Whilst we absolutely love traveling, and seeing new places every few days, one of the biggest challenges we face is trying to maintain a fitness schedule whilst on the road. For this reason, whenever we opt to settle down somewhere either mid-long term, we always try to join a local gym, even if it is just for a month.

When we decided that we were going to base ourselves here in Madrid for 6 months, we were both really excited at the thought of getting back into a strict fitness regime. We were really keen to check out the various gyms on offer, and choose the best one for us. When we started doing our research, there were 2 main gym chains that stood out to us that seemed to cater well for expats!

Basic-Fit

About the Gym

Basic-Fit is quite a large gym chain, with locations in Madrid, Bilbao, Cordova, Malaga and Gijon. However, its largest presence is definitely here in Madrid, with 24 different branches to choose from! There are 4 branches right in the city centre too: Calle de la Montera in Sol, Calle Atocha, Calle Toledo, and Paseo de las Delicias.

All Basic-Fit gyms offer the usual free weights area, weight machines, cardio machines from brands like Matrix, aswell as both virtual classes (included in your subscription) and group classes with an on-site instructor (for an extra fee). They also offer personal training too.

Madrid-Gym-BasicFit-2

Joining Options

Basic-Fit is available to join whether you are a resident or not; the only difference would be in whether or not you join with a minimum contract length. There are 3 options:

Easy Option: 12 month contract, €19.99 per month paid upfront plus €19.99 registration fee

Smart Option: 12 month contract, €21.99 monthly plus €19.99 registration fee

Flex Option: No fixed contract, €27.99 monthly plus €29.99 registration fee

What did we like about this gym?

The great thing about Basic-Fit is that wherever you end up basing yourself, there will be a gym nearby to choose from!

If you are planning on staying in Madrid for a year, then it is a great price!

What did we not like about this gym?

Basic-Fit does not provide free drinking-water. They give you the option of adding a fee of €5.99 per month to enjoy unlimited YANGA sports water, a sugar-free flavoured water containing essential vitamins. Seeing as it’s important to stay hydrated especially in the extreme heat of Madrid, you would need to take multiple bottles of water with you!

The classes available are also quite limited, unless you opt to pay an additional fee.

VivaGym

About the Gym

VivaGym is possibly the largest chain of gyms, with branches all over Spain, including the Balearic Islands. There are also 6 branches to choose from within Madrid: Embajadores, Alcobendas, Fuenlabrada, Las Tablas, Mostoles and Principe de Vergara.

VivaGym have a wide range of cardio machines, weights machines, a large free weights area and a huge range of included classes.

VivaGym-Madrid-4

Joining Options

VivaGym does have different rates based on whether you are classed as a resident or not (residents do have cheaper rates).

As a resident (with a DNI number):

Premium: €19 registration fee, plus monthly payments of €29.90. This allows you access to any VivaGym in the chain. This also gives you 2 free passes per month to share with whoever you want.
All Day: €19 registration fee, plus monthly payments of €26.90. This is for access to just your main VivaGym.

Residents have the option of joining online.

As a non-resident (without a DNI number):

Non-residents must go to the main gym they will be using in person with a form of ID. Non-residents also have the option of joining for 1 to a maximum of 3 months. The cost per month and the registration fee is the same price as the All Day membership, however if you want to continue using the gym after 3 months, you need to pay the registration fee again. The fee and 3 months must also be prepaid when you sign up.

What did we like about this gym?

What we particularly liked about VivaGym is their extensive range of classes. These include classes based around cardio such as virtual cycling, instructed cycling, aerobics and body combat. They also offer choreography based such as Zumba, V-style and Sh-Bam.

It is also worth noting that VivaGym does not have a minimum contract length, and you can cancel your subscription at any time.

Another great thing that we loved was that you could also use the gym once as a trial to see if you liked it prior to joining and paying. This also included being able to try the classes, provided there were spots available.

VivaGym also provides free drinking water for their clients!

What did we not like about this gym?

There wasn’t much we didn’t like about VivaGym! It has everything to suit most needs. Perhaps the only negative is that whilst it is great there is no minimum contract length, the 3 month cap for non-residents is low. It would be ideal if this was 6 months!

Other Gyms to Note

Gymage

One of the other gyms we looked at was Gymage, a slightly higher end gym. This is a stand-alone fitness centre located close to Gran Via station, and part of the Gymage Lounge Resort along with the rooftop terrace, restaurant and theater. Whilst we liked the look of the fitness centre itself, and the class schedule, the price was significantly higher.

For just 1 months membership, the price was €50 plus a €19 registration fee. They do offer the option of either an individual, 3, 6 or 12 month contract with the monthly rate decreasing the longer you sign up, but even the cheapest option was still close to €40 a month plus registration fee.

Outdoor Gyms

Outdoor-Gym-in-Retiro-Park-1

If you are only here for a few weeks and don’t want to have to sign up to a gym or pay a registration fee, working out at one of the outdoor gyms along with some jogging or cycling could be how you maintain your shape whilst in Madrid.

Working out outdoors has become hugely popular with the fitness-obsessed population of Madrid, and as a result most local parks now feature some sort of pull-up bars that is in constant use.

Other larger parks have slightly more comprehensive fitness equipment. Retiro Park for example is a great place for a thorough outdoor workout. Available equipment includes pull-up bars, step benches, parallel bars, rings, and even basic calisthenic machines. The park also has a lot of various jogging tracks.

So which gym do we think is best for expats?

If you are planning to stay in Madrid for longer than a year and want to focus on simple workouts with no classes, then Basic-Fit is the cheapest option, especially if you pay the 12 months upfront. Just remember to stock up on water!

However, if you are only here for a few months at a time, or you like the social aspect of group classes, then we would recommend VivaGym. It’s a great price, has an extensive range of classes, includes free water and there is no minimum contract!

We hope you found our guide useful, and that it helps you choose the best option for you to get fit whilst here in Madrid!

So aswell as your gym you will need a flat or a room to base yourself in. But don't worry - Spotahome are here to help with that!

Check out these other posts on Spains capital city:
8 Free things to Do in Madrid
Eating out in Madrid - Vegatarian Style
5 Most Popular Restaurants and Cafes in Malasana
Eat Tapas Like a Local – 4 Bars in Madrid!