Location: Cebu Cuty Sports Complex, Cebu Hallmark Hotel, 179 R.R Landon Street, Osmeña Blvd, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu
Opening hours: 9am to 8pm
Price: 120 pesos (20 pesos for entry to the sports complex and 100 pesos for entry to the gym)
Review: Having flown out of Manila, we arrived in Cebu City to start our exploration of the Philippines! After a hectic few days in the capital city, it was nice to get to somewhere a little less chaotic and more chilled.
Having spent the day taking in some of the sights of the city, like the old churches and the cities fort, it came time to try and find a gym. Have looked around online for gyms in Cebu City, it turned out that there are a number of gyms to choose from, from high end sports clubs to the local facilities designed for the Filipino community. As I have often stated before, I much prefer finding the local places to train as they way more character that the somewhat sterile chain gyms. As such, I decided to head the Cebu City Sports Complex and try the local government gym for my first workout in Cebu City.
As the name suggests, Cebu City Sports Complex is a public sports complex, akin to the community leisure centres we have in the UK. After paying a 20 pesos fee to enter the sports complex, you enter what looks like a massive stadium, with stadium seating built around an oval shaped running track. When I got there at about 6pm, the running track was full of locals of all ages, walking or jogging around the track at varying speeds.
Around the side of the track, a number of group classes were taking place for things like martial arts or street dancing. Slightly further down were a number of basketball courts where groups of local kids practised basketball drills.
The gym is located under the stadium seating on the left hand side of the track, set off of a main corridor with a number rooms on either side. The machines and weights are old, but functional, and there was plenty of machines or free weights to choose from.
This gym has:
- Dumbbells up to 40kg
- Adjustable benches
- Flat barbell bench
- Incline barbell bench
- Decline barbell bench
- Squat rack
- Smith machine
- Chest press machine
- Chest fly / reverse fly machine
- Leg press
- Hack squat machine
- Abs machines
- Pull up bars / dips
The atmosphere in the gym was friendly and there were guys and girls training there together. The gym is made up free weights and weight machines but there is no cardio equipment here. There is a running track outside if you feel the need for some running, or you want to warm up with some sprints or gentle jogging.
There are also a number of other sports classes taking place in the complex to get your daily workout. There is a large swimming pool at the back, as well as a boxing gym, and various street dancing classes. Check out the websites for details of these classes.
There are no supplements, or equipment, for sale here so make sure you bring a protein shake with you for when you finish your workout.
Who is this gym suitable for? Whilst the gym is basic, it has everything you need for a good workout, including heavy dumbbells and olympic bars. Whilst I was there, the gym was being used exclusively by local Filipinos, and there were lots of women training here too. In-fact, the whole stadium and the various activities, seemed to have a pretty good gender balance. It seems like the whole community in Cebu make use of these facilities. As such, the gym presents as a safe place for backpackers of either sex and all ability levels.
Cebu City is still a fairly large city and care should be taken by everyone if walking alone at night. Try to avoid showing flashy accessories, or expensive mobile phones, in the street and stay to the main lit walkways where ever possible.
Tips: Whilst there was a water fountain in the gym, there were no spare cups or bottles to use. Make sure you bring a water bottle with you as, whilst there are fans, it still gets pretty hot in the gym. So bring a sweat towel too!