gurney Paragon, around 4km from the centre of George Town, easily accessible by bus for RM 1.40. They offer free trials on Saturdays and Sundays for a day. The gym is large and very well-equipped, but less modern and attractive than 7 Days Fitness. It has three studios and stood out for its comprehensive class timetable though, so if you’re into Les Mills or other classes, definitely check this place out. Its daily rate and monthly rate are one of the more expensive.
You’ll find dumbbells up to 50kg here, which is the highest of all clubs I visited.
3. Peak Fitness – free 3-day trial
Peak Fitness Penang is located in Gurney Plaza, the mall next door to Gurney Paragon above. These two clubs are probably the biggest in Penang, with Peak Fitness being more modern and attractive than Oxygen. Another advantage of Peak Fitness is that you can get a 3-day free trial on their website – definitely worth doing! I also found it was better air-conditioned than Oxygen. With dumbbells up to 45kg and an outstanding functional training area, this Peak Fitness club is unmissable in my opinion. Its studio is twice the size of 7 Days Fitness, and about the same size as the main one at Oxygen Fitness.
4. Team Powerhouse Fitness – RM 30 per day, RM 60 per week
Team Powerhouse Fitness is a fairly large gym located in Island Plaza mall, 1.5km from Oxygen Fitness and Peak Fitness. It’s further away from George Town, but on the same bus route. The gym is slightly bigger than 7 Days Fitness, with a similar sized studio. The class timetable here is considerably more comprehensive though, with around 36 classes per week. Dumbbells go up to around 45kg and you’ll find a good functional training area, around the same size as 7 Days Fitness. (Peak and Oxygen have much bigger ones)
What is very appealing about this club is that it’s the only I found which offers a weekly rate. RM 60 is a very fair price too, though admittedly a monthly deal is better value (not if you’re only in Penang a week!). The aircon here was working well both times I went.
5. Zero Fitness Dance Studio – free twice, then RM 100 for 5 sessions
Zero Fitness is located a significant bus-ride away from George Town, around 6 or 7km away. This medium sized gym was undergoing a revamp when I went. In its current state, I wouldn’t recommend bothering with the journey here as there was no aircon, making it somewhat hot and stuffy, even in the morning. That said, you can go twice for free! The gym itself wasn’t bad, but not cheap either beyond your two freebies. Dumbbells go up to 30kg, and there’s currently no functional training area. However some construction was underway so this could well change and improve.
The studios downstairs was very attractive and offer around 27 classes per week.
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6. Ultimate Fitness Center – RM 20 per session
This fairly large gym was my first stop in Penang and is well-located near accommodation in George Town. Its daily rates are quite reasonable, and reduce from RM 20 to RM 15 after 3 sessions. The main gym is air-conditioned, although it’s still a little warmer than ideal. The functional training room at the back is however very well air-conditioned. The dumbbell free weights go up to 50kg and the gym caters very well for all types of training, with a good range of cardio, weights and floor space. An all-round good choice for a short stay in Penang, if you’re not fussed about classes. There is a good Spinning studio though!
7. Seven Star Gym Chowrasta – RM 10 per session
Seven Star Gym Chowrasta has just opened as I write this, and is part of a chain. This medium-large gym is very attractive with a reasonable range of cardio and weight-training equipment. I saw very little in the way of functional equipment here, though as it’s new, they could equip the space outside the gym later. It’s the best -located gym in terms of being close to most accommodation in George Town. Dumbbells here go up to 40kg.
The downside is that this is the hottest gym I found in Penang. There’s no aircon here, and fans weren’t even switched on when I trained mid-morning, so I was sweating a lot. Train early if you risk it! If you want a good weights or cardio workout and don’t mind getting a heavy sweat on, then it’s good value.
8. The Olympic Gym Penang – RM 10 per session
The Olympic Gym is the smallest gym I’ve been to in Penang, and rather cramped. It’s run by ex-Mr Malaysia, Khoo Ewe Beng who was very friendly and welcoming. This long narrow strip of a gym was the least modern and doesn’t have aircon, but its fans made it a better workout temperature than Seven Star Gym. This is where the locals train and it’s male-dominated, though they made me feel welcome when I rocked up.
The club is located walking distance from most accommodation in George Town, though it was less convenient than Seven Star Gym, 7 Days Fitness and Ultimate Fitness Center.
How to Pick a Gym in Penang
Which gym “is best” will depend on your budget, location, how long you’re in Penang, training style and other factors, so I can’t recommend a one-size-fits all. Do click on individual gym links above to gain further info and make your choice. I will give you my recommendations for each of the main priorities.
Best for Budget
For short stay / one off workout, get yourself a free pass (or one day trial as you might like to request) to any club offering them. That’s all of 1 – 6 above, with the exception (I believe) of Team Powerhouse. They don’t have a website but even so, if you want to go there, message to ask if they have a free trial. The smaller cheaper gyms actually are less likely to offer them. If you’re staying centrally in George Town, go for 7 Days Fitness. If you’re happy to take a bus or other form of transport, go for Peak Fitness as they offer a three day trial on their website.
Best for Location
If you’re staying around George Town, then Ultimate Fitness Center or Seven Star Gym are likely to be closest to you. Of the two, Ultimate Fitness Center is bigger, a little cooler and has waaay more in terms of functional equipment.
Best for Classes
This is a toughie as we are literally spoilt here. Les Mills is well-represented at a number of clubs. In terms of studios, Peak Fitness and Team Powerhouse Fitness had the best air-conditioned studios, however I didn’t do any classes at Zero Fitness or Oxygen Fitness to comment on the temperature – these two’s studios are large and attractive in any case. Oxygen Fitness offers a whopping 56 classes per week in contrast to Peak Fitness’ 37. Zero Fitness further away has 52, however none of these are Les Mills classes and some of them are for children. 7 Days Fitness offers 26, but I can vouch they are good!
In terms of size, Peak Fitness, Oxygen Fitness and Zero Fitness had the largest studios, with 7 Days Fitness and Team Powerhouse Fitness both having medium sized attractive studios. One thing to note about 7 Days Fitness’ studio is that one side of it has an entire glass wall with great views of the city. Lovely, bu there’s no shade from the sun here – so try to stand the other side in the morning if you don’t want to disintegrate!
Ultimate Fitness Center has a great Spinning studio but only offer a couple of classes a week.
Best for Functional Training
That’s easy, Peak Fitness Penang has a HUGE modern, attractive, astroturf (or at least green) area, with a tonne of gyms toys! But several other gyms have dedicated space for this and a number of gym toys, with Oxygen Fitness being my runner up. Thereafter, Team Powerhouse Fitness, Ultimate Fitness Center and 7 Days Fitness all have an allocated floor space area with gyms toys and I’d pick them in that order for this purpose.
Classpass is definitely worth looking at if you enjoy classes. You can get a one month free trial which allows you to do classes and sometimes, open-gym sessions at participating clubs. If you cancel before your free month is up, then in theory, you pay nothing. Zero Fitness offers open gym sessions as well as classes, whilst Team Powerhouse Fitness and 7 Days Fitness subscribe to classes. You book your class on the Classpass app, turn up and off you go – simple. I used all three of these clubs for this purpose and there were many other in Penang, some only offering yoga and other niche classes.
These are the main gyms in Penang which I found. However you’ll find others which specialise in Yoga, Boxing etc – no shortage of gyms and studios around here! If you want a good cardio workout then ditch the gym and take a hike up Penang Hill. The route up which runs alongside the little tourist train is a great workout and took me 1.5 hours – leave early to beat the heat (or at least reduce it!). There’s something here for all budgets and lengths of stays, so check out the reviews and have a great time in Penang!