Location: Muscle Fitness Centre, No 65, Street 95, Corner of Street 386, Sangkat Beoung Keng Kong III, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Opening hours: Mon to Fri: 6am to 9pm
Sat – Sun: 6am to 8pm
Review: These days the silver lining to some of the embarrassing situations I find myself in at the gym is that I can tell myself I will have a good story to write about for this blog. Let me set the scene for the latest incident for you.
I trained at the Muscle Fitness Centre three times whilst I was in Phnom Penh. On the first occasion, I got to meet some of the local guys, who all look like they could be bodybuilders and turned out to be really cool people.
Having struck up a rapport with them, based on no-doubt a sense of mutual bro-ness, I decided to come back and train here the next day. This time however, things didn’t quite go to plan. I decided to start my workout with heavy squats whilst my legs were still fresh. Despite the fact that I have lost a lot of strength on this trip, I still managed to get up to about 115-120kg, which is about 185% bodyweight at this stage. On my third set, I squat deep and my shorts literally exploded. The back seam split from the middle of my butt cheeks all the way round to the front. It was the the kind of split that, on a clear night, you can see from space. Oh I forgot to mention that I was wearing my swim shorts. And so was commando underneath, leaving me with just the mesh lining of my shorts between the boys and the rest of the world. Refreshing.
Luckily, the gym towels were long enough to wrap around my waist, circa David Beckham’s sarong saga of the late 1990’s. Having paid almost $5 for a day pass, there was no way I was going to leave, so I wrapped my towel around my waist and continued with my workout. And it was then that found out that the guys I had met in this gym were good people. I know this because they still came and talked to me when they saw me, rather than ignoring me like the social leaper I should have been. Standing there looking like the least convincing transexual ever, with a 9 o’clock shadow, man bun and a bright blue skirt. Hell, these guys even came and posed for a picture with me so I could put it up on here. It is posted below. You can see my skirt too. Swag.
So shout outs to Kim Heng, Sothavid Huon and all the other guys I met and added on Facebook. Gentlemen all of you to the last! Thank you for making me feel so welcome in your gym and for not making fun of me when I totally deserved it. Salut. You can follow Kim Heng on Instagram at @kimheng_asher. Check him out, he has a great page!
Anyway, I digress. The gym here is on the smaller side and much more expensive than those I found in the north of Cambodia. But to me, it was worth it to get to meet the guys and get a taste of that gym-family atmosphere that I miss so much from home. This gym is also much more like a western gym in the way it is run and the applicable standards. For example, everyone is wearing sports gear and no-one is wandering around overly flexing or training shirtless. Well, maybe a little flexing.
By way of equipment, the gym has:
- Dumbbells up to 80lbs (approx 36kgs)
- Adjustable benches
- Barbell decline bench
- Barbell flat bench
- Barbell incline bench
- Squat rack
- Olympic bars
- Smith machine
- Lat pulldown
- Leg extensions
- Leg curl
- Standing squat machines
- Chest press machine
- Pec dec
- Shoulder press machine
- Dips / pull up bar
- Easy bar
- Preacher curl bench
- Swiss balls
- Yoga mats
- Cycling bikes
- Cross trainers
There is also a small padded area upstairs for stretching or abs work.
There is a slightly strange pricing system here, which depends on whether or not you want to use the cardio equipment for more than 30 mins. A day pass with upto 30 mins cardio is $4.40 or you can get 10 passes for $27, whilst a day pass with full cardio access is $7.70 or 10 passes for $45. You can find the full price list below in the photos. A day pass includes access to the showers, a locker to use and a sweat towel. A photo of the price list can be found below too.
The gym sells water, protein and weight-gainer shakes. These cost from $3 to $7 depending on how many scoops you want. (Approx £2.50 – £5.50) You can also add other ingredients, such as banana, avocado or peanut butter to custom make a shake to your taste or goals.
Who is this gym for? There was a good mix of people training in this gym, with tourists and locals training together. It is a little more expensive than some other places in Cambodia, so budget travellers may want to look elsewhere. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend this gym to anyone looking for somewhere to go to the gym in Phnom Penh.
Tips: Oh, incase you were wondering how I got home with the ruined shorts, the gym let me borrow the towel / skirt to wear back to my hotel. The girl on reception smiled knowingly when I asked if I could borrow it and when I tried to explain why I needed it, she told me she already knew. I guess news travels fast here too.
But even walking home looking like this, no-one tried to abduct and traffic me into the sex trade…. I am a little bit offended if I am honest.