Location: EJ Fitness Gym, Osmena Bldg, Pelaez Corner Colon St., Cebu City, 6000 Cebu
Google maps: Click here
Web: Click here
Opening hours: Mon to Sat 6am to 9pm
Price: 50 pesos (Approx 0.80p)
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: On my second night in Cebu City, I decided to try another one of the local gyms in the area close to my hotel. What I found was one of the craziest, and most colourful, run down local gyms that I have come across so far on my travels.
The gym was located in an area I had walked through during the day. It had seemed like any other, filled with small local shops and restaurants grilling somewhat dubious meat kebabs over homemade BBQs. By the time I headed back to the gym at about 6.30pm that night however, it was a very different story.
The streets were lit up by neon lights, illuminating the blacked out windows of the various “bikini bars” that filled the street. Bored looking women in revealing outfits sat outside some of these bars and music blared through their sealed doorways. Its clear that, whatever is going on inside these places, it is to be kept away from the public’s gaze. As you might expect from a gym in this area, EJ Fitness was a run down sweat box of a gym, complete with small shrine and some of the worst toilets in Cebu. The gym was painted bright colours and looked like it was based in the upper floors of someone’s home.
Despite all these negatives, the gym has a squat rack and heavy dumbbells, so all is just about forgiven. I managed to get a pretty good workout here, continuing on with my push/pull full body workout routine that I have been doing for the last 8 weeks or so. One benefit I have noticed from this workout is that bodyweight exercises have become much easier. Where I used to struggle to do 8 pull ups, I can now easily do 4 or 5 sets of 8 before my arms start to fatigue. Since I had finally found a squat rack however, my heavy compound movement of the day was squats. I managed to get up to 110kg for 6 sets of 8 reps which I was happy with given that I hadn’t managed to do squats for a couple of weeks.In addition to the squat rack, this gym had:
- Dumbbells up to 50kg
- Adjustable benches
- Flat barbell bench
- Incline barbell bench
- Decline barbell bench
- Squat rack
- Pull up bar
- T bar row machine
- Lat pulldown
- Chest press machine
- Chest fly machine
- Reverse fly machine
- Shoulder press machine
- Hack squat machine
- Leg press machine
There was also some antiquated cardio equipment including a static bike and a manual treadmill, which operated without electricity, in the corner of the gym. It would be very difficult to get a decent cardio workout in this gym, given the equipment that they had. You can check it out in the photos below.
Whilst the gym is kind of basic, it does have lockers and even a shower. It also sells water, but the price per bottle fluctuated between 5 and 15 pesos depending upon which member of staff was serving me. Its only a small thing, but it did make me feel like I was being ripped off and left a nasty taste in my mouth about training here, to go along with the horrific smell in my nose from the toilets.
The gym does have an open front, with grates guarding the windows down to the streets below. There are also fans, but no air conditioning, which means it does get very hot. Don’t even think about finding wifi here either.
Who is this gym for? When I was here this gym was full of Filipino men, most of whom were swaggering around shirtless and flexing in the mirror. It wasn’t a hostile atmosphere for me, but it was far from a western standard professional gym set up. Given the location, and the overall state of the gym, I would probably only recommend this place to gym-hardened male gym goers. I wouldn’t advise lone female travellers to try this gym however. Instead, you can check out the other gym in Cebu City here.
Tips: It was seriously hot inside this gym. I know I have said other gyms have been hot, but this place was roasting, so you need to bring a sweat towel as they don’t offer them here.
$ – USDA Dormitory Hotel: From £14
$$ – Hotel De Mercedes: From £20
$$$ – Palm Grass: From £26