Finding a gym in Korea can either be really simple or the most challenging of adventures. I decided about a month into my contract that working out at home was not, well, working. I wanted to join a gym but had nowhere to start.
I researched some places on facebook groups, and walked around my neighborhood but I kept being drawn to Daewoo, 1. Because it is literally 2 blocks from my house and 2 because there were a number of well fit men that would walk in and out of the doors. I should have just gone there at first, but being that it is a basement gym, I was not sure what to do, being that walking in to new and big places full of very muscular men can be very intimidating.
Finally one day, I was tired of looking elsewhere and I went in. I was greeted by the nicest 20 something Korean I had met yet. She was happy and eager to talk to me and let me look around. When I was walking around the facility I met possibly the biggest Korean I think I have ever met, he started speaking to me and I learned that he spent a year in Australia, his English was perfect and it was obvious that he liked working out. Granted his Aunt owns the place, but he told me about the benefits of this gym, mainly that its been around for a while and that it is clean. Granted the gym is a little older than some in other parts of the city, but it is close to my house and is in no danger of just shutting down.
There is a great amount of cardio machines and weight machines to get your sweat on, and a great big “multi” room where they hold Yoga at 8 pm on weekdays (an extra 10,000KRW per month if you want to go to yoga classes). There is 1 jimjillbang room that is a good temperature and there is always clean towels and gym clothing sets.
The weights are a bit older but they do the trick. I went to the gym for about 4 months before I started getting “personal training for waygooks”. The guy that I met the first day, works with individuals for health, he saw that I was interested in starting weight lifting and was really helpful, no charge, just wanted to make sure I was doing it right. He gave me private lessons with another western girl that I had seen around and we became friends. There were about 6 westerners that also used the gym so it was nice to see friendly faces and have a quick chat in English at times. Many of the guys were very serious about working out, but that really did not stop the ones that were just getting started. The women were always friendly and nice to me, and I have never had a problem.
This gym has all the basics you could need to get into shape. Their staff is really friendly and kind and for only 170,000 for 3 months, the price is not terrible. If you live around PNU or work around PNU and need a place where you can get in and out quickly Daewoo fitness has you covered.
How to get to Daewoo Fitness:
From PNU Orange line subway station go out exit 4, take a left and walk along the road, when you come to a busy intersection first take a right, and then a left across the 2 streets. Daewoo Freeness is in the “Parking lot” right in front of you. Go in the main doors and walk down the stairs, there will be friendly people to greet you at the bottom!