If ever you come in my neck of the wood, wedged between a clock store and a pool hall, right at the corner of my block, you’ll find my new gym. For 120,000won I got a 3 month membership at a gym about half the size of normal Western gyms that’s about a minute from my house. The gym is very, how can I put it, lived in. Along the window walls are the cardio machines and in the middle of this L-shaped room you find some free weights and some machines. The inside of the L has a small changing room with lockers. The wall are also adorned with framed pictures of old Muscle and Fitness centerfolds.
The membership includes some pretty cool things. I get a locker and I can borrow some gym clothes when I go. That means I can go to the gym direct from the bus after school without making the trek to my house, and that’s what I did today. Why dirty my own clothes like a sucker? I went to the desk and gestured for a shirt and shorts. I’m not sure if he thought it would be funny to give me a smallish outfit, or they didn’t anticipate guys of my build to frequent the establishment. Either way, the shirt was pretty tight. Not outrageously tight, but lets just say it was tough getting the thing on and off. The shorts on the other hand were tiny. I’m surprised the waistband elastic didn’t explode halfway through my workout! Unstretched, the thing actually has the circumference of my head. Seriously. I put it on and it was comfortable. I’m thinking of just wearing those shorts as a tuque for winter.
Now for the equipment. Obviously they can’t have an awesome range of weights since they’ve got huge space limitations, but they have maybe 12 sets of dumbbells and 10 of them are between 4 and 20 kilograms. The other two are 40kg, I think. So the weights aren’t really too heavy, not that I’d use the heavier ones right now (I haven’t worked out seriously for like 2 years), but it would be nice to have them around. It’s the same situation with the plates (weights used on the bars), it’s seriously limited. Oh well, I doubt I’ll need heavier weight in 3 months.
I find it funny because some of the guys there are pretty big (think Johnny Tran from Fast and Furious), but not that strong from what I’ve seen. I think that’s a side effect of the limited weight range.
Oh! And I was shocked to see that the weights are by none other than Samsung. That’s right, along with electronics, washing machines and cars, Samsung manufactures gym equipment here. Someday, I’ll need to make a list of all the stuff they make here.
UPDATE: When translated to English, my gym’s name is, phonetically, “ubang (next to where I live are the ubang apartements) hell-seu keul-leob”. I think that’s pretty funny.