Indonesia – Seba Fitness, Jakarta, Java

Location: Seba Fitness, Jakarta, Indonesia  

Review: Jakarta is a crazy city. The traffic is like nothing I have every seen and the city goes on for miles in every direction. When I found Seba Fitness online, it looked like it was near to my hotel and I thought it looked like an easy walk. No. Not at all. Even when things look close on the map in Indonesia they are still bloody far away. Also, crossing the road is like running a dangerous gauntlet through people who seem ambivalent to whether they smoosh you along the road or drive around you. This helps to make even the smallest journey into a marathon.

But, having not trained for a few days, I was determined to find somewhere to train legs and squat heavy. Having looked at some of the other gyms in Jakarta online, I decided that Seba Fitness was the gym for today. The one photo that I could find online seemed so show plates in the background and I decided to gamble on them having a squat rack. 

The gym is where google maps shows it and there in an Indomart around the corner where you can buy a red bull in place of a pre-workout. I also found two sets of pills there in the health section, one which contains BCAA’s and another which contains L-Glutamine and Creatine. These are sold as general health and energy supplements here, but decided to add them to my diet to try and make up for not having access to my regular supplements. I have taken a photo of the nutritional info. (See below)

Once at the right place, the gym was kinda hard to find. Look for the sign by the side of the road to get you to the right place. The gym is on the first floor, which means you have to go through a lobby which looks like it is for a residential building and up the stairs to get in. I spent ages milling around outside second guessing myself and looking dodgy. 

Upstairs I paid about 30,000 rps (approx £1.50) for a day pass and entered the gym. I suspect that this is the western price rather than the local one. When I walked in, I realised that this is exactly the kind of crazy local gym that I started this blog to write about. This gym sells water along side other isotonic drinks and also has a large amount of supplements for sale, but these seemed to be by the tub only. The poor girl on reception didn’t seem to speak much english and my Indonesian is limited to a few words, so my enquiries could only go so far. 

I do love these crazy run down places, where the locals are training hard in basic surroundings. These are no thrills gyms. No LCD TV’s. No luxury at all of any kind. The gym equipment is old but functional. The dumbbells are the old iron kind with no rubber coating to save your toes if you drop them. There are lockers to store your stuff and a mens changing room which looked like something out of a horror movie. There is a toilet, but it is bucket flush and no hose. No chance of any toilet paper either. Use the toilet and shower at home me thinks. 
This gym has:
  • Dumbbells unto 40kg
  • Squat rack 
  • Barbell Bench press
  • Olympic bars
  • Leg press 
  • Pec dec
  • Cables
  • Calve raise machine
  • Lat pull down 
  • Multi-gym in the middle which I didn’t use and couldn’t quite work out.

I did not see any functioning cardio equipment in the gym, although was an upside down treadmill that looked like it may have been being fixed. 

When I was there, the gym only had men training in it and I did not see a women’s bathroom or changing room. It was also obvious that they were not used to westerners or tourists training there. Everyone was friendly but there was lots of staring and pointing. There was also one guy there who was clearly a pro-body builder, which is always good to see and gives me faith in the gym. 

Who is this gym for? I would probably only recommend this gym to guys who are happy to train with the most basic of equipment. This is a really spit and sawdust kind of place. The lack of facilities for women, and the clientele when I was there, also suggest to me that this place is not set up for female clients. I have seen a lot of aerobics centres which seem to be where the women train in Indonesia. If you are a women and you do decide to train here regardless, I would continue to advise modest dress out of respect for local custom as in the earlier posts.
Tip: The gym has no conditioning or fans  and no sweat towels are availible on arrival so make sure you bring one with you. I didn’t and sweat everywhere and was very conscious of it. Its horrible, and ineffective, to have to wipe things down with your gloves. Bring a towel.

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