Formosa Fitness


Thanks! glad you're enjoying it.

Yeah, the machines can be a detriment to strength development if solely used for exercise. You probably noticed we only have a few and those I got only after I determined they were useful at certain times. As you say, when the machine takes the weight instead of your body, you get less results in terms of strength and also calorie burn. But they are useful in certain circumstances.


We've got a new promo clip for the gym so people can see what we do. If the type of workouts you see in this clip appeal to you, then come check us out! Thanks!


I'm loving it so far! Time for a couple new CD's though. :wink:

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Hey Dave,

I've noticed differing styles or lack of footwear in your gym. What's your policy? What do you recommend?

Also, I was going to ask if you were open on Friday, Sept 20th.


Its good to see you guys incorporate pretty much just free weights. I noticed though you only had very limited amount of benches, squat racks, etc. Still trying to find ANYTHING in Taipei resembling a gold's gym with multiple benches / racks / etc + the machines to compliment you when your pushing for those last reps and can't do anymore free weights.

Any gym that has the bar bell SET with weights already like they do in the states? IE a rack with a 30 40 50 to 120 lb barbells so you don't have to keep re-racking.


You want to lift weights. But you don't want to lift the weights to put them back? Because the extra lifting required to put the weights back would put you over your personal weight lifting tolerance? Or maybe it's the bending over? Or the chance of a pinched pinky. Ouch. Oh know! I know! It's the extra time it takes.


Hello! I'm a little liberal when it comes to footwear even though i really should make people wear shoes. Some people take their shows off because they prefer to squat or deadlift or even swing the kettlebell without them. And I'm okay with that.

As to what i recommend, i HIGHLY recommend a lifting shoe like these Asics Lift Trainers: ... p_id284136

They have the hard, stable heel like Olympic lifting shoes but the forefront is more flexible than OL shoes and they're about half the price. I can't workout in anything else now. The heel gives a ton of stability on the major lifts and have even improved my bench. :thumbsup:

Come visit us if you get a chance!


No, we don't have those and I wouldn't waste money on them anyway. People can just rack the weights, it isn't that hard. Trust me -- we have more and better power racks than any gym I've been to in Taiwan. We have three solid power racks and one squat rack plus four benches. We do have some machines but only the ones we need. We have what we need to succeed in Taiwan and I wouldn't even try to copy Gold's.

My advice is to realize that you're in Taiwan now, not the States, and give another place a chance. Some of these smaller gyms might surprise you.


I'm a lazy mother fucker. That's why just stick with all pro's in the states and my physique now in Taiwan is quite "big" / "ripped" while in the states I'm just average. K.I.S.S. Just want to keep my current physique. Not everyone wants to go hard core. Passing the shirt test is what most people aim for.

And I'll pay money to not add time to my lifts and dick around. It all depends on what your looking for. Anyways decided to sign with a gym in xinyi since thats where I live and I like to run to the gym, Formosa fitness is just too far. Came during rush hour still no one using the benches. Best thing about this gym, lots of regular old folks just using the treadmill, leaving the entire free weight section pretty empty. Better wait times then the US :notworthy:

Ill say the trainers at FF know what they are doing compared to all the other trainers i've seen at other gyms that make me want to go smack them. Most of them who look much skinnier / nonathletic then me. The FF owner definitely knows what he's doing.


Aw, shucks. Thanks for the kinds words but I'm just learning as i go along. I want "he did his homework" on my tombstone. :slight_smile:

I do push the trainers relentlessly, though, and it's good for them. They're about to start the Texas Method to continue their learning process.

BTW, we do have monthly seminars for people that can't attend the gym regularly. That way you can learn how we do things and go workout with the knowledge at your usual gym. Our events get posted here: ... &sk=events

Everyone is invited to attend and we try to keep the cost low.


We running a series of strength camps for people that work out in other gyms. The idea is to instruct folks in the most productive lifts of squat, deadlift, bench, and overhead press so they can get strong on their own. It's a two hour seminar run on the weekends at a low cost. We had a good turnout today and folks learned a lot. Take a look:

Our seminars are listed here and get updated regularly. Hope anyone interested can check it out: ... &sk=events


Awesome, I'm moving to Taipei in just over a week and have been worried about finding a decent gym, looking forward to checking the place out.


Please stop by when you're in town. We love meeting new people. Have a safe trip.


I've been hearing a lot from people outside our gym that they need help working out at home or they don't know what to do for fat loss, etc. I feel your pain and I know there aren't a lot of local resources to help and not everyone can come to Formosa Fitness.

i recorded my new DVD Kettlebell Quest to help people outside the gym meet their fitness needs. It's basically 16 follow-along workouts that take you from knowing the absolute basics to near fitness mastery, all on one DVD. It's jam-packed with workouts (I've never seen this many on one DVD!) because I want people to get the most value for the money. You'll need a kettlebell to do the workouts and we not only sell those but we give a free basic seminar on the weekends to you if you buy one. We do that because we really want you to actually get good results with it. We don't want to just sell you something and then not know how to use it.

So you know what you're getting, here's a full preview of an intermediate level workout:

This is the kind of workout you might be doing maybe 4-6 weeks into the program depending on your current level.

The workout guide is in English and tells you exactly how to follow the program but since we're local, if you have any questions you could ask them here. The price is NT950 and we can ship them out to anywhere in Taiwan.

We appreciate your support and hope to bring you more local resources in the future. Thank you!


I don't like to toot my own horn but a new gym has opened up in Taipei and they're telling people they're the first functional fitness gym in Taiwan and the only place to have bumper plates, etc. This thread stands as testimony that these claims are completely untrue.

We've been open almost five years now and my own posts just in this thread go back to 2009. We don't need to lie about who we are or what we do because at this point we've trained literally thousands of people from around Taiwan in our fitness classes, private sessions, and seminars. I think our commitment to the local fitness community has been proven but perhaps we need to tell our story a bit so people know where we're coming from.

I've worked out since about the age of 16 in gyms and have gotten really fit several times (six pack and all) since then. Several years ago, I let my job at the local newspapers get to me. I was sitting in a chair for 10 hours a day and getting off work at 12am. By the time I got home, it was around 1am and I'd sleep in till late morning. Going to work at 3pm left me little time to work out.

I went on a trip with my wife down south and she took a pic of me coming out of the water of the pool. The pic shocked me since i didn't recognize myself. I had a gut that hung down and shifted the other way when i walked. It was like a counterbalance to every movement i made. i weighed myself and my weight had crept up 10kg. I was totally shocked by this since I'd always been in shape and had ignored what sitting in a chair so much everyday had done to me.

I vowed to get in shape again and did circuit training with basic bodyweight exercises. I got really good results and the fat started coming off. I then read The New Rules of Lifting that talked about a new way of lifting weights based on the six basic motions of the human body -- this is called functional fitness. I re-started my gym membership and threw myself into this new way of working out since it seemed so interesting. It worked really well and was totally different from the bodybuilding workouts I'd done before. More fat came off.

I quit my job at the papers since it was killing me and started looking at opening a personal training studio instead. You can read some of that in the early pages of this thread. I imported kettlebells using our own money that we had saved up. I did this because the functional fitness community was raving about kettlebells and Taiwan didn't have anything like that. Well to make a long story short, they were everything they were cracked up to be. This type of functional fitness took even less time than what i was doing before and was aimed at fat loss. i went to Malaysia to get certified in kettlebells and added to my personal training cert, I then opened Formosa Fitness.

We started in an office that i shared with the workers from another company. The owners had their pingpong table in a large room that i offered to rent and they charged a cheap price and seemed kind of amused by the request. I had been teaching martial arts to a few folks and I told them we'd be switching over to pure fitness and most of them agreed to stay and continue. They formed my first core of students.

From there, word spread and we grew and grew. It didn't always grow quickly and there were a lot of bumps along the way, but the general trend was upward. i saved the little money we made and used it to buy new equipment. Most everything we made was put back into the business and we eventually grew into our second space. This is where Formosa Fitness really bloomed. We were down a back alley that was dark and damp but people sought us out and we loved them for it. Our group classes grew and so did my personal training clients. Word was spreading quicker at this point and my schedule filled up. I started our own Kettlebell Taiwan certification by this time and was certifying other trainers with the kettlebell. Through the cert, I met a trainer named Abram that seemed to "get it" more than some of the others and he came to work for me as my first trainer. I was able to take my first vacation in two years after that!

About a year and nine months ago, we moved into our third and current location. Again with the money we saved up, I invested back into the business and responded to what my customers said they wanted -- a bigger gym with more equipment that they could use to train themselves. They had "graduated" from personal training and classes because I TEACH people how to exercise instead of just leading workouts and these folks had "gotten it" and wanted to pursue their own fitness path outside of class. So we took a HUGE leap of faith and opened our current location. I made a massive personal investment, going against the current trends by buying with cash all of our equipment. Our business model also changed since the members I talked to had no problem paying just a little more for the open gym concept.

Not long after opening, i was honored to write the forward to the Chinese edition of The Four Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. We also taught a series of seminars that brought 20 new people into the gym every week for 4 months. I had taught seminars to the public before but we ramped them up to meet the demand and hundreds have joined us since then. i also taught seminars in Kaoshiung and Tainan. Our team expanded to four trainers and we trained them to led the seminars on their own.

This was the largest seminar i ever taught with over 70 people. I also have certified nearly 200 personal trainers in Taiwan in my kettlebell system. I even taught 10 of these 8 hours-a-day certs in 11 days once. It took me nearly a week to recover from that! But it was worth it because I really want trainers and people in general to succeed in fitness.

Since then, we've released two fitness DVDs for people that have to work out at home, we've sponsored our own fitness competition that we're running every year, we've sold an huge amount of kettlebells to satisfied customers all over Taiwan, we've been featured in every major news outlet and TV network, we've held seminars for the internationally famous trainer Steve Maxwell who has visited us twice and brought new fitness techniques to Taiwan, we've hosted Southeast Asian Olympic lifting champion Lewis Chua for a lifting seminar, but more importantly, we've reached tons of people that we couldn't have reached otherwise and helped them get fit and healthy. We've racked up many testimonials from them and we're honored by their kind words. Here are just the ones in English, the Chinese ones are listed on a separate site because putting them all together would be too long.
Despite false claims being made, we brought functional fitness to Taiwan many years ago and our body of work stands as testament to that. It certainly hasn't always been easy and I wondered several times if we would survive the many setbacks we had along the way. But with the support of the local fitness community and people like you, Formosa Fitness has blossomed into what it is today and we thank you so much for that! Without your support, we wouldn't have made it this far and we plan to continue servicing the community with the highest level of service and equipment that we can provide.

The story doesn't end here because it's still being written. I'm off to the gym to train myself and teach a few people now. Hope I can see you there some time.

We were honored to be featured in Taipei Trends yesterday. if you're looking for a gym around here, we've been open for almost five years now and the article captures the flavor of our place.


We often mention how important it is to have a group around you that supports your fitness but this aspect and the culture of the gym are both rarely talked about. Here we have an example that I'd like to share with you.

Gymgoer Dana is now doing pullups with 8kg, not something you see a lot of elsewhere. She had this ability before she worked out here but never developed it. Why not?

Here she is doing dips with 24kg:

Again, not something you see everyday and certainly not at the public sports centers. Dana was introduced to these ideas by another member at our gym who pushed her to try it out and see if she could do it. And she did. Now she's developing into a very well-rounded, powerful athlete.

Supporting your fitness habit is a big part of the process and that's really hard here in Taiwan, where fitness is actually frowned upon. You can surround yourself with a culture of success or settle for the culture of failure already around most of us.


Lots of hard work went into this and a flat tummy is the result. Swinging most of your body weight for reps isn't easy. Fat loss and body power being displayed here.


I posted this under events but it isn't coming up so I'm cross posting this here. hope some of you can make it!
Hello and welcome to our second event -- the Tactical Strength Challenge (TSC)

The challenge has two parts: 1. you agree to make the deadlift, pullup, and kettlebell snatch a part of your workout from now until the first weekend of May 2014, AND/OR 2. if you feel so inclined, you come compete at the TSC competition on 03 May 2014 at Formosa Fitness.

Here's what the competition part of the challenge looks like:

The idea behind this is to use the competition to drive your workouts. The date of the competition gives you an end date, forcing you to focus on getting the work done rather than procrastinating. You'll be going through this at the same time as other people, providing a sense of community to drive you further. You're forced to focus on broadly useful exercises instead of frivolous ones, getting strong and likely losing fat in the process. Plus on competition day you'll get to come meet a bunch of people just like yourself. Trust me, it's a relief to meet other people that enjoy this stuff here since no one else in your gym may be into this. All are welcome!!

On the morning of May 03, we have weighins at 10am and the competition starts at 10:30am. Everyone gets three chances to pull a deadlift max. When everyone has pulled, everyone (guys and gals) does a set of max pullups. You're done when your feet hit the floor. After that, you do a set of max kettlebell snatches in 5:00 with the 12kg (women) or 16kg (men's beginner), or 24kg (men's open division). The winner is the one who gets the most points in the three events.

If you're interested in joining, please signup here:

I can answer any questions folks might have.

Hope to see you there!


How do you balance out the different weights to make it fair? Perhaps set a standard 95kg for all open men (so those under that must use a weight belt)?
I could do 15 full hang at that weight I think.
BTW, these are pull ups, right, not the easier cheating chin ups?