High-end gyms become a new status symbol in China

China 24

High-end gyms become a new status symbol in China

Getting in shape has become the new trend in China.

Gyms are popping up across the country and customers are willing to shell out big bucks for a firm physique.

CGTN’s Jenny Cortes Ybanez has more on this fitness phenomenon.

New gyms open nearly every week as fitness is now seen as a common luxury in China.

People’s aspirations of bettering themselves physically has led to a boom in exercise and fitness centers in China. High-end gyms like Crossfit Slash have grown by nearly 200% a year across the country, especially since demand from the middle and upper class has soared.

Stella Zheng, a general manager of a Beijing finance firm, paid over 14 thousand yuan (more than $2000) for a one-year membership. She has been going to Crossfit for two and a half years and has attended some 300 classes.

“I get a tailored schedule based on my fitness background and my training goals,” said Zheng.  “The classes are basically centered around group fitness classes. So the community that spontaneously arises when people do workouts together is a key component why CrossFit is so effective.”

When Crossfit first opened its doors in China, their clientele consisted mainly of fitness fanatics. But now, more people who don’t fit the “gym rat” stigma sign up — from those under 15 years old, who attend the kids classes, to their clients aged over 50.

By 2020, the Chinese government aims to ‘improve the physical fitness and health level of the whole nation.’

Both Crossfit Slash and Keep say they want to collaborate more with their local governments to steer the public toward become more physically active.

And for those already engaged, exercise is very important, because it’s not just a proven remedy for daily stress, it’s also a way to socialize with other people in their community.

Paul Dong discusses the importance of China’s National Fitness Day

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke to Paul Dong about China’s health and fitness trends. Dong is the Cofounder and CEO of Ei China Limited.