Many visitors and foreigners trying to relocate always ask me – “So what’s is the best gym in Medellin?” Although I don’t actually workout at one, I always give the same answer, the “Mas Fit” gym chain, or Smart Fit as it now called.
About two years ago, while shooting a beautiful penthouse, I got into a conversation with the owner of the property. It wasn’t the first of his properties that I had shot, so we were already on pretty familiar terms and would regularly discuss business and life in Medellin.
As always, he politely asked me what was new. I told him of my grand plans to make a big impact on the real estate photography and marketing scene in Medellin.
When I asked him what was new in his life, he gave me a one-word answer – “Gyms”. Gyms wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but nonetheless it came as a very pleasant surprise.
Mas Fit Gyms – Zero Excusas
He told me that his plan was to open a gym chain that would service the 75% of Colombia’s population that couldn’t afford the outrageous rates gyms were charging. At that time, the average cost of a monthly gym membership in Medellin was about $75 to $150 USD/month (depending on the location).
Some of you are probably thinking ‘that’s not that expensive’, but keep in mind that the current minimum wage in Colombia is about $225USD/month.
He broke out his iPad and showed me logo options and renders of the first Mas Fit gym – It was already secretly under construction. I was impressed with the concept, design, and his ambition to challenge the titans who controlled the market – namely Forma and Body Tech.
He asked me how much I was currently paying for a gym…
At the time, I was a member at the posh ULTRA WELLNESS CENTER in the hotel Charlee. Rumor has it that registered models train there for free. At the time, I couldn’t afford the monthly fee but I was fortunate enough to photograph one of the investor’s beautiful luxury penthouses. In addition to paying me, he hooked me with a friends and family membership, entitling me to a 50% discount. I was paying about $45USD/month with my discount.
He said, “Ultra is a really nice gym, but guess how much our gyms will cost?”. He didn’t wait for my response, he just told me – “Our gym will cost 49,000 colombian pesos per month”. That’s about a third what I was paying with my discount.
He patted me on the back and said, “Joel you’re going to see Colombia with us…we’ll be opening all over the country”. I couldn’t help but smile at the thought that a company would actually fly me around to take their photos.
Mas Fit Opens in Medellin
The first Mas Fit gym, Bosque Plaza, opened in a very strategic location – steps from the Universidad Metro station, the University of Antioquia, and RUTA N. As a matter of fact, one of its biggest advantages is that everyone passing on the metro can see directly into the gym. Naturally, I was there to photograph the flagship location.
I photographed about 5 more gyms that year – ending with the roll out of the Monteria Mas Fit location.
Smart Fit Colombia
About a year later, I photographed the Smart Fit gym in the Envigado sector. I noticed that the colours were a bit different but didn’t give it too much thought. When I turned in the edited photos, I was asked not to publish any of them on my social media accounts for a few days. The owner sent me a link on Whatsapp and said “keep it a secret for now”. It was the first time I saw the name Smart Fit.
I have photographed 3 new Smart Fit locations this year, including the flagship locations in Cali and Bogota. Next week I have a few others to photograph to close off 2017.
If you are considering getting a gym membership in Colombia, I highly recommend Smart Fit. Not just because I photograph the gyms, but because the equipment is new and modern, the facilities are spacious, the price is unbeatable. There is even a option to pay an extra $4USD to gain access to all of the Smart Fit gyms in Colombia.
The Smart Fit Hours are pretty much the same for all gyms locations.
Monday to Thursday: 5am-10pm
Fridays: 5am – 9pm
Saturdays: 7am – 5pm
Sundays: 8am – 5pm
If you’re interested getting more details or signing up, check out the Smart Fit Colombia website.
Smart Fit Envigado Address: Cr 41 #38 Sur – 56 – Envigado – Antioquia
Smart Fit Bogota Address: CLL 3 SUR # 71C – 19 Bogotá – PLAZA LAS AMERICAS
Bogotá, D.C. – Bogotá, D.C. | Centro Comercial Plaza las americas