Kuala Lumpur – Muscle Gym

Location:  Muscle Gym, 2B, Jalan SS 21/35, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur
Google maps: Click here
Web: Way too old school for that
Opening hours: Mon to Fri: 11am to 10pm
Saturday: 12pm to 6pm
Sunday: Closed
Price: 10 ringgits (approx £2)

Like the look of this gym? If you want to stay nearby then you can check out the links to hotels within walking distance at the end of this article.

Review: After spending 10 days on the gymless paradise that was the island of Gili Meno, I was feeling calm, relaxed, and built like a 10 year old girl. Despite countless pushups, resistance band workouts and over 50 pull ups and dips a day, I was feeling like I had lost all of the gains I had made over recent months. Sure, island life had leaned me out nicely. Fresh chicken and fish with rice three times a day had helped wean me off some of the fried and unhealthy food we had been eating in Bali, but I was dying to get a heavy workout in and try and assess how much strength, and muscle, my time on Gili Meno had cost me.
So, having flown into Kuala Lumpur and checked into our hotel, it was time to check out the closest gym. I knew it was going to be a good one, becuase it was described in the Google Maps reviews as, “definitely a neighbourhood gym.” I was not at all prepared for the time travelling that was to follow.
Muscle Gym has been open for over 30 years and is run by a man in his 70s, Mr Rohmat Juraimi. From the moment I walked in and first saw Mr Juraimi for the first time, I knew two things. 1) Mr Juraimi used to compete.  2) This gym was the kind of place that I started this blog to write about.
Despite being in his 70s, Mr Juraimi still had the wide back and shoulders of a bodybuilder. And as soon as I spoke to him, I knew this man was a legend. I think he was happy to have a foreigner training in his gym, and he made time to come and talk to me about his gym, this travels, and his bodybuilding career.
Originally from Singapore, Mr Juraimi was indeed a former professional bodybuilder in the 1970s and 1980s. In-fact, he won the title of Mr Asia from 1973 to 1977 and the title of the World’s Best Poser in 1977. I have never heard of this title before, but I think this may be the best thing anyone has ever told me that they have won.
Mr Juraimi also told me that in the late 1970s, he competed all over the world and even competed alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Mr Universe competitions. You can check out the shot of him I found online in the Singapore Body Building Hall of Fame below.

About 30 years ago, Mr Juraimi relocated from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and opened his gym. It seems that little has changed from them to now. Many of the machines and weights still retain their 1970’s/80s feel, with square edges and moulded plastic frames. And unlike many gyms with modern equipment which is falling apart, everything here works. And if it got him into the shape like that then who can blame him for sticking with it. You can see what I mean about the styling of the gym from the cardio equipment which screams retro charm.

Everything about this gym felt like taking a step back in time, and honestly, I loved training here and chatting to Mr Juraimi. The gym is set up to train every muscle group and has almost everything you could ever hope for. The gym is pretty big and nicely spaced out.

Equipment wise, this gym has:

  • Dumbbells up to 40kgs
  • Adjustable bench
  • Flat barbell bench
  • Incline barbell bench
  • Squat rack
  • Smith machine x 2
  • Old school cables
  • Preacher curl bench
  • Easy bars
  • Hammer curl bar
  • Fixed weight easy bars
  • Pec Dec
  • T-bar row machine
  • Lat pulldown
  • Seated low row machine
  • Seated weighted row machine
  • Pull up bar
  • Hack squat machine
  • Leg press machine
  • Leg curl machine
  • Leg extension machine
  • Swiss trainer
  • Weighted crunch machine
  • Static bike
  • Manual treadmill
  • Stepper
  • Cross trainer

As well as the equipment, the gym has a little fridge from which they sell water for 1 ringgit and isotonic drinks for 2 ringgits. The gym has air conditioning and fans so it doesn’t get too hot. Gym rules are that you must have a sweat towel to train here. If you don’t bring one, you will need to rent one for 2 ringgits. (approx £0.40)

The gym also has changing rooms, which are located next to Mr Juraimi’s kitchen. Looking around you quickly realise that the gym looks like it has been set up in a home, but I do not know this for sure.

It certainly looks like Mr Juraimi has dedicated his retirement to coaching others, including many of KL’s champion bodybuilders. If you are looking for bodybuilding coaching in KL, or if you just fancy something different from your standard chain gym experience, I would strongly recommend checking this place out.

Who is this gym for? This place is mainly a local gym. And given the owner’s history, the focus here is clearly on bodybuilding. That being said, the welcome I received from the owner and the rest of the staff was very friendly and welcoming. The cardio equipment here is definitely from the 1970s, but it is lovingly cared for and fully functions. If you don’t mind training super old school then this gym is perfect for all ability levels. You may even get a few tips from Mr Juraimi, and you can’t put a price on that.

Tips: The entrance can be a bit hard to find. Look for the door for Homme Thai massage and the symbol with the hands. Muscle Gym is on the top floor, up the staircase and past the massage place. You will see the sign below on the first floor.

Nearby Hotels:

$ – Sovotel Boutique Hotel @ Uptown: From £16

$$ – Lighthouse hotel:  From £25

$$$ – Somerset Damansara Uptown: From £69