Fitness was once regarded as a niche interest, bringing to mind overly buff people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and well-oiled bodybuilding competitors. Not anymore. Recent years have seen fitness become a trend and lifestyle. In fact, fitness has become such a big part of modern everyday lifestyle that it has even seeped into high fashion, springing forth the athleisure trend.

With fitness gaining in popularity, gym chains have started sprouting around town, and it’s common for people to renew their yearly memberships each time the new year rolls around. Smaller boutique gyms have also entered the industry, catering to fitness enthusiasts hankering for a smaller and cosier setting where they can focus on specific types of workouts.

As with most things, fitness too, has its own trends, with many flocking to workouts such as CrossFit, Zumba, barre, and more. One particular workout that gained a cult-like status in recent years is spinning. While it’s not particularly new, this form of indoor cycling has been given a modern take, incorporating hard pumping music, weights, and more into its routines. It took the Western world by storm a few years ago, but only really hit Malaysia in 2016.

Flyproject at DC Mall is an extension of Flycycle with more variety of classes.

Flycycle, co-founded by Jason Choong, was one of the pioneering boutique gyms to introduce spinning locally. It was unlike anything Malaysian fitness enthusiasts had ever seen, with its darkened room, strobe lights, and loud EDM playing in the background. Several rows of stationary bicycles were lined up, while an instructor up front told participants to follow his or her lead and choreography. Together, everyone cycled and pushed to the rhythm of the music. It was addictive.

Fast forward to 2018 and Flyproject is born — an extension of Flycycle. In its new home in DC Mall, Flyproject offers more than just spinning. Whether it’s yoga, boxing, or barre, the gym offers the two things that made Flycycle a hit: Rhythm and music. We spoke to Choong on why he decided to create Flyproject, and what we can expect from its rhythmic workouts.

(All images courtesy of Flyproject.)

What made you want to expand Flycycle, a spin-focused gym, into Flyproject that provides different types of classes?

Our aim this year is to expand the variety of products that we can offer to our customers, so their miles (credits) are now available for more products. We’re at a rapid growth stage, hence we wanted to add more types of classes into our portfolio before expanding to the other Southeast Asian countries.

Jason Choong, co-founder of Flyproject.
Your new gym offers Flyfight classes. Tell us more about this workout, and what gave you the idea to do it?

Flyfight is something that came naturally to us, as rhythm and music are at the core of what we do. Boxing is a great sport to keep you in shape. We saw a gap in the market as kickboxing and Muay Thai can be quite intimidating. We decided to focus on placing all the techniques of boxing into a rhythmic programme that will keep you wanting more.

Flyfight is also Malaysia's first rhythmic boxing class. Why did you decide to bring that to Flyproject?

Flyfight is an original creation of Flyproject. We wanted to create something new that is also unique to Malaysia. People tend to underestimate the power of music, but here at Flyproject it’s what drives us and keeps us moving. There is a certain sense of accomplishment when you’re boxing to the beat.

Working out to music with a nightclub ambience looks to be an ongoing theme with your classes. Why did you decide to create this atmosphere in your gyms?

It was important for us to stray away from being just another conventional gym. The darkness of the rooms helps to make you feel more comfortable in a large class of 31. Our state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems also provide you with a heart-pumping energy to push you beyond your boundaries.

A darkened room, ambient lights, and thumping music to get you boxing to the beat.
With a nightclub-like ambience, naturally the customers you attract are millennials. Was that your plan all along?

Our main target audience is the millennial generation that has a shorter attention span and want everything quick and on-the-go. Although our programs are designed for all ages, we do have a great mix of customers from 18 to 65-year-olds. I guess everyone wants to feel young as well.

What do you hope to achieve with your new baby, Flyproject?

I want to create a brand that people are proud to be a part of, where we can inspire people daily on how to live a healthier and happy life. Flyproject extends beyond fitness — it’s a lifestyle state of mind.

PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction.