Cambodia – Chey Mongkol Sport Club, Phnom Penh

Location: Chey Mongkol Sports Club, 113 Street 360, Phnom Penh 
Tel: 017544445
Web: www.facebook.com/phnompenhcheymongkul
Opening hours: Mon to Sat: 6am to 22.45pm
Sunday: 6am to 9pm


Review: One of the reasons I started this blog was because I was fed up of having my time wasted by turning up at awful gyms or places which had shut down or been mislabeled on google maps. There is no worse feeling the being stood outside a boarded up shop, with pre-workout coursing violently through your veins, and a wild shrew waiting for you at home. The day I found Chey Mongkol Sports Club was one of such day. I initially headed off to find the Dam Bong Deak Gym, however when I got to the spot marked as the location on Google Maps, I couldn’t find anything that looked like a gym. Maybe it was closed, or maybe it never existed. Who can be sure? Perhaps it was inside of all of us the whole time? Christ, I hardly care, so I have no idea the level of apathy you, as the dear reader, must currently have to this whole topic. 

Anywho. Having gone back to google maps and googled “gyms in Phnom Penh” I managed to locate the Chey Mongkol Sports Club. The sports club appears to be attached to a hotel and it set back from the road and round to the left. You need to seemingly walk into the car park of the hotel to find the gym, which is in a steel cage on the far left. Faded banners, which were just about readable in the faint glow of the Bangkok street lights, announce the presence of a gym at this location.

Having walked in and had a fairly confusing sign language conversation with the Cambodian man behind the desk, I walked in delighted to have found a gym to train in. This joy was somewhat short-lived as the grumpy man behind the counter told me off for making too much noise whilst on the final lifts of my triangle deadlift set. Asshole. 

This gym has:
  • Dumbbells up to 110 lbs
  • Adjustable benches 
  • Olympic bat 
  • Flay barbell bench
  • Incline barbell bench 
  • Decline barbell bench 
  • Barbell shoulder press bench 
  • Assisted dips / pull up machine 
  • Smith machine 
  • Squat rack 
  • Cables 
  • Lat pull down 
  • Leg press 
  • Leg extension 
  • Leg curl 
  • Easy bar 
  • Preacher curl bench 
  • Hammer curl bar 
  • Lower back raise bench 
  • Seated low row
  • Cross trainer 
  • Treadmill
Entrance to this gym on a day pass is 2500 riel. (approx 0.60p). It costs an extra 1500 riel to use the cardio equipment if you are so inclined. The gym also sells water and other drinks as well as BCAAs, pre-workout, Creatine and Protein and weight gainer. These are between $32 to $40 each. 

Who is this gym for? Whilst I was here on a Sunday night, there was a mix of a couple of female tourists and a few locals. The gym is pretty secluded, but open enough not to be a cause for concern. The dumbbells do go high enough for any workout and the presence of olympic bars and a squat rack mean that you should be able to train all of the major compound lifts. 

Tips: Don’t be the last one in there because the guy behind the counter is even more of an asshole trying to get you to leave before closing time. However, if you need to workout late on a Sunday, this gym is open late and is cheap enough to make it a viable option, asshole notwithstanding.


Cambodia – SuperFit Fitness and Health Club, Phnom Penh

Location: SuperFit Fitness and Health Club, 341 Mao Tse Toung Boulevard, Phnom Penh
Email address: info@superfit.com.kh
Website: www.superfit.com.kh
Opening Hours: 6:00am to 10:00pm

Review: Have you every seen a movie, been to a restaurant or done any activity that was technically excellent, but it still left you cold? This was this gym. Of all the places that I have trained in Cambodia, this was the only one that I didn’t make an emotional connection with. 

What was strange was that on every level, SuperFit Fitness and Health Club is an excellent gym with a wide variety of modern equipment, modern changing rooms and air conditioning. The gym even has its own cafe, restaurant and even a little corner shop. As well as a really well equipped gym, SuperFit also has a large swimming pool, several table tennis tables,  a dance hall, and even a separate cardio studio.

The gym has:

  • Dumbbells up to 20kg
  • Adjustable benches 
  • Two decline barbell benches 
  • Two inline barbell benches
  • Two flat benches 
  • Two cables 
  • Squat rack 
  • Smith machine
  • Two preacher curl benches 
  • Barbell shoulder press bench and rack 
  • Fixed straight bars up to 50kg 
  • Lat pulldown 
  • Chest press machine 
  • Incline chest press machines
  • Pull down machine for back 
  • Leg press machine 
  • Leg extension machine
  • Leg curl machine 
  • Cardio room with 
    • Running machines
    • Rowing machines 
    • Treadmills
    • Cross trainers
  • Functional strength room 
    • Functional strength frame 
    • Punch bag 
    • Battle ropes
    • Swiss balls
    • Medicine balls 
    • Yoga mats 
    • Bulgarian bags
    • Sandbags 
    • Rope pully system.
  • Table tennis
  • Large Swimming pool
  • Dance studio 
  • Classes area with low weights, bars and steps

At $8 for a day pass or $100 for a month, this gym is not cheap. They do have various promotions available for families, students or youngsters, so check out their website. At this price, this gym is more expensive that my gym in London and double the price of the Muscle Fitness Centre.

I suppose my only technical gripe with this gym, aside from the cost, was that dumbbells only go up to 20kg meaning that I couldn’t train chest properly. This was particularly frustrating given the level of thought that has clearly gone into the selection of the rest of the equipment here. But it is not this that would stop me coming back to this gym. Even with the the amount, and variety, of equipment here, the gym is just so big that it just felt empty to me. Perhaps it was this that made me feel like there was a weird and somewhat soulless vibe in this place. 


Overall, there is no doubt that this is technically a better gym that the Muscle Fitness Centre. The equipment is newer, and more advanced, and would be a good gym even by London standards. Even so, I would still rather train at the Muscle Fitness Centre given the choice between the two. (You can see the review of tMuscle Fitness Centre here.)

Who is this gym for? This is technically a very good gym and as such, I don’t really have any reason not to recommend it to everyone. This is probably the best equipped gym in Cambodia. They have all of the modern equipment you would expect to find in any high end western gym, but I just didn’t like it. Guys and girls can train here and they have a world of equipment for any cardio bunnies, including a separate cardio studio and class rooms. 

Tips: Don’t take it from meMake up your own mind and let me know in the comments below.



Cambodia – The Blue Star Sports Club, Kampot

Location: The Blue Star Sports Club, Sky Street, Kampot 

Review: So having spent a week on the idilic island of Koh Rong, I was dying to get back into the gym when I got to the city of Kampot. After googling around for a few minutes searching things like “gyms in Kampot” and “fitness in Kampot” I managed to find what appears to be the only gym in the area. And yes, sentences like the one above are nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to cram google friendly key words into this post and increase my google search rankings. We all know whats going on and I am not sorry. 

Once I tracked the place down, I realised that what is marked on Google Maps as Gym Club, but it is in-fact called the Blue Star Sports Club. As ever, I picked a hotel near to the gym. This hotel turned out to be so amazing that I want to take a second to shout them out. The hotel is called the River Lodge, and it turned out to be an great place to stay. The food here is incredible and the staff are really nice. They have a free pool table, wifi, air con in the rooms and they even have a poker night twice a week. I won $60 by the way. The gym is only a 5 min walk away from the hotel too, so its a good place to stay if you want to train everyday. You can check out the hotel here. 

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. The Blue Star Sport Club is a decent sized gym but it is pretty much as basic as they come. On my first trip there, I was lucky enough to meet the owner, a local business man who owns this gym, as well as being a property developer and owning the local football centre. It was his brother-in-law who suggested he build a gym, whilst he is more interested in the table tennis club operating out of the same space. We played a few games together and be pretty decisively beat me in all of them. In my defence, I had just trained chest and I am convinced that my arms weren’t working properly. Honest. Shut up.

Entrance to the gym on a day pass is 6000 Riel ($1.50 or about £1.20). The gym is basic, but given that it is all you are going to get in Kampot, you really don’t have any other choice. Most of the equipment works, but the gym would really benefit from a rack for the dumbbells and some stands for the plates, as most of these are scattered across the floor of the gym and locating what you need can take time. Also, as seems to be the case in a number of these smaller gyms in Cambodia, the plates seem to top out at 10kgs. Whilst there are enough plates to load the bar with for even the heaviest lifts, it does make things like deadlifting a somewhat comical affair given how many you end up having on the bar. 

Whilst there are enough benches and bars here to work with, they are not the olympic bars you find in western gyms, but rather the same kind of old school home style that most of us had as kids. They work just as well, but you need to be careful you don’t pinch your hands, or lose a finger, when re-racking the bar.

Equipment wise, this gym has: 
  • Dumb bells up to approx 20kg, as well as make your own ones
  • Adjustable benches
  • Flat barbell bench
  • Incline barbell bench 
  • Decline barbell bench 
  • Smith machine 
  • Cables
  • Dips bar
  • A frame for pull ups and bodyweight exercises 
  • Short straight bar 
  • Preacher curl bench 
  • Chest press machine 
  • Pec dec 
  • Leg press machine 
  • Abs curl machine 
  • Fixed bikes 
  • Swinging leg machines 
  • Standing turning on a spinning disk thing
  • Punchbag  
  • Several table tennis tables 
The gym also has one of the coolest, old school abs machines I have ever seen. You basically put your knees onto a rolling pad on a small rollercoaster type contraption and then use your abs to raise it to a vertical position. You can see the machine in the fourth photo. I have no idea what it is called, but it is great fun!

The gym sells water and isotonic drinks. Water is 1000 Riel (0.20p) and isotonic drinks are 2500 Riel. (0.50p). The gym does not sell protein and I have not seen it for sale anywhere in Kampot. I would recommend that you should stock up before you get here, as I have also not found any pre-made protein drinks in the local shops. If anyone knows anywhere you can get protein in Kampot, please do feel free to put it in the comments below. 

Who is this gym for? Whilst I was training here, I did see a mix of men and women at this gym. For the most part, the people training here seem to be local Cambodians, with the exception of one massive Russian guy and an Australian kickboxer who was kind enough to pose for the cool action shot below. As with everywhere else in Cambodia, women do not seem to lift but I don’t think this is the kind of place where women would be made to feel uncomfortable if they were to train like this. I would however be prepared for looks, but its likely that this would be down to the fact that you would be out-lifting most of the locals who seem to train low weight and high reps. Overall, I would recommend this place to all and sundry.

Tips: The gym does not have air conditioning, or fans, but rather it has squares cut out of the metal walls to allow air to circulate. As a result, I would recommend bringing a sweat towel, as it does get very hot during the day. Also, don’t play the owner of the gym at table tennis for money or you will be eating pot noodles for the rest of your trip. 

Cambodia – Long Beach, Koh Rong

Location: Long Beach, Island of Koh Rong.

Review: Having arrived on the tropical paradise of Koh Rong, I developed a sinking feeling when realised that the island had NO GYM!! 

After breathing into a paper bag for a few minutes, whilst I felt the icy hand of panic slowly grip my soul, I managed to get control of my breathing and suppress the urge to throw myself out the nearest window. 

So, since I have been flooded by literally no emails asking me what to do in this situation, I decided to make this helpful public service announcement for anyone who happens befall this cruel, cruel fate. 

Enjoy!



Cambodia – The Golden Lion Gym, Sihanoukville

Location: Golden Lion Gym, Group 2, Village 4, Sangkat 4, Sihanoukville, Cambodia 
Phone: +855-10-355-78335583
Opening hours: 9am to 9pm daily

Review: Today I managed to tick something off my “become a real backpacker” bucket-list. I got stopped by corrupt police office and bribed my way out of trouble. In fairness, I was driving a moped without a licence so I suppose stuffing $3 into a battered satchel whilst the officer conveniently looked the other way is probably a fair conclusion.

Thankfully I also managed to find a decent gym so I suppose the day wasn’t a total write off. The gym I found was called the Golden Lion Gym and it is run by two guys called Bobby and Sean, with some help from their 6 month old puppy, Montague. Bobby, who is originally from England, came to Cambodia after years of living in Spain, whilst Sean is American and currently three years into his “year abroad” having spent time in Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. They both told me that they were drawn to Sihanoukville by the relaxed pace of life, the beautiful local islands and the 420 culture. 

When I walked into the gym, the first thing that I noticed is that all of the equipment matches and looks new and modern. It turned out that the Golden Lion gym opened on 1 May 2016 having been moved from another location in town. The gym is on the smaller side compared to some of the huge gyms I trained in in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, but you can tell that thought has gone into the choice of equipment and there is enough here to workout whichever muscle group you decide to train today. 

This gym is made up of:
  • Dumbbells unto 25kg 
  • Adjustable benches
  • Short bar 
  • Squat rack 
  • Olympic bars x 2
  • Flat barbell bench 
  • Adjustable chest press machine 
  • Leg extension machine
  • Dips / pull up bar
  • High cable 
  • Seated low row machine 
  • Lat pulldown 
  • Cables 
  • Lower back extender bench thing that I can’t remember the name of 
  • Treadmill 
  • Spin Bike 
  • Two other bikes 
  • Punch bag and gloves / head gear 
  • Yoga mats
The gym charges $2 for a day pass, $10 for a week pass or $30 a for a month’s membership, so you can tailor your membership to the length of time you plan to be in town. 

The gym sells water, redbull, fruit juices and sachets of electrolyte powders. They also sell imported whey protein for $2 a serving, or 10 servings for $17.50. There is NOWHERE else in Sihanoukville that is going to sell protein, so make sure you stock up here. Their smoothie bar is perhaps their signature however. They have an extensive menu of smoothies and juices and you can create your own personal mixtures too. The guys also told me that they will soon be serving small meals such as chicken and rice, bacon sandwiches or locally sourced coconuts, so keep an eye out for that in the near future. You can check out the gym on Instagram here to find out the latest. Well worth a follow! 

Who is this gym for? Sean and Bobby now have around 40 fully paid up members, made up of locals and expats, as well as offering day passes to passing tourists like me. On the two days that I trained here, I saw a mix of guys and women training together, as well as people of all ability levels. I would recommend this gym to anyone. Quite frankly, this is the best it gets in Sihanoukville. 

Tips: If you are going to drive to this gym, or at all in Sihanoukville, keep a couple of dollars spare in your pocket away from the rest of your money. If you get stopped by the police, use this money to get yourself out of trouble. Don’t worry, the police will be very forward in letting you know they want a bribe. Don’t get out your whole wallet or show them how much cash you are carrying or they are likely to try and increase the amount they try and extort from you. Don’t give them more than $2-$3 and don’t let them panic you. It is all part of the Cambodian experience!

Cambodia – Muscle Fitness Centre – Phnom Penh

Location: Muscle Fitness Centre, No 65, Street 95, Corner of Street 386, Sangkat Beoung Keng Kong III, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel: 060861111
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Musclefitnesskh/
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
  • Cables 
  • 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
  • Treadmills 
  • 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. 



Cambodia – Monurum Fitness Centre – Battambang

Location: Monurum Fitness Centre, Preah Vihea Street by Street 119, Battambang, Cambodia 


Review: This is another gym that seems to have adopted the “lets put as much equipment as we can into the space we have” kind of approach to gym design. This gym does however have newer equipment than Monurum gym, but it is a little messy and disorganised. They could do with a weights rack.

The gym is a good size with a separate cardio area. It is open sided which helps keep it cool. I am sure I have missed a few things out from this list simply due to the amount of equipment they had, but the important stuff in this gym was:

  • Dumbbells up to approx 30kg
  • Adjustable benches 
  • Decline barbell bench 
  • Incline barbell bench 
  • Flat barbell bench 
  • Squat rack 
  • Olympic bars 
  • 3 x smith machine 
  • Cables 
  • Easy bar
  • Fixed weight bars
  • Chest press machine
  • Squat machine
  • Lat pulldown x 3
  • Preacher curl bench 
  • Seated low row  
  • Leg press 
  • Leg extension machine
  • Functional strength training monkey bars 
  • 3 x heavy punch bags
  • Treadmills 
  • Cross trainers 
  • Cycling bikes
  • Rowing machines
  • Steam boxes 

Entrance to this gym on a day pass was $1. The kindly old lady who was manning the reception desk didn’t seem to speak much English, so I wasn’t able to find out about weekly or monthly prices. 

The gym also stocks a wide variety of drinks and water and sells some gym equipment such as yoga mats, shakers, protein powder, skipping ropes etc. This gym was charging 25000 Cambodian riel (approx £5).for a small tub of protein which seems to have about 5 servings at most. As a result, I would recommend buying protein from Monorom gym. You can find the review here.

Who is this gym for? Whilst I was here, there were more women training in this gym than i have seen in any other gym in Cambodia. The cardio area seemed to be full of ladies, but they also seemed to use the ab machines and a selection of strange swinging machines. Women here do not seem to lift, but of all the places that I have trained I think this is where I would recommend women train if they wanted to lift. It was also funny to note that women in Cambodia don’t seem to wear sports clothes, rather they seem to train in what looks like pajamas. These are matching light cotton tops and bottoms, which seem to be popular with Cambodian women as everyday clothes as well as workout wear. If you want to fit in, or just fancy getting to go to the gym in your PJ’s, then have a look in the local shops and put a photo in the comments below. 

This gym is not on google so need to look for it. See the geolocation I have dropped for this location in the map, so it may be appearing there in the next few days.  

Tips? Every now and then you see something in real life that you have seen in movies for years, but were not sure actually existed. Today was one of these days. At the back, in the men’s changing room area, they have a line of these steam boxes that I have only ever seen in the movies. For anyone unfamiliar with these, imagine a washing machine where the front section opens out so you can climb into it. The top has a rubber seal with a hole, so you can keep your head out, or turtle your head inside and steam yourself. It is essentially a one man steam room. I have included a photo below so you can see what I mean. Bring a towel if you want to experience this for yourself! 

Cambodia – Monorom Gym, Battambang

Location: Monorom Gym, Battambang
Phone: 012 817 557
Website: www.facebook.com/pages/Club-Monorom

Review: Having arrived in Battambang and fired up the SEO friendly google searches for “Gym in Battambang,” I managed to find Monorom Gym, which wasn’t too far from my hotel and so began my introduction into a whole new style of gym. 


Before I get into that however, Monorom Gym shouldn’t be confused with Monurum Fitness Centre, which is just around the corner and will feature in the next post. I will come back and put a link in here to that gym if I remember once that post is up. Until then, you will just have to wait, full of anticipation. Or apathy. Ok. Apathy it is. To read about Monurum Fitness Centre, click here.

So, what I mean when I say that Monorom Gym represents a new kind of gym, is that this gym seems to have been designed following a meeting which went something like this:

*Gym owner 1 – We have this massive warehouse. We should make a gym.
*Gym owner 2 – That’s a great idea. What equipment should we get?
*Gym owner 1 – We should think about what kind of gym we want to open and tailor the equipment to our users needs.
* Gym owner 2 – Or….. instead of doing that, why don’t we just buy as much equipment as we can, without rhyme or reason, and fill the warehouse until you can hardly move.
*Gym owner 1 – Thats why I love you Dave, you were always the smart one. 


You get the idea. There is so much equipment in this gym that I have made the best list that I could, but there is no way that I could remember everything they had. The gym is basically full of weight machines, free machines and more benches and smith machines than I had ever seen in any gym. However, this phenomenon is equally matched by the lack of plates. In this whole aircraft-hanger sized gym, with more benches than anywhere I have ever trained before, I could only find two 20kg plates, and two 15kg plates. There were however about about 8 10kg plates and more than 253 million 5kg plates. This made benching a very weird experience. 

As far as I can remember, this gym has:

  • Dumbbells up to 30kg 
  • Six flat barbell benches 
  • Three decline barbell benches 
  • Two incline barbell benches 
  • Four smith machines 
  • Many, many, many adjustable benches 
  • Lat pulldowns 
  • Dips bar 
  • Chest press 
  • Pec Dec 
  • Leg press 
  • Leg extensions 
  • Low row machine 
  • Bench over row bars
  • Fixed weight bars 
  • Shoulder press machine 
  • Wide grip pull down machine 
  • Preacher curl bench
  • Those plates you stand on and turn to the right and left 

A day pass to this gym was about $1. There are no towels, so you need to bring one as it does get hot but you can train topless here. 

Alongside the water sold at the front counter, the gym also has a shop attached which sells everything from yoga mats to gym gloves to treadmills. I also managed to get a pretty good sized plastic tub of weight gainer for 50,000 Cambodian riel which is about £10. This has given me about 12 servings. so far and I have a little left. They also sold protein by the tub and even ZMA. This is likely to be a good place to stock up on supplies as none of the shops I have seen out here have sold protein drinks or powder. 

Who is this gym for? I trained here twice and on both occasions it was mainly Cambodian guys who were training here. There doesn’t seem to be much cardio equipment, so this place only really seems to be for lifters. As with many of the other places I have trained in Cambodia, most of the guys were training shirtless, so if that is an issue then you might want to avoid this place. 

If you are female and in Battambang, I would recommend training in Monorom Fitness Centre over this gym. I only say this because Monorom Fitness Centre seemed to be much more popular with the local female population and it was better equipped for other types of training.

Tips: I didn’t know about the shop, which isn’t very well signposted when you walk in. It is behind the door opposite the little desk where you pay. It is behind the door to the right hand side as you go in. The lady at the front desk doesn’t seem to speak much english, but her husband usually pulls one of the locals to come translate so that usually helps. 



Cambodia – Mr Ly’s Gym, Siem Reap

Location: Mr Ly’s Gym, Bakheng Road, Taphul village, Svay Dangkum commune, Siem Reap.
Phone number: 012579000
Opening hours: 6am to 8.30pm 
Review: Mr Ly’s Gym is another gym housed in something similar to a warehouse. Mr Ly’s gym is not as advanced as Angkor Muscle Fitness, nor is the equipment as modern, but it was still enough to get a good workout. 

It also has a number of pieces of equipment that AMF does not have. (See what happened their? Casual unexplained abbreviations. Bet you worked it out though didn’t you? Anyway, the time saved has now been wasted reading this, so we are now even.) The one unique feature of Mr Ly’s Gym is that they have a kickboxing ring. They offer one on one training with a kickboxing coach and they have pads, shin protectors, head gear and body protectors to use. As well as the ring, they have have an area with punch bags, including two long bags and an uppercut bag. Sessions are approximately $5, so if you are looking to train boxing or kickboxing then this is likely to be the place for you. Monthly training is availible for $40.

Entrance to the gym on a day pass is $1 for $15 for monthly membership. The entrance fee also covers the costs of a sweat towel, which you will need because there is no a/c or fans. The equipment is pretty dated, but it all works. The cables are a little jerky and could use an oil change, but other then that it all does what it should. 

Inside of this gym, you will discover the following equipment items:

  • Dumbbells unto 40kg
  • Olympic bars 
  • Squat rack 
  • Adjustable bench 
  • Incline barbell bench 
  • Flat barbell bench 
  • Decline barbell bench 
  • Smith machine 
  • Cables 
  • Lat pull-down 
  • Leg press
  • Leg extension 
  • Leg curl 
  • Chest press machine 
  • Incline Chest press machine 
  • Shoulder press machine 
  • Easy bar 
As far as refreshments and supplements go, this gym sells water for $0.50 for a big bottle and whey isolate for $2. From the tubs on the makeshift counter as you walk in, it would seem they also sell weight gainer but Mr Ly did not mention this when I asked him about what supplements he sold. 

Another unique feature of this gym is the fact that the music is controlled from a laptop with massive speakers attached. People seem to take turns being the DJ, so you get a mix of music. I was surprised by how modern their selection was but it created a great environment to train in. I wasn’t brave enough to go play DJ but maybe someone else will be. If you train here and get to pick the music let me know what you played in the comments below. 

Who is this gym for? I trained here twice and on neither time did I see another westerner. This gym seems to be more for locals than tourists, but I was made to feel welcome enough training here. I also saw a few Cambodian women training here, but again, it seems that they don’t really train weights. I would fall short of advising against lone female travellers training here, but I would probably advise that they go to Angkor Muscle Fitness if they are at all worried. However, in both gyms, people seemed to be more concerned about looking int the mirror than interacting with the tourists. 

Tips: The same culture of shirtless training, and unbridled vanity, persists in this gym too. It will be interesting to see if this custom permeates through the whole of Cambodia on the rest of my trip. What is fascinating, is the total lack of self awareness in relation to this behaviour. It really is interesting to watch from a behavioural point of view. Made me chuckle between sets anyway.  


Cambodia – Angkor Muscle Gym, Siem Reap

Location: Angkor Muscle Gym, House #0471, Watdamnak Village, Salakomreuk Commune, Siem Reap
Phone: 012 970 443
Opening hours5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Review: Training in Cambodia has been a totally new experience. Over the course of my travels, it has been interesting to see the ways in which difference societies value fitness. For example, over the last few years there has been an explosion of fitness culture in the UK. Gyms are full and supplement sales are through the roof. Nights out now sadly consist of muscle fit t-shirts and deep v-necks. (Just stop it, you know who you are.)
This gym is the first place that I have been thats feels like it shares this culture. The gyms here are packed and the muscular aesthetic seems to be more common. This may be explained by the fact that Angkor Muscle Gym is the home of Siem Reap’s Angkor Bodybuilding Association. Emphasis here seems to be on muscle building but there is sufficient cardio equipment for a good workout. 

A one day pass is $1, a price which doesn’t seem to have changed since 2014 according to their the gym’s Facebook page. Entrance comes with a sweat towel, so no need to bring your own. The gym also has little lockers if you want to store your valuables whilst you work out. These are at the front just to the right of the reception area. 

I am almost out of ideas as to how to preface the list of gym equipment, so this time I will say, within this gym is located:

  • Dumbbells unto 50kg
  • Olympic bars 
  • Squat rack 
  • Adjustable bench 
  • Incline barbell bench 
  • Flat barbell bench 
  • Decline barbell bench 
  • Smith machine x 2
  • Cables 
  • Lat pull-down 
  • Leg press
  • Leg extension 
  • Leg curl 
  • Thigh abductor
  • Pec dec 
  • Chest press machine 
  • Incline Chest press machine 
  • Seated low row 
  • Shoulder press machine 
  • Easy bar 
  • Trap bar
  • Trap blocks
  • Running machine
  • Cycling machine
  • Cross trainer 
  • Swiss balls

There is a small padded area at the back where seem to do classes or you can train abs. 

There is also a pretty well stocked gym shop at the front reception area. This sells water, protein powder, weight gainer, pre-workout, various other drinks. It also sells equipment and accessories such as yoga mats, various protein shakers, including Smart Shake, lifting belts, and gym gloves. A baggie of whey protein was £1 and I think the price was the same for pre-workout.


Who is this gym for? Whilst I was training here I saw a real mix of clients. There were a few backpackers here, but the majority of the people in this gym were Cambodian. There ran the gamete from body-builders who wouldn’t look out of place in any western gym to those who looked like today was the first time they every tried to squat. I remember those days. Squatting to heavy you get trapped at the bottom or almost killing myself because I hadn’t racked the bar properly. Ahhh. Those were good times.   

Cambodia seems to have much clearer defined gender roles, and the ladies seemed to keep themselves to the cardio equipment, leaving the weights to the guys. 

Angkor Muscle Fitness is clearly a muscle gym with a focus on heavy weights and lifting. The guys here all train shirtless and spend about as much time flexing in the mirror as they do lifting anything. If shirtless guys flexing is likely to be a deal breaker, then I would avoid this gym. By now, however I am used to it. And after a few good sets to get a pump, I was ready to whip off the, now soaked, vest and join in. Fuck it. When in Rome right? 

I would recommend this gym to anyone looking for somewhere that you can lift heavy and won’t mind you grunting or clanking the weights. There is enough cardio equipment here to do a cardio workout, but you have to pay an extra $1 to use any of the equipment that requires electricity.  Another reason not to go running, just incase you needed one.

Tips: This gym is a good place to stock up on protein and pre-workout as there isn’t much of this stuff in the shops in Cambodia. A baggie of protein or pre-workout costs £1 and is availible from the reception desk. It seems that they also sell tubs of protein if you will be there for longer.