If there’s one thing we understand here at Men’s Health HQ, it’s that no two gyms are created equal. In recent years, the gym has transformed from that sweat box with rusted dumbbells and the odd machine that’s at least a decade old and barely functions, to state-of-the-art fitness centres that resemble something more akin to a night club than a workout space. On nearly every street corner, a gym looms large, attracting clientele with various motivations and intentions behind their membership. There are those open 24/7 with low fees for the people who simply want to get shit done, and then there are those suited for the people who see the gym not simply as a workout but a lifestyle; you know, the ones who spend most of their waking hours there and know everyone by name. But if you thought these membership were high, consider this gym in Western Australia where a membership is so exclusive, it’s only offered to 50 members at one time.
The swanky gym is based in Nedlands, the affluent western suburb of Perth, and is the brain-child of 33-year-old Chris Wilson. Aptly named Chris Wilson Fitness Studio, it has attracted the city’s elite and some of the country’s richest people, despite only being in operation for six months. As Chris told news.com.au, “It’s grown so quick.”
As Chris explains, “I think that because a lot of people aren’t travelling, the focus has shifted more to health and wellbeing and people are willing to spend a lot more money on their health.”
The idea came from Chris’ own experience as a personal trainer with the Welsh rugby team. During this time, he spent years planning how he could create a space that was unique and stood out from the other gyms available. Ultimately, Chris wanted to create something that would have a lasting impact on the community. The idea was simple: create a one-stop destination for all things health, wellness and fitness.
So, what does a $579 weekly platinum membership get you then? For those paying the top dollar, they have access to not just the gym, but also dinners at high-end Perth restaurants, free coffee and access to body composition scans. It might sound obscene to consider paying that much money, and Chris himself had his doubts at first whether people would be willing to fork out the cash for such a thing, but he admits that it’s been extremely popular due to the value offered. “It also includes three one-on-one sessions which can cost $300 in itself and on top of that they have access to unlimited classes at the gym.”
Members also have access to the Bodyscape high-end yoga studio run by Chris’ partner Rosanna Susanto, which also includes discounted massages and facials and use of “top of the range” saunas. For Chris, his goal was to create a “whole lifestyle” package and not just a “gym”, but one that was exclusive as possible. It might not be in everyone’s price range or something that’s feasible for most, but for the fitness enthusiast it certainly delivers a holistic approach to health and wellbeing that goes far beyond a workout alone.
Speaking about his clientele, Chris said: “They are all super disciplined people. They never cancel a session, they’re always on time and ready and waiting and they also need to leave bang on the minute. I am really respectful of their time and they’re respectful of me because I am also quite private and don’t pry into their business. I know they are wealthy million and billionaires but we treat everyone equal at the gym – and I think that’s what they like.”
And by capping it at 50 people at a time, Chris ensures that those visiting the gym get the special treatment, with trainers having plenty of time to help them reach their fitness goals. He also pays careful attention to special touches, like cool towels, impeccable presentation and ensuring the gym is organised. He even lines the weights up perfectly after every use. “Having just 50 people makes it personable and means we can also keep on top of our members.”
Of course, the gym does have other membership offers which include silver and gold packages for $100 and $49 per week, however these only offer limited services and no personal training sessions.