Taiwan – 臺北市中正運動中心 CK, Taipei

Location: CKS Sports Centre, 100, Taipei City, Zhongzheng District, 信義路一段1號
Google maps: Click here
Tel: 02 2396 3358
Opening hours: 6am to 10pm
Price: 50,000 for 60 minutes / 60,000 for 90 minutes

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: Finding a gym in Taipei was much more difficult than I thought it was going to be. Having run my standard “gym Taipei” google search, I saw that there were plenty of gyms in my area to choose from. Having done the initial research, I left my hostel to head to the nearest gym.
What I had failed to realise is that it was a Saturday and the gym I wanted to train at had shut at 4pm. The next gym that I went to refused to sell me a day pass and the second turned out to be a gym studio that I would not be able to train in without paying a PT for a session. The third was an MMA gym which had no hours on its listing but also turned out to be shut. This was one of the experiences that prompted me to write an article on gyms to avoid in Taiwan. You can read that article here.
All of this was happening whilst my pre-workout coursed through my veins, the rain was coming down hard and my dinner plans with my new Malaysian friend were rapidly approaching.
Eventually, after having jogged for about half an hour in the rain, I came across a local government gym that was open. Interestingly, the gyms in Taiwan charge by time, rather than by access. That was the same in this gym, which charged 50,000 dollars for 60 minutes or 60,000 dollars for 90 minutes. You pay for your entrance at the reception desk on the ground floor and are given a swipe-card to access the gym. This card records the time you enter the gym and there is a little machine at the side which tells you how long you have left. I guess that’s one way to stop you spending too long on your phone between sets.
Like everything in Taiwan so far, this gym was professional, clean and modern. The equipment is not the newest but it does the job. The dumbbells went up to 50kg, which was more than enough for me and they had plenty of 20kg and 25kg plates. The gym was huge and set out over one floor, with a tonne of cardio equipment if you are that way inclined. It has:
  • Dumbbells up to 50kg
  • Adjustable benches
  • Flat barbell bench
  • Incline barbell bench
  • Decline barbell bench
  • Olympic bars
  • Squat racks x 2
  • Cables x 2
  • Smith machines x 2
  • Preacher curl bench
  • Dips/ pull up bar
  • Lat pulldown
  • Seated low row
  • Chest press machine
  • Pec dec
  • Lower back extension
  • Leg press
  • Leg extension
  • Leg curl
  • Calf raise machine
  • Various Abs machines
  • Mats
  • Swiss balls
The gym was air conditioned and had a small matted area for stretching and training abs. The gym is set in a public sports complex and whilst I was walking around I also saw basketball, tennis and badminton courts. Outside the entrance, a group of local teenagers were practising break dancing. Unlike the UK, this was not at all intimidating and they even smiled at me as I walked past.
Finally, located on the ground floor by the reception desk there is a pretty decent little sports shop, which sells everything from gloves to clothes and trainers. So if you are looking for any gym kit then this might of use to you.
Who is this gym for? – This is pretty easy. The Taiwanese are an incredibly kind, and polite, people so I do not see any issue with recommending this place to anyone. Taiwan is also a very safe country, so there is no issue with walking to or from the gym in the evening either. Whilst I was here, I saw people of all abilities as well as lots of women training here too. This was definitely a gym for local people, but the atmosphere was friendly enough, even if everyone kinda kept their distance from me.
Tips: Bring a sweat towel with you or you will have to buy one from the shop as having one is a condition of entrance. I ended up with a pink one, which cost me 50,000 dollars. I totally rocked it though.
Nearby Hotels:

$ – Backpacker’s Inn Taipei: From £15 

$$ – Many Flowers Business Hotel: From £25

$$$ – Taipei Sunny Hostel: From £30