You must be VERY SELECTIVE in the gyms you choose. For example, the Weider-Tera Gym International groups of clubs are the largest in Shanghai, but their standards of cleanliness and hygiene leave much to be desired. In addition, they do not provide you with towels or cups for water.
Another widely-advertised chain of clubs is Will’s. However, be wary of going there. They have too many members and you must wait for lockers and machines after 6 pm on weekdays. You must provide your own locks and the trainers are actually too helpful.
However there are definitely great fitness clubs in Shanghai. The following are recommended for expats:
- One Wellness, 2/F Bldg C, 98 Yanping Lu, Jing An, near Xinzha Lu. Ph: 6267-1550. http://www.onewellness.com.cn. Great equipment connected to little computers. The building is fantastic with a great design: a wooden ceiling, a real oasis of relaxation, a yoga studio with outdoor classes in summer, a cafe and lounge area with large flat screen televisions, and a large sun deck. The place is reasonably priced and supposedly has a strictly limited membership.
- Oz Body Fit, 528 Kangding Lu, Jing An, near Xikang Lu. PH: 6288-5278. www.ozbodyfit.com. Specializing in Muay Thai for all levels and ages, Muay Thai boxing coach Tomer Oz's Jing'an gym also offers yoga and women's fitness class in a modern studio for men, women and kids. This is a great work out, real intense training and fitness. There is also a lovely beer bar across from his gym, and some tasty restaurants on the side with some great food.
- Clark Hatch Fitness Center, Century Metropolis Club House, 168 Hongqiao Lu, Xuhui, near Yishan Bei Lu. Ph: 6439-3301. One of the few gyms that opens early – 6:30 am! This gym's philosophy is to offer members superior service and exciting programs run by experienced staff. These experienced professionals hope to infuse the lives of the gyms members with a holistic fitness philosophy to encourage members to enjoy a more fit, energetic and fun lifestyle.
- Health Club, Pudong Shangri-La, 33 Fu Cheng Lu, Pudong. Ph: 6882-8888 ext. 450/451. This hotel health club has a superb range of recreation and leisure facilities including two swimming pools and two fully-equipped gymnasiums. Enjoy a game of tennis under the stars or experience a massage at the Health Club. Additional facilities include sauna, steam bath and Jacuzzi.
- California Fitness, Infiniti Shopping Mall, 138 Huaihai Zhong Lu, Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Pu'an Lu. Ph: 4008-100-988. This is the gym started by Yao Ming, the most famous Chinese basketball player. The Shanghai store covers 3,600 sq. meters and features state of the art equipment, a spinning studio, Xpress Zone and Kick Fit as well as steam and sauna facilities. The gym also prides itself on its variety of classes including Hatha yoga, tai chi, body pump, "crazy belly fusion," Latino flava, Chinese folk dance and more.
- Xpat Gym, 2000 Jianhe Lu, Gubei/Hongqiao, near Hongqiao Lu. Ph: 6261-8982. Members really like this club -- Pilates, yoga, core, strength, balance, flexibility...they have it all. Never overcrowded; they are a boutique venue. Trainers are very helpful and classes are small.
We cannot recommend any of the other gyms for expats, because we do not have personal experience with them. The list below offers many other fitness facilities, however, understand that they may not be suited for the workouts habits or expectations of expats.
- Star Gym, 428 Jiangning Lu, http://www.stargym.com.cn
Phone: 6267 4524, 6271 7944
- Kerry Centre Gym, 1515 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai Kerry Centre.
Phone: 6279 4625
- Lan Sheng Gym, 5/F, 8 Huaihai Zhong Lu.
Phone: 6386 2262
In general, Shanghai's golf clubs are open to everyone: members, members' guests and one-off visitors. Inquire directly at each club, via the number provided to find out the exact criteria to be fulfilled before being able to use the facilities of each club.
Some clubs are world-class and attract tournaments of the European and Asian PGA tours. The Tomson Golf Club (below) is one such course.
- Tomson Golf Club
1 Longdong Lu, Pudong, http://www.tomson-golf.com/clubE.html
Tel: 5855-5858 The course designer, Shunsuke Kato, who is also chairman of the Japan Golf Association, says he has, in his design of the course, combined the ancient, traditional and the modern characteristics of a golf club from Britain, United States and Japan. The Club has been highly praised by golfers of all calibers from around the world and was recently voted as being the best course in the Shanghai Area by the Hu Run Report.
- Shanghai Binhai Golf
Binhai, Nanhui, Pudong, http://www.binhaigolf.com/
Tel: 38001888. Designed by Peter Thompson, 36 Holes. Binhai Golf was opened in 2000 with master plan of 54 holes international championship golf courses. The current 36 holes makes Binhai a perfect golfing destination. It is a unique Scottish-links style…