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People's Daily Online>>China Society

More men go gym for fitness (2)

By Wu Yiyao in Shanghai (China Daily)

16:17, March 26, 2012

"Time changes and ideas change. When I was 40, a man with a round belly was thought to be a successful businessman but now an overweight man, despite his age, is considered to be inferior," said Lu Qingtian, a 53-year-old senior manager with a garment factory.

China has more than 325 million people who are overweight or even suffering from obesity. The figure may double in the next two decades. With surging numbers of obese people, the total value of the fitness and slimming industries in China may reach 70 billion yuan, according to a report by China Youth Daily.

Sun Xiaoyang, a sales manager at a Shanghai-based gym chain, said in 2011 the company opened three branches in Shanghai. Each recruited some 300 members within just one week. The chain is planning to open five more in 2012, said Sun.

Sun said he noticed an increasing number of men were joining fitness clubs and spending hours on the equipment and doing aerobics.

"Some of them are trying to lose weight but most of them are already well-built. They want to become more muscular," said Sun.

Sun said, unlike overweight women, obese men are too shy to expose their figures in public.

"They tend to hire a private coach or they stop coming after two or three visits," said Sun.

The price of annual membership for gyms ranges from 800 yuan to 4,000 yuan depending on access to training courses and equipment.

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