This issue we meet Brian Billdt, the CEO of LifeSpa Fitness whose life’s work is committed to making people look better, feel better and live longer.
Please tell us a little bit about your company, LifeSpa Fitness. What makes you different from other gyms?
The number one reason why we’re different is we try to take advantage of our locations, which is in hotels. Being in hotels, we have an advantage because we have gardens, swimming pools, tennis courts and outdoor activities. Also, our club gyms are smaller with limited space so we can have one-on-one experiences. We are trying to emphasize how our community and family atmosphere is felt more than at gyms in malls that are probably more teenage to young adult oriented. And we are trying to get all of our members personal trainers. A good personal trainer will help you become successful. Members who don’t have trainers usually get lost at the gym, losing motivation. That is basically how we are trying to be different. I think the fact that we also have spas make us stand out from our competitors.
Where are your gyms located in Jakarta and who is your target market?
Our gyms are primarily located in hotels, that is the Sultan Hotel and Residence, The Crown Plaza, Park Lane Hotel, Kristal Hotel, and also Arcadia Office complex on TB Simatupang. We are also located at Unilever Corporate Headquarters, in Prabu Connoco Philips, Chevron, Freeport, Orang Tua group and many other corporate gyms. Our target market is quite different from our competitors’; we are trying to target the 30 and over crowd. We play our music a little bit softer in our gyms and we play music that’s a little more conducive to the 30 and over crowd.
Why did you choose to place your gyms in hotels and not malls?
Basically, I started my entire career in Asia and back then health clubs were in hotels. When I came here in 1982, if you had money and wanted to hang out in a big city in Indonesia you would hang out in a hotel. Hotels had the best restaurants, night clubs and fitness centres, so the entire focus of the 80s to the 90s was hotel health clubs. In the late 90s when malls came out, people started moving to malls and malls became even more popular, resulting in people with money going to malls which changed our program.
What does your average customer spend a month on staying in shape at LifeSpa Fitness?
The average customer in LifeSpa will pay about 15 dollars a month, but with personal training they would spend about 100 dollars a month. We don’t believe that it is really helpful to our members unless they join our personal training program as well.
What’s happening in the world of fitness in Jakarta and Indonesia as a whole? Are you seeing a shift in people’s mindsets? Are more people trying to stay in shape?
Just this morning I was people-watching at Starbucks in Senayan City. Starbucks was full of people and they were eating and drinking more like Americans than Americans. They were drinking sugary coffee drinks that cause obesity which is becoming a huge problem here. When I came here in 1982 you could hardly see obesity in Indonesia, but now you see it everywhere. I think that western habits are taking over and dominating companies like McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s and so forth, are the fast food industries that cause people to get fat which means they have to go to the gym more, so I see the gym business continuing to grow and grow.
But once again the gym business’ finest success is helping people to get the results with a personal trainer who really helps them to change their lifestyle, which isn’t an easy thing to do. It’s a real challenge and we need trainers who are really good at doing what they do. That’s why we have PrimaFit Academy to train them so we can offer professional trainers to our clients and members.
LifeSpa Fitness is affiliated with Crossfit Senayan and PrimaFit. Can you tell us about this affiliation?
Crossfit Senayan is one of our lines of businesses; others are LifeSpa Fitness, PrimaFit Retail and PrimaFit Commercial. Crossfit Senayan is for people who like training in groups, it is a very high-intensity and popular group workout. Everyday somewhere in the world a Crossfit Gym is opened. Crossfit Senayan is located next to LifeSpa Fitness Hotel Sultan, and we have about 70 athletes.
The crossfit trend is really taking off here, although not without its dangers. Do you provide crossfit insurance for your customers? What safety measures do you have in place to avoid injuries?
We require good coaching. I would not offer our members CrossFit without good coaching. I’m very proud that our CrossFit program emphasizes safety, injury-free regimes to our athletes so that they can work out for a long time.
Is the health and wellness industry one that you would like to stay working in? Do you see this sector growing more and more in Indonesia?
The health and wellness industry is the thing that keeps me going and I’m very passionate about it. I couldn’t think of a better business than helping other people to look better, feel better and live longer. That’s our vision and we do that by empowering people to change their lifestyles by defining fitness as not just a workout, but as a way of life.
What is trending at the moment in Jakarta and Bali?
Trending at the moment is Polar Loop, which can track how many steps that we take every day, how many calories we burn, and helping measure sleep quality. It’s a 24/7 activity tracker. Fitness now is more fun because of technology and different applications so you can be entertained while doing a workout.
Please tell us what your weekly exercise regime consists of.
I am a morning workout person and I like to lead by myself. I prefer to do treadmill and bike for my cardiovascular exercise. I also go to LifeSpa Fitness for my weight training. And on Sunday morning I have my bike training, riding from Jakarta to Tangerang and back or Jakarta to Kelapa Gading and back. I run 5 – 10 kilometres twice a week.
What is the minimum exercise everyone should be doing to stay in relatively good shape and live longer?
I would say about 30 minutes of cardiovascular training, 15 minutes of weight training, three or four days a week. We sit way too much. Walking more is really important.
What advice would you give to our readers who are struggling to stick to an exercise regime?
Get a personal trainer. Nutrition is very important, as is resting time.
And finally, what is your goal in life and how do you plan on achieving this?
My goal in life is to continue to grow our business so that we can help people look better, feel better, and live longer by continuing to bring the newest of diet and exercise trends so that we can really make an impact on helping people to have a more enjoyable and healthy lifestyle. It’s really what we live for.
Thank you, Brian!