A decade later, Fitness Zone stays strong

14 Apr
Wu Chun speaks to The Brunei Times about the expansion project of Fitness Zone. Picture: BT/Goh De No

Wu Chun speaks to The Brunei Times about the expansion project of Fitness Zone. Picture: BT/Goh De No

“I STARTED Fitness Zone as a dream of mine, not as a business or means of earning money,” Fitness Zone Managing Director quipped.

With a vision of wanting to bring a gym with international standards, well-trained staff and state-of-the-art equipment, one Bruneian embarked on this journey 10 years ago.

He always maintained that dollars and cents is not the core value in the business, but passion is.

He will also be the first to admit that, as a business, it is probably a recipe for disaster, but now, Fitness Zone is celebrating its 10th year anniversary, with the opening of a new wing with many new facilities, more space and a new member’s lounge area.

Wu Chun, in an interview with The Brunei Times at Fitness Zone Kiulap’s new wing, said that the past 10 years has been an eye-opener for him.

“I now have a better understanding of the Bruneian market. Over time, I’ve learned what my members need and want, and with that knowledge, I can better cater the gym to serve their needs,” he said, sat in a lounge chair with a his signature cap pulled low and to the side along with a custom-made shirt with the number 10 on it, to celebrate the gym’s milestone.

Popularly known as “Chun”, he has gained celebrity status over the years with numerous movie and television roles, along a short-stint in music, but if you had encounter him on the streets seven, eight or nine years ago, you will know that his goal has not changed.

From the first Fitness Zone in The Mall, Gadong, Chun has always made clear his passion to run a properly equipped gym with the best facilities, equivalent to international specifications.

In my past interviews with Chun over the years, he had always maintained that Fitness Zone is a “dream” to him, and now, he is still chasing that dream, building it bigger.

“It’s not a means of business or earning money, I wanted to build a gym which matches international standards, one that is a complete fitness centre,” he said.

With the new wing, Chun said that members can expect a lot of different equipment to go along with a newly installed boxing ring.

“Muay Thai, Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), these are all very popular now. Personally, I enjoy boxing a lot as well,” he said.

The new wing also includes a new studio for group exercise classes, and a women’s only area.

The last floor of the old wing, which was previously the women’s area, has now been converted into a free weights area.

Chun also took the time to design a lounge area on the highest floor so that members can rest, relax, watch TV, read magazines and chat with friends after workouts.

When Chun mentioned that he had thought up the interior himself, I was surprised that he had time to come up with ideas for the decor, such as gym-weights hanging off handles of staircases, or the many quote stained glass panels, and a few antique-looking wooden panels hanging on the walls, which were also filled with quotes.

The main inspiration, of course, is Michael Jordan, Chun’s idol and his love for basketball.

“In terms of the interior design, I follow my instincts. I like design a lot, and when I travel, I always take pictures of nice designs. So a lot of these are inspirations that came from my observations when I’m abroad,” he said.

The new wing is plastered with motivational quotes, all over the walls and glass, which Chun said is supposed to be empowering.

“The quotes are there to drive people, to give them strength,” he said.

He added: “I look at these quotes everyday to motivate myself and they are indeed very powerful.”

Chun’s drive to establish Fitness Zone as premier health club is not the only thing that has maintained over the years.

Since starting the gym, he has also started paying close attention to the people around him. Since more than five years ago, Chun always mentioned to me the need to have staff that are happy, and how he would invest in them.

“With good facilities without a good team, its difficult. With a good team to help you achieve your goals and move together towards your dream or mission, it makes things a lot easier,” he said.

When asked about his plans for the next five years, Chun immediately pointed out that he will hire more staff and some with specific qualifications.

“If I take care of my staff, then my staff will take care of the members. I am always envious of business owners with strong leadership skills and leads their team fearlessly. So I think it’s important to have good staff and I always send them for training to improve,” he said.

Chun is aware that he is not at the gym all the time and his staff are his eyes and ears.

“My staff are here day to night so they understand very well the members needs,” he shared.

Over the past three years, although Fitness Zone did not see an increase in membership sign-ups, that number hasn’t decreased as well.

“I’m not greedy,” Chun said, in regards to getting more members.

“I don’t want Fitness Zone to have too many members to the point where we cant take care of them. So I’ve set a target, and when we hit that target, we want to maintain it at that,” he said.

He has also noticed that Bruneians have incorporated a health consciousness as part of their culture of the past 10 years, but many still lack the willpower to commit.

“They give up easily and I think its a pity. The first few months may be very tough, but once you pass that it’s easy,” he said.

Chun said that space constraints is already an issue now, which has led to the gyms expansion.

“So there is still room to grow, and I know there is a need to expand and add more facilities to attract more people to join us,” he said.

The gym’s 10th anniversary is officially March 1, but due to Chun’s promotion of his latest movie, “Saving General Yang”, the gym will celebrate its milestone tomorrow, April 14, 2013.

Source: The Brunei Times

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One Response to “A decade later, Fitness Zone stays strong”

  1. Nina Kifrawi April 14, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    Congratulations to the fitness zone family. Here in Brunei, no business will prosper without passion. Hope for more in the near future. đŸ˜ƒ

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