By Ned Kelly
When not being a fashionista, as product development and sourcing manager for a French womenswear brand, seven-year Shanghai veteran Vy Vu can be found encouraging the FitFam community to sweat with smiles on their faces, and all for free. We caught up with the Australian born Vietnamese dynamo to find out more.
How did FitFam come about?
FitFam began in the dark winter of 2015 with a handful of friends who got together to work out and hold each other accountable to make it through the season while staying active. They created and led their own workouts, relying on one another to show up. Those friends motivated each other to commit to their 6am morning workouts, six days a week. What they didn’t foresee was how their daily commitment and consistency would bring them so much closer together. Curious onlookers asked to join, and word of mouth and social media photos of sweaty but smiling faces help spread the message. Three and a half years, later FitFam has grown from one location to over 35 in Shanghai alone.
How do people get involved?
As China is a WeChat world, we developed a WeChat mini program for people to discover, browse and easily join workouts. With few clicks users can browse through several days of upcoming workouts, access information such as type of workout, location, what to bring and even see how many other people plan to join. Once you’ve signed up and agreed to our waiver, all you need to do is show up with a smile ready to sweat. It’s that simple.
Our focus has been on making people feel comfortable enough to join the community, regardless of who you are, where you come from, your professional or social status and level of fitness. We are, have always been, and always will be accessible to everyone. We focus not on designing and leading workouts for the sake of working out alone - we create memorable social experiences, and that’s what continues to drive people to bring their friends.
Who are the volunteers that lead the sessions?
Volunteers who come from fitness backgrounds or who have developed from regular participants into leaders with a high-level understanding of core movements lead the regular FitFam workouts. Specialty classes such as Yoga are led by certified trainers who are gracious enough to volunteer their time. We understand the importance of safety and quality and do our best to equip our volunteer leaders with access to resources and experts in the field who can ensure workouts are held to a safe standard.
How many sessions do you have now?
In Shanghai alone, we hold over 65 free workouts each week. These range from HIIT to running, boxing, yoga, dance, martial arts and family-friendly sessions.
Is FitFam active in any other cities?
As participants and volunteer leaders move back to their hometown or onwards chasing job opportunities, they are eager to carry on the tradition of FitFam. FitFam now also holds regular weekly workouts in Beijing, Changzhou and Wuxi, as well as Taipei, Hong Kong, Toronto, Mexico City, and Huntington Beach, California.
Are there any other projects you are involved in?
Outside of FitFam and my fashion career, I’m a part of the Chi Fan for Charity organizing committee, which is an annual event that merges the best of the F&B scene with meaningful causes.
[All images courtesy of FitFam]
For more on FitFam scan the QR code.
This article was originally published by our sister magazine That's Shanghai. For more articles like this, visit the That's Shanghai website, or follow the That's Shanghai WeChat account (ID: Thats_Shanghai).
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