Flexibility. It’s a much-coveted modern value, especially in wellness. As people begin to travel more frequently and increasingly work remotely with varied hours and days, having a fitness routine that fits into this changeable schedule can be challenging. However, the growing trend of flexible fitness is meeting this demand—something North Point’s latest gym opening, GO24, is doing with 24-hour opening times and no contracts.
“No contract is our main point,” says co-founder Martin Barr, who was responsible for bringing Snap Fitness to Asia, Australia’s first 24-hour gym concept, and the founder of Utime Fitness Studios, Hong Kong’s first 24-hour gym. “At GO24, we’re seeing experienced fitness pros coming in because of the standard of equipment offered, as well as the gym newbies because they’re not intimidated by lengthy contracts—they come and try it for a month and see how they like it. We don’t push personal training sessions or anything like that: it’s there if people want it.”
Targetting neighbourhoods that are underserviced when it comes to fitness options, the North Point location is the second in the city, after the first opened in Tsuen Wan in May 2018. Members pay a flat monthly fee of HK$538 (currently $488 in North Point, until Chinese New Year 2019) which gives them unlimited 24-hour access to the gym facilities, twice-daily yoga classes, and HIIT sessions, as well as a complimentary 30-minute induction with a personal trainer.
The gym is fully stocked with free weights and HIIT boot camp floor equipment, Hammer Strength equipment for strength and conditioning (including Hong Kong’s only line of unilateral Hammer Strength equipment), Octane ellipticals with Power Block weights, LifeFitness treadmills and flex-striders, as well as the ever-popular StairMaster.
Employing smart technology to conserve energy, the gym has motion sensors that power down the lights, music, TVs and air-conditioning when the gym is empty for periods of time—though Barr says that the gym is frequently online all night. “A lot of our members work in Food and Beverage, or they’re trading with other parts of the globe, so they come in whenever they get off. It’s Hong Kong culture to start late, so we get busier around 11am but our busy time, like most gyms, is 6pm to 11pm. We have people coming in all night, though—it’s not uncommon to see people in here at 2am.”
Making the 24-hour concept as seamless as possible, GO24 gives members flexible access with a key swab to open the front door and access to the gym with fingerprint ID scanners. Staff are on duty 10am-10pm to give advice on equipment use, though like everything in this gym, it’s possible to be entirely self-sufficient with the use of QR codes on each machine that links to ‘How to’ videos.
With the rapid expansion of gyms like G024, and the influx of fitness class aggregators like GuavaPass and ClassPass, are traditional gyms a thing of the past? Not quite—but the soaring popularity of flexible fitness is certainly good news for those of us who don’t know our schedule one month to the next.