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2015 has arrived (or perhaps is just about to). 2014 was a blur. There was a World Cup, if anyone can remember back that far. All of a sudden there was a chill in the air, Beijing went insane at a bunch of Halloween parties, then APEC came along and blued our skies, and suddenly there are champagne corks popping everywhere to welcome a new year.

Think of 2015 as the year. The year to get a better job. The year to start a new business. The year to finally, finally get in shape. The year to get rid of that jerk with whom you’ve been wasting your time. And most importantly, it’s the year to enjoy and explore the city where you live. In our cover story, we look at two kinds of fitness, one soft and one really hard; seeing the Beijing you haven’t seen; and ways to make your life in Beijing better.

Glasgow natives Tommy Young and Rory Van Den Berg are tough guys. They’ll leave you gasping on the floor without ever laying a glove on you. While both are accomplished muay thai (Thai kickboxing) boxers, it’s Young’s Fight Camp China regime that will leave you feeling like you’ve been hit in the stomach, at least for the first couple of classes. The two know a bit about fitness and discipline. We asked Van Den Berg about how to get fighting fit this year.

What’s the biggest mistake people make when starting a new workout program?
Generally what I find people do wrong is they set too big a goal initially. Rather than building up slowly, step by step, people set really big fitness goals like going every single day for a month, then it drops off. It’s better to build up and get your body used to exercising, develop consistency, and then usually the results will follow.

Should people do something fun or something more traditional, like running?
I think it’s really important to do something fun and something you enjoy. You’ll be much more inclined to stay with it. For me it’s muay thai, and it’s much more likely I’m going to do that, than say, zumba. I like watching it, I like practicing it, and as such it’s easier for me to stick with it.

How does Fight Camp help get people into shape?
In Fight Camp, what we try to offer is a fun, structured, and balanced program that is not only fun for the individual, but builds a lot of camaraderie. You’re doing things with partners, sometimes with groups of three and four. We’ve found that really helps people be consisted, and also get people to keep coming back. Fight Camp also aims to be holistic in that we also try to take care of the diet, and making sure that people are getting support, and we offer feedback, support, and advice on any injuries that might arise.

Fight Camp China resumes January 10. Contact Young and Van Den Berg at 153 1128 3161 or [email protected].

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Photos: Joey Guo


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