Working Up a Sweat in Shanghai | The City’s Best New Gyms

03.12 / Fitness

It seems there are new gyms and studios opening left, right and center in Shanghai. With so many options to choose from, there's only one way to find the perfect one - try them all. Ok maybe not all, but I did hit up three different studios for three different workouts - from a Spartan-inspired class to an intense spin session, to the aptly named "Suicide Circuit." Read about them below...


The Clinic is one of the more premium, high-end studios in Shanghai. I did a “300 Spartan HIIT” class, which is based on the training used to drill the fit AF cast of 300. The only way to describe this class and its trainer, Maurad Tcherouka, is “INTENSE.” Tcherouka will definitely make you sweat, and if you dare to stop earlier than the indicated time, you won't just be punished yourself, but the entire group will need to start all over again. The exercises vary, ranging from whole body pull-ups and mastering battle ropes to planking. The classes are small and intimate, ensuring you get enough attention from Tcherouka to master each exercise like a pro.

Cost: First class is free, then it’s 5 classes for 1120 RMB (approximately $162 USD) and 10 classes for 2000 RMB (approximately $290 USD).


GuCycle is located in the basement of Hubindao mall in Xintiandi. After being properly set up, the lights go off, beats are on blast, and it’s time for some high intensity cycling. GuCycle describes its mission as “the process of developing and maturing physically, mentally and spiritually.” This was actually my first time cycling, and all I can remember is that I sweat a LOT.

Cost: First class is free. If you sign up within 2 hours, you can apply for a package of 33 rides for 4000 RMB (approximately $580 USD), or 90 rides for 8000 RMB (approximately $1160 USD). You can also pay 180 RMB (approximately $26 USD) per class, or 1500 RMB (approximately $217 USD) for 10 classes.

Versus Fitness

After a weekend of Thanksgiving feasting, I hit up Versus for a “Suicide Circuit” class, which is designed to build strength and muscular endurance through body conditioning and resistance training. While the class started off gently with a couple of jogs and lunges, I soon discovered the “suicide” element of the class: in pairs, we had to alternate between burpees, sideways mountain climbers, kettle bell swings, hitting the ceiling with 26lb medicine balls, and steady bear crawls.

This was a much-needed shock to my post-Thanksgiving body. And while I consider myself an avid Nike Training Club fan, I can still feel soreness in my back and arms as I’m writing this two days after training.

Cost: First class is 60RMB (approximately $9 USD), instead of the normal 180RMB (approximately $26 USD) drop in rate. They offer 10 classes for 150 RMB (approximately $20 USD) per class, 20 for 120RMB (approximately $17 USD) per class, or 40 for 105RMB (approximately $15 USD) per class. There are also unlimited packages for the more hard-core BISHES.

Feature Image: Nike

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