At This Japanese Gym, You Can Sing Karaoke and Wash Your Laundry

At This Japanese Gym, You Can Sing Karaoke and Wash Your Laundry

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Picture: Chocozap via PRTimes
Want to get in some reps but also need to do your laundry AND belt out some karaoke hits? Good news! This gym in Japan's got you covered.

The Romans had it right. “Mens sana in corpore sano” — a healthy body makes for a healthy mind. Despite unanimous support from medical experts, integrating exercise into packed schedules remains a hurdle. In Japan, where hectic work rhythms prevail, prioritizing physical activity often takes a back seat.

Japan is already host to some unique gyms. Now, one chain aims to be more than a gym, including services ranging from on-site medical examinations to belting out a few tunes in between sets.

All-inclusive

The popular gym chain chocoZap, part of RIZAP Co., Ltd., is rolling out seven exciting new services from March 28, 2024. This move signals a dynamic strategy shift, building on last year’s innovations. The new offerings include karaoke, laundry, pilates, kids space, self-photo, trainer support, and medical examination services.

Since its inception, chocoZap has aimed to redefine the gym experience, offering more than just exercise. It’s about cultivating a habit that seamlessly integrates with your lifestyle. With its latest array of services, the chain unveils a strategic move to captivate customers on a more personal level, blending leisure with the essential need for physical activity. Now, you can indulge in entertainment during your downtime without compromising your body’s need to move.

And here’s the bonus: the price stays the same. For just ¥3,278 (tax included), you get access to all these services without any extra charges. ChocoZap throws in these usually pricey amenities for free as part of your gym membership.

Your way to a new lifestyle

Since its launch in July 2022, chocoZap has been on an upward trajectory. In 2022 alone, it amassed nearly 850,000 members in just one year. With over 1,300 stores nationwide spanning 34 prefectures and a membership base exceeding 1.124 million, it quickly claimed the title of Japan’s largest fitness gym membership. Further solidifying its rising popularity, chocoZap ranked second in the “top 30 hit products of 2023” in the December 2023 issue of Nikkei Trendy.

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But how did it achieve such impressive results in such a short time? According to its President, Seto Takeshi, the secret lies in infusing fun into the conventional gym experience. ChocoZap isn’t just about fitness; it’s about making health and wellness enjoyable and accessible to everyone.

With initiatives like the “5-minute light training” and a range of complimentary services, chocoZap has reinvented the typical gym experience. The company strives to offer experiences that enhance customers’ leisure time and enrich their daily routines. Whether it’s sweating out in a karaoke room, pampering oneself with beauty self-care, or tackling chores like laundry, chocoZap facilities cater to people of all ages and backgrounds. It’s more than just a gym — it’s a lifestyle destination.

“It’s essential to enjoy exercise to make it a habit,” remarked President Seto.

From chocoZap’s perspective, for training to remain consistent, it must seamlessly fit into your lifestyle. Rather than viewing it as another chore on your list, consider it a healthy habit. After all, if something feels burdensome, we’re more likely to let it slide.

Busy bodies’ best bet

ChocoZap is on a mission perfectly crafted for the Japanese crowd, tapping into their distinct social and cultural vibe. chocoZap appeals especially to those who have never stepped foot in a gym before.

Let’s take a peek at the numbers to understand why this approach resonates in Japan. As of 2023, roughly 33.4% of men kept up with regular exercise, while the figure dipped slightly to 25.1% for women, marking a downward trend.

However, seniors aged 70 and above lead the way, with 35.9% of women and 42.7% of men staying active. It’s a clear sign that the daily grind eats into fitness routines of younger people. Women bear the brunt of this as they balance career and family responsibilities.

A similar survey by the Ministry of Education echoed these findings. Roughly 41.0% of respondents pointing to being “busy with work or household chores” as the main reason for skipping exercise.

Japan’s long working hours and frequent neglect of work-life balance are no secret. In fiscal year 2023, the average daily working hours stood at 7 hours and 48 minutes, leaving little time outside office walls. According to the Ministry of Health, regular employees clocked in about 40 minutes of daily overtime in 2023. While it’s an improvement from past decades, it’s still grueling.

All your needs, covered

Among the factors fueling its ascent to success, free services stand out as the most crucial. Over the past two years, chocoZap has rolled out several new service introductions, each yielding tangible successes. Stores that implemented these services witnessed 2.95 times more users, 1.35 times more visits, and 1.95 times more memberships than those without such offerings.

In September 2022, chocoZap debuted its initial lineup of services, including “self-esteem,” “self-hair removal,” and “golf.” To mark its first anniversary, the company introduced fresh and enticing services, adding beauty and relaxation options to its lineup.

In 2022, one of the standout additions was the self-nail service, with 397 designs for a personalized beauty experience. Additionally, users can achieve teeth-whitening autonomy with the self-whitening service’s specialized solvent. The massage chair provides therapeutic relief from daily stress, while the desk bike caters to busy individuals looking to squeeze in some exercise. The versatile workspace accommodates those juggling multiple tasks. And for a refreshing break, the Choco Café serves up everything from freshly brewed coffee to protein and collagen drinks.

The third wave, starting last March, ups the ante further. Among the new additions, karaoke stands out as a crowd favorite. Entertainment rooms equipped with training gear, in a unique blend of fun and fitness. Alternatively, pilates machines offer a different kind of fun, allowing users to move at their own pace.

With laundry facilities and kids’ play areas also on the agenda, customers can focus on wellness without neglecting family or chores. Plus, expert trainers are on hand for added support, while self-photo angles track progress. As a bonus, free MRI and CT examinations promote preventive medicine, making healthcare more accessible on the go.

Balance is key

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s all too easy to let our physical health slip by the wayside. But if ancient wisdom holds any truth, then our physical well-being is essential for a healthy mind.

ChocoZap has refreshed the fitness scene in Japan with a groundbreaking concept: exercise doesn’t have to be monotonous or time-consuming. It can be diverse and engaging, seamlessly woven into one’s routine. The new array of services aims to craft a personalized space for recreation and self-care, one where prioritizing well-being is as easy as piecing together a busy day.

Sources

チョコザップ、追加料金なしの新サービス導入へ 物価高での会員増を狙う Yahoo News Japan

「chocoZAP」 新サービス7種の本格導入を決定ジムの常識を超えた「スマートライフジム」に向けて新領域に展開 PR Times

カラオケもMRI検査もタダ、「chocoZAP」来店を習慣にする戦略、RIZAP Adver Times

チョコザップ、約84万会員獲得 「23年版」ヒット商品ベスト30発表 NIKKEI BP

運動習慣のある人の割合はどれくらい? JILI公益財団法人 生命保険文化センター

令和4年度「スポーツの実施状況等に関する世論調査」 の結果について スポーツ庁

2023年度労働時間総合調査 WEB労政時報

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