When Fitness becomes a Business: Lim Yaoxiang

Former national water polo athlete and swimmer turned fitness entrepreneur forces himself to learn new things to stay relevant


For Lim Yaoxiang, the transition from life as a national athlete to gym owner was almost seamless. He likens competitive sport and fitness to being very similar, with both being goal driven, with perhaps just the competitive element being the difference.

"I only knew one thing that I was passionate about - which is sports and fitness, that's why I started a gym and pursued this route," he quipped.

Indeed it is the same single-minded focus that drove him to set up his first business, The Fitness Project, one of the pioneers in having fitness classes on water, before it took off and became popular.


Although the transition has been easy, the journey has been far from smooth - as there are a whole slew of things to look at beyond just teaching classes.

Juggling business operations, teaching classes and his social life has also meant he has very little time for himself, as he usually feels mentally and physically drained with whatever time he has left.

Even then, he tries his best to set aside an hour or two each day for his own training - be it on the bike or having his own HIIT session.


"What I try to do is to set myself some goals that I want to achieve, for example for these 6 months I want to learn new techniques and new exercises that I want to put into the programme," Lim shared.

"Staying relevant and constantly upgrading yourself is very important," he continued. "We've got to walk the talk. People are always looking at us and asking if we are able to do what we are asking them to do."

When asked what advice we would give beginners who are starting out on their fitness journeys, Lim had a lot more encouraging things to say.


"You want to be motivated without feeling too stressed. It can feel overwhelming when the goal you set for yourself looks daunting."

"That is natural because where you are and where you want to be is a long journey, so learn to set a goal but then forget about achieving it. Instead of looking at the bigger picture, break it down into bite sized little achievable things."

"For example, let's get my endurance up first, or let's build up my shoulder strength first. Set yourself small achievable goals, short term goals that become more challenging along the way, that add up to the big one."

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