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Asia-Pacific Fitness Explosion! Let's Explore...

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

The FACTS: The Asia-Pacific fitness market is now worth a record-breaking $16.8 BN USD, according to Deloitte and the International Health Raquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). There are now more that 25,000 health clubs across the Asia-Pacific region with over 22 million members.


According to pwc's longterm GLOBAL growth projections to 2050, 6 of the 7 largest economies in the world will be emerging economies with China leading in 1st followed by India (2nd) and Indonesia (4th). Also according to this report, China is projected to have 20% of the world GDP by 2050 and India's global GDP coming in at (2nd) behind China but ahead of the U.S. The large population plays a part.


The Australian fitness business has been strongest, but is starting to see saturation. IBISWorld predicts fitness center revenues will reach AU$2.4 BN by 2023. The wide expansion of budget, 24/7 club chains such as Anytime Fitness and Jetts Fitness over the past 5 years has attributed to this growth. Many health clubs goers are starting to forgo the more expensive full service gyms such as Fitness First Australia, and are getting their workout fix at these more affordable gyms.


Jetts Fitness is seeing immense opportunity across Asia and is now expanding to over 35 clubs throughout Thailand. Anytime Fitness already has 13 locations in Hong Kong as well as gyms in Singapore, Malaysia, China, Taiwan and the Phillipines.


Hong Kong and Singapore are leading the way in the fitness market and seeing significant growth because of its "expat" demographic and higher income bracket.


Ross Campbell (Founder and CEO of Fit Summit based in Singapore ) just released his 2019 Fitness and Wellness Business Trends in Asia Report. Their findings showed that "Asia's big boxes are still reinvesting for new growth in their core geographies. They have capital, stability and ambition to unlock new growth". Below is a list of the top (larger) health club/gym chains in Asia:

  • Fitness First Asia (Hong Kong, Phillipines, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia) Check out F ZONE, their "studio within a club" concept with a music driven, high-intensity boxing inspired workout with tech.

  • Celebrity Fitness (Malaysia, Indonesia, Phillipines, Thailand) Affiliated with Fitness First in certain countries

  • Virgin Active (Thailand, Singapore, Australia)

  • Pure Fitness (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore) We U.S. "East Coasters" are familiar with Pure Yoga East & West in NYC. Same brand.

  • True Fitness (8 gyms in Singapore)

  • Elite Fitness (16 gyms throughout Vietnam)


I did a little digging of my own and stumbled upon some state-of-the-art, LUXURY GYMS in Asia, with five star-facilities and sanctuary-like appeal that come with a hefty membership fee. Think infinity pools, roof-top lounges, breath-taking views...Maybe plan your next vacation to Asia and discover one of these below:


Also according to Campbell's report, smaller boutiques as well as larger international franchises are now looking to Asia for expansion. List Below:


Smaller Boutiques:


Larger International Brands:


The newest trend in this market (as I've reported in London and NYC) are the Hybrid Boutique/Integrated Fitness Concepts (multi or dual modality focused), but many singular focused studios (yoga/cycle/boxing/barre) still has its place in the landscape and is seeing continued growth as well.


See below for newsworthy and notable studios in ASIA that are delivering distinctive EXPERIENCES and building their TRIBES + COMMUNITIES! It's all about creative environments where you don't "realize" you're working out because it's so much FUN! Extraordinary surroundings, music, lights and star instruction creating a euphoric MOOD with serious, life-enhancing results!


BOXING:

  • b-monster: 13 locations in Japan (Tokyo, Shanghai and Taipei) Very cool vibe, young + hip coaches and virtual classes.

  • Evolve MMA: 5 locations in Singapore offering Boxing + May Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, Wrestling, Kickboxing and kids programs.


CYCLE:

  • Absolute Cycle: 10 studios in Bankok. Absolute Cycle is an addition to their Yoga, Pilates and Core Blast classes

  • Anthem: 1 location in Singapore

  • CruCycle: 1 location in Singapore

  • FEELCYCLE: Over 35 locations in Japan


HYBRID STUDIOS/INTEGRATED FITNESS:

  • Ritual: Originated with 4 locations in Singapore. Now in South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Switzerland, U.S. and Spain. "20 minutes, 10 training pods, 1 coach, 3 levels of progression"

  • Base: 3 locations in Bangkok. Voted Asia's Gym of the Year 2018. Offering a combination of HIIT + Strength using DATA driven monitoring.

  • Upside Motion: 3 locations in Singapore offering Pilates, Barre, Arial and Yoga

  • UFIT: 5 locations in Singapore offering Personal Training, Physiotherapy/Rehab and Community Bootcamps + Retreats

  • FIRE Station: 2 locations in Kuala Lumpur offering a variety of workouts such as treadmill + strength, old school boxing and martial arts, HIIT, Ride + Ride/Yoga, plus kids programs

  • H-Kore: 2 locations in Hong Kong with Megaformer (Pilates Classes), Yoga + Yoga Sculpt, Circuit Core/Strength + Cardio, Body Weight Training plus combination Kettle Bell/Megaformer classes

  • R Fitness: 5 locations in Jakarta focusing on RIDE (was formally Ride Jakarta), Circuit Training, Yoga + Meditation and "micro-studio" access for the mass market.

  • Fly Project: 5 locations in Kuala Lumpur. Workouts including FlyCycle (with Weights), FLyLab (Yoga, Pilates, Dance, HIIT), FlyFight (Boxing), Fly Circuit (Functional Training) and FlyClimb (Versa Climber Class)

  • F45: (From AU - Multiple locations throughout Asia Pacific) HIIT, Circuit + Functional Training in 45 Min with Tech

  • SuperMonkey: Over 80 locations throughout China. "Class Based" Studios. Book online, get the code - enter studio - take class. Multiple Formats including Yoga/Pilates, Boxing, Dance, Strength and Performance. SM uses third party group fitness programs as well as signature formats


BARRE:

  • WeBarre: 4 locations in Singapore/1 in Hong Kong. Offering signature Barre classes from traditional to HIIT/Stretch/Prenatal

  • Upside Motion: 3 locations in Singapore. They offer Xtend Barre, plus Pilates, Arial & Yoga


YOGA:

  • Yoga Movement: 6 studios in Singapore. Classes include Hot + Not Yoga with different class structures including Power, Core Focused, HIIT Yoga, Basics, Traditional and more

  • PureYoga: Multiple locations in Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai as well as NYC. A plethora of yoga style classes including Pranayama, Yoga Nidra, Hot, Arial, Ashtanga, Hatha, Dharma and more.

From NYC to LONDON to ASIA, we are seeing the "model" of boutique fitness rising in the ranks along with 24/7 Budget Gyms. The mid to upper-end traditional health clubs are feeling the pinch and reinventing as we speak with higher level "signature" group fitness programming and/or offering unique 3rd party formats. They are also quickly installing the "studio within a club" concept, copying off of what Orange Theory, Barry's Bootcamp and SoulCycle have done. The question is can they pull off the vibe that these smaller studios can easily create in a smaller, exclusive space.


A lot to watch! Asia's fitness scene is on the rise, let's see if they can match the offer with the level of instruction and leadership that NYC and LONDON has crushed.


Let's dig into TECHNOLOGY in FITNESS next....


Be Well,

Ann Marie










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