Body empowerment & the growth of gymnasiums across China
By: Daniel Otero
(Story originally covered in Bangkai Cheng/Bunker City, Guangming District, Shenzhen – 1 July, 2020) In the last decade there has been a literal explosion in the growth of gymnasiums which have quadrupled across the Middle Kingdom. Gyms have opened up to do business and help curve the obesity problems in China. Obesity has grown to 20% in young Chinese and it is said to grow another 10% in the next two decades.
Then recently, as Coach Kang (a professional trainer) was telling me at one of the gyms, “Given the fact that people with more leisure time and a prosperous economy want to get in shape, this has become a reality. The goal and norm is for better appearance. Also, with the explosion of obesity, more gyms are opening up and this has created career opportunities for people like me in the industry.”
There is also a reason for gyms. The gymnasium adapts to the young-professional lifestyle (average ages between 28 to 35 years old) and there is a lovely-social click that takes place within the exercising world. Currently and more than ever, people are hitting weights to increase muscle productivity and resistance.
But this isn’t the only reason, as Coach Kang mentioned, “Many want to look attractive for the opposite sex through the toning of the body. While males will focus on their abs to build that precious six-pack and strength, it is also important to have arms and legs that are muscular. For females, the biggest workouts are for: their hips, for those perfect buttocks, tummy and chest to develop cleavage.”
Many seem to feel it is not part of the passing faze. But something deeper, by developing stronger bodies and minds, it is the best thing for longevity.
Gyms are not only catering to bodybuilders. Frequently, and more than not, gym goers will enjoy boxing, MMA (Mixed-Martial Arts), aerobics, Pilates, yoga and other forms of dancing.
Males will usually flock to the weight areas; the females come for their aerobics, Pilates and yoga, which are the most popular.
When I ask any female, “Why do you do it?”
The answer is quite simple, “To look attractive for the opposite sex, boyfriend or husband!”, etc. Some will smile shyly, but the truth is that both sexes join to better themselves.
Proven to the fact that, it is easier to gain weight and it is the hardest thing to lose it. For most people, whether they are beginners or coming back into exercise, it takes one to two years for the body to really see the results wanted. Therefore, there is a patience factor involved here. After, the process has to be continuous for life’s duration.
Why exercise? For one, it isn’t only the health benefits which improve. According to psychologist, the mental attitude also improves and things become better emotionally for those who have to handle the rigors of life and stress.
The advice of most coaches and trainers is to start slow and not go too fast! It is better to start three times a week for 30-minutes to a whole hour and go from there. More damaging to exercise is to go too fast and later give up, and not workout at all; therefore, gaining all that unwanted weight back.
Once a pattern has been established, the person can go from three-days-a-week to a maximum of five-days-a-week with workouts.
Trainers and coaches all say the same thing, “There are no shortcuts!”