and another bonus is the sense of being in a private
oasis, far from the stresses of everyday Hong Kong life.
And, in terms of privacy, Michael values his famous clients
so much that he is reluctant to divulge names without a bit of
friendly arm-twisting.
“Hong Kong male artistes like to show a lot of muscle,” he
“I train a maximum of four people a day to maintain the
quality,” he says. “The people I train here often become good
friends. Some executives will tell me about their tough day.
They like to talk to me. It’s more personal. Some people need
to be pushed. When I am working with them, I convince them
that exercise is good.”
The club is open from 6 am to 10 pm every day but Michael
also has other duties in addition to training. He oversees two
full-time lifeguards at the hotel’s unique glass pool as well as
four other recreational officers. Collectively, they maintain the
immaculate state of the fitness centre and try to ensure that
customer satisfaction is guaranteed. “I like helping peo-
ple. If I can help someone, I am already happy,” says
the genial trainer.
When it comes to personal training sessions,
Michael does his best to educate celebrities and
regulars alike about what it takes to become
fit. “I tell them to eat breakfast,” he says. “That’s
hard for a lot of people. They say ‘I drink coffee in
the morning’, but it’s not breakfast.
“They say ‘I can’t eat early in the morning.’ I tell them that
eating wheat toast and bread is good. The second thing is to
eat well. A diet of just dim sum and kimchi isn’t good – there
must be balance. I tell them not to drink beer at night because
they can’t get to sleep. And weight training is essential for most
people. The average person should train for at least 30 min-
utes, three times a week.”
Michael admits
that losing a lot of
weight in a short time is
a serious business
says. “So I’ll get people like Leo Ku who came to train before
his last concert. Actor Chapman To has trained with me. Pro-
ducer and radio personality Lawrence Cheng trained here too,
until he told me he had no time. One female talk show host
even came to me with the idea of getting one of her staff to lose
weight. I made him lose 38 lbs (16.3 kg) in six weeks. When I
get results, they tell their friends.”
Michael admits that losing a lot of weight in a short time is
a serious business and he applies firm rules based on the many
years he has spent weight training, dating back to his UK stu-
dent days when he was bullied for being skinny. Nearly two
decades later, he’s not only in great shape but knows how to get
his clients in shape too.
On a daily basis, 200 to
300 hotel guests are pay-
ing attention to what he
says. That includes his
high-profile celebrity cli-
ents who usually end up becoming members, such is the so-
phisticated, private nature of the club. But even though Mi-
chael has become a trainer to the stars, it seems that he still
keeps an ear to the ground when it comes to his roots. The
self proclaimed Pearl Jam, Black Eyed Peas and Justin Timber-
lake fan doesn’t have many members who love his choice of
in-house music though. “So, to please them, I turn it off,” he
says with a smile.
One of the fitness
centre’s selling points
is the breathtaking
harbour view.
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