Philippines – Muscle City Gym, Manila

Location: Muscle City Gym464 2nd Floor Rizal Ave, Manila. (Opposite Carriedo Station)
Goggle mapsClick here
Opening hours: 8am to 9pm
Price: One hour is 40 pesos
1.5 – 2 hour is 60 pesos

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: Manila is a crazy city. Chaotic and vast, it can be an overbearing place when you first touch down. It’s also a very different place to the rest of south-east Asia. Gone are the familiar temples, monks and tuk-tuks. In their place, you find churches, priests and the charmingly homemade trikes.It is also a city in which you really need to keep your wits about you. Petty crime such as snatch thefts and pickpocketing is rife and you should try and avoid having your phone out in public as much as possible. If you are heading to a gym, try and figure out where you are going as best as possible and if you need to check google maps, do so in an area away from the road and preferably with your back to something, such as a wall or doorway.

It all sounds a bit dramatic, but a little common sense will keep you safe. I had no issues in the three days that I stayed here but there are plenty of accounts of people falling foul of local criminals, so be careful.  Hopefully, the guide below and this website, will help you find a good gym in Manila.

Of all the gyms I found in Manila, Muscle City Gym was probably the best equipped and most professional. Strangely, it was also much better value than some of the other places that I trained. It is a little hard to find at first, so check out the tips section below for how to find the entrance.

The gym is air-conditioned and very well equipped for what you will find in Manila. All the equipment has plastic wrap to keep it clean and there is a large open area in the middle for classes or MMA lessons. This gym has:

  • Dumbells unto 50kg
  • Adjustable benches
  • Flat barbell bench (non-olympic)
  • Incline barbell bench (non-olympic)
  • Decline barbell bench (non-olympic)
  • Squat rack
  • Easy bars
  • Hammer curl bar
  • Preacher curl bench
  • Dips / leg raise platform
  • Cables
  • Smith machine
  • Chest fly machine
  • Lat pulldown machine
  • Seated low row machine
  • Chest press machine
  • T-bar row machine
  • Leg press machine
  • Leg extension machine
  • Leg curl machine
  • Seated Row machine
  • Pull up bars
  • Treadmill
  • Static bike
  • Swiss balls
  • Medicine balls
  • Battle rope
  • Speed bag
  • Punch bags x 2
  • Padded floor for MMA classes
The cardio equipment is a little old, but still functional and there is plenty of new style equipment to keep you entertained. Thankfully the dumbbells go to heavy and there are plenty of plates which mean you can go as heavy as you like. The only issue is that the bars on the benches are not the olympic kind you find in gyms in the UK, but rather than kind that you find in home gyms. So watch out when you are reracking the weights to avoid pinching your hands.
The gym also offers Zumba and Yoga lessons, which cost 50 pesos on a walk-in basis. Personal training is also offered alongside MMA lessons and these cost 250 pesos per hour.
As well as cold drinks and water this gym also sells supplements such as whey protein, BCAAs and creatine. It can be hard to find supplements in the Philippines, so if you are heading out to islands you may want to consider stocking up here before you head out. Once you leave the major cities the chances are you won’t find many other options.

Who is this gym for? The location of this gym means that single female travellers may want to consider taking a grab taxi rather than walking, as you have to walk through the underpass which contains the local market. Also, you may want to consider training before dark if you want to be extra careful, although I didn’t have any problems myself.Once inside the gym, its a different story. I saw plenty of Filipinas training here and the atmosphere is professional. The gym is clean and cool thanks to the AC and their wifi is pretty good too. As such, I would say that the gym is suitable for all ability levels and both sexes, just take care in the area in which it is based.Tips: The location of this gym is a little off on google maps, so use these tips to find it:

  • The gym is on the first floor of a building opposite Carriedo Station metro station.
  • Look for the stairs leading up to the station platform.
  • With these in front of you, it should be on your left.
  • Look for the banner hanging on the first floor of the building to confirm you are in the right place. It is not the entrance nearest to the corner, but the next one along.
  • The entrance you are looking for is the one with a double set of escalators which don’t seem to work. Around the entrance are loads of shops selling phone accessories and other bits and bobs.
  • Go up the escalators and head back around to the left. The gym entrance is first right hand turning, down between two shuttered sets of shop fronts, so shown above.

If you still can’t find it, you can ask one of the local shop keepers, using the international signal for the gym, namely air bicep curls.

Nearby Hotels:

$ – Hotel Sogo Recto: From £15

$$ – Hotel Paradis: From £20

$$$ – Lido de Paris Hotel: From £30