While preparing for our first Bodies by Ryan retreat at Komune at the surf break in Keramas, we spent some time in Seminyak trying out a few local gyms. Whenever I travel, I always find good local gyms because I find it exciting to check out different layouts and meet new, likeminded people.
If working out on holiday isn’t something you’re already doing, I highly encourage you to get out there and try some new gyms. A lot of people drop their training while they’re away from their normal environment. Get out of your comfort zone! Even trainers feel uncomfortable in new fitness environments – I felt like an idiot a lot of the time going to these new places. At one gym, I accidentally used the female toilet and at another, I had to ask a local how to use a piece of equipment I had never seen before.
This visit to Seminyak, Ayrton and I did some homework for you and reviewed the gyms we hit up because we know there are a few members partial to a sneaky Bali getaway. So, until you’ve booked onto one of the Bodies by Ryan retreats (yep, 2019 is happening!), here are some tips on where to go and what to do to work up a sweat before hitting up the breakfast buffet.
Soham Wellness centre
The first gym we tried was Soham Wellness centre, approximately one block from Seminyak square. The fit out is impressive, very clean and tidy with well-maintained equipment. The gym is on the first floor, which made a lot of noise every time we did a deadlift rep, possibly not great for anyone having a treatment upstairs! They also offer classes such as yoga, zumba (sadly, we ran out of time to try this), spin, TRX circuits and cardio boxing if you want to try something different. The wellness centre aspect means you can also grab a massage and various healing treatments.
There’s a lot of machine-based equipment, 10+ treadmills and a spin room. It’s spacious and inviting with a really nice feel, however at $20 a visit, we felt it was a little overpriced. If you want to get value for your money, make the most of the facilities as you have access to the pool and steam room. A lot of care has gone into the interior styling of the wellness spaces, so soak up some time here and get the full experience.
If you like a clean, air-conditioned gym this one’s for you. Just don’t be in a rush so you can get your value.
Louis and Friends Fitness
This gym was still in Seminyak but took us about 5-10 minutes via scooter at around 8 o’clock in the morning. When we got there we were given a friendly welcome and towels for the gym and pool. The gym itself was what I would call a bit grungy (which I like), no air con, just a few fans that kept us cool enough while we worked out. It has loads of equipment and machines that I’ve never used so it was fun to try a few out. There were plenty of treadmills overlooking the pool and then, there was an outdoor “HIIT RIG”… picture a giant set of monkey bars with more accessories than bars. After we did our main workout we headed outside and did a circuit using as many different parts of the rig as we could. Box jumps, battle ropes, punching bag, barbells landline presses, slam ball throws, TRX ploy lunges. It was fun, but hard and challenging which is great to keep you engaged when you’re training in a different environment. They also have Les Mills and basic yoga classes running upstairs.
It only cost around $10 AUS to train there and to use the pool. The gym had a great feel with lots of friendly staff and members. I will be heading back to this gym whenever I’m in Bali.
This was a little further from us and was a little tricky to find, in saying that I’m not great with directions either. The gym is on the third level of the building and was steaming hot up there. I like training in the humidity here so I enjoyed it and there are some fans so you won’t pass out, but be forewarned, it is hot! There are lots of great machines, some really cool, old body building machines and some newish hammer strength equipment. We trained legs here and I really enjoyed the workout with some friendly locals who loved a chat and even joined us for some exercises.
Great gym vibe, lots of friendly people, only around $10 and we also paid $5 for a protein smoothie after our workout. If I can find an easy route to this gym I’ll head back there for another session for sure.
The past two hotels I’ve stayed at in Seminyak have had gyms and it was possible to get a decent workout in both. U Paasha is reasonably priced and super central to all the Seminyak hot spots. The gym has everything you need for a quick workout but it’s small (like many hotel gyms!) and would feel cramped with any more than five people, so my tip is to get in early and wake up your appetite because the buffet breakfast at U Paasha is the best I’ve encountered in all my Bali trips. The service and food are phemomenal! But back to the gym… there are limited dumbbells up to about 20-kilogram range, a few treadmills, a multi-functional gym and some fit balls. As I said, enough equipment to get a sweat on.
Hotel IZE is another one with a similar gym to U Paasha with some functional equipment and some light dumbbells. It’s slightly cheaper than U Paasha and again, centrally located.
Holiday training tips
1. Get it done early – As soon as you wake up, roll out of bed and into your trainers and workout clothes! Hydrate as you’re walking to the gym, make sure you have at least 300ml of water before you train. I always travel with some amino acids so I have them before/during workout. These aren’t necessary but a great addition if you can be bothered packing them.
2. Prepare the night before – Research and make your plan the night before, which will eliminate any time for you to talk yourself out of the workout so you’re 100% committed to your workout. I have slight OCD so I always plan where I’m going to get breakfast straight after as well (gotta get that protein in bro).
Sometimes I’ll eat something before training if I wake up starving, which will be something quick and easy to digest such as a smoothie and a coffee (from a café en route that you’ve researched the night before of course!).
3. HAVE SOME BLOODY FUN. Don’t be one of those serious people with your headphones in looking at the ground. Say hello to people and tell them it’s your first at that gym and they’ll more than likely show you around, help you find the right equipment or maybe even join you for a workout. You’ll be surprised how much more enjoyable it makes your workout.
It doesn’t have to be your life story (you’re still there to get a workout done) but have some fun along the way. However, potentially steer clear of anyone with big headphones on, grunting and throwing weights around. Yeah, maybe steer clear of that guy. He means business.
4. Follow your own workout. There’s nothing more painful than being in a gym with people watching a f%^&ing app following a workout. If you want to do that maybe go to a park or the beach. But seriously, if you’re away for a few days or a week, you’re probably not going to break world records while you’re out of your normal routine and structure. See below for some ideas to keep the muscles happy.
So this is how I workout on holidays. Pick one or two body parts to workout that day and then choose your favourite exercises for the body part. Do three to five sets on that exercise, keep doing it until you’re fatigued and then move on. If you do an exercise or use a piece of equipment that doesn’t feel right, just move on. No injuries on holidays, please.
Set 1 20 reps
Set 2 15 reps
Set 3 12 reps
(If it feels good)
Set 4 10 reps
Set 5 10 reps
If you repeat this for four exercises, you’ll hit around 20 sets, which is awesome for a travel workout.
I’ll then move into some functional training to get a big sweat on and deplete my fuel/glycogen stores, so I can have a bigger breakfast because #holidays.
Circuit will be something like;
All 30 seconds, working with no rest until the block is completed then rest for 90 seconds. Repeat this 3 times and then you are on your way to a breakfast well earned.