Finally, went to California Fitness at Sunway Pyramid for a free trial. This club is California Fitness third outlet in Malaysia. It is located at the lowest floor of Sunway Pyramid which is one of the most popular shopping malls in Klang Valley. The outlet is at the same level with the ice skating rink which is also a level below McDonald. Once at the right level, one could see the signboards from far.
Who would miss that big Jackie Chan’s poster?
Registered myself at the front desk. Was then ushered to the waiting area to fill up a questionnaire asking bout my fitness goals and health history. Before I finished it, a sales person came and started to introduce about the fitness center.
She did a pretty good homework in differentiating this place from other clubs. When she told me that her big boss has paid much attention to the place layout design as well as machines placement, I stopped and looked at her.
“Who is your boss?”
“Him,” she smile and pointed his boss to me.
Yes, Jackie Chan has probably really done that. I was quite impressed with the placement of the machines in the gym. From lower body to upper body resistance machines, they are placed according to the muscle groups. It is such a simple idea but I wonder why so many gyms have missed this important point by scattering machines in different areas, worse in different levels.
In addition to that, Jackie Chan actually created this special zone called Express Zone, dedicated to busy city folks who are rushing, even when they work out in the gym. It is the zone where only less than eight to nine resistance machines are placed. These machines are just like other normal machines and not special made. So, you hop on to the first machine, exercise, done, then move on to the next one – 2 sets with 10 repetitions at each station and you will take less than half an hour to get a whole body workout. One may think that this Express Zone is just another marketing gimmick, but for busy people or even beginner, the machines here may meant a lot for them. We all know instant noodles are not nutritious after all, but many still enjoy eating them. So, consumers’ behavior sometimes is hard to know.
Before ending the tour, I was introduced to a personal trainer. He took my height, weight and body fat percentage. Thinking the trainer would use skinfold caliper to get the body fat measurement, I was instead amazed when he told me that he has got the figures with the digital weighing scale. The scale works based on the Bioelectrical Impedance concept which I mentioned in my article – 4 Ways to Measure Body Fat.
The trainer showed me a chart telling me that my body fat is considered normal. In order to get six pack, I need to be at the “Fit” category. He shared with me what need to be done – cardiovascular exercise, weight training, nutrition as well as personal training. Good advice to serve as reminder.
Before letting me to work out, the sales person dragged me to the waiting area and showed me the membership packages which I shall elaborate at the end of this post.
Next, I proceed to the towel counter and then went to the male changing room.
California Fitness has stern warning to its members not to use combination locks or small locks because they are easier to be broken. Yes, you have to bring your own pad locks if you want to store your belongings in the locker.
The shower room has modern design. Sorry, no door. Just like most other gyms, only curtain. With the complimentary shower gel from the container stuck , you do not have to worry about them because you no longer need to bend to pick up any soap.
I then went to the free weight area. Mirrors are here and there with rows of dumbbells and weights. Squat rack as well as benches (flat, incline and decline) can be found there too.
At the side of the free weight area, I saw this machine which I have not seen in other gyms. It is called AbCoaster. It is used to work out not only the upper abs, but also the lower abs. Without second thought, I gave it a try. At the end of upward position, when I hold the position for about 3 seconds, I could feel the squeeze at my abs.
Close to the AbCoaster is the Kick Fit boxing area. Was told it is a place meant for kick boxing personal training.
Another new machine which worth mentioned is HOIST ROC IT series – chest press, pull down, biceps curl, leg extension and others. May be it is just me, but I found that these machines gave more natural feel when I worked out. Probably it is due to the continuous alignment of the seat with the exercise arm. Also, the head and neck support make the isolation exercise easier for me to focus on the target muscle group.
The club has rows of treadmills, Cardio Wave machines, bikes, cross trainers and rowing machines too.
A pretty huge dance studio and RPM studio are located at the ground floor. It is closed to the staircase leading to the first floor.
After trying most of the machines at the ground floor, I proceed to the first floor. Saw another studio, but mainly used for yoga and pilates classes. Female changing room is located at this floor too.
At the other side of first floor, the decoration is slightly different. It is darker with funky lightings. More treadmills can be found here. Just like ground floor, the plasma TVs are hung on the wall.
At the corner of first floor is the ladies workout area.
The club is currently having promotions for its personal training package.
What I like about California Fitness at Sunway Pyramid:
- Fantastic placement of machines according to muscle groups.
- Similar to the outlet at Mid Valley Mega Mall, this place has high ceiling. Good air ventilation.
- Instead of located at the top floor of the building, it is actually at the lowest level of Sunway Pyramid. You will not feel the afternoon heat.
- I have to give credit to its design. Being a person who likes natural sunlight, together with the sufficient lighting, this place is well lit. Moreover, through the glass window, you have good view of Sunway Lagoon when you are running on the treadmill at ground floor.
- In case you want to check your e-mails, surf the Net or check on messages at your Facebook, you will find few desktops useful. No additional charge.
Things To Watch Out:
- As this outlet is located at shopping complex, take parking fee into your consideration before you sign up the membership here. Here is the parking fee at Sunway Pyramid (as of November 2007).
|First 4 Hours||Next Hour||Maximum|
|Weekdays||RM 1||RM 1||RM 6|
|Weekends & Public Holidays||RM 3||RM 1||RM 8|
- Parking can be difficult during weekends. As for weekdays, it is not an issue.
Membership Package (as of November 2007)
- One Club Sport Gold Package – Home based package
- 1 year contract – The published joining fee is RM329 and monthly fee is RM199.
- All Clubs Platinum Package – Passport package for California Fitness outlets in Malaysia (Mid Valley, Menara Standard Chartered and Sunway Pyramid)
- 1 year contract – Published joining fee is RM580 and monthly fee is RM219.
- 1 year contract – Published joining fee is RM580 and monthly fee is RM219.
- How much you get depends on how hard you negotiate. After 30 minutes of lengthy negotiations with manager comes into picture, the best deal I was offered is average of RM95 monthly fee for 3-year passport package. I hope that it gives you a good idea how much the club is willing to go down if you are serious enough to sign up on the spot.
- For those who have extra cash to burn and who will commit to work out for lifetime, the club has a package called Zenith for you. The price is RM18,000 for one time fee and RM380 for yearly renewal. Yes, you read it right. RM18,000 for access to California Fitness worldwide. Zenith is currently priced at RM11,400 during the promotion period. California Fitness has just terminated its previous Infinity lifetime package which is only RM5,800+ early November 2007. For those who signed up Infinity before this, congratulations, you got the best deal in town! The key difference between Infinity and Zenith is that the former is not transferable whereas the latter is allowed to do so.
Location map of Sunway
After visiting so many gyms, California Fitness at Sunway Pyramid one of the best gyms in town. A total of 30,000 square feet of built up area, not too huge, not too small and just nice with mixed type of crowds – young and old. What is more important is the way the machines are arranged. High ceiling with good air ventilation too. Still, don’t take my words entirely. Go for a free trial and see whether the gym offers what you want.
Category: California Fitness
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