Central Power is a no-nonsense gym for individuals who hit the gym for the sole reason of getting or staying fit. It is both more affordable and more suitable for us than the more well known, heavily advertised gyms in Taiwan.
Coming from World Gym, I was struck by the conspicuous absence of: flashing disco lights, pictures of half naked models, A/C and what my weight lifting buddy, Pierce poetical refers to as: “faggotry”. The gym consists of 3 walls, a ceiling and a fuck ton of iron. There are plenty of free weights for those of us who don’t have a vagina and there are machines, treadmills and stationary bikes for everyone else.
The absence of faggotry in the gym itself is generally mirrored by the members. Few and far between are the: couples exercising together, the “bros” doing more grunting than lifting, and the self admirers. You will seldom if ever have to wait for equipment to become free because some nerdalinger is mentally masturbating to his own image in the mirror for an hour in between sets. These are all common problems at more popular, well-known gyms.
The freedom from arbitrary rules is refreshing if you have been training at any other gym in Taiwan. While I have been kicked out of gyms for wearing “beach shorts” rather than “exercise shorts”, I can wear whatever I damn well please at Central Power. In fact, I can change out in the open, next to the squat rack, throw my bag and work clothing into the corner and start throwing iron before ever stepping foot in the locker room. Pierce was bawled out of Fitness Factory he was lifting “too heavy” and it intimidated the other members. At Central Power, Peirce lifts bars that outweigh the average American feminist, drops said bars onto the ground from sufficient height to measure on the Richter scale and generally intimidates any fools who stop in to ask for directions to Fitness Factory. Neither of us have heard anything from the staff except “hello” and “goodbye”.
All this talk about no rules and badass members may have you thinking that Central Power is a free-for-all jungle of roid-heads who wont hesitate to snap your skinny neck in half for getting underfoot. I’m pleased to report that i have neither experienced nor observed such douchey behavior. In fact, not one of these iron-chucking warriors has been anything aside from polite and focused on their own thing if not friendly in my presence (I can’t say the same about the douchebags that infest World Gym). Sure, if we see you doing anything obviously stupid then Pierce and I will probably be cracking jokes at your expense when you aren’t listening but I have yet to see any “how much do you bench, bro?” behavior at Central Power.
While more well known gyms charge a few thousand per month, plus crippling registration fees and a one year minimum contracts, Central Power is incredibly affordable at: 200 per session, 1500 per month or less than 7,000 per year (exact prices vary depending on which branch).
Now the bad news: the music isn’t much of an improvement over the other places. Its “first-come-first serve” with the audio jack and the locals have no sense of context in their musical preference. Just like World Gym, where the staff chooses shitty music, the Central Power members usually select music that likely comes off of a list of This Weeks Hottest Slow Jam Club Hits. Bring your own earphones or prepare to get hit with “all the feels” while you’re trying to pick up the heavy things.
If you’re like me and you enter the gym with an itinerary of: arrive, pick up heavy shit and leave then why pay the extra money, follow the extra rules and suffer the extra fools? Central Power is where the real warriors and aspiring bas-asses go to train.