Let’s face it, hitting the gym or getting some type of exercise during the work week is a struggle for most of us. Luckily, there are plenty of fitness groups that meet regularly to go hiking, running or even walking in Shenzhen. Lazy Laowai is one of these groups that quickly gained traction, known for its bright orange banner and friendly community. We caught up with Kris Scully, founder of Lazy Laowai, for all the exciting things in store.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how Lazy Laowai started out?
I’ve been in Shenzhen for almost three years now. I was born on the island of Jamaica but lived in the US for most of my life. Although I didn’t come to Shenzhen to start a gym/restaurant, I’ve always had a passion that revolved around sports, health and fitness. Lazy Laowai began just like any other WeChat group. We had a handful of people who would check the group once in a while and send the occasional mildly funny sticker. Over time, the group started to pick up steam as it became a place for like-minded people to find that physical outlet they once knew back in their home country or even to find it for the first time and try something new.
Image via Mina/Lazy Laowai
How did you decide to open a gym? Especially during 2020 with a lot of businesses closing?
Somehow it still doesn’t feel like we have been around for very long, but we’ve actually been doing events and activities for quite some time now. Many of our activities require us to rent a venue or find a free outdoor space. Both options come with their own challenges as some venues aren’t perfect for what we need and rules for using outdoor spaces can change monthly when a large group is involved. In the natural progression of things, I think it was only a matter of time for us to establish our own brick and mortar location.
The idea to establish a gym/restaurant came about before COVID-19. Luckily we didn’t start before things got bad. We were fortunate enough to be able to wait it out and not lose much. Now that things seem to be normalizing and many people are returning to Shenzhen, we think it’s a great time to throw our hat in the ring with other gyms as health and longevity are on everyone’s mind.
When will the gym open? What is the concept?
The gym is now open! Our focus will be on high-intensity interval training (HIIT). We know some of our members need that extra push to avoid being lazy, so all of our group classes will be conducted by a coach. Aside from the HIIT classes, we’ll have a section for your general gym equipment needs. Additionally, we have set aside some space for activities like yoga, Zumba, dance classes and more. We believe having these options are key for continuing one’s fitness journey as it can become mundane and tedious. We strive to be an educational asset to the Lazy Laowai community and a valuable resource to our members.
The restaurant area. Image via Mina/Lazy Laowai
A peek at what’s on the menu. Healthy wholesome meals!
How does the packaging/pricing work?
Where is the gym located?
What do you hope people can gain from Lazy Laowai?
The idea behind Lazy Laowai has always been to stop and take a step back from what you believe health and fitness to be. It’s not going to the gym every day of the week and eating salads for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In fact, there is no one true definition of fitness as it's different for everyone. We hope to continue to show the fun and flexibility that comes with staying fit and healthy not only with the gym but also with our external activities.
See listing for Lazy Laowai.
[Cover image courtesy of Mina/Lazy Laowai]