Fitness centers shape up for the modern era
China’s fitness industry has rapidly developed and has great potential for further growth.
Although a late starter by European and American standards, the steady development of the national economy and the enhancement of civic health awareness has lead to an increase in demand for fitness services.
According to the well-known fitness platform, GymSquare, though the number of people availing themselves of fitness services is far less than that of the United States, it is comparable with the number of gyms.
There are some 46,050 fitness studios in China — Shanghai has 3,556 and Beijing has 3,121.
As one of the first-tier cities in China, Shanghai’s fitness industry and prospects are impressive.
GymSquare found that the fitness service industry in Shanghai is international, intelligent and humane.
Gyms in Shanghai cater for the large international community with exercise courses presented in both Chinese and English.
Brands such as Pure, Crossfit, Les Mills and outstanding domestic fitness brands Will’s and ATLAS Fitness have advanced facilities and courses developed overseas.
A personal trainer at Wills, Mr Zhang, said the gym is matching international trends.
“If you don’t adapt to the market, you will be eliminated,” he said.
High-tech equipment is now being used.
ATLAS Fitness has Holofit, virtual reality software, that not only projects images for users but provides fitness information.
Pure Fitness’s Immersive Fitness — The Trip — features a video of the outside on the screen of a cycling room.
Many netizens commented that getting fit is now a pleasant experience.
However, high-tech gyms can be expensive with annual cards costing anywhere between 3,000 to 13,000 yuan. There are also 24-hour gyms to cater for modern work practices, where patrons scan codes to enter.
These are generally smaller and less expensive than traditional gyms.
Over the past few years, the intelligent internet gym, LEKE has developed 410 stores in 8 cities, with about 6,000 coaches and 3.2 million online and offline users.
The fitness industry has also developed, changing its focus purely from gym strength to looking at lifestyles, diet, positive mindsets and a fulfilling social life.
Comprehensive cross-industry fitness clubs have sprung up across Shanghai.
The Pure Group combines fitness, yoga, light food and sportswear to provide members with a healthy lifestyle.
Crossfit, a new type of fitness from the United States, has a strong community culture.
“Overseas people are fond of this kind of community-based fitness mode,” explains Abby Han, the manager of Crossfit in Changning District, “We usually organize community activities, such as a three-day and two-night group trips to Hong Kong.”
“And we will have birthday parties every month. We are just a whole family, regardless of gender and nationality.”
Customers also expect facilities to cater to their personal needs.
Pure has spacious locker rooms, clothes dehydrators and lotions.
“We also have such a special mobile phone charging station and wireless chargers in the relaxation area,” said Du Tianwei, the manager of the Pure marketing department.
Overall, the enhanced services and facilities provided by gyms not only improves people individually but creates a social atmosphere of national fitness and a healthy harmonious society.