FBA 77: The evolution of Asia’s fitness industry with John Holsinger, director of APAC for IHRSA

Jack talks to John Holsinger, Director of Asia Pacific for IHRSA, about how Asia’s fitness industry has evolved in the last few decades and where it’s heading. 

John has been immersed in Asia’s fitness scene since the 80s so it was great to get his insights and thoughts. Next week, we delve into China’s industry.

In today’s show we cover…

  1. Where it all started: hotel gyms, then the first big chain
  2. How boutiques and franchising found their way into the market
  3. How, in Asia, we’ve started to benchmark ourselves against other industries or regions
  4. Competing on price is a race to the bottom
  5. How hotels, spas/wellness and corporate are on an upward trajectory
  6. Trends and stats – and what’s next for Asia




IHRSA 2020 – San Diego March 18-21









Welcome to the FBA podcast. I am your host, Jack Thomas and today we’re welcoming a very special guest, John Holsinger who is the Director of Asia Pacific for IHRSA.

IHRSA is an organization that aims to help health club owners & operators build & run the best clubs in the industry. IHRSA does a lot of good things for the industry – they run big events around the world and in Asia – their big annual event is in San Diego on March 18-21, they do industry research which includes compiling the most comprehensive report on the fitness industry in Asia, they do a lot of work to fight for the interests of health clubs around the world and they also have a Foundation that does great work in promoting exercise and preventing disease

They are one of the strongest and most influential organizations in our industry so to bring on John, their Director of Asia Pacific really was a pleasure.

John has been in the industry in this region since his first position here in 1986 so he has seen the industry evolve from its inception into what it is today.

In today’s podcast we talk about the big changes and developments over the last few decades, some of the trends and stats that their report has shown and some thoughts on what we can expect next in the wider fitness industry.

This is a two part interview with our next episode delving into China’s fitness industry.

Ladies and gents, here is John Holsinger of IHRSA on the evolution of Asia’s fitness industry…



I’d like to thank John for sharing his thoughts and insights on Asia’s industry.

To find out more about IHRSA you can go to the notes of the episode – we have provided links to IHRSA, as well as their big event in San Diego next month and also John Holsinger’s LInkedIn profile if you’d like to get in touch with him.

Our next podcast is part 2 of this interview, and we are delving into the China fitness scene.

That’s it for today, thanks to John and thank you for tuning it, we’ll catch you next week on the FBA podcast..’

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