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  • Writer's pictureLauren Wong

India - Fitlife

Visited 12/2022

Delhi

Yes that Delhi as in Delhi India! Ok so let me first start off by saying that Delhi is HUGE. So it really comes down to specific areas. With that in mind, I stayed at south Delhi - specifically "Greater Kailash" area. I managed to find a Golds Gym about .75 miles/1.2km from my hostel so I just ran over.


Gold's Gym GK

+91 11 4661 0101


The best thing about golds gym is that it was essentially free since it's one of the many gym franchises covered under the Active & Fit program (see first blog post for reference). The one caveat to this is that you need a golds gym travel pass from your home gym. This allows you to go any international golds gym for 14 days within a calendar year for free.


As it'd turn out I didn't know about this rule prior so I got lucky because the lady let me in that day. She informed me that as long as I could get a picture of my pass from my Home gym , I could continue using the facilities.


Regarding the facilities themselves, I'd say this is definitely not my favorite gym but it gets the job done. Spread across a few floors, I found the gym to be hot, crowded, stuffy, and with limited equipment. There were only two squat bars, all the benches were taken, and some of my favorite strength machines were missing. I'm chalking this up to space restrictions. One floor above the strength space, Cardio equipment seemed to be suffice.


Some other notes, they seemed to do a fairly decent job with cleanliness. I saw an attendant walk around and spray about 3x during my 30 min workout. They also had plentiful of trainers on the floor although I didn't interact with them. Note for my fellow female fit people, there were few women using the facilities. I felt safe nevertheless but always feel better there's more women working out with me!


Giving this gym 2/5 .


Ultimately this gym got the job done and it was "free". But the heat & crowdedness were off putting and the missing equipment was a drag.



Update 12/27/22

Came back to Delhi after making my way across the country and stayed in a different area: Connaught Place. This time I managed to find an anytime fitness just in the circle, and it was a huge improvement from Golds Gym.


Anytime Fitness

+91 96411 11188


first note I'll make is that the location on google maps is wrong. It gets the vincinity /general area correct but otherwise note that it's in block B. Had to ask directions from locals


Besides that I think the gym was not bad. The one thing that stands out as a con (vs the other anytime fitness) is that this one doesn't really have that great view or spacious feel. Even though I walked up stairs to it, it feels like it's at a basement level. In general the gym felt like it was on the smaller side. It did have a good set of dumbbells and about 3 chairs along with 2 squat racks and a smith machine, but the whole space just felt a bit cramped. Definitely less strength equipment, although considering the space, a decent amount of cardio machines. However, despite the less spacious feel, I had no issues with smell, cleanliness, or temperature. Also I found the staff to be quite pleasant, one even offering to give me free advice on my form.


Overall, I give this place a 3/5. Definitely gets the job done but the size and as a result reduced number of equipment, means this just wasn't my favorite anytime fitness in India. Still beat the golds gym though!


Kolkata

I had a 24 overnight stopover in Kolkata, India, which meant I had the opportunity to fit in a morning workout session! As Kolkata is another major city of India, it's a large city, but ask anyone where to stay and they will tell you near Park St (Chowringhee (Jawaharlal Nehru) Road). I happened to find a great budget accommodation in the area, just 10 min. Walking to the Kolkata icon Victorial memorial.


After doing a quick search from my Hotel I was able to find an Anytime Fitness, 3mi/5km away. Anytime Fitness is one of the gyms covered under "Active & Fit" and works worldwide at any Anytime Fitness so this gym session was essentially "free"! (For those who need a reminder what Active & Fit is, please refer to my first blog post).


Anytime Fitness

+91 98301 15665

https://maps.app.goo.gl/q7fLu1E5zUnDN5iE8?g_st=ic (Note that the gym is on the 6th floor. When I arrived, everyone was so helpful that when I arrived and told them I was looking for the gym they pointed me there.)


Given the cheap cost of transportation in India, I opted to be adventurous and take an Uber motorbike, which cost only about 30-40 rupees to get from my hotel to the gym. (That's around $.50! - a total bargain!) so I climbed on the back of a motorbike and in 10-15 min I was there! For those less adventurous you can also call a regular Uber which costs around 100-150 rupees, or take a Tuk Tuk which is likely somewhat in between the two costs (cash only though!).


Now, regarding the gym itself, I was actually pleasantly surprised by it! I found it rather clean, adequate temperature, and spacious enough - much nicer than my Delhi experience. The variety and number of machines was still a bit limited but considering the space, I thought it was actually not bad. I did find that the gym missed some machines and there was only one squat bar and one smith machine but it wasnt very crowded so I was able to snag the squat bar. Dumbbell weight selection itself also wasn't bad and the staff was decently helpful; one even pointed out my weights being different. But I think the absolute best part of this whole gym was the view! From both the machines room and the yoga room, there was a great view of the entire city. I think that was what ultimately sold me! Good enough selection of weights, a clean & comfortable environment, AND the great view?


I give this gym experience a 4/5 . If I was staying at Kolkata longer I'd definitely frequent this place!


P.S. another evidence of their cleanliness, they actually have a policy that you have to bring separate gym shoes vs street shoes. I actually didn't know this but the staff was kind enough to let me this time. Again, another brownie point! :)


Kochi

“We found love in a hopeless place”. That’s the takeaway of my gym experience(s) at kochi, Kerala. Ok first of all let me start by saying that I didn’t even fathom I’d actually be able to find a gym in the city itself. I mean granted the first night I stayed with my friends at the Le Meridian, I kind of expected a fitness room there. But in the kochi fort city itself no way. On that note I’d like to give a full disclosure that this will be essentially two reviews in one, one for the fitness room at the Le Meridian and the second for the gym I found down the street from my hostel, Kochi Zostel, which I highly recommend if you decide to visit Kerala.


Review 1, Kochi Le Meridian Fitness Room


Le Méridien Kochi

+91 484 270 5777


Ok so as most of y’all probably know, the Le Meridian is a 5 star chain hotel. Because it’s India, prices are rather affordable and my friends opted to stay only in 5 stars while in India. I figured it was worth it split among 3-4 friends. Don’t want to get into the hotel itself too much but let’s just say it was not up to your usual 5 star standard. And well, subsequently, the fitness room itself, also not. Going up the stairs from the 5th floor I was hopeful that the fitness room would hit all my buckets and sadly…it didn’t. Cramped space, very limited equipment, and all of the equipment looked dated. Of all the equipment that I usually use, only the squat bar was up to par. The dumbbell free weights only went to like 10kg and I think I saw one barbell? There were 3 treadmills which were probably the best part because, yet again, the gym apparently has the best views. Facing the pool and the backwaters, I found it a delight to do my run on the treadmill, especially when it was humid and 30C outside. I didn’t use any of the other facilities and well, I’d say the fitness room barely got the job done. At least the run views were great.


My rating: 1/5

The Lack of equipment and cramped space made this a barely acceptable gym experience. Redeeming quality was the view!


Review 2, Number One. Fitness Academy


Number One. Fitness Academy

+91 98467 51321


Ok I’m going to stress that the bar I set for a gym in kochi city itself was quite low. Kochi is definitely one of those “big towns” of a developing country and with that, the infrastructure is just not there. So, when I searched for gyms around me I was surprised to see I had options, especially one that was within .3mi/.75km . Reviews indicated that they do have a day pass for 300 rupees (less than $5) so I figured, hey why not give it a shot - the run was easy enough, even if it was through some back alleys. When I got to the entrance of the gym, an older Indian man friendly greeted me and welcomed me in and hey shout out to google reviews, the price was indeed only 300 rupees - the cheapest day pass I’ve ever gotten!


Now the gym itself. Well. It was actually better than I imagined! The best way I can describe it is that it seemed like a garage where someone decided to put a bunch of old equipment. But besides the age of the equipment, I actually felt better with the selection than the Le Meridian. Although just as cramped I was able to find most of the equipment I needed, given that I substituted the squat bar with a smith machine. The dumbbells even actually went above 10kg (yay!)! In short, this place actually got the job done! Seems like I wasn’t alone in that thought as there were a few other locals there. (They gave me a few looks but were generally nice and let me be.) anyways was this the best gym ever? No. And debatably not even worth 300 rupees. But hey what can I expect when traveling in Kochi, India? I don’t even want to give a rating for this place. I’m just happy that at least I got a workout in! 😊


Mumbai

Ok so for Mumbai I kind of feel like I'm cheating here cause I went with the default hotel gym. Since it was my friend's birthday weekend and we wanted a "fancier" experience we ended up staying at the ITC Grand Central which had a fitness room on L2.


ITC Grand Central, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Mumbai

+91 22 2410 1010


I think one of the best things about this gym is that the pool and views were quite stellar. I didn't have the chance to use the pool myself but it was a well designed indoor/outdoor pool that gave me Greek/Roman bath aesthetic vibes. Besides that I'd say I was pretty disappointed with the workout equipment. Spread across two small rooms, there were about 3 treadmills, one workout bench with a limited selection of dumbbells, and while there was 1-2 bars, there was no squat rack! I had to make do by doing goblet dumbbell squats instead. The machines themselves were also very limited, I think I counted less than 8.


I'll say the service was impeccable with the attendant handing me a towel, water, and yoga mat without asking. Also overall quite clean with the attendant on it with cleaning. But besides these aspects, I'd say this was far from a 5 star fitness room experience.


Jaipur

By far my favorite Indian gym experience and overall just a stellar gym experience. An excellent distance of .75mi/1.6km from the hostel I was staying at (Moustache Jaipur - which I also highly recommend) the run would have been nice if it wasn't for the disorganized traffic and chaos of the roads. Anyways, this post is about the gym itself not the running route.


So again, I managed to find an anytime fitness and since I have an active and fit account it was again "free".


Anytime Fitness

+91 89557 55575


On the 5th floor of a sad mall, the gym itself was great. Maybe it's not super fancy or modern like an equinox but considering I am in India and I never really sought out super fancy anyways, I think this hits all the buckets. It has a good amount of strength machines and enough cardio machines. More importantly, they have more than one squat rack - a happy find after the last fitness center. They also had a good amount of benches and various selection of dumbbells and bars. The gym itself was spacious, clean, and great temperature. There was a good amount of helpful staff/trainers on the floor who offered me assistance and I found the clientele themselves to be polite. Plus this is now the 3rd gym in India with yet another great view of the city. The only quip I can make is that the music is a little loud and while great for India, there's definitely better gym. But otherwise a stellar gym.


4.5/5 , almost perfect except it could use a bit of modernization and music not blasting.


Udaipur

The anytime fitness India tour continues! Happy to say this was another well maintained anytime fitness


Anytime Fitness

+91 84484 44723


A little off of the old city, I did have to call an Uber mototaxi for this one. But only 10 minutes away, at 60 rupees/less than a $, again felt it was well worth it


Overall the anytime fitness of udaipur was quite well equipped. Had a good number of benches + dumbbells, about 2 squat racks and a smith machine, and similar to some of the other anytime fitnesses - a great view! One of the mornings it was a bit on the crowded side but otherwise not too bad. In general I found the gym felt spacious and my Christmas Day workout it was mostly empty! I found the staff and clientele both to be pleasant and again like the other anytime fitnesses, relatively clean. My only quip is that they didn't have a Roman chair and the strength machines were a bit limited, especially compared to the Jaipur one.


Because equipment selection was a little lacking, I'm giving this one a 3.5/5 . Overall stellar and gets the job done comfortably!




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