Location: Peak Corner Gym, El Nido
Google maps: Click here
Opening hours: 8.30am to 8.30pm
Price: 100 pesos (approx £1.80)
Review: We ended up staying in El Nido for about 6 days and during this time I managed to get absolutely shredded. Like really, some of the best abs that I have ever had shredded. Seriously, check them out! No photo editing or trickery needed.
So, what's my secret I hear literally no-one asking? Well, I may have cheated a little, in that I was probably the sickest I have ever been whilst I was here. I mean, all exits, no waiting, for about 5 days. It turns out that not being able to eat, mixed with a endless deep body cleanse, is actually really good for your abs! Who knew? Wouldn't recommend it though.
One piece of advice that I will give you for free is that when you get sick in El Nido, and you will, head to the big pharmacy in town and pick up some of these. They are a bacterial solution which you can drink to help combat the sickness that everyone gets from the local food, water and the sea. 99% of the other travellers that we met in El Nido got sick there. The only ones who didn't were our friends Ed and Lucia and this was because we had pre-warned them. They avoided eating any meat at all whilst there and managed to beat the bugs. So that's worth considering.
From reading online, it would seem that El Nido has a real issue with both E. Coli and salmonella. Recently, the tourist numbers here have reached a level where the local infrastructure simply can simply no longer cope. Poor food hygiene, combined with the sheer amount of contaminated sewage being pumped right into the seam has meant that El Nido is the home of food poisoning for all. You have been warned.
In the few days before I saw so savagely stuck down, I did actually manage to locate the only public gym in town, and get in a couple of good workouts! The gym is located near to the beach and is called Peak Corner Gym.
Peak Corner Gym is a medium sized gym, with a basic and slightly aged set up. But I have trained in much worse and they have everything you need to get a good workout. The machines are all outdated, the bars are non-olympic and the dumbbells are chipped and rusted, but I was overjoyed to find this place. The Philippines can be a somewhat basic country at times, and public amenities, other than basketball courts, can be hard to find.
This gym has:
- Dumbbells up to approx 30kgs
- DIY dumbbells
- Adjustable bench
- Incline barbell bench
- Decline barbell bench
- Squat rack
- Pull up bar / Dips bar
- Seated low row
- Lat pulldown machine
- Non-olympic bars
- Leg press machine
- Leg curl machine
- Leg extension machine (bench type)
- Static bike
- Studio area
Whilst the gym does not have air conditioning, they do have fans to help keep you cool. Unless you are training in the evening, it can get pretty hot in here, so remember to bring your sweat towel and they don't rent them. The gym does have some cardio equipment, but not much. Whilst also slightly dated, they did have a treadmill and a static bike, so you may even be able to get your cardio on at this gym, if that is your thing.
They also have a free water dispenser, so you can bring a bottle to refill or you can use one of their cups to drink from. I drank this water on several occasions and I am pretty sure it is safe to drink. If you want to be extra careful, I would probably recommend brining your own bottle.
Amazingly, the gym also sells sachets of protein and amino acid tablets, so stock up here if you need them. When I was there, they only has a few servings left, so try not to pin all your hopes on stocking up here.
Who is this gym for? As this is the only gym in town, there really aren't any other options. Luckily, I found the atmosphere to be friendly and the locals to be pretty welcoming to tourists. Outside of the major cities, the Filipinos and Filipinas that I met on my travels through this country have all been kind, warm people. And El Nido was no exception. The gym is located on one of the main roads near the beach front, so there are no specific concerns about the area. As such, I would recommend this gym to anyone looking to train in El Nido.
Tips: To get to the gym you can ask any trike driver in town. They all know the gym. Don't pay more than 10 - 20 pesos for the journey either.