Monday, May 9, 2011

Finding a Gym in Ukraine

Gyms are all over the place in Ukraine, usually a short walk from nearly any residential neighborhood. In my experience, Ukrainian gyms can be divided into three categories:
  1. Inexpensive, Soviet-era "proletariat" gyms with old equipment, and semi-commercial gyms at local schools. A single visit may cost up to $2, and monthly passes may or may not exist. Classes like aerobics, shaping, yoga, and martial arts may or may not be available. Usually no Internet presence.
  2. Middle-to-upper-class gyms with prices from $30 to $80/mo. (Kiev) depending on how often you intend. Good, modern equipment, ventilation, music, protein drinks, lockers, shower, etc. Some have fitness rooms for aerobics, pilates, yoga, etc. etc. Easy to find online.
  3. Upper-crust fitness clubs with high prices and a wide variety of fitness and wellness activities. Not hard to find online.
My experience is with categories #1 and #2. Currently I visit Stimul Gym in Podol. It has a lot of equipment, in places a bit too tightly packed. The TVs in the rooms show fashion models, and the music is usually electronic and energetic, but not masculine enough. This is a bit annoying.

To find gyms in your city, do a search on "спортзал" ("gym") and the name of the city in Ukrainian or Russian. The registration procedure is very straightforward, and you do not have to commit to months at a time. You can come in, register, and immediately do a workout. Most gyms expect you to bring a second pair of shoes for wearing in the gym.

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