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More men go gym for fitness (3)

By Wu Yiyao in Shanghai (China Daily)

16:17, March 26, 2012

Men's preference

"While women tend to buy the cheaper memberships and do only yoga and aerobics, men seem to be more inclined to spend money on equipment-assisted workout courses and even private coaching sessions - and they buy fitness products such as protein powders and L-carnitine more," said Sun.

Hua Yangyang, a 27-year-old communications specialist, said he spends at least eight hours in the gym every week.

"I lost some 10 kilograms in 16 months. It's something that's not worth boasting about compared with many other successful weight losers but I do feel better and more confident when I have less fat and more muscles," said Hua.

Hua said he spends about 300 yuan every month on fitness products including L-carnitine weight-loss pills, protein powder and meal-replacement diets, which help him to accelerate his metabolism, build up muscles and reduce his appetite.

Hua said gyms have become social networks and people talk about the brands of products they use, help one another on equipment drills and form competitive pairs to see who can achieve better results within a limited time.

Books, video programs and online coaching services for diets have also experienced an expanding market in China, with many specifically targeting men who want to lose weight.

"The best-selling ones are about how to build up muscles and how to keep fit via exercises. Most of the books target male readers who attach importance to quality of life," said Xu Juan, a shop assistant at a bookstore in the Huangpu district of Shanghai.

A 200-page imported book on diet aimed at men costs 187 yuan but buyers said it worth the money.

"If it helps me to lose 5 kg, then the cost-efficiency has exceeded that of those slimming creams my wife uses," said Zhu Jinzhe, a reader who bought five books on male slimming one afternoon in February.

David Kirchhoff, president and chief executive of Weight Watchers International Inc, a company that helps customers to track their food intake through a points-based system and which holds regular meetings, said the company is considering expanding in China, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

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