Wondering if Taipei has any decent gyms? Wondering which commercial gym is the best?
I tried a ton of gyms in Taipei, and I figured there wasn’t much information about them online, so hopefully this article will fill the void.
Whether you’re planning to come to Taipei and need somewhere to work-out, or if you need to switch gyms for some reason, this article is for you.
To start off, Taipei is has a population of 2.7 million people.
That’s a lot of freakin’ people.
In fact, Taiwan is the 17th most densely populated country in the world.
So what does this have to do with gyms in Taipei?
That’s right. They can be crowded as hell.
The Taipei gyms consist of commercial chains, small privately owned gyms, and government owned sports-centers.
Unfortunately, Taiwan doesn’t have many gyms, mainly due to the size requirements, and the crazy expensive real estate in city centers.
Government owned sports centers are usually super-cheap, like 50 TWD for a session or less.
Their sponsored by the government and include a bunch of facilities, like swimming pool, basketball, tennis, rock-climbing and what not.
I feel like they have every type of sport besides weight-lifting!
But the equipment is usually sub-par, and the cheap entry fee brings in millions of people, mostly students.
Trying to work out in a crowded gym where you have to wait in line for 20 minutes for the equipment is pretty much a waste of time.
Generally, I don’t like the sports centers because they have so many people and so few weights.
But if you can get in before the crowd it can be worth it.
I prefer gyms that have plenty of barbells, it’s something that is lacking in most commercial gyms.
Most gyms in Taipei have a million cardio machines and like two dumbbells.
Still working out in Taipei isn’t a lost cause, there are some other solutions.
There are two main commercial gyms in Taiwan; World Gym and Fitness Factory.
I tried both.
You can find other smaller chains, but these are the two biggest companies.
With both you can sign on for a free trial.
To start the trial you need to give a deposit which they’ll refund when the trial expires.
But you need a certain type of debit card.
Basically it has to have a VISA or MASTERCARD logo on it.
World Gym – for some reason – always has a ton of spinning disco-lights inside, making for a very dizzy experience.
Their equipment is okay; tons of cardio machines, some barbells, and a couple squat racks.
What I liked about World Gym is some chains have a boxing ring where you can practice sparring and stuff.
Besides that, it’s a bit expensive, and I think their sales reps are overly aggressive.
I wasn’t a fan.
And that brings us to another commercial gym, Fitness Factory.
Fitness Factory is a more normal commercial gym (no disco lights!) but they have less chains, there are only two in Taipei City.
You’ll find one in Danshui a walk up from World Gym.
Personally, I prefer Fitness Factory, their equipment is decent (more barbells) and it’s less stressful.
I felt the quality of equipment in Fitness Factory is better than World Gym.
Either gym will get pretty crowded in peak hours (6pm – 9 pm) and you’ll have to work in with people if you don’t have much time.
But if you can go earlier, it’s usually dead, so you can work out in peace.
Getting a Membership:
Getting a membership with either gym is usually pretty simple, but you’ll have to sit down and do a ton of paper work.
And sometimes it’s difficult to find someone that speaks English.
Most gyms will let you sign-on with a free trial but you have to leave a deposit…
And they’ll refund that deposit after like a month.
And they’ll wire the money to you which means you need a specific bank.
If you don’t have a bank account that works with their system you have to make a new bank account, have them transfer the money there, and finally withdraw it.
Just to get your deposit back.
Fitness Factory is usually around 1200 TWD a month and World Gym is a bit more expensive.
But there are different types of memberships you can look into.
Not Recommended for Visitors:
Keep in mind, if you’re a visitor in Taiwan, it will be difficult to get a gym membership.
Because you need a bank card with a VISA and MASTERCARD logo and you can’t get that type of card unless you have an ARC (Alien Resident Card).
And you can’t get that an ARC unless you either study or work in Taiwan.
So there are a lot of little details you’ll have to work out when signing on for the first time.
Or if you have a credit card you can use that, which will make things easier.
You’ll also need to bring your passport or some type of ID (Driver’s license, etc).
Usually you’ll have to sign on for at least a year, so it’s not worth it if you’re visiting for a few months.
But once you get done with the initial hassle, it’s smooth sailing and you don’t have to deal with paperwork again (until you renew).
Just show them your card and you’re good to go.
For visitors who can’t dedicate a year to a membership, cash gyms are your best option.
Unfortunately there aren’t many decent cash-based gyms where you can just pay for each session in Taipei.
There’s one in Danshui I used to go to, which is basically a hole in the wall, but it has enough equipment to get some gains.
Other than that one, there are the sports centers, and a few random small ones here and there.
It’s kind of annoying there aren’t many good cash-based gyms, but I guess that’s just the way it is.
For visitors, the government sport centers will be your best option, as they’re cheap and don’t require a monthly membership.
Unfortunately Taiwan isn’t as into fitness as most other countries.
Their idea of fitness is being as skinny as possible, and for the girls, that means practically anorexic.
It’s a little difficult to have proper body-building sessions in Taiwan.
Supplements are hard to get too, and generally expensive.
But that doesn’t stop some people.
You’ll find a lot of body builders here, at least they show up in gyms from time to time.
Building an impressive physique is a little more challenging in Taiwan but it’s doable.
If you have to choose a commercial gym here, I would go with Fitness Factory.
I’v been with them for 2 years and I’m quite happy with their service.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article about gyms in Taipei.
Let me know if you have any questions!