How To Go To The Gym While Traveling As A Digital Nomad – Podcast 008

In this episode B and Jack talk about how to go to the gym while traveling. First, they discuss the situations in which it is not necessary to find a gym on the road. After that, they summarize the main methods to do with finding a gym when you are travelling. Finally, they give their recommendations.

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1.Summary

1.1.The topic of how to go to the gym while traveling within the Digital Nomad Life System

  • The Digital Nomad Life System is a 6-step system, created by us at Nomad Tactics, that aims to explain how someone can go from living a stable life to living a well-structured digital nomad life.
  • To have a general overview of the Digital Nomad Life System you should listen to this episode.
  • The topic of how to go to the gym while traveling fits the third step of the system, which is called “Base research and arrangements”. In this “Base research and arrangements” step the digital nomad needs to do some in-depth research and arrangements about his soon-to-be new base.
  • If you are into weightlifting or fitness more generally finding a gym will be one of the important arrangements, you will need to do as a digital nomad ideally before you get to your base.
    • Depending on how important going to the gym is, this research can be done in slightly different orders.
      • If you are really serious about going to the gym you might prefer to find the gym first and then look for accommodations based on the gym location.
      • If you are more casual about going to the gym you might prefer to find the accommodation first and then look for gyms around the place.

1.2.General considerations about how to go to the gym while traveling

  • Always ask to see the facilities of the gym (either by photo, video, or in-person) before committing to a gym membership. Gym facilities quality change widely from country to country.
  • Two situations where we think you do not need to bother finding a gym
    • Very short trips (if you are staying less than a month in a place)
      • Reasons why you should not look for a gym during a short trip
        • Day passes are generally too expensive, and since you cannot get a monthly contract, this will probably be your only option.
        • You will not really lose muscle and physical fitness in such a short time. Usually, muscle loss only starts to happen after 3 or 4 weeks.
        • There are good workaround solutions for not going to the gym like park workouts, bodyweight workouts, and resistance bands workouts
        • If you are staying less than a month in a place you are not really staying in a base. You are more like a tourist. It is better to use the short time you have in the place to explore.
      • What if you stay short in a place and you still want to go to the gym, what to do?
        • Find an accommodation (Airbnb or hotel) with a gym
          • We do not advise, but we know digital nomads that go to hotel gyms even without staying in the hotel. According to them the way to pull that off is to simply walk in with conviction and confidence. Again, we do not endorse that.
        • Ask for trial passes in local gyms.
        • Accept you will pay a high price and buy day passes.
    • You have a small budget
      • Going to the gym as a digital nomad can be quite an expensive enterprise if you want to do it consistently around the world.
      • This is mostly because short-term contracts (few months) or day passes tend to be expensive.
      • If you want a safe budget to afford the gym around different cities in the world we recommend you set aside 100 dollars per month. Even though probably in most cities you will pay less than that per month.

1.3.Methods to find a gym on the road

  • Local gyms
    • You can look for a local gym (either a local gym chain or an independent local gym) and get a monthly membership there.
    • The longer you stay in the base the easier it will be to negotiate the price down.
    • Always prefer independent gyms, rather than chain gyms, because these tend to offer more flexible conditions, like contract length, and it is easier to negotiate the price down. This is not to say that you cannot negotiate with local gym chains. You totally can.
    • How to find local gyms
      • Your best bet is searching using a maps app
        • The default maps app you should try is Google Maps. But if the locals in the country use other apps (e.g. Kakao maps app in Korea, Baidu maps app in China, etc.) as their main maps app you should also check out such app to have more alternatives at your disposal.
      • You can ask the front desk from a hotel near your accommodation (even if you not staying in the hotel) for gyms around… many times they have this kind of information.
      • Finally, you can ask local digital nomads groups on Facebook for gym reccomendations. Since going to the gym is a common thing you will surely get some suggestions.
  • Accommodation gyms
    • You can find accommodation (Airbnb or hotel) with a gym.
    • Even if you not staying in a hotel with a gym (which is most likely the case if you are staying long in a base) you can still try to use the gym from the hotel by negotiating with the reception desk.
    • Keep in mind that Airbnbs with a gym (which are usually condos or apartment complexes) tend to be quite pricy.
    • Do not expect amazing gym facilities from accommodation with gyms.
  • Global gym chains
    • These are global gym chains that have gyms in many cities around the world. You will be paying a monthly membership (which usually is not that cheap) that allows you to go to any of their gyms around the world.
    • These global gym chains are not in every city, so you need to check before you go to your new base.
    • Even when the global gym chain has a gym in your soon-to-be new base you should probably search the exact location of the gym first and then book an accommodation that is somehow near it afterward.
    • The two main global chains:
  • Public sports centres
    • Not the type of facilities that are available in all countries, but worth checking if available in your base.
    • Usually, these are larger sports complexes that also have a gym.
    • Do not expect amazing gym facilities.
    • The best way to find this kind of place is by researching on Google maps (or any other relevant maps app) for “sports complex” or ask locals about it.
    • The good thing about this kind of gym is that usually these are very cheap, and you pay on a day-by-day basis. Even if you go there every day, it won’t be a big sum of money at the end of the month
  • Honorable mention
    • Airbnb-style global gym finder
      • Services that allow you to find a gym in a city and pay for a daily pass, or even, hourly pass.
    • There is still no global solution, but there are promising websites on the horizon, these are:

1.4.Nomad Tactics Recommendation for how to go to the gym while traveling

  • Option number one should still be looking for a local gym since this is the most reliable method.
  • If you are a digital nomad that likes to stays in capitals or big cities the global gym chains are also a good solution.
  • If you want to try to save as much money as possible look for gyms in public sports centers

2.Transcript

Mr. B: Hey hello welcome to the Norman tactics podcast. Here we provide life optimizing tips and systems for digital nomads I'm your host B. and I'm joined once again by the co host Mr Jack. The topic we're gonna talk about today is how to find gyms as a digital nomad. I'm going to start with a quick summary of the episode. First me and Mister Jack are going to talk about the location of this topic within our broader digital nomad life system. After that we gonna make some general considerations about the topic then we gonna talk about the main methods to find a gym on the road. And finally we gonna talk about our personal recommendation I hope you enjoy the episode.
Jack: So hello Mister B..
Mr. B: Hello Jack.
Jack: So the topic of today is about how to find the gym on the road as a digital nomad. so I think we'll be fair to start to introduce our Digital Nomad tLife system as you know we are at nomad tactics is all about system and tricks that helps digital nomad so Digital Nomad life system as a six step system aims to explain how someone can go from living a stable life to living a well structured digital nomad life And the topic of today fits greatly into the third step of the system which is called based research and arrangements in this step the digital nomads needs to do some in depth research and the arrangement about he soon-to-be-new base.
Mr. B: Yeah that's right Jack so this is the kind of thing you're going to research before you get to your new base so if you're very much into weight lifting or perhaps fitness more generally I would say that finding a gym will be one of the main arrangements you will need to do before you get to your new base.
Mr. B: And depending how important going to the gym is for you you can do this research in slightly different orders. So let's say you're very serious about weightlifting therefore finding a gym going to be something very important for you so it makes sense for you to first research the location of the gym and after you know the location of the ideal gym for you you look for accommodation around that place on the other hand if you are more casual about going to the gym and perhaps this apply to most people within the digital nomad community first you will look for an accommodation and then you're going to see which gym options you have around your place so that's just a quick observation to do with the order of research that I think is worthwhile to mention.
Jack: I see so a digital nomad should consider how much he enjoys the gyms before...
Mr. B: or to see if a combination of numbers or if the gym research should come first.
Jack: I see so Mr B I think before we go into the main method of how to find gyms on the road we should do some general considerations before about the topic we exactly the method so the first one I think it's quite obvious is that what you want to go to the gym you should always check the facilities.
Mr. B: Yeah.
Jack: Because every gym has different facilities.
Mr. B: I mean the general point here is that if you're going to their gyms around the world they have extremely different types of facilities some some places have a lot of machines and a lot of equipment for you to use and in other parts of the world most of the gyms might have very basic facilities so it's very important for you to always check either by photo or video even going there if you just researching the gym once you are in the base you can also do this option of going there and seen by yourself so that's an important first consideration.
Jack: Yes exactly so the second point is we have two situation that we think you shouldn't get a gym because it's just not worth it and the first scenario is if you are on a very short trip the that say you are staying in a place less than a month so Mr B. why is that?
Mr. B: So I think there are four main reasons why you shouldn't look for a gym you shouldn't bother looking for gym if you staying very short in a place the first reason has to do with price so if you stay very short in a place as you said less than a month most likely you're not gonna be able to have a monthly contract therefore you're going to need to buy a daily passes to access whatever gym you have there the daily passes tend to be quite expensive so I think the cost benefit there is not worth it the second reason has to do with the fact that you will not really lose muscle in physical fitness in the short period of time some empirical research have pointed out to the fact that it usually takes around three to four weeks for you to start losing muscles so if you're staying shorten the place there's no reason to really be worried about if I don't go to the gym I gonna be more unfits and that's that the third reason has to do with the fact that in our opinion there are good work around solutions so of course they are not directly comparable to a proper workout in the gym but if if you're doing those for short period of time those are totally fine so this can be worked out in the park using an old the metals and the body weight equipment that they provide and in parks around the world also doing simple body weight exercises in your accommodation and finally using resistance bands which is a very cheap piece of equipment we actually recommend such kind of equipment as the basic gear for digital nomads that are into fitness and with this resistant bands you can do a quite complete work out for the majority off muscle groups so if you staying short in the place perhaps you can do well enough only using those things that I just mentioned. I think Jack I think we should actually have a podcast on that you know.
Jack: Yeah I do think so .
Mr. B: only to talk about the alternatives for the gym. It yeah yeah.
Jack: I think that'll be very beneficial for the listener especially for digital nomads yeah if you are traveling long terms and you don't necessarily want to get a gym in place.
Mr. B: And the last reason why I think you shouldn't look for a gym if you saying very short in the place has to do with the fact that you won't have a lot of time there right so if you think less than a month you won't really called the place your base you're more like a tourist it would be a better use of your time for you to be exploring the city trying out different things than to be on the gym which is the kind of thing you can do in places you were staying longer.
Jack: Yeah exactly so but Mr B. what if I stay in a place and I still really want to go to the gym what should I do.
Mr. B: I mean even if it's a short trip.
Jack: Exactly.
Mr. B: Yeah there are a couple of things you can do the first thing would be to try to find an accommodation like Airbnb or hotel with a gym usually this tend to be a bit more pricey than normal hotels or Airbnb is but you can find things like that.
Jack: Well speaking of hotel gyms i know a guy and you know him too. Called John he used to just walk into hotel gyms with such a conviction like I don't know how can pull it off but.
Mr. B: What I mean he didn't stay in the hotel.
Jack: Yeah he didn't stay in the hotel he just walk in the gym and the staff just look at him say okay this guy seems to be living here so we can let him in.
Mr. B: That's interesting I mean I wouldn't advise people to do that
Jack: yeah I don't think it's nice to get something that you never pay for it yes he did it's interesting tale to tell
Mr. B: so another thing you can do if you staying short in a place and that you still want to go to the gym is you can go to any local gyms in the area and ask for trial passes trial passes basically are this permissions that local gyms give you to use for let's say one to three days but still you can.
Mr. B: Pulled off one or two workouts a week going to different local gyms in the city.
Mr. B: And finally the third option which is perhaps not the best option is to bite the bullet and pay for expensive day passes but I guess if you got the money or if you're really into fitness you're going to be okay doing that because as I said this tend to be quite expensive.
Jack: Yeah hopefully the gym's going to give out a more better deals for daily passes in the future.
Mr. B: Yeah.
Jack: So the second scenario that we don't recommend people to get a gym is if you have a very low budget but Mr B. I thought getting a monthly gym is quite cheap isn't it so?
Mr. B: Yeah so that's the thing it depends where you are in the war so if you are digital nomads it can actually be quite expensive to go to the gym consistently around different cities in the world for example if you are in the west and by this I mean the Europe or North America I think you can get quite reasonably priced monthly contracts for gym.
Mr. B: But if you go to the east specially East Asia you're going to start to get into the more pricey terrain.
Mr. B: The the reason why a dome advise people with really small budgets to look for a gym it's because in my opinion if you want to go consistently to the gym no matter where you are you should set aside around one hundred perhaps eighty dollars per month.
Jack: Yeah or else this you could use the alternate method that we would just mention.
Mr. B: Like they it working out in the park or resistance bands that that's true.
Jack: Yeah exactly so Mister B. that's getting to the main content of this episode how to find a gym on the road well the methods so here the first method as you listed here as local gyms.
Mr. B: Basically you can look for local gyms and this can be either independent local jams or local gym chains.
Mr. B: And in this local gem you gonna look for a monthly subscription rights so we said that the best case scenario is when you are staying over a month in a place because then you can get the monthly deal and to be honest the longer you stay in a place the easier it will be for you to negotiate the price.
Jack: Yeah exactly or Mr B. I don't understand how can you always get a cheaper price on gyms than me.
Mr. B: so yeah I mean there are some let's say tips when you are negotiating with local gems specially independent local gems so that's the day's first perhaps trick you could use instead of looking for the local chains go for the independent ones because then you have way more negotiation room both in terms of the price as well as all other conditions like the life of the contract things like that there are a couple of tricks and I actually planned to do some sort of script to do with negotiating gym prices in a similar fashion to what we did in the Airbnb negotiations script so guys wait for it probably in a couple of weeks this could be out.
Jack: Yes so if you haven't to see the Airbnb negotiation script you can always go to the right hand side of our website and you can find on the black widget or else we will include a short link in the description you can click on that so Mr B. how do I find an local gym.
Mr. B: So there are obvious but perhaps best bet for you would be to search on maps apps right so the default option.
Mr. B: Probably would be Google maps so you're just going to go to Google maps and type gym yes that's probably going to work for the majority of the locations and the good thing about Google maps is that you see the reveals you see the opening hours you see the photos to see the facilities things like that but keep in mind that in some places in some countries around the world locals don't really use Google maps so they have this alternative maps apps right so you're going to find out what's the main map app for the location and do the same thing there perhaps in the local language so you're gonna go to the alternative map app use the local language and look for gym in the local language so that's probably the most common way for you to find local gyms another way that I heard some people doing it has to do with calling a hotel near your accommodation independently of you staying on the hotel or not you just call the hotel and ask for gym recommendations around the hotel so this is the kind of information that most likely the person on the front desk have answered to thousands of people a lot of people that goes to hotel they when they stay and go to the gym around the hotel so they know that kind of thing SO can simply call and say Hey is there any gyms around you don't need to say you're a guess or anything like that and perhaps they're gonna give you that kind of information.
Jack: I see and finally you can always ask and digital nomad groups in the specific city on the different social media especially Facebook since going to the gym is a common things you will surely find someone who knows.
Mr. B: Yes probably people gonna give you some suggestions there.
Jack: Yeah exactly so the next method we have is accommodation with gyms.
Mr. B: Yes so this tips is the similar to the tip we gave before to do if shorts stays but basically here you are looking for an accommodation either had an Airbnb or hotel that provides a gym so in their hotel case you might say look I'm staying long in the city. Let's say two or three months I won't really stay in a hotel for that long right you rather get an Airbnb so why you suggesting that.
Mr. B: And the idea here is that sometimes you can negotiate with the person in the front desk or the manager of the hotel for you to use their gym as a standalone thing so you won't be staying the hotel but the hotel is your house and you just having access to the gym to be honest the price you're going to get to use the hotel gyms usually it's quite fair or in some cases I already got the gym for free the person in the front us simply said there's no problem he just come here used to gym so now talking about Airbnb which is the other type of accommodation gym I just would like to point out that usually if you want to get an Airbnb with a gym this will probably be a condo or an apartment complex in this tend to be quite pricey so you got to consider that within your digital nomad budget.
Jack: Yeah I also want to point out a thing about this type of accommodation with gyms it's like usually this type of gyms do not have amazing facilities.
Mr. B: Yeah that's true that's true so both hotels and Airbnb gyms tend to have more basic facilities but you can surely do resemble workout.
Jack: Yeah exactly so the next method we have here is global gym chains.
Mr. B: So yeah so this is a method I don't think many digital nomads are aware off but they are so there is global gym chains which are basically gym chains that have gyms all over the world and you can simply pay their monthly membership which usually has quite a premium price but you will have access to any gym in any city around the world so of course they won't have a gym in every city but at least day main capitals the most likely will have so it's quite important for you to check the gym of the ability of this global gym chains before you relocate to your new base and then even when they Globo gym chain has a gym in you are soon to be new base.
Mr. B: You should probably know the exact location of the gym and booked accommodation afterwards and that's because they won't have multiple options within every city they probably going to have one or two gyms in the city so it makes sense for you to get a place quite nearby.
Jack: So the two chains we research are Anytime fitness and Fitness first.
Mr. B: That's right so fitness first I think has a bigger presence in Asia Southeast Asia anytime fitness is kind of all over the place and the one that I have use personally before was anytime fitness and to be honest the experience was quite good so I could always find a gem in Japan which is a quite tricky place to do with gems.
Jack: So the next method we have his public sports centers.
Mr. B: So this is not a method that is that's a available worldwide anyhow I think it's always worth checking if that's a possibility in your new base so.
Mr. B: Basically this public sports centers are these very large sport complexes which the have a pool they might have a soccer field they might have you know things related to sports and one of the things usually they have also available is a gym again don't expect amazing gym facilities but surely enough to do a proper work out the best way to find this kind of facility is again by searching on maps app so you go to let's say to Google maps and you gonna search sports complex and see what comes up also you can ask a local right this is the kind of thing locals would know.
Jack: So the good thing about this type of gym is that is pretty cheap and you can pay the on the daily basis so even if you go there every day you don't you pay a big sum of money in the end of the stay.
Mr. B: So.
Mr. B: As you said there's a quite cheap so differently from normal day passes which are quite expensive if you are using this day passes from public sports centers there's a very cheap.
Jack: So the next method well it's not really a method but this is type of option that is not fully developed yet is the Airbnb style global gym finder.
Mr. B: Yes perhaps we could call that an honorable mention right because we are not recommending here just things that have potential to develop in the future this might become a real thing so as you said it's Airbnb style kind of thing so basically you're going to search and find a gym in the city and pay for a daily or even hour pass to access such gym the reason why this is still not really a thing is because even though there are some websites that claim they can offer this kind of service there's still not a good unified world wide solution so their websites so far has gems on quite a few places so you can't really rely on those on a consistent basis but two of their websites that we have seen me and Mister Jack have searched about is trainaway dot fit and fit triper dot com.
Jack: In this two website will be linked in the our show notes you can check in the the scriptures so Mr B. which is finished all the method that you can find gyms on the road which one do you usually use.
Mr. B: I think like the most reliable method still searching for local gym that's because it provides you the most options and as I said you can always try to negotiate down the prices especially when you're dealing with independent local gyms.
Mr. B: But as I said I have a use with quite a lot of success one of these global gym chains which is then that new time fitness.
Mr. B: And even though they don't have gyms in every city if you are the kind of person the kind of digital nomad that preferred to stays on the big capitols I think that's totally a valid option what about you Mr Jack.
Jack: I see for me I usually go for local gyms or the public facilities.
Mr. B: Yeah you always like to find a good deal so you are the one that always searching Google maps for publications a yeah here in Taiwan the place we are right now lows.
Jack: Offers a pretty good one.
Mr. B: Need a pretty good deal is to do with public gyms.
Jack: Yeah exactly since like fitness is not really my goal when traveling and Mr B. so too I think this is the end of the episode do you have any observation you want to add to this thing we're talking about.
Mr. B: So yeah I just would like to point out that.
Mr. B: We want to record some podcast episodes also within this travel fitness topic so as I said previously we want to record a podcast episode for gym alternatives so this might be resistance training body weight training things like that and also we gonna have some podcast episodes to do with some more practical tips related to working out on the road.
Jack: I see so if you enjoyed this episode please make sure to leave a rating and review on the listing platform and if you won the Airbnb near Goshen shin script please make sure to go on our website Newman tactics dot com you can see on the right hand side there's a black widget well turns away you can go on the short links that we have on the description finally if you want to follow us you can call the big social media like Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram just search Nomad tactics you should find us so thank you for listening
Mr. B: thank you.

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3.Resources