AFC Week: Chinese women are muscling in on a stronger physique

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As TRAINFITNESS prepares to showcase T3 and fx at Asia Fitness Conference & Expo 2016 (October 7th-9th), we’re looking East at the latest fitness trends.

A change is steadily taken place in China as more women not only embrace the gym, but along within it a more muscular physique.

"Women used to think muscles would have side effects, or negative effects, on their body type and looks," said Kim Min-jeong, a professor of global sports science at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, in an interview with Reuters.

"The beauty of muscles"

"The strength, the outer beauty of muscles, the positive attitudes and energetic images of these women become the motivation," said Kim. "Women now have higher social status and bigger roles in society." Over the last six years, China’s fitness industry has increased by about 13% each year. It is now expected to generate $5.1 billion, according to a research report by IBIS World.

It’s a far cry from a 2003 Chinese study, published by the Journal of Hebei Institute of Physical Education, which found "an almost-emaciated, willowy physique" to be the prevalent ideal body. Now, more and more women are emulating the toned, more muscular physiques of role models from both East and West.

Related Content: Microtraining: the latest fitness trend stimulating Korea

Celebrity six packs

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, are considered as attractive role figures from the world stage. Korean pop girl group Sistar's Hyorin are also changing perceptions, as are celebrities like Chinese TV actress Shanshan Yuan. The trending topic "Shanshan Yuan's firm abs" has over 88 million hits on Sina Weibo, China's main social media platform. South Korean housewife-turned-fitness guru Jung Da-yeon videos are hugely popular on video-sharing platforms Youkou and Tudou, with views totaling more than 700 million. 

As an international training provider, TRAINFITNESS is encouraged to see that the fitness industry is expanding. Our courses offer an entry into the industry to forge a career, while the help of a personal trainer or participation in a T3 or fx class will support fitness goals, big or small.

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