FIT 4 LIFE
Bosom Friends' Business
Giselle : “In high school, one thing we would always talk about is, when we graduate, we will do something together, we will start a business together and we will always be best friends.”
The dream of two high school girls is now changing thousands of women’s lifestyle. Weiya and Giselle, co-founders of ‘Fit 4 Life Girl Power Gym’ are bosom friends. Their friendship began at NO.4 high school in Beijing, since 2001. These two active girls eventually became closer as they shared their hobbies – dancing and exercising. One of their old promises was to run a business together in the future.
But wind of life sent them to different places. After graduating from high school, Giselle went overseas to University of Toronto, while Weiya studied at Peking University. Then after graduating from university, Giselle came back to China and became a “white-collar”, while Weiya headed abroad working for a multinational finance firm.
As time flied, the dreamy teenage girls had to face their 30’s. This is when they called it the ‘mid-age crisis’, sudden skepticism and worries reared its ugly head, made them think “I have accomplished nothing, I was just living an ordinary life”, Giselle said. That feeling urged them to look for something different, to follow their heart. Though unfulfilled, their teenage dreams were kept inside them all along. Making ideas into reality took all the courage and determination they had, but now they are the successful co-founders of Fit 4 Life. Finally the dream came true after 16 years.
Giselle and Weiya took their first step by opening a gym in Chaoyang district, Beijing, naming it “Fit 4 Life Girl Power Gym”. Opened at March 2017, although it hasn’t reached one full year yet, they already have more than three hundred gym members and thirty thousand followers of their official Weibo account.
When Giselle and Weiya first had to come up with the business idea, their personal experiences were the biggest sources of inspiration. Their previous trials-and-errors helped them understand their target customers and offer what young girls want and need.
Naturally active, the two founders of Fit 4 Life had rich workout experiences at other gyms and personal training. However, they were hardly satisfied. Highly demanding workouts were boring, even laborsome. Lack of understanding body parts also made them feel bad. “We didn’t know where our back muscle is, let alone put strength to it,” Giselle said. That stimulated them to make their gym fun and informative, in the right way.
Also, they considered ordinary women’s concerns. One of them is the hesitation for exercising with men. When women and men work out together at a space, it’s not men who are distracted, but women. Apart from feeling sexy, being conscious of how their body moves might be seen is uncomfortable and embarrassing for many girls. Fit 4 Life offers a different environment where girls can concentrate on their workout, which isn’t common in China.
The theme “proper gym for girls” is at every little detail of Fit 4 Life gym. Modern interior design, summery decorations, cozy bean sacs along wide windows and latest music are attractive enough already. Here they added multiple materials for yoga, pilates, weight training and more!
In other words, Fit 4 Life offers service and opportunity that didn’t exist before. Fit 4 Life stimulates and encourages girls, which is their biggest competitive edge.
Giselle and Weiya have a long-term business goal to attract more customers and increase brand awareness among working out women. Since the main business is operated in the offline ‘Fit 4 Life Girl Power Gym’, they have always been facing the problem that most customers are limited to the residents nearby. To attract more customers, Giselle and Weiya made the full use of online capabilities. They chose social media platforms such as Weibo and Xiaohongshu to advertise their brand and introduce healthy lifestyle to unlimited audiences.
Using social media enables Fit 4 Life to enhance the brand presence and attract new customers on all social platforms daily. Accordingly, Giselle and Weiya are sharing their daily lives in fitness and wellness such as daily indoor workout videos, tips on healthy food, and training consultant on social media platforms. For those who want to engage more with Fit 4 life, they can also join an online program called ‘Bikini Bootcamp’, which is a highly targeted exercise program with the latest workout trends and nutritional information for keeping in great shape for life. The program of Bikini Bootcamp is the online business in charge that members get educated to have appropriate exercise plans and to lose weight on the right way. Using the online presence and expertise, it provides not only fitness information but an experience for visitors.
Through many popular social media feeds and other activities, Giselle and Weiya have become online fitness influencers and they are able to draw more people from online to the physical gym. As 20% of fitness members are from Bikini Bootcamp, online business also enhances brand engagement with customers most in need of their service which ultimately helps the business to get more customers. The more people can feel personally connected to Fit 4 life through online platforms, the more likely they are to become customers with powerful brand awareness. At the same time, Giselle and Weiya are also spreading ‘hot healthy body’ trends among young women and changing the social perspective of body image. They help people to transform their bodies and lose the excess weight with the right exercise. Consequently, it leads to more people interested in a healthy lifestyle with fitness goals, which is a new phenomenon in China.
New Trend in Fitness Industry
Power is the new sexy
Weiya : “Previously, like five years ago, people would ask how to get ‘chopstick’ legs. But now they ask how to get a sexy butt or strong arms. We see that the trend is changing, and it has been changing really fast.”
Several years ago, Giselle used to be “super-skinny”, 175cm tall weighing 48kg, with so-called chopstick legs. Her skinny figure was admired by others but also made her very wary of her body shape, which often led to eating disorders. After maintaining several years of healthy eating habits and proper workouts, she gained muscles and balanced body shape. Now, she feels “much better and sexier than before”, says Giselle.
Working out and building muscles is important not only in regard to style but also for being healthy. Fortunately, recent changes in perspective of beauty is becoming more definite and Giselle and Weiya are one of the many who is in the lead of it. In the eye of Chinese traditional perspective, skinny body, pale skin and being fragile was considered as typical beauty.
But now more and more women prefer eating well and exercising well, consciously expose biceps and thighs, and it is considered hot. “Fashion and beauty industry started to adapt to muscular figures,” said Giselle. And social media in China such as “Wechat” or “Weibo” has enhanced this tendency with its users sharing their workout results on daily basis. Fit 4 Life is also on this track. Giselle and Weiya have been changing people’s mind about beautiful women by actively showing themselves to the public.
This also works in the relevant industry. China has a very competitive fitness market already, but Giselle and Weiya are carving their own way through it while competing with other men owners of the gym.
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More Information about Fit 4 Life
Are you interested? Here are some extra information about Fit 4 Life Gym and Giselle & Weiya.
Here is the written address: JianWai SOHO Western District, Beijing. (北京朝阳区建外soho西区-17号楼2508)
Or you can contact them through the following social channels:
Official Weibo: @fit4life or click here
Official Xiaohongshu: @fit4life
Official Keep App: @fit4lifegal
Online Bootcamp register: to click here