With 24/7 gyms in Singapore, no excuse not to keep fit

Passionate about cars and motorsports, Cheryl Tay is a familiar face in prominent local, regional as well as international automotive titles. More of her at CherylTay.sg. and on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (cheryltay11). She also happens to be a recent gym and fitness convert.

You have no time to work out, because the gym is “too far from home” or “not open after work”.

Soon, with the establishment of global franchise Anytime Fitness in Singapore, you won't be able to use those excuses.

The American brand, founded in 2002, is exactly what it says – open round-the-clock every day of the week, plus located in “high-density housing areas” to boot.

Anytime Fitness first entered Southeast Asia in October last year with a gym at Woodlands Community Centre (CC), and unveiled its second branch at MacPherson CC on Monday.

It has announced plans to open 100 more gyms in Singapore over the next five years, with Marine Parade Central, Jurong and River Valley mooted as locations.

“We are passionate about making gyms convenient and non-intimidating,” said Hugh Gyton, chief operating officer of Anytime Fitness Asia. “That’s why we choose to be near to homes; people can then access the gyms at any time they want.”

Just what you need

Gyton added that the target market would be people “who don’t usually go to the gyms”.

“With only about five per cent of the population of Singapore being active in commercial gyms, we are excited to be able to offer the 95 per cent that do not yet have gym membership a really convenient choice,” he said.

At a cosy 3,000 to 6,000 square feet each, the Anytime Fitness gyms are smaller than ‘big box’ outfits such as California Fitness and Fitness First.

The focus is thus on providing the bare essentials – cardio machines, pulley equipment and free weights – minus frills such as saunas and pools.

“Some of the big-box gyms have fabulous facilities, but how many of those are actually used often?” argued Gyton. “We provide everything that you need for an efficient workout... We want to give a welcoming environment and make people feel comfortable.”

For a 24-hour facility, one might expect rates to be expensive but membership costs a decent S$88 per month (for an 18-month package) or S$98 per month (for a year-long deal). Pre-sale sign-up offers can go as low as S$68 per month.

Membership with Anytime Fitness grants access to all 2,400 of its gyms around the world, so long as you bring the security key with you.

The key is especially important as the gyms, while never closed, are unmanned from 10pm to 10am – save for surveillance technology to keep guard.

Spreading the word

Anytime Fitness' latest franchise in MacPherson arrived in Singapore by way of Koh Ming Loon, 30, and Joanne Lee, 28.

After running three Anytime Fitness gyms in Perth for two and a half years, the Australia-based couple were so satisfied with their success that they decided to expand to Singapore.

The Woodlands branch is owned by Anytime Fitness themselves while the upcoming locations are to be run by different franchisees.

According to Gyton, it takes about US$250,000 to US$400,000, depending on location and size, to invest in an Anytime Fitness franchise.

Koh told Yahoo Singapore that they typically take “less than six months” to cover operational costs and “a year and a half” to break even for their capital.

“We like how the concept of Anytime Fitness is focused on community and seeing people get results,” said Lee. “It gives people convenience and flexibility, it’s affordable and it takes away barriers for people not wanting to go to the gym.”

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