Useful guide to hitting the gym in Korea

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Gym in Korea

Internationally we prefer to call it a gym when we refer to a fitness place but the Korean people refer to private gyms as Helseujang (헬스장) or Helseukeulleob (헬스클럽), which essentially translates to a “health club”. Being a place to keep fit and lead a healthy lifestyle, going to a gym in Korea is somewhat similar to any other gyms outside the country but there are still some distinctive aspects when it comes to etiquette and subscription structure. We will share a useful guide to hitting the gym in Korea in this article, let’s go!

Pricing structure

In Korea, a monthly gym subscription is a more popular option for gym-goers instead of the pay-per-use structure. While you may be able to find a one-month membership, it is more worth it if you pay for more months as the average monthly fee is lower! For instance, a one-month plan may cost around KRW 50,000 but signing up for a three-month plan will be KRW 120,000. That’s 20% cheaper per month for using the gym in Korea! In the same pricing structure, paying for a one-year membership right away will cost less than paying for a six-month plan twice.

For a general guide, the pricing for each gym in Korea differs depending on its location and the services it provides. You can expect an average cost of KRW 50,000 to KRW 200,000 per month and the gym’s month-to-month subscription plan usually comes in multiples of three like a three-month, six-month, or a 12-month membership.

If you have a personalised fitness goal, you may also engage a fitness trainer! They will guide you on how to use the equipment accurately and could provide other tips on sustaining a healthy lifestyle and diet plans. One thing to note though, their services may cost around KRW 100,000 to KRW 300,000 per hour.

Hitting the gym in Korea

Fancy a workout but feels a little daunting because of the language barrier? Fret not, there are English-speaking gyms located at hotspots like Itaewon, Hongdae, and Gangnam. Additionally, if you prefer to work out late at night and need to visit a 24-hour gym in Korea, check out SpoAny for more information.

Did you also know that there are women-only fitness centres in Korea? In a space where you can feel most comfortable and need not worry about being self-conscious! Sadly, not all facilities provide a space for women only, so be sure to check with the gym before heading down!

Besides hitting the gym in Korea, there are other sports classes you can enroll in. Some popular classes include Yoga, Spinning, Zumba, and Pilates! If you enjoy a more interactive and upbeat fitness environment, this could be your next go-to activity, and who knows? You might be making new friends and share similar fitness goals too!

Rules and etiquette to observe

Heading to the gym in Korea is so convenient these days as they provide basic amenities like locker rooms, shower rooms, towels, and sports attire. Hence, you don’t even need to bring additional clothes but on the other hand, you must bring your own indoor shoes! You need to change out of your outdoor shoes before entering the fitness space. To keep your personal belongings, do note that some fitness centres may charge you for a fee to use their lockers though.

Public and personal hygiene is of utmost importance in a gym, especially where people use its common facilities over and over again. So be sure to take a bath before and after a workout! Don’t be too alarmed if you see some people totally naked in the locker room as they prepare to take a shower. Although non-Koreans may find it unfamiliar, it is a common sight when you visit the gym in Korea!

Let every gym-goer have a comfortable experience by making it a habit to clean your sweat off the workout bench and put all equipment back in its place after using it. Do not leave trash around and always respect social distancing.

Refrain from listening to loud music as it may disrupt other users and it will be best to keep phones away so you can stay focused and maximise your time at the gym.

Ready to hit the gym in Korea? Keep fit while experiencing Korean culture! Remember to follow the Go! Go! Hanguk blog for more content, and be sure to contact us about living and studying in Korea!

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Internationally we prefer to call it a gym when we refer to a fitness place but the Korean people refer to private gyms as Helseujang (헬스장) or Helseukeulleob (헬스클럽), which essentially translates to a “health club”. Being a place to keep fit and lead a healthy lifestyle, going to a gym in Korea is somewhat...

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