Malaysia – New York Fitness, Kota Kinabalu

Location: New York Fitness, Plaza 333, 89500 Penampang, Sabah, Malaysia
Google maps:Click here
Opening hours: Open 24 hours
Price: 75 ringgits for 6 passes (approx £15 for 6 passes)

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: Who would have thought that Kota Kinabalu would have been home to so many amazing gyms? Both gyms I had visited so far had been amazing and New York Fitness didn’t let me down. This was the last of the gyms in Kota Kinabalu that I got to try and I was even invited to come and review the gym as a blogger.
Whilst arranging my visit, I corresponded with Billy, the assistant manager and head trainer at New York Fitness, who are ahead of the game when it comes to social media and the growing importance of having an online presence. When I arrived, he was waiting for me and kindly gave me a tour of the gym and told me a little about the history of the place. Billy told me that the gym had been open for about 9 months and that their client membership was made up of about 50% male and female clients. He told me that over the last 18 months the fitness seen had really started to take off and a number of gyms had opened in the local area.
New York Fitness was a large, professional gym with a great selection of free weights, machines and high end cardio equipment. The gym is air-conditioned and there is a free water fountain for members to use. As well as the ground floor of the gym which hosts the cardio equipment and the free weights and machines, there is also a studio space on the lower ground floor of the gym and several workout areas above the main floor, accessible by several sets of stairs from the main gym area. There is also an outside space where you can relax or get some fresh air outside.
On the top floor of the gym there is also a VIP area with TV, comfortable seating, a private training room and even massage chairs. This area is reserved for customers who purchase a years membership to the gym.
This gym has:
  • Dumbbells up to 50kg
  • Adjustable benches
  • Flat barbell bench
  • Incline barbell bench
  • Decline barbell bench
  • Squat rack
  • Olympic bars
  • Cables
  • Smith machine
  • Easy bars
  • Preacher curl bench
  • Leg press machine
  • Leg extension machine
  • Leg curl machine
  • Seated low row
  • Lat pulldown
  • Chest fly / rear delt machine
  • Chest press machine
  • Incline chest press machine
  • Lower back extension platform
  • Pull up / dips bar
  • Leg raise platform
  • Kettle bells
  • Swiss balls
  • Yoga mats
  • Medicine balls
  • Treadmills
  • Static bikes
  • Table tennis table
  • Studio space
  • Changing rooms
  • Lockers
  • Sauna
After my workout, I managed to get chatting to one of the local guys training in the gym. His name was Keith and he is on the far right. He seemed to personify the attitudes of many young Malaysians who are putting new emphasis
on obtaining a muscular physique and living a fitness conscious lifestyle. Dressed in compression gear, and a beanie, and with his flawless English, chatting to him was much like chatting with any of my gym group from back home. Except his English was probably better. I’m looking at you Galo.
Keith told me that over the last few years, Borneo has seen a rise in fitness culture, with the introduction of things like crossfit and MMA gyms to the Kota Kinabalu fitness scene. He also told me that number of fitness and supplement shops had also opened around Kota Kinabalu, including one in the 333 Plaza. It seems that south east Asia is slowly catching up with Europe and the US when it comes to fitness culture. You can check out Keith’s Instagram account here, and it is well worth a follow!
Training in New York Fitness it became apparent that this gym had the one thing that so many other gyms all over the south east Asia lacked: atmosphere. Looking around the gym, I could see groups of young Malaysians training together, laughing at each others jokes or spotting each other through a last set. Chatting to the guys here, it was pretty clear to me that if I was to relocate to Kota Kinabalu, this is where I would choose to train. You can see more of this gym on their instagram account here or follow them at @newyorkfitness333.
Who is this gym for? The gym was a clean, professional and safe environment with a great atmosphere. I found the locals to be really friendly and there were an equal mix of male and female members.
Sadly, the gym doesn’t sell individual day passes, but rather it sells a set of six passes for 75 ringgits. This is probably worth it if you are going to be in Kota Kinabalu for at least a week or longer. As such, the gym is perhaps more suited for those spending more than a few days in Kota Kinabalu, either working or living in the area. However, if you don’t mind paying for the set of day passes, or will be in Kota Kinabalu longer, I would highly recommend this gym to everyone!

Tips: This gym is a little far from the backpacker area of town, but Plaza 333 does have a lot of restaurants, bars and shops etc. As the gym has clean changing rooms with showers, it’s easy enough to clean up after your workout and walk somewhere nice for dinner. You can use UBER or Grab to get from the centre of town for about £2 or £3.

Nearby Hotels:

$ – LKH Motel: From £15

$$ – Eminent Hotel: From £25

$$$ – Makmoor: From £55