The Start of a New Gym Concept
Shenzhen is quickly becoming a place of diverse entertainment rivaling the other great cities of China. This can be in part by its growing diversity as many expats come from all parts of the world to build a life in this young and growing city. When you have a flood of multiple cultures into any city, it will begin to spawn a unique and diverse culture of restaurants, bars, pubs, schools and gyms are formed to cater to the needs of the new residents. John, the Founder of Project 0/1, has a similar story.
John was raised in Australia and moved to China fifteen years ago. When coming to China, he - like many others - quickly began seeking out his niche. He started as a personal trainer and gravitated toward Golf fitness becoming the fitness director of Mission hills while working on a health supplements company. He then formed his first gym named “Fusion Fitness” in Shekou with partners. Later, John would start another gym in Futian called Freshe Fitness, which opened in Dongguan too. After parting with his partner John began working on a new gym concept, something the world and certainly not Shenzhen has seen before.
Shenzhen China is having a current gym craze where multiple gyms are opening on a monthly basis - sometimes right next to each other. The gym culture has slowly moved into the Chinese community and even now, can be noticed as more and more local people begin to walk around in workout shirts, yoga pants, tights, etc. Although this is a great concept that more and more people are becoming open to exercise, the industry is also extremely saturated making it harder and harder for gym owners as the competition becomes too excessive. That said, John hoped not to go with the motions of a usual gym, but wanted to create a different culture separate from the usual gym scene. This was the initial thought of Project 0/1 - to have a gym that is lead by community and competition. Project 0/1 was started last year with the theme of functional training and boxing.
When you come into Project 0/1, you will quickly realize it is not a typical gym with automated machines, treadmills and zumba lessons, but is equipped with punching bags, a climbing rope, medicine balls, resistance bands, kettle bells, sparring gloves and many other tools used in martial arts, aerobics and power lifting. This brings a huge dynamic in the typical daily workout routine by bringing a diversity of challenges instead of just focused weight lifting. In a typical day you will see some doing push-ups, others sparring with boxing gloves and someone else powerlifting.
“My company, Project0/1 is a Private Member Health Club for high performance, goal oriented driven business people with interests in entrepreneurial elitist social circles, which focuses on body and mind optimization, with a sophisticated classy exclusive venue, and highly efficient challenge based programing..”
– JOHN GRAHAM with JEWEL LI (Manager)
Challenge Driven Gym
Before you think about making Project 0/1 your personal gym of choice, there are certain guidelines that you must follow. Anyone who wishes to join the gym must first have a specific challenge that they are training for. This can be anything from preparing for a marathon to preparing for a boxing match. This way, you are focused on a goal and the trainers will also know how to better schedule your workouts. Being a challenge driven gym, just coming to casually lift weights would not be considered a viable goal.
Fitness Executive Style
If you do happen to find yourself a member of Project 0/1, you will quickly find that the theme is a bit unorthodox as most members are business owners, CEOs and executives. Because of this, the gym is equipped with a relaxing area fit with Forbes magazines, newspapers and a full bar (a bit different the protein shake kitchens and juice bars). This was done to give not only a place of extreme workouts but also a place where members can rub shoulders with other professionals and have a non-public spot to relax. Members have cited that what they love most about being part of this gym is that not only are they losing weight and getting in shape, but they are making great connections and new friends in the process.
White Collar Boxing
Project 0/1 was started with John’s vision along with a few select investors - two of whom were Rocky and Dean. Being not only investors, but also members - they wanted to train for a real boxing match between other as their initial challenge. Taking this challenge to the next level, John created what is now known as ‘White Collar Boxing” in Shenzhen China. White Collar Boxing has been a popular event around the world where white-collar professionals go through a tough period of real professional boxer training and fight in a ring against another white collar professional. This brings many competitive companies together in a friendly yet intense face off that not only challenges their stamina and perseverance but also puts their company name and pride on the line.
Taking this concept, John and his team promoted the boxing event with open slots for other white collar professionals to get involved with the same goal of facing off with others in a real boxing match and had 26 fighters join the first event. Each of the fighters was personally put through rigorous training by the gym’s boxing coach Adam. Adam is also from Australia and has over ten years experience in boxing coaching. Each participant will only get 3 months of training to prepare for their match and will be pushed to their limits to prepare for their match. The last event sparked by two fighters ended with over 400 viewers and 13 matches lasting from 5:45 to almost 12:30AM at the Hilton Hotel.
"Watching the fighters progress during fight camp is such a rewarding and amazing experience. Seeing the regular men and women turn into fighters and be part of it is a real pleasure"
- ADAM (Boxing Trainer)
A Friendly Competition
During the first White Collar event, there were 13 matches where each fighter went through 3 rounds with their opponent. Before you have images of UFC and blood sports, know that these matches are done in a safe manner. Each fighter uses 16oz gloves, which are the kind of gloves used for sparring, and training - not for real boxing matches. This keeps both fighters from doing major harm to their opponent or themselves, as lower weights will offer lower knuckle support. The fighters are also equipped with headgear. That said, the only real damage done to the losing fighter after a full match will be to their ego.
Not holding back punches! John sparrs with Gavin from TAPS Bar
Next White Collar Boxing Event Coming in June 17th
The participants for the next white collar match on June 17th, have already been training and preparing for their coming matches. One of those participants is Gavin Hemple representing TAPS bar in COCO Park area. He has never boxed before but excited to have already lost weight and made great friends in the process of his training. His opponent will be Jake from FuBar.
"I love that I've been losing weight, having a good working and making new friends"
Another new fighter by the name Ben Matthew found out about White Collar Boxing through wechat and was looking for a personal challenge of this magnitude to better push himself. Nothing will drive you more then knowing you will be in a live ring with many onlookers. It is a true test of your courage and shows how serious you have trained.
“I have been drinking and smoking a bit more than I would like to in 2016, but having to step on the ring a few months from now, I eat healthy, do not drink much and almost don’t smoke at all. I now also fight to represent Xpat bar, and want to fight well, to thank my sponsor for trusting me and give me this opportunity to receive training and go on the ring.” – Ben Matthews
To find out more information on joining Project 0/1, or going to an event, contact John with the details below:
Project 0/1 Gym
Rong Xing Communication Building, NO.2-2 ROOM 101, Kefa Road, Nanshan district, Shenzhen
Jewel Li – Manager