Beijing's best gyms

Work out your fitness regime at Beijing's best gyms for all budgets

A good gym is hard to find which is why we've sweated our way through the city to bring you Beijing's very best gyms, fitness centres and health clubs.


To get going, just click through by area below and we'll give you an idea of what to expect from the best gyms in the the neighbourhood – from machine time to facilities like pools and saunas – and, of course, price.


Our price guides give an overview of each gym's fee range but if our research throughout the city taught us anything it's that you shouldn't be afraid to bargain. Most prices below are marked prices and negotiable at the store. Most gyms require some haggling to get a decent membership rate so ask for available ‘promotions’ (huodong, 活动) or simply call up to make a reservation for a free trial.


You can also save money by nabbing a membership from friend leaving town (many gyms allow memberships to be transferred) or going to 58.com (Chinese-only) to find memberships at a bargain.


Got it? Click through below to start searching for the right Beijing gym for you.

As befits its place at the centre of the Beijing expat universe, Sanlitun has many accessible, affordable gyms and the same goes for gyms in Chaowai, nearby.

Chaowai

The office-heavy area around Chaoyangmen subway, south of Gongti, is home to several well-equipped gyms.

Ants fitness

Ants is at the rough-and-ready end of the spectrum but more spacious than other options in town. There’s a large hall of machines and weight equipment plus several good-sized studios for classes, which are included in the membership. It has all the standard features expected out of a gym, but is a little on the tatty side with a small changing room and very limited showering facilities. But if you’re not after anything fancy and just want to exercise, it’s got everything you need at bargain prices.

Price guide Dirt cheap for this area: 2,400RMB per year; 1,500RMB for six months.

Will’s

A smart set-up with plenty of equipment of all types, Will’s has decent changing rooms and plenty of new-fangled equipment from high-end brands Technogym, Nautilus, Life Fitness and Star Tac. There’s a boxing ring if you want to do a few rounds (though that costs extra).

To make things even easier, you can rent a locker for 200RMB a month to leave your stuff there, and membership lets you use both Beijing branches (the other one is in Chaowai Soho).

Price guide Another mid-range option: 5,000RMB per year; 3,000RMB for six months.

Sanlitun

B Active

Since opening last year, B Active’s Sanlitun Soho location has taken the neighbourhood by storm. It’s not a huge space, but the 20-or-so Life Fitness machines (treadmills, bicycles and ellipticals) are all brand spanking new and the gym is kitted out with a handful of SciX air filters throughout. They’ve even installed a hanging green wall of live plants to keep things naturally fresher. Swipe cards allow members 24-hour access.

Classes are available at an extra cost, sold in packages and conducted largely in English. Muay Thai and boxing in particular are a big part of the B Active community, due to the quality trainers. We also like that when you sign up for six months and you can pause your membership for a month; two year members can pause for two months.

Unfortunately, facilities are minimal (co-ed shower and changing area) and despite a promise of limited membership, peak hours (6-8pm) can get massively overrun. These small caveats aside, this is a top choice for the area. There is also a Chaowai SOHO branch.

Price guide 180RMB weekly, 310RMB (off peak, 11pm-11am); 540RMB per month, 360RMB (off-peak); 2,600RMB for six months, 1,820RMB (off-peak); 4,160RMB per year, 2,600RMB (off-peak). One-off club access 200RMB. 

Nirvana

Nirvana’s Sanlitun location is a towering affair spanning six massive floors. Several of the floors are crammed with well-used but perfectly functional equipment, meaning there’s never a wait for machines. This branch puts a heavy focus on yoga – standard and hot, for which there are two dedicated rooms and a specific membership fee – but also offers a selection of other courses like Les Mills, Zumba and folk dance. There's also an on-site spa (extra cost). No-frills changing rooms are spacious and clean enough. Nirvana won’t be bringing you to new planes of enlightenment, but it gets the job done.

Price guide 8,599RMB per year (yoga and gym); 4,480RMB per year (gym); 8,000RMB (yoga, 50 classes). 

Gyms are surprisingly thin on the ground in Dongzhimen and Dongcheng, but we tracked down a few good options.

Dongzhimen

Powerhouse Gym

For Dongzhimen dwellers and worker bees, the huge perk to Powerhouse used to be the pool. It’s since closed – first temporarily for renovations and now, seemingly, more permanently – so Powerhouse has lost a bit of its lustre but still remains a decent gym option for the area.

Changing rooms are nothing glamorous but certainly serviceable, while the workout space is similarly outfitted – brand-name machines (Technogym ellipticals, Life Fitness treadmills) fit snugly but not uncomfortably into the room. Outdoor basketball and tennis courts are also available (150RMB per hour) adjacent to a spacious free weights area with lots of natural light. Multiple locations available.

Price guide 4,800RMB per year; 3,500RMB for six months; 7,200RMB for two years. 

Dongcheng

E-52 Enter Total Fitness Club

E-52 is a gem of a find about two minute’s walk from Yonghegong station. While the space won’t wow you with glitzy new equipment and all the bells and whistles, it’s fitted out with 23 treadmills, a few cross trainers and bikes plus a variety of weight machines and free weights. If a boxing ring and punching bag are more your style, you can sweat it out that way. Classes like yoga, tai chi, aerobics and pilates are available, with spinning classes offered daily. There's also a ladies-only weight and stretching room.

Price guide 2,799RMB per year. *With a ‘promotion’, we were offered two extra months free.
Head to Chaoyang Park and Shuangjing for some of Beijing's best air-conditioned fitness and wellness centres.

Shuangjing

Yuppies abound in Shuangjing which, it turns out, makes it an excellent place to find serious, well-equipped gyms, as well as more basic, and cheaper, local places.

A+ Fitness

Launched by professional dancer Tony Jia, a famed salsa and cha cha dancer (according to staff at the gym at least), A+ is shaping up to be one of Shuangjing’s best gyms.

The glossy hardwood floors, clean machines, six Blueair purifiers and an abundance of workout classes make A+ a real bang for your buck. It boasts more than 30 classes per week, offering a variety of different yoga styles (hatha, Iyengar, flow, fly and more), Zumba, modern dance and marital arts-style workouts such as body combat. There’s also TRX – or Total Resistence eXercise, a form of suspension training created by former Navy Seal Randy Hetrick, which uses rope and webbing to develop strength, balance and flexibility. The 2,000sqm gym is bright, youthful, and, so far, not so busy, with only 50 customers coming through daily, which we’re sure will ramp up soon. In the mean time, everything is brand spanking new and totally pristine.

Price guide 5,000RMB per year; 800RMB per month; 100RMB for single entry pass.

Chaoyang Park

Head to Chaoyang for a gym with extra oxygen. Now that's swank. 

Park Avenue Wellness Center

You can taste the change in air quality on walking into Park Avenue Wellness Center. Besides 12 Broad Air purifiers and a freshair filtration system, they pump extra oxygen into the gym with a generator. These guys take air quality pretty damn seriously. Of all the gyms we visited, you’re likely to get the most out of your lungs here.

The workout area is surprisingly light and cheery, unlike most basement gyms, and it’s stacked, but not crammed, with every kind of Technogym machine you could want. In the last year, they’ve opened a new, gorgeous personal training room and there’s also a dedicated Total Resistance eXercise (TRX) room. Membership includes all classes, including hot yoga courses, which are often priced separately. There's also a sauna and a 25-metre pool with a small balcony for laying out during the warmer months.

Price guide 2,000RMB per month; 9,600RMB per year; 6,720RMB for six months; 17,600RMB for two years. 9,680RMB for 50 times; 16,000RMB for 100 times. You can pause your membership when you go out of town for over two weeks (a total duration of three months per year).

CBD

Beijing's Central Business District delivers just what you'd expect: well-managed chain gyms, at CBD prices.

Alexander Health Club

This large, upmarket gym spreads out over three floors in Central Park. It boasts a heated swimming pool and a wide range of machines, including 20 Technogym treadmills, step and rowing machines and cross trainers. If you prefer pumping iron, there’s a separate weights room with a variety of free weights and machines.

Alexander also offers an extensive range of classes, with an interesting focus on dance. From folk dancing to ballet, K-pop and hip-hop, they’ve got every base covered. Bust a move! Sauna, squash court, swimming pool, tennis court.

Price guide 15,500RMB per year, 7,500RMB off-peak (Mon-Fri); 10,500RMB for 70 times.

Guomao

Similarly to the CBD, gyms in Guomao tend to be among Beijing's upper crust, with plenty of high-quality equipment on offer.

Powerhouse Gym

Just over two years old and located in the basement of the swanky IFC building, this Powerhouse branch holds its own as an excellent choice for a gym. The atmosphere’s friendly and accessible, there are individual TVs on the treadmills and very friendly staff.

Unlike many basement locations that can feel dingy and cramped. Equipment, like the Life Fitness treadmills and Star Trac weight machines, still appears brand new. There’s nearly 50 machines and, unless you’ve come at lunchtime or just after office hours, it’s easy enough to find a free one. Changing rooms are perhaps the crown jewel here, with sleek blonde wood and absolutely massive showerheads. The whole place is pretty plush.


Price guide 4,699RMB per year; 880RMB per month; 6,599RMB for two years; 1800RMB for 20 times.

Kerry Sports Beijing

Kerry Sports Beijing is as good as working out gets – with prices to match. The 7,000sqm space boasts a tricked-out collection, over 90 pieces strong, of Life Fitness equipment; a spacious five-lane, 35-metre indoor swimming pool plus a children’s pool, a Jacuzzi and a plunge pool; a 220-metre outdoor track on the rooftop terrace; and a multi-function court that converts into an NBA-compliant basketball court to full-sized specs.

Group classes, which are included in the membership, focus primarily on yoga and pilates, with a few types of dance and twice-a-week spin sessions. Speciality classes led by ‘star coaches’ cost extra for members (150RMB) but are open to the public (200RMB). Perks Members get discounts like 20 percent off court rentals and Kerry Hotel’s restaurants. The Adventure Zone – with its vertical-drop slides, climbing apparatus and ball pool – keeps your kids occupied while you’re hitting the weights.

Price guide 25,000RMB per year; 42,000RMB per year (couple).

Le Wellness

Le Wellness is a tenth-floor complex spread out over two stories, with two main fitness rooms housing cardio equipment and weight machines. The rest of the impressive space is devoted to smaller classrooms and a top-quality changing facility. Private showers, designer toiletries and immaculate facilities make it feel more like a spa than a gym locker room.

Le Wellness also offers Les Mills courses, like Body Pump and Body Combat – choreographed exercise-to-music classes straight from the heart of New Zealand and, unusually, Korean dance classes (seriously, we’ve never seen those offered). Zhongguancun location available.

Price guide 6,888RMB per year, 5,888RMB if you only go for 4 days a week; 888RMB per month.

Surmont Fitness Club

We did a double take when told how much a yearly membership at this gym costs – 799RMB. This basement gym is not huge (only 16 treadmills, for example), but has everything you need, with stretching space to spare, and a large studio for classes that range from belly dance to yoga.

Both the classroom and central workout space are clean, bright and well kept. There’s no pool or spinning room, however, and while the changing room is kept clean, it’s a tad on the cramped side. Everything’s open, old school and a bit rusty. But at these membership prices, it’s no worse than most mid-tier gyms, and shockingly good value.

Price guide 799RMB per year; 299RMB per month.

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