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Close Up Bright Young Things: Jason Choong of Flycycle

Bright Young Things: Jason Choong of Flycycle

Bright Young Things: Jason Choong of Flycycle
By Daween Maan
October 05, 2016

The founder of Flycycle is only just at the start of his journey, but it is this journey itself that earns him the spotlight, because he fully intends to share them both with as many people as he can.

Jason 1.jpg(source)

With all of the bright young things we have featured so far, we have chronicled their journey, their challenges and their eventual triumph. In each person’s case, the destination – their success – is what earned them their moniker.

But Jason Choong doesn’t have a trophy cabinet showing off all his accolades, nor an anatomically accurate drawing explaining all his scars; at least not yet.

The founder of Flycycle is only just at the start of his journey, but it is this journey itself that earns him the spotlight, because he fully intends to share them both with as many people as he can.

“I want to make exercise a part of our social life; something you do with friends.”

With his name and days attached to two other property related ventures, Jason’s foray into the fitness industry was born purely out of interest, passion and a passion to share that interest. The lean and slender entrepreneur reveals to me that he wasn’t always in the best shape, and it was in his quest to be as such that he first discovered the concept that would become the business.

“I was really into body building when I was younger; I ate clean and watched my diet,” he says. “But when I started working, I stopped exercising and ate whatever was convenient. I weighed more than 90 kilogrammes before I decided it was time for a change.”

“So, I started attending group classes that were high intensity cardio based, but I didn’t find them interesting and even felt like I was being picked on. Then one day, I was in London when I tried something similar to this and found it really engaging and motivating,” he finishes.

Exercise Arena.jpg(source)

Spin classes aren’t new to Kuala Lumpur. Found in almost every high profile and mainstream gym in the city, these indoor cycling classes involve a group of people who are led by an instructor through a series of different cycling styles at different tempos.

While the mechanics of Flycycle are similar, the game-changers here are the multi-coloured lights, amped-up music and exercise routines that are choreographed and coordinated for an all-round experience.

“Flycycle combines both fitness and fun,” says Jason. “I want to make exercise a part of our social life; something you do with friends.”

But bringing the concept to Malaysia was no easy ride. He began by travelling around the world to try out and research as many spin classes as he could. Having gathered enough information, Jason set out to transplant the concept, but very quickly hit a wall. 

“We’re very happy with the team we have built. It’s like one big happy family.” 

“In the beginning, it was really hard to find great trainers. I went to every class I could get into -- spinning classes, RPM classes; I even went as far as Zumba classes – which is not really a guy thing to do,” he laughs.

But Jason needed to be sure he covered all the ground he could and looked at every potential trainer he could. However, despite his own optimism, he found it difficult to sell the concept and bring trainers on board.

“There was nothing really to relate it to, so it was hard for them to leave their secure jobs for something they couldn’t really buy into,” he explains.

Eventually, after a slight change in approach, Jason assembled his 9-member team made up of professional athletes, personal trainers and instructors, before travelling with them to an undisclosed location overseas to undergo training, together.

“It was very intensive. I lost the bulk of my weight during the training,” he jokes. “But we’re very happy with the team we have built. It’s like one big happy family.” 

Trainers.jpg(source)

A highly capable team of trainers was only half of the equation for Flycycle. Driven to deliver a satisfying experience each and every time, Jason enlisted the help of professionals and specialists to work on the lighting as well as acoustics in the exercise arena – “acoustics” here don’t just mean a couple of really loud speakers, but a state-of-the-art immersive surround sound system that distributes the music evenly as well as absorbs it back.

Given that the arena is actually a dark room, the neon strobe lights also required an uncanny eye for detail, ensuring every rider, no matter where they are positioned would have a comfortable ride.

“We’re not like a regular gym. Gyms provide equipment, we provide an experience.”

Finding Jason’s explanation of the experience incredibly intriguing, I returned a week later, prepared this time with workout attire and a couple of colleagues in tow. Using the top-notch facilities for myself, I saw first hand how a business run by millennials, caters to millennials. From the modern and clean showers to the impressive dressing area and even the lockers that are personalised for you, plenty of thought went into putting Flycycle together.

I was given a special shoe, according to my size and was led to my bike that was adjusted to my height and arm length before my shoes locked into the pedals and the class began.

The 45-minute session was exactly as advertised – highly intensive, highly motivating and highly satisfying.

Each class is designed by the individual instructor and tested for several weeks before making it into the arena, making them not only an optimum workout, but also personal. The coordination to the music and the lighting add a necessary element of playfulness that lighten the intensity, if only mentally at least, because this is still a proper workout that not only works your legs, but also your arms and your abs.

Jason 2.jpg(source)

Jason’s aim to introduce a fitness model that’s more than just a workout is well underway. Despite only opening its doors under four months ago, Flycycle has already had almost 2,000 registered riders, with many of them becoming regulars. Most newcomers tend to come in groups and end up making new friends along the way.

Despite the success, being a young business, Flycycle still has some bumps in the road to overcome but Jason is fully aware of them and is determined to ride them out.

“Every business will encounter problems,” he says. “But it’s about believing in your product and working to solve each problem daily. We still run into some issues, but we take customer feedback very seriously and are always trying to improve.”

Looking to the future, Jason’s ambitions are obvious, if not pragmatically tempered by the doubt the Flycycle concept faced in its early days. But if the fully-booked classes, almost night after night are anything to go by, the doubters may well have been proven wrong.

“The feedback has been very motivating. The aim in the future is to maybe open another outlet, but really, we want to change the fitness scene in Malaysia. We want to be able to pay our trainers well and give them credit for their work,” he says.

“We’re not like a regular gym. Gyms provide equipment, we provide an experience.”

For more information about Flycycle or to book your own session, visit their official website or their Facebook page.

Here's another bright young thing, who puts her body on the line for pride and country: Olympic diver, Pandelela Rinong.

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Close Up Bright Young Things Jason Choong indoor cycling Flycycle

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