Gyms and supplements in Moscow

Moscow gym, supplements, Moscow supplements

First rule of supplements is never by them from shops! Always buy online and you will save a lot more money. Like we all know, Moscow rent is insane and this is reflected in anything you buy in store.

One of the biggest supplement sites here is 5lb. They've been around for a long time and their prices are fine - some brands are more expensive, some are cheaper. 

Moving on to gyms

The Cost of being swole
Firstly, I should warn anyone looking for a good gym to work out in, do not expect great value for money. Gyms in Moscow are (like many other things here) heavily overpriced and offer very little in terms of value for money. If you are looking for a gym for cardio, the majority will meet your needs but if you are actually interested in gaining muscle mass or take even a semi serious approach to strength training (which, consequently, the majority of expats don’t) you will be hard pushed to find a decent place at a decent price.

Moscow gym, supplements, Moscow supplements

These days, there are quite a few chains that have a nice combo of machines, free weights and  pool. Budget-wise, look to spend about 30-35000 roubles per year for a membership at a decent gym. If you're paying more, you might be getting it in the ass a little too hard, either that or you have no problem grossly overpaying.

Shop around for gyms and visit them, you should be able to get everything you need for that price bracket. Shop about until you find a good deal and watch out for shitty gyms that have a couple of exercise bikes and a Swiss ball, yet cost 50,000 roubles per year, they're out there and there are plenty of them!

How to find a gym

Moscow gym, supplements, Moscow supplements

This may be a bit of a captain obvious moment, but the best way to start you search is with Google. Just hit спортзал + your metro station. Check all the options and prices. If you don't get a good result, extend out to other metro stations that work for you. With most of the chains, you'll need to call and speak to their sales manager to get the price.

When to buy a membership 
Keep in mind that most gyms - especially the chains - offer multiple discounts throughout the year, although they won't tell you what months offer what deals. They will quote the usual price then say: but now we have a deal (акция) to try and tempt you. Russians are learning from the West nicely!

Just after I got a new membership at a 'deal' price, the next month's deal was cheaper again by 5000 roubles! Still, I think in this case, I only got slightly rammed.

Legendary 'basement gyms'
If you're here short term and don't feel like shelling out big bucks on a membership, you might be able to find a basement gym, or подвал gym - you won't find them advertised tho.
The gym pictured below (I know, it looks like a sexual-assault hotspot) is one place I used to train that was very well hidden behind the ЦМО faculty. I simply used to rock in there after lessons. 

Moscow gym, supplements, Moscow supplements
                                                                                 behold the awesome!

This is positively well marketed compared to another place I trained at for a while which was nothing more than a door with a bell on it, hidden near some kids playground. It was a basic, small gym with a fat, but scary ex-army guy called Eugenie. He used to like asking me about prostitutes in England...

The average basement should cost no more than 150-250 roubles per visit. Another basement that my hermit strong-man friend used to train at was for legit power lifters. The guy who ran it was a former European powerlifting champion and, according to my friend, a genuinely nice guy. I think it's closed now, but here are some pictures. Just goes to show, you don’t need anything too fancy to become an absolute beast (if that’s your cup of tea).

 Moscow gym, supplements, Moscow supplements
(true Soviet harcore training)
Moscow gym, supplements, Moscow supplements  
 Moscow gym, supplements, Moscow supplements
A gym recommendation 

At the moment, I go to two gyms - one for muay thai and another weights closer to home (before I was traveling 1.30 to train - way too much road time).

The chain I go to now is called Worldclass lite (used to be Fizkult) and I have to say, I'm very happy with it. I paid 28000 for a year (price as of 2014 is over 30), I can go when I like, they have a pool and sauna and all the weights a meat head could dream of. Also, they have a boxing ring, heavy bags and plenty of different fitness programs for the ladies out there. 

Moscow gym, supplements, Moscow supplements

Moscow gym, supplements, Moscow supplements

Another very good gym for those near the yellow line offers true excellence at a tiny, tiny price.
The gym is called 5 баллов and it’s located in a larger building called дворец борьбы at metro avimatornaya (yellow line) about 12 minutes brisk walk from the metro.

Girls at reception aren't polite and there's no free pool and sauna, but the gym floor is amazing. It has tons of new, American equipment, multiple benches and squat racks (so you never, ever wait) and the best bit - it’s ridiculously cheap. A morning membership (from 9 to 15.00) costs 10,000 roubles. However, every Christmas they have a deal and you can get a year's morning membership for 8000 roubles - peanuts for a place of this caliber.  

check it out: 

Moscow gym, supplements, Moscow supplements

Moscow gym, supplements, Moscow supplements

Martial arts and other manly stuff
Most gyms offer at least boxing and sometimes a wider variety. You should look to pay about  500-1000 roubles for an hour's private session. Group lessons are cheaper (duh) and usually run for an hour and a half, but I don't think this is a good option for those just getting started since you don't get enough on-to-one time to make sure you technique doesn't suck total balls (and it will suck total balls).

As for the quality, there's no way to tell really. Just sign up and give it a go. There are plenty of shitty trainers out there who have never even stepped in a ring that teach boxing and the same goes for other stuff, especially MMA so use your judgment.

Now, armed with this information, go forth and get massive!


Also, my friend has compiled a list of Russian types of gyms too. He's the master of detail and his post is definitly one you should not miss:

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Lt. Columbo on June 1, 2010 at 3:33 PM said...


Unknown on October 13, 2014 at 12:38 AM said...

I needed a gym for only a month. Since most gyms do not give short term memberships, I was please to find Alex Gym (located at the Tulskaya stop). It was 4000 rubles per month and was friendly and well-equipped. No pool, but steam shower and good place for aerobics and power lifting.

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