These days fitness has gone even beyond being a “lifestyle.” For many it’s more of a “cult-like obsession.” Fitness specificities and proclivities are defining us akin to religion. Fitness influencers are outshining rock stars, and one’s particular fitness philosophy can underwrite the essence of one’s spirituality and sense of self. I doubt even Orwell saw this coming.
New fitness trends (legit and less so) are born every day, which makes it difficult to keep up with the all-out speed of the industry. The other day, FitTripper team had a fascinating conversation with Darren Hancock, GM of the Cascade Health Club in Bangkok. With almost 30 years in the fitness industry and now manager of one of the most cutting edge clubs in Bangkok, Darren is probably the best person to talk to about the current and up-and-coming trends, cool innovations and challenges in the industry.
Hi Darren, let’s talk trends! Can’t wait to hear your insider perspective on the latest fitness developments in Asia and beyond to find out what’s hot in 2019.
I’d say that the way fitness trends are born nowadays is a trend in itself. Social media, marketing, tech and science (along with pseudoscience) all have a huge impact on what the fitness community will be raving about tomorrow and next year. The trendsetters of today vary from well renowned athletes to the girl next door to the Kardashian family. As a result, some scientifically backed methods like HIIT & tabata training are often misinterpreted and misused. Unfortunately, there are too many so-called “fitness professionals” that base their methods on these mainstream trends and pseudoscience, without giving it a second thought and adjusting it to the client’s personal needs. It becomes easier than ever to be misled and get injured by doing something that isn’t a good fit for you. This is why at Cascade we only work with ACE and Sports & Science certified trainers, that keep abreast of the latest science and are constantly increasing their qualifications. This means that you always get a personalized program based on your needs, using the latest scientific research and machinery.
Speaking of the machinery, please tell us more about the latest additions to your state-of-art equipment collection. Cascade Club is a heaven on earth for all the equipment nerds!
I’ll take it as a compliment, thanks! We do take our equipment very seriously and make sure each piece is the best of its kind. One of the most out-of-this-world (literally) additions to our collection is the brand-new Icaros machine.
Icaros? Tell me it makes you fly?! 🙂
Well, at least figuratively. It combines training, gaming and social competition to create immersive, multi-sensory exercise experiences. It helps you train different muscle groups, focusing on core and upper body muscles. The exercises simultaneously improve reflexes, balance and coordination abilities.
Another futuristic machine we’ve got is an Evolt 360 bioscan. It’s an intelligent body composition analyzer that goes far beyond your weight. It analyzes things like your fitness age, total body water, protein, body fat percentage. It’s an amazing educational tool that helps create ultra-personalized programs and track the progress. Also, have you ever heard about the Freemotion cable machines?
I might have seen those but never tried myself. What exactly is it for?
It enhances strength, stability and balance by allowing you to perform an unlimited range of movements that mimic our daily activities. It’s perfect for all fitness levels. Typically it is used individually, but due to the great free-motion benefits we saw in this equipment, Cascade invested in over a dozen to have regular group classes centered around it.
Among other things, we’ve recently invested in new machines such as responsive treadmills that adjust to your speed and spinning bikes like the ones from “Let’s get physical” 🙂 So all the fans are welcome to try!
Amazing, you guys should organize guided tours around Cascade! Not only the space itself is stunning but also it’s like a live museum of the latest fitness tech. Could you tell us more about its concept and any new gym design trends?
Absolutely. I’m a big believer that space and visual stimuli can have an impact on your motivation and performance. At Cascade we aimed to create an immersive experience that would inspire and push you to achieve your personal best. When I enter the club the first thing I feel is the space around me. I find it empowering, energizing. The colors are bold and vibrant to put you in the right mood, let yourself go and kill it. The view is pretty awesome too. So, most gyms nowadays step away from the conventional gym boxes concepts and try to combine functionality with sensory experience. They go creative with and play around with lights, space, location. Whatever keeps you guys going!
Also, since working out becomes more and more of a social phenomenon, the gym is transforming into a social space too. The group classes are booming at the moment, which again highlights our social nature and the need to belong to a community. Be it crossfitters, yogies or spin lovers, we all need a community to belong to. Hence, it’s important for a gym to have an open space for people to just hang out and chill, as well as organize events and gatherings outside of the gym.
Yes, a very curious social shift indeed. Darren, thank you so much for all the insights and insider perspective, can’t wait to come by and try out all the futuristic and unique equipment you have as well the extensive line of core bread and butter ones. Cascade Club truly is a one-of-a-kind combination of stunning aesthetics, comprehensive functionality, social interconnection, and cutting-edge fitness technology. Thanks for your time, mate!
About the club
The Cascade Club has been voted Thailand’s finest fitness club. The club provides a retreat from the urban environment for the development and maintenance of its members’ health and social life. The club’s uniqueness derives from its concept in combining health, beauty, and lifestyle amenities. Cascade proudly selects only the best equipment from world class suppliers including Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, Octane, Escape, and Balanced Body. Spacious, purposely built, and well-designed facilities make Cascade a showroom for prospective and current gym owners across Asia to learn how to set-up or enhance their gyms look, feel, functionality, and experience.