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Old 21.12.2012, 13:50
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Gyms in Basel

As I have come across a number of threads asking about gyms in Basel, I thought I would offer my personal, and (dare I say) former professional opinion on the few that I have trained at/visited. NB: Some comments are based on cursory inspections, so take these with a grain of salt.

There are other gyms, if you would like to add your own thoughts please feel free.

Firstly and in general, most of the gyms are expensive. Needlessly so in my opinion. Most are full service with a lot of fluff and guff that frankly are unnecessary if you are actually looking to get fit/ter, and you will probably not use the full value anyway. So unless I mention otherwise, it is what I would consider expensive.

Second, I am free weight person. That is my bias. I judge a gym by that. I use a few machines here and there for specific purposes, so I factor in machines that I consider useful ... and to be honest if I don't consider them useful, they probably aren't ... and that's most of them! I also use a few cardio machines mainly treadmill and rowing, though others have their use too.

Third, all the gyms here have reasonable opening times unless otherwise stated. NB: I did visit one gym (city gym? ... not listed here) to have a look, was closed afternoon on a saturday ... that is not reasonable!

Fourth, at all the gyms I have trained at, introductions to training are non-existent. Which is fine for me, as it doesn't then waste my time. But it is dangerous and not a good idea to have people running around with very little idea about what they are doing (I cringe sooo much). This says to me the gym industry here is quite immature (and as it was the same in Holland, I daresay the same goes for Europe). And despite the fact that apparently it takes 2 yrs to become a qualified PT here (I did mine in 3 months by correspondence .. plus practical), I have not been impressed by what I have seen so far ... which is not much ... and that is part of the problem. So if you are thinking of joining a gym, see below and PM me!

Migros Fitnesspark: I trained here when I was doing a test visit to Basel in Nov 2011. It is pretty good. Has everything you'll need. It was a little light on barbells if I recall, but that's about it. Also the free weights area was a little small and cramped, tucked in a corner almost, and made more awkward by being flanked by machines. It also has a pool, but if you really want to swim for fitness, I would got to aquabasilea (not featured as I have not been there, it also has a gym and seems to be reasonably priced). Has most classes, you'd want and the usual extras like sauna. This gym does get a bit busy at the usual popular times, which as always is frustrating.

Medical Fitness Team: This is a small gym I trained at Feb 2012. I liked it better than Migros, because I like the smaller gym feel. I also liked it because the free weight area felt like a dungeon and I prefer that to the nice clean 'health centre' feel. The dungeon was however quite cramped, less a free weight area actually than a heavier weights area (read men's ... it was rare to see a lady down there!). Upstairs had a small selection of the most usual machines, some light free weights and some cardio ... it is quite light on the treadmills, which can lead to queuing, and as most people generally do cardio for some time (I tend towards sprints) this is annoying. Has physios attached for extra cost. Has a Zumba class apparently (please don't do Zumba!), but not others as recall. The people who work there are pretty nice. Sauna etc ... though never saw it! I believe it was slightly cheaper than Migros (offers significantly less) but I can't find the price at the moment. The least convenient opening times, with restricted access on weekends ... mostly I refer to sundays: 10-2.

Fitorama: Also has gyms at Novartis and Uni. I refer to the one on Lange Gasse. I only visited this one I have not trained there. Has kettlebells and TRX, which are good if you know what you're doing. Was quite small as I recall, but larger than Medical fitness above. Decent selection of cardio and some useful machines. The free weights section does not stand out in my memory much at all ... which is not too positive. Its main draw card seems to be its Hamam (did I mention fluff!), which is quite impressive (and with price to match ... though can be bought separately from training). So if that's what you're after ... For training, well I train elsewhere! Though they do have several amateur sporting teams training there apparently so it can't be as bad as my memory makes out. Has a interesting array of classes, including TRX classes.

Indigo: Seems quite good. There's a new (I was told it was new) section for free weights (outside the main gym in a small office next door!). This is small and would get easily cramped at peak times ... that said I get the feeling it aims to be fairly exclusive so it might not get so busy. It also had kettlebells and TRX ... plus. At off peak times this room could be quite the good training area for a crossfit / HIIT style workout if that's what you like. The rest of the gym is fairly standard. Good cardio selection, with a small useful selection of machines ... as my memory serves. Has a relaxation space, sauna etc. A selection of classes that looks like it is not just prepackaged les mills. You pay for that exclusivity however!

Fit made: Ok so here's my choice and where I train. Unfortunately it is powered by Techno-s**t ... I mean Technogym (why must every gym be 'powered' by this group ... Bleh!). It has no frills (though it does have a place for kids to hang out and solariums). No classes (yay!). You have to pay for showers CHF2.50. And the staff aren't the friendliest (and not much english spoken)! However, it is cheap CHF700 gets you 2 years ... that's half the price of most of the gyms above for twice as long. Has a great and extensive freeweight section ... and a proper squat rack! Lots of barbells (albeit they are only the really crappy 10 kg bars, and not decent 20's), with plenty of plates (technogym plates are not good however!). Good range of dumbbells, but they only go to 32 kgs. Huge array of useful and useless machines. Similarly with cardio. Space enough to train without feeling cramped (I have not been there at peak ... though afternoons on weekends have been comfortable). And so far not overly busy. It is missing some machines ... decent seated row ... and others are too light. It has its downsides (crappy music and MTV constantly on TVs), but otherwise, for the price, it is the best gym I have seen in Basel. Oh and best opening hours I have seen yet 6-11 everyday.

I hope this has been of help. Please add any thoughts or comments, particularly on other gyms I have missed. I will endeavour to visit other gyms over time and add my thoughts on them here as well.

Finally, if you are a member of Fitmade in Basel and would like to get together to train on Saturdays, send me a PM. Doesn't matter what you do, I am just looking to meet new people.

D
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Old 04.01.2013, 17:37
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Re: Gyms in Basel

Thanks for your detailed thoughts. I am in the process of deciding to join either FITmade or Factor Sport-Club (http://www.fs-club.ch), which is just down the street from FITmade.

FITmade is a little more expensive than FITmade, but not as ridiculous as others in Basel. However, they seem to offer free showers...

If you make it FS Club, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on how it compares to FITmade.

Cheers
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Old 11.01.2013, 23:45
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Re: Gyms in Basel

Ok Factor Sports Club:

Sorry for the delayed reply … time of year and all!

This is a good club. I actually visited it much earlier last year, but could not recall it very well when I wrote the first post. Thanks for sending me back! I also have friend that trains there who has told me a little about it.


It is a little smaller and more cramped than Fitmade. It has less pin-load machines, but are probably better quality (I just had a look and did not use them … but they're not technogym!). Upstairs it has a well stocked free weight section with DBs all the way up to 50, plus benches and squat rack and proper 20kg bars. It also has a good selection of plate-loaded machines - these are good because they can be loaded very heavy, but not so good as they track a specific movement that is not necessarily good for you, unlike cables (to be honest machines are not good for this reason … the instability in free weights is much better!).

I do wonder how it would be at peak times. The area upstairs would get VERY cramped. And I imagine it would be filled mostly by rather large guys (apparently there are a few there!) so if that is not your thing …!

Another thing to note: they are setting up a crossfit gym which will be completed in 2-3 months. This is quite amazing (a) that a fitness centre would have CF, and (b) it is apparently going to be included in the regular gym price (something like FR.70/month for 2 year contract) … this is quite special because I understand that CF can be quite expensive. I was also told that it will have a parkour gym … as it, and the CF gym, were not ready I could not look to check them out so I cannot comment on what they're like.

It is the best gym I have seen in terms of quality of equipment here in Basel. And the price is certainly reasonable (at 2 year contract … less so for shorter contracts). It is still more expensive and more cramped than Fitmade, however.

Suffice it to say if I was training solely at a gym, I would probably train here. Particularly with the future opportunity to train CF included in the price (NB: I do not totally approve of what CF do, they lack some attention to detail and form, it is still a good training system and the CF athletes are some of the fittest out there).

I would also say that, for girls, CF is ideal (also a recommendation from Sports Nutritionist Lyle McDonald, whom my fiancé quite likes). This is because it provides a great supportive atmosphere, and gets girls lifting heavy weights and training hard (and looking great!!!) in contrast to the usual style of training undertaken by females in a gym … not productive.

For me, as I spend most of my time at a gymnastics centre in Liestal, and use gyms as supplemental weights training, and leg/cardio/HIIT days, Fitmade is still better simply due to price (about half that of Factor). But as I said, if I was just going to be training at a gym and only at a gym, so far as I have seen in Basel, it would be this one.

Hope that helps skippie.

D
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Old 11.01.2013, 23:57
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Re: Gyms in Basel

Try a real Crossfit box and do the right thing. I know the owner, he's good people.

http://www.crossfitbasilisk.ch/

Good luck

Last edited by Assassin; 12.01.2013 at 00:07.
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Old 12.01.2013, 01:45
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Re: Gyms in Basel

I have been going to Colosseum gym in Kleinhüningen for six months now, nice little place, oodles of free weights, older machines and thai boxing, it has a mixed clientele and caters more to the "Muckibuden" people than to the "Fitness studio" people, I also like the possibility of a monthly abo instead of the must sign for a year ones.
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Old 12.01.2013, 11:19
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Re: Gyms in Basel

Assassin:

Given the requirements of CF branding, if the gym is going to have a CF gym it will be certified!

As for myself doing 'proper' CF, well years of CF, GymJones and the Mill (run by current and former SAS troopers in Perth WA, this is pretty much the cream of the crop! http://www.themillgym.com) WODs by myself, along with PT sessions (as a former PT myself, these were for curiosity) at a CF gym and the Mill, I feel I can say I have been there done that!! I respect CF greatly, love the HIIT format, but it does depend significantly on the individual gyms and the people who run them … I have seen some pretty awful footage! The CF style also has its downsides (though again gym dependent), which I like to compensate for.

The Basel CF looks like a decent one. And I should try to make it over there one day. Though nowadays I prefer to hang out on rings than do WODs! The days I do a HIIT are usually leg intensive, to let my upper body rest!

In any event, could you provide a bit more of a description of what the Basel CF gym has in terms of equipment, what the classes are like and how to join (normally I have found there's intro sessions). After all, it is a gym in Basel and it would be good to have that here as a resource!

Slammer:

Thanks for that. Would you be able to provide a bit more info? I have not been to this gym and wrote it off on my online searches as the links I found to it never worked. A working link would also be great!

Please explain the term 'Muckibuden'? Don't know it … though I have a feel for it, I myself prefer a dirty warehouse gym (my roots I guess you'd say!) than a health centre … if that is what you mean.

Also, all the gyms above offer a monthly deal, but they are usually disproportionately expensive so I have not discussed them. Though, for people that travel a lot, they are probably preferable.
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Old 12.01.2013, 11:57
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Re: Gyms in Basel

Yes I noticed that their link did not work, gonna ask the guy about it later.
A Muckibude (Muscle shack) is more of an "old style" gym, black iron and grunt where people snigger at the word "Zumba," the motto is "no pain, no gain" and it is just round the corner of the number eight tram terminus in Kleinhüningen.
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Old 12.01.2013, 11:58
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Re: Gyms in Basel

It seems that Basel is full of small neighbourhood gyms - after four years, I realised that there is one in my street.

My first winter here, I looked for a gym that also had a pool. I was shown around the John Valentine gym (near Aschenplatz) by an egotistical, muscle flexing, sexist guy, but joined in spite of him. I had my own weights programme from my UK coach, and on my first session, a very helpful man showed me how to use the equipment they had, for what I needed to be doing. However, I was not impressed by the haughty, smirky looks of the female attendants. Then I was told-off ( no polite "excuse me but...") when I started to go to the pool with bare feet, not knowing about a footwear rule. Despite having paid, I never went back.

Instead I enrolled at the Radisson Blu (comparative price to other bigger gyms) I really liked the friendly greeting from whichever attendant was on duty, the small clean weights room with its excellent ventilation and all the equipment I needed, and the never-busy pool ( though small). The spacious showers and fluffy towels were a nice bonus.

Please don't all rush there - I like it without the crowds.
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Old 04.04.2013, 13:06
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Re: Gyms in Basel

Hey guys! Does somebody know a gym on Vogesenstrasse? It is called Swiss Training. Have you ever been there?
Thanks for all answers.
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Old 12.04.2013, 16:20
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Re: Gyms in Basel

The Radisson Blu gym looks nice on their website. I will give it a try someday soon...

I do not know the gym on Vogesenstrasse, Swiss Training, though. I must say though that their website does not look very promising.
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Old 19.04.2013, 15:39
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Re: Gyms in Basel

Matt14:

Sorry, have been busy and pre-occupied of late. I'll try to take a wander over there in the next few weeks. When I do I'll post something.

Wouldn't mind checking out some of the other gyms others have mentioned as well.

D
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Old 19.04.2013, 17:00
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Re: Gyms in Basel

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Then I was told-off ( no polite "excuse me but...") when I started to go to the pool with bare feet, not knowing about a footwear rule.
'scuse me, but what on Earth is "footwear rule for the pool"?
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Old 20.04.2013, 19:55
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Re: Gyms in Basel

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'scuse me, but what on Earth is "footwear rule for the pool"?
Having to wear flipflops or something similar between the changing room and the side of the pool. (I didn't have any, had not been told that I needed them when I had been shown round by Mr Conceited a couple of days earlier, and was put right off by the tone of the cleaner/attendent who informed me. :-(
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Old 20.04.2013, 19:57
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Re: Gyms in Basel

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The Radisson Blu gym looks nice on their website. I will give it a try someday soon...

I do not know the gym on Vogesenstrasse, Swiss Training, though. I must say though that their website does not look very promising.
I joined the Valentine gym because it had a pool, went once and never again. I then looked at several gyms before deciding on the Radisson Blu - it was never busy, never smelt sweaty, good, clean changing rooms, fluffy towels supplied and a nice little pool. There was no outside lighting, but I find the atmosphere there to be bright and light enough for me not to feel claustrophobic.
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Old 20.04.2013, 23:10
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Re: Gyms in Basel

Colosseum's webpage is back online to check out.
http://www.colosseum-fitness.ch/index.html
On a side note, I broke my record on the pec-deck today, 240 lbs, UrrrHaa!
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Old 16.09.2013, 21:41
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Re: Gyms in Basel

Thanks for the reviews, I've spent the last few weeks looking for a gym and not really gotten anywhere.

At the moment Factor Fitness is looking like the best option (50chf Thai massages might have swung it), they seem quite friendly from the e-mails I've sent them so far.

Does anyone here train there? What's it like these days? How busy is it?
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