The grand opening of Ultimate Performance’s highly anticipated second gym in Singapore marks a significant milestone in its commitment to innovation, excellence, and pushing the boundaries in the Asia Pacific fitness industry. CEO and Founder, Nick Mitchell, shares his insights.
Q&A WITH NICK MITCHELL, CEO AND FOUNDER, ULTIMATE PERFORMANCE
What makes Ultimate Performance Singapore’s leading personal training business?
Nick Mitchell, CEO and Founder (NM): Ultimate Performance (U.P.) is the world’s only global personal training (PT) business. We’re built on one key foundational principle, which is giving clients a tangible return on their investment.
A lot of people look at us, especially in Singapore, and they often fall into the trap of thinking that all we are is a before-and-after business. The reality is we want every single client to come to us and have a transformational experience, but transformation as a concept is very nuanced.
We opened in 2014 and have revolutionised the PT industry in Singapore. It didn’t really exist in its current form until we came along. Now, obviously, the issue is that success breeds competition. Whilst the landscape in Singapore has changed immeasurably in so many ways because of U.P., there have been a lot of copycat businesses that have sprung from us.
Why have these other PT businesses in Singapore not gone on to have gyms in three different continents like us? The reason for this is we have a business model that can’t be replicated, and that is why we are the best at what we do.
How far has the company come since you launched your original Singapore location in the central business district?
NM: Our first Singapore gym was our fifth globally. Within six months, we’re going to be at 30 gyms. Soon, we will have four sites in Los Angeles and three in Washington D.C. We’re going to be up to nine gyms in London, with four or five elsewhere in the UK. We have one in Amsterdam, a couple in Dubai, we’re operating in Mumbai and Sydney, and I’m super pleased to say that we’ve just opened our second gym in Singapore.
What’s interesting when you look at the development of our first Singapore gym is that we started out with a regular 5,000 square foot (sqft) facility. Now, it’s about 12,000 sqft and has over 50 full-time trainers, which makes it the largest single dedicated PT gym in the world.
Can you tell us more about the grand opening of U.P. Singapore Orchard?
NM: Our new 5,000 sqft private PT gym is conveniently positioned for clients in Tanglin, Holland Village, River Valley, Dempsey Hill, Newton, and beyond.
Whether your goal is fat loss, muscle building, or total body transformation for health and wellness, our expert team of personal trainers can help you achieve maximum results in minimum time. It couldn’t be easier to start your own PT programme with us.
Enquire to book a free consultation at your nearest U.P. gym to discuss your unique goals with our friendly team and learn how we tailor our PT and nutrition programmes to you, then meet your trainer, complete a full lifestyle audit, and start your journey to life-changing results.
What meticulously curated array of cutting-edge equipment and dedicated professionals await members at U.P. Singapore Orchard?
NM: Like all of our global gyms, U.P. Singapore Orchard is stocked with custom-made Watson Pro dumbbells, widely recognised as the best on the market, which you will not find in commercial gyms.
There is also a state-of-the-art strength training area, a 10 metre (m) strongman track, modified strongman equipment, including farmer’s walk, sled, and prowler, metabolic conditioning training equipment, a supplements shop, a shake bar, showers and changing rooms, and a transformation results wall that celebrates and showcases the hundreds of lives that have changed since entering our doors.
At our gyms, though we host the best equipment of the highest standard, we very much focus on the results. So, while there may not be saunas or pilates rooms like other commercial or boutique gyms, there will always be the best equipment available to give optimal results.
We have the world’s most elite personal trainers, and every single one has risen through the ranks at U.P. What that means to the culture and consistency of the service is why we are where we are today.
Can you also tell us about the unrivalled fitness experience that U.P. Singapore Orchard promises?
NM: When you come to U.P., you don’t just get a trainer; you get a team. That trainer has a mentor, that mentor has a manager, and that manager has a regional manager, all reporting to the global head of personal training at U.P.
Every single one of our trainers started out as a junior trainer, which is something very different. We ensure that the results clients get are not arbitrary but as consistent as possible.
Our job as trainers, and this is what makes us unique, is we go through the journey with clients to understand their wants and needs, which may modulate over time as they progress. It’s a constant iterative process, and our job is to partner with them on that journey.
Ultimately, we are here to give clients a tangible return on their investment. That’s been the DNA of the business from the moment we started it.
How does U.P. Singapore Orchard crystallise your ambition to invest and grow in Singapore?
NM: It’s fantastic that we’ve finally been able to open our second location in Singapore, and something we’ve been pushing for a long time.
We are already very well established in Singapore with 60+ staff, so this expansion cements our continued investment and growth in the country.
It also underscores the depth of commitment that the company has to Southeast Asia as a whole, and we are looking to expand in the wider region. For instance, we are planning to open in Taipei, Taiwan later this year, where we will be taking some of the Mandarin-speaking Singaporean staff and moving them there.
What we really want to do is to share the message that with hard work and educated effort, anyone can change their health and body. It’s all within your grasp, and that’s what the expansion represents.
To what extent will the opening of a second gym help to cater to the growing demand for your service?
NM: The second gym can cater to growing demand by providing more convenience. There’s a consistency to U.P., and to get consistency when people are your point of delivery takes a lot of work.
The reason why no one has done what U.P. has done is because it’s so hard to do. With the new gym, our goal is to build on the same management team. Again, that is something worth understanding with U.P. This is a consistent theme across the world.
Finally, in Singapore especially, how much has U.P. raised the bar as a guiding metric for the whole fitness industry?
NM: There is a strong and valid argument that U.P. has raised the PT bar in Singapore. Beyond all measure, when we first went there, there were no real dedicated, results-focused, one-to-one PT operations.
Now there are more options, but the truth is, being a really good personal trainer is an extraordinarily difficult job.
The challenge with being a great personal trainer is that you have to wear many hats. You have to partner with your clients on their diet, you have to be a gym floor coach, and you have to be a mentor. Sometimes you’ve got to stroke their ego, and sometimes you’ve got to crack the whip. So, it’s a very nuanced job and very difficult to do well.
One of the things that we’ve really learned with U.P. is that there have to be layers upon layers of accountability and incentivisation for clients and trainers.