Malaysia – All Fit Express, Sandakan

Location: All Fit Express, 90000 Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia
Google maps: Click here
Web: Facebook
Opening hours:  12pm until 10pm
Price – 20 riggits (approx £4)

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: Sandakan really is an amazing place. Set on the northern side of Malaysian Borneo, this area is home to huge areas of virgin jungle, as well as monkeys of all kinds and even sun bears! This area contains both the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centrethe Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary and the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC).

So having spent the day looking at monkeys, evening time eventually came, which meant it was time to start google fishing for gyms in Sandakan. From my initial searches using the imaginative search term, “gyms in Sandakan” I identified two possibles. The first was a sports centre which was kind of far out of town. The other was called All Fit Express, and was located on a strange half-empty industrial park close to my hotel. A lot of Sandakan seems to be made up of half-abandoned industrials areas. It’s a pretty strange place to be honest.
As it turned out, All Fit Express was actually a really good gym, made up of a mix of great machines, mid-range free weights and functional strength equipment, including a large A frame and even a few TRX sets. I hadn’t used the TRX in ages and it felt great to be able to get in a few decent abs workouts.
The only weird thing about this gym was that it always seemed to be empty. On one hand this was great for getting a workout in without having to wait for equipment. On the other, it made it a little bit of a creepy place to train.
The gym is pretty big and set out over three floors. The ground floor is the reception area, and the first floor contains the free weights, punch bag, weight machines and TRX. The top floor contains the changing rooms, studio space and cardio equipment. The gym is well equipped and contains:
  • Dumbbells up to 70 lbs
  • Adjustable benches
  • Flat barbell bench
  • Incline barbell bench
  • Olympic bars
  • Squat rack
  • Smith machine
  • Cables
  • Easy bar
  • Preacher curl bench
  • Hammer curl bar
  • Pull up / dips bar
  • Deadlift machine
  • Chest fly machine
  • Chest press machine
  • Punch bag
  • Kick pads and focus mitts
  • A frame and TRX.
  • Studio
  • Cardio floor
  • Yoga mats
  • Kettle bells
  • Bosu ball
  • Swiss balls
  • Ab rollers
  • Lockers
  • Changing rooms
  • Sauna and steam room (not working)
The gym is air conditioned, so you don’t sweat too much which is nice. A lot of time and thought have obviously gone into setting this place up, and I actually really liked the mix of equipment that they had.
The reception downstairs sold water and isotonic drinks, as well as some equipment such as gloves, towels and hand wraps. The gym didn’t sell supplements, so you will need to remember to bring your own if you want a post workout protein shake.
The changing rooms on the second floor were clean, with showers, lockers and even hair dryers. Sadly, the sauna was not working when I visited, but hopefully this will be fixed in the future.
Who is this gym for? Honestly, the set up in this gym is pretty good and the weight machines and cardio equipment are all in good condition. I cannot comment on the atmosphere here because there didn’t seem to be one. If you are looking to use the gym to be social, then this gym probably isn’t for you, but if you just want a decent workout in a clean and relatively new gym then search no more.
Whilst the gyms seemed safe, professional and clean, the industrial park it is located on is a little isolated from other things. Lone female travellers may want to ensure that they have their plans on getting back to their hotel sorted, to avoid wandering the industrial estate looking for a taxi. That being said, I found Malaysia to be a very safe place in general.
Tips: It is kind of hard to get around in Sandakan to without a car. The town seems to have no uber or grab services yet, and local taxis seem to be scarce and expensive. You can rent a car at the airport, which will work out much cheaper than taxis if you intend on going to a couple of locations. The gym does have parking outside which makes it a little more accessible.

Nearby Hotels:

$ – Benaria Hotel: From £15

$$ – D North Star Hotel: From £24

$$$ – My little homestay: From £60