Ultimate Fitness Center Penang
1 Drury Lane, Campbell Street, Kampung Jawa Lama, 10100 George Town, Penang
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 7:00 – 22:30, Sat: 7:00 – 21:00 and Sun: 9:00 – 18:00
Cost: RM 20 per go, reduced to RM 15 after 3 sessions. Or:
RM 100 per month + RM 50 one-off registration fee for locals or
RM 150 per month + RM 50 one-off registration fee for tourists
Location and Entry
Ultimate Fitness Center Penang is very conveniently located in the centre of George Town, just a couple of blocks away from the Upside Down Museum. It’s clearly marked on Google maps and impossible to miss at the end of a cul de sac. Although I’d read the the cost of casual pass was a pricy RM 25, staff informed me it’s a slightly better RM 20.
I entered the gym, having been told I’d find the changing rooms and lockers on my right – locker keys are provided at reception. There was no sign of any changing rooms until I got to the back of the gym. I couldn’t see a sign to indicate if they were male, female or unisex, so I went in, subsequently relieved that the locker key worked. Just as I was leaving, staff came in and told me I shouldn’t be in there. You’ve guessed it – I was in the male changing rooms, oops! He took me back all the way through the gym, almost as far as reception; the female changing rooms are actually on the right before you enter the gym. There’s no sign, only a curtain, which is why I missed them! You’ll find several toilets, paper, a couple of showers, mirrors and a hairdryer – great facilities.
The gym is a medium-large, dungeon-style gym with no windows. This all adds to the spirit of the place, along with the pumping music. Equipment is all fairly modern, attractive, with atmospheric lighting around the gym to give it a certain edge.
Ultimate Fitness Center Penang is well-equipped with cardio equipment, weights, a Spinning studio and a functional training room at the back of the gym. Additionally, staff informed me there’s a yoga studio behind here.
I found the gym was a little too warm but not drastically so. There’s certainly a good ventilation system blowing air in from outside, and if you stand in the right place it’s great. Apart from this and a few wall fans, this high-ceilinged building doesn’t offer much in the way of cooling. I couldn’t see any aircon vents in the gym apart from in the functional training room. Finishing up in there was therefore bliss!
Take your own towel. Free water is available from the dispenser by the gym entrance.
Ultimate Fitness Center Penang has an extremely well-equipped weights area. You’ll find dumbbell free weights up to 50kg, all neatly racked in order (and signs say you’ll be fined RM 20 if you don’t comply!). Barbells are measured in pounds and range from 20 – 70lbs. There’s a full set of both straight and curled bars and they ascend in 10lb increments. The free weights area behind the dumbbells is a little small, so I’d recommend avoiding peak periods if this is your focus.
You’ll find two Smith machines and two bench press racks here, along with a squat rack. For the upper body you’ll see a cable crossover with pull ups bars and a couple of step boards nearby to help you get up there. The bars are higher than most in Asia! One end of the cable crossovers has three cable stations attached for pulldowns and rows.
If you like using plate-loadable resistance equipment, you’re in a for a treat here! I found around the same number of plate-loadable as pin-loadable machines in this well-equipped weights area. Plate-loadable equipment includes three standing-squat machines, a low row, standard row, inclined leg press, pulldown, chest press, inclined bench press and a couple of shoulder presses.
You’ll also find a good range of pin-operated resistance equipment for the lower and upper body.
Last but not least, I found a hip extension bench, adjustable abs bench, hanging leg raise and rotary torso equipment.
Ultimate Fitness Center Penang has an excellent variety of cardio equipment. I found eight treadmills, four Spin bikes (in addition to those in the Spinning studio), two crosstrainers, two recumbent bikes, two rowers, a stepper and a stair climber. It’s not that often I find a gym in Malaysia with both rowing machines and stair-climbers!
Functional Training and Boxing
I was nearly at the end of my workout when it struck me that I hadn’t seen a floor-space area in this large gym, let alone any mats or functional equipment. Baffled, I asked the friendly staff. Right at the back of the gym behind all the cardio equipment, near the men’s changing room is a well-concealed room. Or perhaps I just wasn’t being my usual inquisitive self after being caught in the men’s changing room! In any case, it’s hard to see if the lights are off, but there is clear door if you’re looking for it.
This fairly small room contains two TRXs, a step board, press up bars and a Swiss ball. You’ll also find a bench and couple of yoga blocks, wraps and several good quality mats. Although it’s fairly small, it’s certainly large enough for several people to comfortably to do all sorts of floor exercises – make yourself at home.
The beauty of this room (apart from it being modern and well lit) is that it has aircon! You can turn it on, along with the lights upon entry. I had a blissful cooldown and stretch here after sweating it out on the weights – bingo.
If you’re into boxing, you’re in luck too. At the back of the gym, you’ll find a hanging punchbag on each side, along with a pair of boxing gloves.
Studios and Classes
The club has a good-sized Spinning studio upstairs overlooking the gym, with classes on every Wednesday and Friday evening at 20:00. You’ll find a yoga class on every Thursday at 19:00. (Contact club directly for up to date times.) Note that classes are included in your entry fee – no extra cost!
All in all, Ultimate Fitness Center Penang is an extremely well-equipped gym regardless of your training preferences. If you’re a heavy lifter, the number of plate-loadable machines here will serve you well, along with dumbbells up to 50kg. There’s also a superb range of cardio equipment. You’ll either love or hate the lack of natural daylight, but the gym certainly has its appeal, with its modern machinery and groovy lighting. For me, the only improvement would be the addition of aircon or fans, and more space for free-weight work by the dumbbells.
This was my first workout in Penang and I certainly enjoyed it – the price seemed fair given the good facilities – I’d happily return here!
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