Tag Archives | gym

Joining a Gym (Gimnasio) 2010

I had previously written about joining a gym in Buenos Aires, but now that I’m in a new neighborhood (and that post is almost two years old), I thought it was a good time to update it.

This time around, I checked out three different gyms in my area. Two of them, Megatlon and Sport Club, are chains that have numerous locations throughout the city. The third, Balance Health Club, only has one location.

Once again, Megatlon Belgrano was by far the nicest, most expensive and pretentious of the three. I still think a lot of people just go there to be seen.  They have the most, newest and highest quality machines and equipment.  They were also the busiest of the gyms I looked at.

Their month-to-month price is a shocking AR $370, which compares to many NYC health clubs.  Prices get a bit cheaper if you sign up for their 6 month package at AR $1830 or their 12 month package at AR $2640.  Personal training sessions are around AR $50 per hour.  If you join Megatlon, you’re also able to use all their other locations provided that are at the same or lower level than the one you joined.  They currently have four levels of clubs: VIP, VIP Plus, Platino and Platino Plus.

The 6 month membership cost at Megatlon represents a 28% increase over their 2008 prices, however the original price I found was for Megatlon Alto Palermo, a Platino Plus club, while the Belgrano club is only a Platino level.  I’m sure that the Alto Palermo price has increased even more.

Sport Club Cabildo was also nice with a wide-range of equipment and classes. Like Megatlon, if you join one location, you can also use their other locations at the same or lower level than yours.  Their month-to-month price in cash is AR $350, however if you choose the auto-debit plan on your credit card, the price goes down to only AR $175 per month. You must complete 8 months at this price though or you’ll be charged an additional month if you cancel.  They do not offer personal trainers, but have gym trainers who can put together a routine for you.

Balance Health Club was pretty basic compared to the other two but did offer a good range of classes.  Their price was AR $100/month if you only wanted to use the machines and AR $140/month for both the machines and classes.

These second-tier clubs often have less and older equipment as well as fewer classes, but usually meet ones basic needs.  Since they did not have any membership commitment, I decided to join for a month and see whether it worked for me. Although I will say, walking into Megatlon definitely makes you want to be there…

Some things to note about all the clubs:

  • They will all charge you a one-time fee for your membership card.  This price was AR $30 at each place.
  • You will need a medical exam shortly after joining.  You can get this from your own doctor or use one of the gym’s doctors who schedule an exam for around AR $40.
  • None of the gyms are open on Sundays. A strange phenomenon compared to the US, but perfectly normal here.
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Buenos Aires Contacts: Matias Vertone, Personal Trainer

In the third post of our “Buenos Aires Contacts,” I wanted to highlight my personal trainer, Matias Vertone.

While Matias does not speak much English, it has been a fun experience as my personal training sessions turn out to be both a workout and a Spanish lesson in one.  Matias works out of the Always Gym in Palermo Soho but also trains clients at their home, gym or in the park.  He is incredibly knowledgeable and will design a workout specifically tailored to your goals. Don’t let the language barrier stop you! I have a lot of friends who use him as well and love the workout he puts you through.

Matias Verone
Personal Trainer
Cel. +54 9 11 5829 9909

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A Great Personal Trainer in Buenos Aires

If you’re looking for a personal trainer in Buenos Aires, let me recommend mine.

His name is Adrián Di Domenico and he specializes in functional and kettle bell training as well as training for fútbol, tennis and contact sports, prevention and rehabilitation, posture re-education, and body building.  He is also extremely knowledgeable about fitness and nutrition.  He is available to train at your gym, your home or the park.  He also speaks perfect English.  We’ve been using him for over 3 months and have seen noticeable improvements.

You can contact him via phone at 155.706.7200 or via email at [email protected].  And check out his Facebook page – Ready, Go, Do, Lift. I strongly recommend him.

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Joining a Gym (Gimnasio)

I spent the afternoon today checking out a few different gyms in Palermo. I’ve been missing the gym since I left NYC, so today I finally had a chance to try and use my minimal Spanish and sign up for a six month membership at a gym. I had seen a few in the area, and also read a couple of message board posts on BA Expats and Argentina Private discussing options. I decided to check out Narziso, Always Club and Megatlon Palermo.

Megatlon, located in the trendy Alto Palermo mall was by far the nicest of the three, but it was also the most expensive and most pretentious. They also have 14 other locations in Buenos Aires.  The equipment there was new and better than that in many NYC gyms. They also have a unique system that involves using a USB keychain to tailor a personal workout to you as well as keep track of all your workouts which was pretty cool. In addition to the price, I was also turned off when the guy showing us around said their least busy time was from 6am – 8am and in the afternoon, pretty much implying that they were usually packed.  The prices were really high too: six months for AR $1428 plus AR $120 for the key chain. A personal trainer was AR $70 per session.

Narziso was the smallest and their equipment appeared to be aging. But, their class schedule was pretty good as were their rates.  They also have two locations, one of which has a pool. Their rates were: 1 month: AR $120/month (AR $20 membership card); 3 months: AR $100/month (AR $20 membership card); 6 months: AR $95/month (no card fee); 12 months: AR $90/month (no card fee); Personal Trainer: AR $300 for 1 month – 8 sessions (AR $37.50/session).

I ended up choosing Always Club based on location, cost and amenities. It is a good sized gym, with a good class schedule and decent equipment.  They offered me a cash price of AR $500 for 6 months which works out to U.S. $28/month. Monthly plans are AR $100/month and personal trainers are AR $320 for one month of 8 sessions (U.S. $12.50/session). Not bad…

So, after a week of pizza, eating out, pastries and ice cream, it’s time to settle into the routine and get back into the gym.

UPDATE (08.16.08): Two things I forgot to mention about gyms in Buenos Aires:

I just had my medical exam for the gym last night. Yes, gyms here require that you get examined by a doctor as part of your membership. I had a 10 minute appointment where the doctor asked me about my medical history, family health, took my blood pressure, and listened to my heart rate and breathing. I had scheduled the appointment when I joined the gym and could still use the gym before I had the appointment, but it was a requirement for joining.

Another thing about the gyms here is that they may actually be closed on Sunday or have drastically reduced hours. This would be unheard of in the States. My gym’s hours are: Mondays to Fridays from 7am – 12am, Saturdays from 9am – 9pm, Sundays from 6pm to 9pm,  and holidays from 10am – 1pm and 6pm to 9pm.

UPDATE (03.16.09): I went in to renew for another 6 months at Always and they no longer offer that option. I could pay by month for AR $120 per month or pay for a year at AR $880/year (payable in 4 monthly payments of AR $220 each). I took the year option. Personal training had already gone up too: 4 sessions for AR $220, 8 sessions for AR $340, 12 sessions for AR $470, and 16 sessions for AR $540. These sessions must be used within 30 days of purchase.

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