Fitness and Gyms in Korea
UGH! Look at us all talking about gym culture, as if we’re pros in this. In the five years that we’ve been in Korea, it’s only been over the past few months that we’ve really started going to the gym regularly, every two days or so, and now we can talk about it more! We had some gym memberships when we lived in Bucheon as well, and we talk about our experiences there as well, but – really – when we had those memberships we went a few times and then gave up because we were lazy. Now we’re not! Oh ho! We’re not gym-rats yet, though, but we’d like to be. Going to the gym makes us feel a lot better than when we don’t go to the gym. Martina was sick this past week and couldn’t go to the gym, and really wasn’t all too happy about it. ANYHOW: the point isn’t about us going to the gym and how much we pat ourselves on the back about it. We’re here to talk about gym culture and stuff, now that we’re totally scrotally pros.
Now, I’m sure there are lots of reasons as to why fitness culture in Korea is different than what we’re used to in North America, and I think one of them is because it’s not really taught here. Do schools have weightlifting class? Every school we went to had it. We learned all about hypertrophy and how long each rep should be, how long you should wait between sets, so on and so forth. I don’t remember seeing that in Korea. Sports in Korea, altogether, aren’t really that big, either. Compare it to the states where football is freaking huge and football coaches get very well paid, in Korea there’s more emphasis placed on academics than athletics. You don’t have any of the NCAA playoffs craze like you do in the States. So, we just think that gym culture and best practices aren’t really taught here. Or are they? Maybe things are taught differently here, and the practices we’ve grown up with aren’t effective here, so there’s a different school of physical education being taught? I don’t know. All we can say is that it’s quite different from what we’re used to, and we don’t see a lot of gym stuff taught in schools here.
We’d really like to hear your experiences, though, and if they’re different, or if you have any stories. Some of our girl friends have said that they hate going to the gym alone, because trainers are constantly harassing them and trying to teach them how to do things right. We’ve heard this from three different friends. Have you found the same? We haven’t been bothered before. We walk into gyms holding hands, skipping, and farting rainbows. Then we start sweating instantly because it’s hotter in the gym than it is outside, and we wilt and cry. DAMMIT KOREAN GYMS USE YOUR AIR CONDITIONERS! We didn’t even tell you about the one time we asked the person sitting at the desk to turn on the AC, and they said no, all the while they had a fan pointed at them. YOU AIN’T EVEN LIFTING BRO! We’re building deltoids and treltoids and sweating and you’re Kakaoing with a personal fan. RUDE!
Also, we talked briefly about public gyms here in the parks. Here’s a realllllly old video that we did of one. Ha! I just noticed the date. We uploaded it exactly 5 years ago, yesterday. WHOOOA so old.
and if you’re looking for more about Health in Korea, we did a few TL;DRs on the topic, including How We Lost a Lot of Weight in Korea, Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle in Korea, and last week’s Health Care in Korea. Yes, we are a bit crazed about the subject lately. We’ve been cooking so much organic/vegan/ultra health stuff lately and really starting to take health seriously, and it seems like we’re talking about it a lot, too.
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