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Fitness trainer goes straight for the heart

PHUKET: Superstar fitness trainer, Nathapong ‘K-Ro’ Champachon visited Phuket last Saturday (July 7) to preside over the official opening of Elite Fitness – and also teach the straight community in Phuket that just because you dance it doesn’t necessarily make you gay.

By Jody Houton

Monday 16 July 2012, 11:22AM

K-Ro is a huge name in the Thai fitness industry, and provides classes and instruction for instructors at True Fitness, California Fitness and Fitness First.

He leads classes in Body Combat, Body Jam, Hip Hop Dance, Aerobic Dance and Zumba, but his life could have been much different had he decided to pursue his original passion in football.

“I was a footballer around 7-8 years ago and there was a possibility I could have gone professional,” says K-Ro with a wistful look.

“I had to make a choice between continuing to play or study sports science.”

K-Ro chose the latter and now runs hugely successful training courses up and down the country, with literally thousands of people dancing to the beat of his drum.

But for K-Ro, it is much more than just dance and a little bit of fun for women, gays and ladyboys, which he admits are his largest market.

He wants to further promote the benefits of attending such classes, especially to an as-yet untapped market, “It’s great for everyone. Straight guys are shy. I want to change that. Most people think instructors are by default gay, but obviously I am not.”

“Being strong is not enough, you also need flexibility. These classes are great for that. It also helps to prevent injuries.”

QSI International School Phuket

Most people have 2-3 classes per week, but one Japanese woman in Bangkok has up to 10 classes with K-Ro per day, an explanation he gives is that they have so much fun, that the time just flies by.

As well as attending the Grand Opening of Elite Fitness on the Bypass Road, K-Ro was also on the island to train Elite Fitness’ instructors, and impart his knowledge of what makes a good teacher.

“Good instructors are those that concentrate on teaching, are punctual and can make it fun. However with classes like Body Pump, a good trainer also needs to be quite strict and be able to motivate.”

So what did uber-fit K-Ro think of us simple island folk?

“The people of Bangkok and Phuket are quite different. Bangkokians are more health-conscious than Phuket people. They eat a lot better and have better diets.”

He added that culturally, Phuketians were also up against it, “A major problem with Thai people is that they are lazy, they want to be slim but are very lazy. They want to be slim but are not prepared to put in the effort.”

Perhaps we all need a little K-Ro in our life.

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