During my travels in Malaysia, I have visited the following cities: Melakka, Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands, Penang and Langkawi. I have trained less structured in comparison with Indonesia, where I was visiting the gym 2 times a week. This had various reasons. For instance, on my last day in Melaka I have discovered a pretty awesome gym. Unfortunately, because of the late discovery, I could only train here once. Also in Kuala Lumpur, I could visit the gym just once. Many gyms asked for a permanant year membership or in some occasions extraordinaly high entrance fees. Both were a nono for me as a fitness-backpacker.
I also visited Singapore for a few days, but I could not find any cheap gyms here, so I did not visit the gym while in Singapore.
These two hotels have a gym in their accommodation. If you have the budget, you can stay at one of these places and have unlimited gym access. For most fitnessbackpackers this is not affordable. There is a option to sneak into these gyms, however I could not recommend to do it. Again, I cannot suggest you to do it, but it should not be hard to get in. It should be more easy to enter the gym of the Equatorial Hotel. They do not have a reception in front of the gym that checks if you are a guest. At the Holiday Inn there is a reception in front of the gym and you should bluff yourself in. Just say you are a guest sleeping in room number ****.
Too bad I found out of this gym on my last day. It is a very large gym, the previous home of pro bodybuilder Boon Leong. The equipment here is rather old, but that should not matter. The entrance is just 5 RM, around € 1,10. The cheapest gym until now. You cannot find this gym on Google Maps, so I will try to give some directions for my fellow Fitness Backpackers. The gym is located at the junction of Jalan Kubu and Jalan Tokong. You will see a massive golden statue of the former Malaysian bodybuilder Boon Leong. In front of this statue you will find the gym.
Boon Leong is also known as Mr. Melaka and the father of Malaysian bodybuilding and is the most famous citizen of the city. So the gym has therefore some sort of cultural value, and next to getting gains you can grasp the smell of history in the gym. Still working at the reception of the gym is the wife of Mr. Melaka. She is an interesting and sweet grandma that has visited 120 countries during her life. Talk with her, you won’t regret it.
It was hard to find a gym whyle staying in the centre of Kuala Lumpur. Therefore, I just trained here once. Most of the gyms did not allow visitors to enter the gym without a yearly membership. I found one gym where you can have a 1-day trail: Jatomi Fitness. This gym is very modern and can easily compete with the best gyms in Holland. When visiting the gym just ask for a 1-day trail, they will give it without further hassle. Enjoy your gym time!
I found some gyms on the internet in the outside skirts of Kuala Lumpur. However, they were very far.
This is a small gym nearby the big shopping mall in Georgetown, Penang. For 18 RM you get a daypass and a free protein shake. The gym has completely new machines and there is also a squat rack. The staff is very helpful and nice. They have also a drinking water filter system, in order to keep yourself hydrated.
This gym is very basic. When training in this gym, you will reminiscence how the bodybuilders from the 60’s would have trained. The machines, barbells are rusty. Training here is really old skool and the real deal. The entrance is just 5 RM and there are mainly locals training here. The advantage about this gym is that it is nearby the popular Penang Cenai beach. If you are a fitness backpacker that is searching for a good workout I can recommend G9 fitness.
You cannot find this gym on Google Maps. I forget to pinpoint the exact location, but it should be nearby the Desa Terrace. It should be somewhere on road 117. Fitness Center Alami in Langkawi uses the following opening hours: 9-12 AM and 4-10.30 PM.
This gym is certainly the gym with the best price-quality ratio for every fitness backpacker. For 10 RM you get a daypass and access to a very complete gym. All the equipment is new, as well as the barbells as the machines. In addition, they have high-tech treadmills. The gym is situated in Kuah, the main centre of Langkawi. It is a 20 minute drive from the Penang Cenai beach.