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GYMS IN KOREA REVIEW – Multigym Fitness

Multigym-Fitness-Official-Overview
Overhead view of squat racks
Last updated:
Small but heavy weights & unique equipment
Multigym Fitness Corea is a unique gym located in Sinchon, Seoul, Korea. It makes up for its smaller than average size with a unique selection of quality equipment. Highlights are 60 kg dumbbells, plate-loaded machines & lots of Crossfit equipment.
Open Hours & Days
6
Price
8
Squat & Power Racks
7
Dumbbells
9.5
Barbells
7.5
Accessories
10
Machines
7
Cardio Equipment
3.5
GX Classes, Room & Equipment
9.5
Equipment Age, Maintenance & Cleanliness
9
Locker Rooms & Showers
6
Size, Layout & Spacing
6
Customer Experience
0
Dumbbells
Spacing
Unique equipment
GX room & classes
Cleanliness
Overall size
Cardio equipment
Total size
Customer Experience
6.8

Note: This review was updated in June 2021 with the “Customer Experience” section receiving a rating of 0 due to the experience I detail below.

In short, MFC charged members full price to re-up memberships and then 2 days later started advertising a special discount with perks. They refused to adjust new members who signed up just days earlier with this new deal and said they’d issue no refunds when I asked them. Several other members I talked to unfortunately fell for this. This is just my experience and I make no claim as to their official policy. But if customer experience is important, keep this in mind.


The HAN GANG MAGAZINE GYM REVIEW SERIES is here to help you find the best gym in Seoul. And the answer for each person will be different.

I approach every gym review from the perspective of a consumer and weightlifter, with 20 years experience lifting weights. None of my reviews are sponsored or partnered in any way.

The following are the major factors I consider when trying to answer the question “How to find a gym in Korea?” I advise you to go step-by-step, but you can use this content table to jump around.

Contents

Multigym Fitness Corea

The first entry in this review series is Multigym Fitness Corea (MFC). Multigym Fitness has been in business for 10 years and has established itself as one of the best gyms in Seoul. If you’re finding a gym in Korea or gym in Sinchon, Korea, then I highly recommend this place.

Full disclosure: I actually went to this gym before COVID-19 hit, and I plan to head back there in the future.

Entrance to Multigym Fitness
Entrance coming from the elevators

Location

A gym in Seoul within walking distance to Sinchon and Ewha

Every lifter knows that motivation is a huge factor in your consistency, and finding a gym in Seoul that is close to your home solves one common reason for inconsistency.

You can also get to Multigym Fitness from Sinchon station or Yonsei University.

It’s on the 5th floor, and ground-level for this building is the 2nd floor. The quickest way is to go to Ewha University station exit 1. You can enter the building from the back door.

Address: 서울시 서대문구 대현동 107-7번지 혜우빌딩 5F [서울시 서대문구 신촌역로 10, 혜우빌딩 5F]

5F, 101-7, Daehyeon-dong,  Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea




Open Hours & Days

What are the open hours of Multigym Fitness?

Rating 6

There are two parts to this: What hours are the gym open? How many days per month is the gym open?

One of the quirks or drawbacks about living in Korea is how gyms are not fully thought of as “necessary” businesses. Many of these types of businesses close the 2nd/4th Sundays of every month, with some I’ve been to looking for literally any excuse they can to close (Arnold Hong…ahem. Permanently closed now for many screwups).

In the past, I’ve resorted to working out outside at the Han river or looking for cheap gyms for 1-day passes. Unfortunately, many gyms now do not offer 1-day passes anymore.

Hours of Multigym Fitness
Hours of Multigym Fitness

Daily hours of Multigym Fitness:

  • Weekdays: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM (Midnight)
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Sunday & Holidays: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Closed 4th Sunday of every month

Firstly, there’s not much room to go more than 1 point away from the average of 5. No gym is going to deviate too much from other gyms.

These hours are standard to slightly above average for Korea. Most gyms close the 2nd/4th Sundays of every month, and many are NOT open on public holidays. MFC actually is open on one-off public holidays such as Hangul Day or Children’s day. That itself is great because Korea has 1-2 public holidays per month.

The only days it won’t be open are on very important cultural holidays such as Independence Day, Korean Thanksgiving (Chuseok), and Lunar New Year. Even then, it will only close 1 out of the 3 days for longer holidays. No gym in Korea will be open all 3 days of lunar new year, for example.

Unfortunately, 10 AM is pretty late for the weekend and it’s standard for Korean gyms. In fact, both Gym TIPI (a popular chain in Sinchon and Hongdae) and Star Kali fitness have the same hours.

Price

Rating 8

Gym membership fees in Seoul, Korea

First of all, prices for Korean gyms are going to be much higher than what you’re used to in the West. Seoul is an expensive city, so temper your expectations. If fitness is a part of your lifestyle, however, you won’t mind paying for a gym membership in Seoul, Korea.

Since I used to go to MFC, I still am on their marketing list. I receive occasional texts such as this. Here’s the details:

  • Starting day can be adjusted
  • Workout clothes 50% off (They provide workout clothes or you can wear your own)
  • Can extend if you’re an expiring member

Level 1 Early bird – October 12-18th

  • Health 1 year – 330k KRW (“Health” means everything in the gym, no classes)
  • 99,000 KRW extra for 1 year of GX classes

Level 2 Early bird – October 19-25

  • Health 1 year = 330k KRW
  • 140,000 won extra for 1 year of GX classes

Level 3 Early bird – October 26-31

  • Health 1 year = 330k KRW
  • 198,000 KRW extra for 1 year of GX classes

Body Profile Event (Making great body)

  • 3 months of focused 1:1 lessons + 3 months of gym + 30x Personal Training sessions + personal photo shoot package = 1,660,000 KRW

As you can see, if you’re just interested in “health” or weights, it’s only 330k KRW. That’s only 27,500 KRW per month, and that’s an amazing deal. They have realized that people are very price-sensitive towards gym pricing but not so much for PT and extra services.

These prices are also much better than other gyms in Sinchon, like Gym TIPI and Star Kali (380,000 KRW).

My advice is you really should wait for promotions. I actually got an entire year last year for 180,000 KRW only by waiting for a summer special. Their normal pricing last time I checked was 330,000 KRW for 6 months, so that’s a huge difference.

This makes Multigym Fitness among the best gyms in Seoul if price is your #1 parameter.

Squat & Power Racks

Rating 7

Now the fun parts. If you’re trying to find the best gym in Korea or Seoul, then the first thing you probably search for is squat or power racks. Sometimes squat stations are just for squats, but most gyms get all-in-one power racks to save space. MFC is no exception.

Multigym-Fitness-Official-Overview
Overhead view of squat racks

There’s four comprehensive squat or power racks at MFC. They are all along a long wall with wall mirrors.

Gyms in Seoul with power squat racks

Here’s a close-up. They are very well-maintained and work perfectly. Nothing is uneven or jittery. You will be doing Smith machine, benching, squatting, and deadlifting in this area.

I gave this a 7 because the direct experience with these is a dream. They are of superb quality. Even things like how well the adjustment hooks come in and out are very nice. There are no pads that are wearing off or anything like that.

Other cheap gyms in Seoul will have squat racks of questionable quality or age. When I think of “Is this the best I’ve experienced in Korea?”, I want to say yes. And four of them is great!

The downside is that there’s no bench presses or free deadlift area. If all 4 are occupied, you’re out of luck for any barbell-related lifts. This can be an issue during rush hour, so plan accordingly.

Only 4 total definitely is cutting it low compared to other gyms in the area.

Dumbbells

Rating 9.5

Finding gyms in Seoul with free weights can be a challenge, especially if you’re a heavy lifter. While most gyms will all have dumbbells, the vast majority of gyms only have dumbbells up to 30 or 40 kg.

For me personally, I’m a dumbbell lifter. So finding a gym in Korea for me means looking for the heaviest possible dumbbells.

The great news if you’re like me is that Multigym has dumbbells up to 60 kg! The dumbbells go from 3 kg up to 60 kg in 5 kg increments.

Multigym-Fitness-Dumbbells-1
Dumbbell rack. Heavy dumbbells at the bottom

How heavy are the dumbbells at Multigym Fitness?

Only ONE other gym in my decade living in Korea has matched or exceeded this. That would be Bodystar Fitness, which has around 14 branches all over Seoul. That gym is very expensive but has dumbbells up to 75 kg.

  • THE HAN GANG MAGAZINE’S REVIEW OF BODYSTAR FITNESS (COMING SOON)

When I used to go to Arnold Hong, I basically rounded up all the foreigners and buff Koreans there to beg them to buy dumbbells over 40 kg, which they eventually did.

Heavy dumbbells are very important, which makes Multigym Fitness one of the best gyms in Seoul, as far as I’m concerned. This is why I gave a rating of 9.5.

The downside, like with the squat racks, is that there’s only one set of dumbbells. I personally haven’t had many ‘crowd’ issues at MFC, but I also avoid weeknights.

Barbells

Rating 7.5

If you’re a powerlifter in Korea or looking for a powerlifting gym in Seoul, then barbells are super important.

For a Korean gym to pass my equipment test, the barbells must be straight, have good grip/knurling, and the cuffs must not be crazy loose and rotate fast.

Fortunately, Multigym Fitness has a solid collection of barbells with some good variety. Below, you can see full-size barbells, short barbells, EZ curl bars, rotating grip bars, and fixed-weight barbells.

Multigym-Fitness-Accessories-3
Medicine balls & barbells
Multigym-Fitness-Accessories-5
Bent-over barbell row station + triangle collar grip. More barbells. Band accessories
Fixed barbells at Multigym Fitness
Fixed-weight barbells. Up to 50 kg

Pretty straight-forward. This is a really good and quality selection of dumbbells. Much more than normal Korean gyms. To get a 9+ score, I would like to see a triangle barbell as well as a greater number.

To be clear, Multigym isn’t a pure powerlifting gym.

  • Check out THE HAN GANG REVIEW OF GYM TIPI HONGDAE for a powerlifting gym

Accessories

Rating 10

Variety is the spice of the gym. To properly challenge yourself, both physically and mentally, you have to change it up.

I personally take pleasure in feeling soreness after making small grip or angle adjustments to my usual lifts. And accessory equipment can really help with adding new stimuli and challenges.

As you can see in the photos both above and below, Multigym Fitness has a ton of interesting stuff. First of all, they got CHAINS! These are an amazing addition to weighted dips, which are a personal favorite of mine.

Multigym-Fitness-Accessories-4
Tractor tires and sledgehammers
Multigym-Fitness-Accessoreies-6
More kettlebells, smaller dumbbells, hula hoops.
Multigym-Fitness-Acessories-1
Weighted chains, forearm/wrist curl rope, kettlebells, weighted forearm wands
Multigym-Fitness-Accessories-7
Close up of triangle grip. You slide it over the barbell and use in bent over row
Multigym-Fitness-Accessories-2
Long battle ropes (this will destroy you the first time). Rotating grip bars.

This deserves a 10, in my experience. One of the unique features of Multigym Fitness is that it has martial arts and “functional” fitness cardio classes (battle ropes, tire hammering), which means they have a lot of special equipment.

You likely won’t find another gym with this selection or even find this equipment in the wild in Korea at all. I should know because I’m always on the lookout for used gym equipment for sale in Korea.

Machines

Rating 7

Multigym-Fitness-Official-Overview-2
Most machines in Multigym Fitness are plate-loaded. A huge plus.

Another important requirement in finding the best gym in Seoul is the machines. Most of the machines except I think the abs, pec dec/reverse fly, lat pulldown, and leg extension are plate-loaded. Of course, there’s a cable station as well.

Highlights include two plate-loaded lat pulldowns, dip machine, decline, incline, and flat bench presses, bent-over hamstring curl, and hack squat…all plate-loaded.

Gyms in Seoul with machines

Really solid offering here. Everything you absolutely need with some good spacing. What’s there is high quality.

The downside here is there aren’t a ton of machines, but they are all quality and quite new. In my opinion, I think this is tremendously above-average and deserving of a decent score. Plate-loaded (Hammer Strength style) machines have become the standard, and Multigym Fitness is no exception.

Cardio Equipment

Rating 3.5

Every score has been very high. So am I grading Multigym Fitness like a high school teacher? I’m trying hard to hold to my scale above. Well, definitely not for the cardio section!

Gyms in Seoul with cardio equipment

The treadmills are definitely above-average in quality with TVs. There’s even two rubber track weird treadmills that are kind of concave. There are stationary bikes and ellipticals, but they are very bad; you have to turn a dial to adjust their resistance. Very below average experience.

GX Classes, Room & Equipment

Rating 9.5

Lots of people are into functional fitness, not just weightlifting. Activities available at Multigym include dance, yoga, spinning, and aerobic classes. There’s also unique offerings like “functional strength” with the tires/ropes I mentioned before.

MMA gyms in Seoul are getting increasingly popular, so those who are interested will be glad to hear that there’s also Krav Maga, as the gym owner is a practitioner.

Multigym-Fitness-Official-GX-2
Main GX room. Lots of combat equipment and bags
Multigym-Fitness-Official-Bike
Second GX room. Spinning class.

First of all, there’s TWO GX rooms. When’s the last time you saw that in a Korean gym? I never have.

Second, the main GX room is also the biggest I’ve ever seen. It’s really clean and well-maintained. As I mentioned before, the gym owner comes from a martial arts/functional fitness background.

I must disclose that I’ve never taken a GX class there, so I can’t attest to the instructors.

Equipment Age, Maintenance & Cleanliness

Rating 9

One of the hallmarks of cheap gyms in Seoul is their old equipment. Many gyms in Korea are poorly managed. When they inevitably close, they sell off their equipment to the next gym buyer, who then recycles that equipment. I’ve been to gyms where the barbells were bent, benches were ripped, and things were very dirty.

Fortunately, Multigym Fitness is very well-maintained and clean. One of the biggest indicators of a gym that doesn’t care about its equipment is how many tears/frays there are in the padded benches. Another is how smooth the barbells are (new barbells come with knurling). Another is if the cable-based machines and station are loose.

At Multigym, there’s none of that, and I really appreciate it.

Locker Rooms & Showers

Rating 6

The locker rooms and showers are a point of contention for many who are looking for gyms in Seoul for foreigners. That’s because it’s the main place where cultural differences come to the fore in terms of cleanliness and shower habits.

The locker rooms and showers are definitely above average. But nothing special. The shower water pressure is extremely good, and the water is hot. The water pressure alone is what bumped up the score for me.

The lockers are also of sufficient size and feature that L shape that’s popular in Western gyms I’ve been to. Many other Korean gyms have only small rectangle ones. Unfortunately, some of the lockers need some repairs and are broken.

Also standard are hair dryers. Watch out for ajusshis blow-drying their balls though.

Size, Layout & Spacing

Rating 6

How big is the gym? How logical and efficient is the layout? Is there sufficient spacing between stations?

I struggled with this rating a lot. In the end, I gave it an above-average rating simply because the gym owner knows what’s important and emphasizes it. He doesn’t try to pack too much in.

Multigym-Fitness-Official-Open-Gym
Main free area

For size, it is definitely smaller than average. It would be a 4-5 for me. When I first signed up, I was a bit concerned. But I soon realized how efficient and smart the layout was. There’s plenty of space for flat/incline benches, dumbbell workouts, and even for ladies doing stair steps and stretches in the main area.

It would have been very tempting to add another row of machines here, but the owner didn’t. Likewise, the machines and squat racks are well-spaced. That is why I bumped the score up to a respectable 6.

Author’s Opinion

Rating 0

Note: This section’s score was changed from 9.5 to 0 due to the following experience.

In June 2021, I re-upped my membership as a loyal customer for 3 years. I paid full price of 396,000 won for 1 year with no clothes or locker.

The very next week, I received a text message that they had lowered prices to 330,000 won plus clothes included.

When I asked for an adjustment, they told me it was “bad luck” that I had chosen to buy a membership at their business when I chose to. They even included the ㅠㅠ crying eyes. So of course it’s all my fault.

Also, they made it clear that it’s impossible to get a refund.

Take this information and make your own decision, but this was my experience.


The final rating above has all parameters equally weighted. However, everyone is different, and the best gym in Seoul ultimately depends on the individual.

For a middle-aged male who values heavy lifting, my score and experience at Multigym Fitness was a 9.5/10. The 60 kg dumbbells alone really are important for me.

The downside of MFC is its relatively small size, but it more than makes up for this in its management, heavy weights, layout, and equipment.

Further, it is NOT crowded at all. I visited several gyms at the same time, and MFC was by far the least crowded. I believe its small size kind of scares away too many members, but this actually works out well for you the customer.


I hope you enjoyed this review of Multigym Fitness.

Be sure to check out HAN GANG MAGAZINE’S GYMS IN KOREA REVIEW SERIES

  • Bodystar Fitness – (multiple locations)
  • Star Kali Fitness – (Hongdae/Sinchon/Ewha)
  • Gym TIPI – (Hongdae) Coming soon

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