Revised April 2017.
The fitness industry in Thailand was in its infancy when I first arrived here 10 years ago, but it has matured into a strong scene now with some first-class fitness training available to expats and locals.
Here’s my guide to the main gym and health club options in Bangkok.
The vision at BASE was to bring a fitness studio to Bangkok that would rival anything found in top international fitness cities such as New York and London.
BASE combines HIIT and strength training for the best possible results in burning fat and building muscle.
BASE uses a science and data-driven approach to your results that leaves nothing to chance. They have an industry-leading InBody machine which accurately details your body fat and muscle mass percentage. BASE also offer a monthly fitness assessment called BASELINE for all of their group class and personal training clients that shows how your cardio and strength is improving.
With this information the coaches at BASE can accurately see how your training and nutrition is affecting your body and we can make adjustments along the way to ensure your making steps towards your goals.
For more information, contact BASE.
WE Fitness Society
This gym chain has replaced California Wow as the loud, brash player on Bangkok’s fitness market. Their marketing strategy has had them driving trucks of young models around the city dancing to pumping house music, screaming for attention. I’m all for a bit of eye candy to liven up Bangkok’s traffic so they get a thumbs up from me on this point alone.
Other than driving models round the city, they also have a network of 3 fitness centres: Esplanade Ratchada, Ekkamai near the BTS and Ratchayotin up near Chatuchak. The machines and free weights are well equipped so if you’re looking to do your own training at a budget price, check them out. They also have classes and personal training available for Powerplate, kickboxing, antigravity yoga, Pilates and Synergy 360. Membership includes access to all branches.
True Fitness boast 2 clubs in prime locations in Bangkok – one at Asoke in Exchange Tower, the other at CentralWorld. True Fitness looks and feels like another chain gym – machines, treadmills, free weights, spin classes etc. If this is what you’re looking for then True is a good option. They’ve made an attempt at adding some more progressive pieces of kit such as TRX and Vipr but they are usually left unused.
This fitness chain powerhouse from the UK touched down in Asia with a Singapore branch recently and have just opened their first club in Bangkok at Empire Tower, Sathorn. They have quite a health club vibe with salt rooms, sleep pods (I could do with one of these) and fancy showers. They also have all the latest, expensive machines that even count your reps. This kind of thing isn’t for me but if you want a smart, plush gym where you can chill as well as train then this is definitely worth visiting. The coolest thing I haven’t mentioned? They have a climbing wall!
The world’s biggest fitness chain have a network of 25 fitness clubs throughout Bangkok. Some of their branches are older gyms with all your standard, traditional gear, whereas the newer gyms such as the one at Siam Paragon and Terminal 21 have a lot of newer equipment and kit such as TRX, kettlebells etc.
Fitness First offer a broad range of high-quality gym equipment imported from abroad. You can also use your international membership (Singapore and UK, to name a few other countries where they have a presence) to access their gyms. They offer a 3-day free pass at reception on enquiry or through their website.
On my last update they had 9 branches, now they only have one branch near Silom. You can get a free pass on their website so check them out if you’re round that way.
There are now 4 Crossfit boxes in Bangkok: Crossfit Arena, Crossfit BK, Crossfit 10500 and Training Ground.
I would class Training Ground as the premier Crossfit in Bangkok – they’ve a big warehouse walking distance from Phra Khanong BTS.
A few years ago I completed my Level 1 Crossfit Certification in Seoul, at BASE we implement some Crossfit techniques into our coaching, such as gymnastics, calisthenics, barbell lifting and high intensity interval training with recorded, measured progress. I have mixed feelings about Crossfit overall but I think there are some great things about it. I incorporate the parts of Crossfit that I feel have the most value and would most benefit my suitable clients. Contact BASE for more information on this.
Royal Bangkok Sports Club (RBSC)
Spacious, well located and with a retro vibe, RBSC offers a huge array of sports. They have a 50 metre Olympic pool, 16 tennis courts, driving range with golf course and an indoor sports hall with basketball court, to name a few.
Peter Twist not only has a cool name, but he’s an innovator of the functional fitness scene and founder of Twist Conditioning. This Canada based brand opened their Bangkok branch in October ’13 and offers personal and group training. Their aim is to build ‘Smart Muscle’ using unstable surfaces, BOSU, balance boards, Viprs as well as some more traditional strength equipment such as dumbbells and barbells. They were originally located in Silom but have relocated to Activ Parc, next to Chidlom BTS.
Fitness Innovations Thailand (FIT Thai)
Not a gym, but worth a mention as FIT offer personal training qualifications for fitness professionals in Bangkok. They offer ACE certified courses to be a fitness trainer as well as numerous other courses covering all aspects of fitness.
They also offer group class training at their premises neat Ploenchit BTS. Check their website or contact them for more info on this.
Described as an ‘exercise exploration centre’, New Moves is centrally located right next to Chidlom BTS and is more of an open training space for personal and group training, rather than a traditional gym. Their approach aims to break free from restrictive and dated methods of exercise with more experimental and progressive training methods that yield enhanced movement and better results.
Hotel and Apartment Gyms
There are countless, perhaps 100-200+, health clubs and gyms in Bangkok’s hotels, apartments and condos. They are usually quite expensive and not well equipped in terms of fitness equipment, but they are usually quieter and often come with luxury extras such as swimming pools, jacuzzis, saunas etc. Every one of the many 5-star hotels in Bangkok would offer a health club/gym of some kind and will take memberships from outside clients.
Other gyms and health clubs worth a mention
All the gyms and fitness centres detailed here can be viewed on our Bangkok Fitness Map