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Joining a Gym in Buenos Aires

Fountains in Mendoza

Fountains in Mendoza

Over the last month I feel that my fitness has been in decline. It’s due to the combination of travelling through Argentina with no real routine (and a poor diet), and the last few weeks in Edinburgh when we were doing our best to squeeze our lives into boxes. 

Although there has been lots of activity, most of it has been walking, although I have tried to fit in some strength work where I can (Paola has looked on with embarrassment at my excitement when I see a pull-up opportunity.)

However now that we’re in BAs (Buenos Aires to the rest of you), with more of a routine, I decided that I should go to a gym. Now there’s no shortage of gyms in Buenos Aires, ranging from 5 floor mega-gyms, to one room sweat boxes, so I didn’t think that I’d be that hard to find one that suited me.

I found a excellent directory to gyms in Buenos Aires which was invaluable in my search. I narrowed down my search to the Recoleta area and made a short list of the ones in the streets near our apartment.

Then I went out for a few hours to check them out. Typically the gyms I visited gave me a price for a month, and then let me free in the gym to have a look around. They all had a full class schedule, though tended to have rather dated equipment. 

I met a nice man with good English at Boa Forma (Anchorena 1536) who was keen on me joining the Taekwondo class, but in the end I went with American Sport  (Charcas 2929) since they were close and the best free weight area of the gyms I looked at. Also if you like your treadmills then they have loads – though oddly no rowing machines.

When I went back later that day in my workout kit, I was told that my first session was free, though I was surprised that no-one showed me around the equipment or made any attempt at screening. Of course it may have been that the girl at reception thought that my poor Spanish made an induction too difficult for everyone involved.

The next time I went I filled in the joining forms (with the usual notes about checking with a doctor), paid my months membership (AR$ 140), and received my membership card.

I just need to put it to good use over the next 3 weeks.

Two surprises – there are no water fountains in the gym (everyone just brings bottles), and there is a check-in room for gym kit rather than lockers.

Update: Last time I went to the gym they took my thumbprint with an electonic scanner! I’m not entirely sure why.

Posted in Fitness, Miscellaneous, Weightlifting. Tagged with , , , , .

5 Responses

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  1. brittney said

    I moved to Buenos Aires from the states in March and have been looking into joining a gym. Today I decided on Always Club but was told I need a note from a doctor. Where did you get your doctor note? Any advice on getting a doctor’s note would be much appreciated!

  2. Matt said

    Hi Brittney,
    Fortunately (or carelessly), the gym I joined didn’t ask for a doctor’s note. I don’t know if Always Club carried out any checks when you tried to join, but normally a doctor’s note is only required if you have any risk factors, like high blood pressure. If you are healthy, then I can’t see why it should matter, though they may be trying to cover their own backs. In this case you may have to look at getting a note from a local doctor. How good is your Spanish?!

  3. Angela said

    Thanks for the Info Matt. I’m an Aussie, just arrive in BAs and living up the road from American Sport . Have already found the Argentines giving inconsistent pricing for things so wanted to know what to expect before signing up! Are you still in BAs? Did they have pilates classes and equipment there? Thanks, Angela

  4. Hi Angela,
    Unfortunately I’m not in Argentina any longer – I’m working in New Zealand (sigh). With the pricing, it does seem to depend on who you get on the day, and how well you can make yourself understood – if you can speak fluent Spanish you’ll probably find it a lot easier!) I paid cash up front so I knew exactly what I needed to pay and didn’t have to give bank accounts and worry about direct debit; if I wanted to join for a year they might have wanted more information. Though as I mentioned in the post, they seemed pretty casual with the paperwork compared to other countries. You seem to be in luck as far as pilates classes are concerned – check out their website. I hope that this helps – if you want any more information about Buenos Aires let me know.

  5. Great post, Brett. I’m currently in Buenos Aires and posted about joining a gym here, too. There’s some updated info that might help out people who end up on your page looking for more info and guidance: http://taraandkarinagoout.com/2010/12/09/joining-a-gym-in-buenos-aires/

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