The quest to become stronger (strong is the skinny!) during early retirement budget travel has led me to another great gym. I like this one in Mazatlan, Mexico, for four big reasons: it’s within walking distance of our apartment rental just one block off the malecon, it’s priced right, women are in the majority by far when I go in the mornings, and there is a trainer if you want to pay a little more.
It’s the Le Tour Fitness location on Avenida Hamm.
It’s worth noting this gym also is known by a former name. When I first looked on Google to see what was close to me, this gym came up as “Mictlan Sport.” But the sign out front, and my receipt, both said “Le Tour Fitness.” The other Le Tour location is on Rafael Buelna, and it seems to be larger based on Facebook pictures. (A Google map of both locations is here.)
The Hamm location is perfect for me. There are some ellipticals, four treadmills, one Stairmaster. There are several spinning bikes on an upper level, and a good old-fashioned punching bag. But it’s the machines and free weights that I’m really interested in. Every machine imaginable – from horizontal leg presses, rowers, chest presses, to cable machines, and more. There are two of some of the more popular weight machines, including a few cable machines. There is a small area for weighted, assisted squats, free weights (barbells and dumb bells, no kettle bells), benches, and mats.
My location is closed a few hours in the afternoon for siesta each day, but the other location appears to stay open all day.
The basic membership for use of weights and machines at the Hamm location was 350 pesos a month ($18.25 USD with the current 19 peso rate to the dollar). Deal!
There is a trainer there every day coaching his clients. He doesn’t speak English, but I asked him for help with something one day and he was polite and took my poor Spanish in stride. I asked him to show me how to use an ab machine, but instead he showed me an exercise on the cables that he prefers because he said it was much more effective than the machine. He also fixed my form on something and it made all the difference! He charges 150 pesos for one week of instruction and suggestion. I have decided to splurge (nearly $8) and will hire him for a week soon.
There are a few guys who go to this gym, but 85 percent of the people I have seen there in the mornings are women. This makes me feel more at ease. In fact, there are a couple of women (and a guy) who speak great English and they welcomed me my first and second days with offers to help with whatever I needed. I took one woman up on her offer and she showed me how to use the assisted pull up machine. If I get to one unassisted pull up by the time I leave here, it will be miraculous. One of my long-term goals is now a single pull up.
If there is one slight drawback for me – it’s that the free weight area is not that large, and I’ve had to wait a few minutes a few times to get in front of a mirror. That has always happened the earlier I go, because locals go before work and it seems to be more crowded at that time, and it’s not a deal breaker for me. I also had to wait once for about five minutes for a cardio machine to finish up a workout. But – so what? I’m not in a huge rush, and the waits were minimal.
That’s about it. A basic post mainly meant for anyone (especially women) looking for a solid, reasonably priced gym near the Playa Norte area of Mazatlan, close to the northern end of the Paseo Claussen section of the malecon.
Ironically, I’m writing this post on a morning I felt unmotivated to go. It’s the first weekday skip since I joined this gym just over two weeks ago (the gym is closed on Sundays, so that’s an automatic rest day). I’ll take this day as an extra rest day for body, mind, and spirit.
If you’re looking for an old-school iron gym in Zihuatanejo, I liked the one I joined while we were there, and you can read about that here. If you’re in Oaxaca City, I joined a great modern gym, and you can read about that here.