It’s winter in Moscow. The sun left town. Put a spring in your step with the help of an exercise bike, some Hatha Yoga or a round of Thai boxing. Here is the Passport Magazine Winter Guide to the Top 10 Fitness Clubs in Moscow (in alphabetical order).
In Russia we say, “A big person is a good person.” It sounds like a good excuse for those people with ample, voluptuous bodies; the object of admiration of medieaval artists and still, according to the statistics, the majority of Russian men nowadays.
For both men and women, however, the first couple of weeks after the Christmas and New Year holidays are the right time to start getting into shape. No matter what it is you like to do to trim the fat, you can find the right club in Moscow. But, if you are a foreigner in Moscow, you might be confused by the number and variety of fitness and health clubs. We have checked out a lot of them, and here are the ones we like the most.
By Nataliya Dementeva
Marina Club Fitness Centre
One of the largest fitness clubs for all the family, in Moscow, situated on the shore of the Khimkinskoe Water Reservoir, with a huge swimming pool using a unique water- cleaning system. There is even a special sports complex for pregnant women.
What they offer: Olympic standard swimming pool 50x25 m; unique ultra-violet water treatment system; individual “water” and “land” rehabilitation programs; open air programmes in any season; trimester programmes for pregnant women; post-natal recovery programme; kids club (programmes for pre-school children 3 to 6 years old), junior school children (7 to 12 years) and teenagers club (fitness programmes, special developing programmes, open-air programmes, summer and winter out-of-town health improving camps); medical care room; beauty parlour; massage room; aqua massage; diving; "Submarine" restaurant (Italian, Mediterranean cuisine, banqueting menu); "Parus" cafe (fresh fruit and vegetable juices, fitness menu); climbing wall.
Cost: Annual 43,500 rubles ($1200); Half year 28,000 rubles ($1000)
Address: Leningradsky Shosse, 25a
A well-equipped sports and fitness club with a friendly staff, and a truly eye-catching variety of unexpected ways of preparing for spring. The membership has more women than men. We love the sound of the Wild Cat dances (it really does have something to do with cat behaviour).
What they offer: step aerobics, step progressive; step basic; sound on step; revolution step; step mix, body sculpt, barbell workout, oriental exercises, stretch, latina soul, Hatha Yoga, Thaibo, Wild Cat dances, Yoga classic, Khi-kong, mix dance, sexy dance, body balance, self-defense courses, Indian dance, R&B dance, Latin dance, Flamenco, strip dance.
Cost: Annual 30,000 rubles ($900)
Address: Daev Lane, 20 Tel: 204-8223/24;
Sport and Spa Men’s Health Club
One of the few fitness clubs in Moscow which is specifically aimed at men. The club is stylish and well-equipped.
What they offer: gym; solarium; spa salon; personal training; massage; cardiotherapy; diagnostics; sauna; fitness bar.
Cost: Annual 70,000 rubles ($1960)
Address: Krilatskaya Str., 10
This well-run chain of fitness clubs is one of the most well-known in Moscow, and is expanding all over Russia, with clubs in St Petersburg, Samara, Kazan, Ekaterinburg…. They are ‘corporate’ clubs, meaning that they all look the same and offer the same facilities. You can be certain of what you are getting, and they are certainly popular (for which read sometimes crowded).
What they offer: gym, cardio-gym, variety of group programmess, art-club; swimming pool; personal training, spas salon, Russian banya, sports store, children’s club, boxing ring, tennis court.
Cost: Annual 66,300 rubles ($1900); Half year 55,250 rubles ($1600)
Address: Klimashkina Str. 17, Bldg. 2
Metro: Ulitsa 1905 Goda
A superbly well-equipped spa and health club for both men and women, occupying four floors of a state-of-the-art building, with a floor area of 3,000 sq. metres. It looks like a five-star hotel. Exclusive in all respects.
What they offer: ftness facilities, spa centre, aqua zone including swimming pools, saunas, jacuzzi and solarium, massage.
Cost: Annual 96,200 rubles ($2700); Half year 67,340 rubles ($1900)
Address: Mal. Kalujskaya Str., 15, Bldg. 4;
Tel.: 780-7171, 955-9323
Cards: Visa Electron, MasterCard
Modern, stylish sports club for men and women with a big variety of choices from Thai boxing to dance classes.
What they offer: gyms, cardio-equipment, one-on-one training, aerobics, Eastern types of wrestling (Thaibo, taecwando, karate), kickboxing, dance classes, yoga, child care, spa-salon, solarium, massage, fitness bar.
Cost: Monthly 4,960 rubles ($130); Annual 35,200 rubles ($920);
Address: Ulitsa Unosti, 15.
Metro: Vixino Izmailovskoe Shosse, 71.
Phone: 737-7100, 166-1136;
An up-to-date fitness club for both men and women with a nice, affable staff.
What they offer: swimming pool; gym; aerobics; fitness bar; sun beds; massage; sauna; personal programs; kids’ club; individual training.
Cost: Annual 40,000 rubles ($1300)
Address: Moscow, Konny Per, 4
An exclusive fitness club for men and women, with a loyal, wellheeled membership.
What they offer: individual programmes of physical exercises; personal fitness and aerobics training; various aerobics courses (step, stretch and relax, Latino, Pilates, oriental dance, karate and many others); spinning; cardio- and strength training; professional instructors; kids sport.
Cost: Monthly 11,814 rubles ($340); Annual 85,920 rubles ($2400); gold (solarium and personal trainer included) 136,400 rubles ($3820)
Address: 1 Kolobovskiy Per. 4
Metro: Tsvetnoy Bulvar
Planet Fitness is a chain of sports and fitness clubs, with branches all over Moscow. The clubs are popular with ambitious Russian professional men and women, for whom a membership is a mandatory ‘badge’ of the modern urban Muscovite lifestyle. Saying that you have just been to, or are going to, Planet Fitness, is now a part of the Russian language.
What they offer: various gyms; children’s care; different types of aerobics; swimming pools; dance class; individual trainings; spa; solarium; dancing studio; personal training studio.
Cost: Annual 60,000 rubles ($1680)
Address: Moscow, B. Kislovsky Pereulok, 9;
An unusual sports club for men and women, which aims at a philosophy of both physical and spiritual fitness. The facilities are excellent.
What they offer: Turkish baths; Russian banya; spa; swimming pool with geysers and hydro-massage; open-air swimming pool with heated water; swimming pool with counter-flow; fitness workout room; Oriental centre, aerobics; hard tennis courts; grass tennis courts; tennis academy; games room for children.
Cost: Annual 74,100 rubles ($2100); Half year 48,360 roubles ($1400)
Address: Zhivopisnaya Str, 21, Bldg. 2
Metro: Schukinskaya, Oktyabrskoye Pole