Keen to revamp your workout routines and revise your approach to wellness? We chat with the MD of retail agency the DPT Group and serial entrepreneur Wil Fang about his latest venture, fitness destination Renation.
How many times have you promised yourself that you’ll get in shape, that this time you really will work out three or four times a week? We know, we’ve been there too. Driven by the idea that building strength is about collective action, new fitness/wellness destination Renation offers a different approach to working out, with four distinct concepts under one roof: Recycle (indoor cycling), Recondition (body strength and conditioning), Recover (physio & massage) and Recharge (juice and smoothie bar).
Renation’s founder, Wil Fang, is managing director of retail agency the DPT Group and has launched several other businesses in Hong Kong: lifestyle venue Carbon, bakery Cookie DPT, hand roll sushi bar Rollie and deep dish square pizza joint Carbs. Keen to expand into fitness to create something he could enjoy, Renation is a place to work out, look after your body and recharge the batteries with nutritious food and drinks.
What was the motivation behind setting up RENATION?
To be honest, I don’t think I ever imagined I’d venture into the health and wellness industry, but that’s what I thought about F&B, too. And like my other ventures, I’ve always wanted to build things that I enjoy and are part of my daily life.
Recovery and recharge is a big part of what you offer at Renation. Is this something that is still overlooked by most gym-goers?
Recover and Recharge are the two concepts we felt were the most integral to build into Renation. Most people are seeing their physio or masseurs separately from where they work out and we see significant benefits from having those services on site. This offers everything from saving time and being more coordinated to offering a more holistic approach to overall wellness since your trainers/coaches will have direct feedback with your physiotherapist to ensure you’re receiving the best treatment. Recharge has always been something I wanted to bring to Hong Kong, with guilt-free juices and smoothies on the healthier side but that still taste like a treat, whether it’s a protein smoothie after working out, or a coffee to kick start your morning.
What would you say to someone who wants to work out but is reluctant to do so?
The best part about Renation’s environment is we welcome all levels of fitness and abilities. Our sessions are designed around progression, not traditional transformation. We want our following to incorporate fitness into their lifestyle, which is why we emphasise inclusion in sessions. On top of that, our classes are fun, high energy and high intensity so you’re going to make the most out of your time with us.
Renation will organise regular sunset rides on the rooftop of your lifestyle venue, Carbon, to introduce more newcomers to a healthy lifestyle. How important is it to find exercise that you enjoy and look forward to?
If a healthy lifestyle is fun and exciting, it will open up to a lot more people. We take our training and programmes very seriously, but it’s also our goal to provide new ways to train and workout. In doing so, we’re also able to incorporate other lifestyle elements to round out the experience.
You have four other businesses. What drives your entrepreneurial spirit?
My motivation to keep building is driven by my passion to create a community and an ecosystem that’s inclusive and welcoming. I like the idea of taking simple products or ideas and building concepts around them.
To what extent does Renation complement your other businesses and will there be any crossover/joint promotions?
My favourite thing to do is collaborate with people and brands, and having more of my own businesses to add to the possibilities internally and externally. We’ve already started some crossover between Renation and Carbon, and Cookie DPT supplies Renation’s smoothie bar and snacks.
What are some of the challenges of running four businesses and how do you manage that?
All the businesses are quite different, and the challenge is being able to change hats hour by hour, sometimes even minute by minute. It’s what keeps it fun and exciting and comes with a lot of benefits of thinking outside the specific industries.
Tell us about your own workout routine and how you stay in shape
Oh man… I wish I could say opening a fitness studio means I work out every day, but the reality is, just like the majority of people in a city like Hong Kong, life is busy and the days are too short. But that’s another reason why we created Renation. It’s to give you a one stop destination to work out while integrating a prevention and/or recovery routine, then rounding out your session with a smoothie as a reward. So, I find myself jumping into a Recycle session once a week for my cardio, followed by a Recover assisted stretching session. And on my other day, I take a Recondition class for some more strength-focused training followed by a sports massage from our Recover therapists.
How have people’s attitudes to fitness and wellness changed since the pandemic?
I think people are finding new ways to work out since so many have not been able to leave Hong Kong and working out is a way to at least have some sort of outlet. Whether it’s hiking, outdoor workouts, or new studios, the industry has found a way to adapt to the changing environment. And people have started to take better care of themselves: there’s more awareness around both mental and physical health.
What’s your vision for Renation and how do you expect it to evolve?
We would love to continue innovating in the fitness space through more collaborations and events in and outside our venue. We also have plans to expand the individual concepts in the future: a Recharge smoothie bar pop up or Recover physio clinic. The exciting part is that we are just at the start of our journey. There’s so much that Renation could become.
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