Samui Wining & Dining
FITNESS FOUNDATION
Going to the gym’s a pleasure again, thanks to Elite Gym and Fitness.

Going to the gym’s a pleasure again, thanks to Elite Gym and Fitness.We all have dreams and the big ones might seem impossible. At least at first. Many of us get waylaid – if we ever get started on them, that is. But often those who just keep going surprise themselves and exceed their dreams. A while ago, a long-term resident on Samui, Magnus Rydlund, had the dream of building a gym. Not just any gym – they already existed on the island. He wanted one that would be exactly the kind of place where he’d feel totally at home while exercising. This wouldn’t seem difficult to achieve: after all, anybody with a bit of money can rent some space, fill it with exercise machines, weights, some mirrors, and so on, and open shop – not really much different to what so many of us do with our garages. But Magnus wanted more than that – a lot more. He wanted a truly professional gym which would give its members a solid foundation for fitness. And he wanted it to be fun. Somewhere that would be a pleasure to go to.

          

Over time, he built his dream gym, along with two partners Nico and Sebastian, painstakingly turning it into what it is today. It’s now informally ranked by many a gym aficionado as the best gym of its kind in the South of Thailand.

          

If you live on the island, you may have seen it already. It’s 250 metres from Tesco Lotus in Chaweng. At the traffic lights just south of Tesco turn off the ring-road, and head in the direction of the sea. Follow the road about 150 metres. On the left side you will see the gym. It’s hard to miss. It’s big, looks much like a warehouse, and the word ‘gym’ is written in enormous stencilled letters over its entrance. Once inside,Going to the gym’s a pleasure again, thanks to Elite Gym and Fitness. you’ll immediately see why it is so popular. It’s very spacious and it has an abundance of equipment; you’ll instantly realize you won’t ever have to waste time queueing up for machines here, hoping the person in front of you will be quick. Take a closer look at the equipment and you’ll see it’s extraordinarily well maintained. You’ll also realize that there are more types of machine here than you’d see in many other gyms, regardless of where you are in the world. Some you may not even recognize as they’re very specialized. Some are modern-style machines which are simply safer than older styles. He’s also gone one step further, customizing some of them so that the angles are slightly different and will thereby exercise slightly different muscles. The gym opens at 6:30 am – a rarity on Samui – allowing you to get in your routine before you start work or do anything else.

          

Not into weights? There’s plenty more going on here at the gym. You’ll find cardio machines, ideal if you’re a runner or just want to boost your aerobic stamina. In addition there are various classes in the mornings – these change according to the month and season – but there’s something going on here just about every day, except Sundays. Classes tend to focus on strengthening, conditioning and there are also boot camps. If you’re new to gyms, it can be a bewildering experience when you first step into one. You won’t be able to fathom out how to use much of the equipment. At Magnus’ gym though, you’ll always find someone who can show you how to operate the machines. Often there are trainers around, but there’s certainly always a staff member to help you. “It’s like a family here,” says Magnus, “we’re welcoming and help people whenever they need it.” Indeed, it has that kind of feel to it; you won’t meet with aggressive tendencies that you might in some gyms.

          

If you need a personal trainer, you can always find one here. Let the staff know what kind of goals you have and they’ll be able to suggest the appropriate person, whether you’re new to gyms or not. Elite has pretty much every kind of trainer from body building through to general fitness. Some train professional athletes back in their home countries.

          

Magnus fulfilled his dream and his gym has a seriously good reputation. Being a sportsman, he soon went after the next dream: opening a second gym. And, no, it isn’t a clone of the first. It’s completely different. You’d never think the same person was behind both. Magnus has a multiple personality when it comes to building gyms. The second is air-conditioned, and gone is the warehouse look; this one looks like the kind of gym you’d find in a cosmopolitan city. It’s located above McDonald’s in the centre of Chaweng Beach Road, and is called Elite Gym and Fitness Exclusive.Going to the gym’s a pleasure again, thanks to Elite Gym and Fitness. It has a sauna and more chill-out facilities, and caters for fitness across the board. You’ll find, for example, very popular spinning classes here, and there’s a circular area devoted to x-fit machinery. But as with Magnus’ other gym, you’ll find plenty of trainers who can help you go up to the next levels of fitness as well as a sports masseur. Again, it’s a friendly, welcoming place and there’s no need to be anxious if you’re new to the world of gyms. Both gyms have a pro-nutrition centre, run by friends of Magnus – they can help you with a range of fitness and health supplements.

          

In the gym, you’ll come across a sign. It’s a quote. It’s written in big letters on the wall, for everyone to see. It says: ‘Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live in’. What a way to sum up what the gym’s about. In these days of surgery and expert doctors, most of the time often we can take our damaged bodies for repair. But we can’t – yet – replace an entire body. So it pays to look after it, give it exercise rather than lead a sedentary life. This is what Magnus’ gyms are here for. The real goal is to be a healthy you, the best you that is possible. It’s all about challenging yourself. Magnus has turned his dreams into reality and you’ll probably find that what he’s built will neatly dovetail with your own dreams.

          

So pay attention, concentrate, enjoy your holiday … and make it out alive.

          

 Dimitri Waring


 


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