Gyms in San José – World Gym Escazú
Carretera John F Kennedy, Guachipelin, Escazú, San José, Costa Rica
Get a free pass on their website. (Knowledge of Spanish would be useful!)
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 5:00-22:00, Sat: 7:00-18:00, Sun: 9:00-16:00
Cost: US$20 per day, $50 per week, $75 per fortnight, $100 for 3 weeks, or $120 per month.
World Gym Escazú
All I can say is… wow.
Not just at the gobsmacking prices either. Put those aside for a moment (I asked to look around anyway), the facilities here are absolutely world class. It is not surprising that World Gym in San José claims on its website to be the biggest gym in Costa Rica.
World Gym Escazú is located to the West of San José, half an hour walk from Escazú, one of the more upmarket parts of San Joscc. Whilst the location of this San José Gym is not entirely ideal (It’s a 20 minute bus ride from San José centre), if you can get here, it is a real treat to be able to use such a luxurious gym.
Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I went to enquire if they’d offer any discounts for travellers. Unsurprisingly they wouldn’t, but after I showed her my website I was helpfully pointed in the direction of a free trial! This is available on their website (in Spanish, which I’d never have noticed or comprehended if she hadn’t pointed it out!). You are allowed 3 days for free, to be used within an 8 day period. You need to click here and submit your name, email and phone number and activation is instant.
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You’ve struck gold. You’ll see not only a huge well-equipped gym, but an additional separate dedicated rooms and timetables for cycling, HIIT and yoga (including yoga equipment), as well as a main studio for a wide range of classes, a dedicated stretching area, and full length swimming pool. That’s in addition to a huge gym with everything you could possibly imagine spread over two floors.
As you’d expect in a gym of this size, many of the weights and indeed resistance machines are duplicated, so it is well-equipped to cope with busy periods. The layout is ideal – logically organized with weights downstairs, cardio upstairs and a spiral staircase central to the building. So you’ll get a great view from upstairs of the facilities if you’re having trouble finding anything! In any case, similar machines are grouped together for simple navigation. The cardio machines all face the centre of the room too.
Take a padlock for the lockers and bring your own towel – I wasn’t offered either. Although you’ll only find a small handful of showers in the changing rooms, I had no problem getting one, even after busy classes, probably as most people don’t shower there.
You can find a range of functional training equipment upstairs around both the TRX area and the stretching area. This includes BOSUs, mini hurdles, ropes, medicine balls, Swiss balls, kettlebells, boxing gloves and pads, hoops, foam rollers. I could go on. You’ll also find dedicated areas for using these and some good quality mats.
Dumbbells go up to 100lbs and barbells go up to 110lbs, of course in addition to adjustable barbells and numerous discs. Ultimately, if you’ve seen a piece of equipment in a modern gym anywhere, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find it here too.
In addition to the dedicated studio timetables, the main studio area offers a range of (28 at the time of writing) classes including Cardio Dance, Latin Dance, Box Plus (boxing-based class), Pilates, TRX classes, Endurance Training, Step and Zumba to mention a few. So, I undertook three Cardio Dance classes and a Pilates class. Disappointingly I couldn’t make the step class as I was rota’d on to do volunteer work that morning.
Classes I Did
As I only have a basic grasp of Spanish, I probably didn’t get as much out of the Pilates class as I could have done. However, the instructor appeared very professional, spoke some English and kindly translated some instructions for me. I did wonder what I’d got myself into when she handed me a small hoop at the beginning of the class, saying “This is the magic circle”. Had I just joined a cult? Well, luckily not, it is just a tool used in the class to promote strengthening. I won’t claim to be an expert in Pilates -or Spanish – but I left with a positive impression.
Additionally I attended José’s Cardio Dance class on Sunday, Wednesday evening and Saturday. This is an all-levels class in dance and Latin style aerobics. What he lacked in advanced choreography and routine-structure, José certainly made up for in personality. A natural teacher and motivator, he rapidly created a great atmosphere and all classes were very well attended. He would engage with individual class members at many points throughout his teaching, as well as galvanising the group. If you’re looking for a choreography challenge, this probably won’t cut it for you. But if you’re after a fun class with a bit of sweat and enjoy dancing with some basic aerobics routines thrown in here and there, you can’t go far wrong with José!
Summary of World Gym Escazú
I can’t recommend World Gym Escazú in San José enough! In terms of facilities, it’s surely the best of the gyms in San José! If you can get here, definitely do the free trial and enjoy some classes too. If you speak Spanish it’s a bonus! Not only the best gym in San José, but absolutely one of the best gyms I have found on my travels.
Looking for something cheaper?
This isn’t the only decent gym in San José – check out the reasonably priced Fit Center Escazú nearby!
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