TL;DR

Who: Glenn Ang

How RAW Active Founder Became a Master Trainer at the Gym That Fired Him

After a quick word with Glenn, we thought that there’s more to this friendly giant.

RAW Active Founder Glenn Ang
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We realised that there’s more to Glenn after an email interview with him, so we decided to sit down and have a chat with him.

I’m aware of the Adelphi’s reputation of being the place for audio equipment. After all, I spent my teenage years at a store located in the building auditioning headphones. With the kind of demography that it’s drawing, coupled with the fact that the mall doesn’t see much of a crowd, opening a gym at the basement doesn’t seem like a good business decision.

From what he shared, he seemed like a man of foresight, planning his career and life carefully. But little could he foresee that his ex-company, a major gym chain in Singapore, would let him down.

RAW Active weight plates

“Most of my clients prefer a central location, but that’s the secondary reason. The developments going on at Funan – the retail, the office tower, the serviced residences – will bring in more people. Besides, the rent is one of the cheapest around City Hall, and it’s just a 5-minute walk from the MRT station,” Glenn Ang, founder of boutique gym RAW Active, explained.

From what he shared, he seemed like a man of foresight, planning his career and life carefully. But little could he foresee that his ex-company, a major gym chain in Singapore, would let him down.

A strong start with a little help

“[While still employed at the gym chain,] I generated enough revenue to become a freelancer in four months, instead of the average six.”

“I started out as a fitness trainer at one of their best outlet in town. The top three trainers in the company were there, and I think that kind of set me up for success because I was able to learn all the soft skills, such as client acquisition, from them. I generated enough revenue to become a freelancer in four months, instead of the average six.”

RAW Active Founder Glenn Ang awards

In his six years at the gym chain, he learnt from industry peers overseas, who went on to inspire him to open up his own gym.

“During one of my trip to San Diego, I met up with the owner of Fitness Quest and asked him about what it took to become a top gym brand in the U.S. That was then I decided I wanted to strive for a management role so that eventually I’ll have the confidence to set up my own studio.”

“During one of my trip to San Diego, I met up with the owner of Fitness Quest and asked him about what it took to become a top gym brand in the U.S. That was then I decided I wanted to strive for a management role so that eventually I’ll have the confidence to set up my own studio.”

He went on to pursue his bachelor degree in sports science and many other related certifications.

“Eventually, I became the first fitness manager with a sports science degree in the company, as well as the first fitness manager in Asia to manage a sports performance club.”

RAW Active Founder Glenn Ang certifications

Premature departure

“The company underwent some restructuring and I was asked to quit about a year and eight months into my managerial role. I was really disappointed because I’ve been working so hard to get to where I was. I took some time off and eventually decided to put my future plans into action.”

Everything seemed to go according to plan. After making it to management, his next step was to climb as high up the management ladder and learn as much as he could before setting up his own studio, but the gym chain had other plans for him.

“The company underwent some restructuring and I was asked to quit about a year and eight months into my managerial role. I was really disappointed because I’ve been working so hard to get to where I was. I took some time off and eventually decided to put my future plans into action.”

RAW Active Founder Glenn Ang close up

“… My previous company happens to use this equipment, so despite what had happened, I went back to teach the trainers there.”

Glenn started RAW Active way ahead of schedule and became a master trainer for Power Plate, a fitness equipment brand that he’s helping to promote.

“It’s always been my passion to teach and give back. If you’re not going to educate your end users, you’re just selling a tool. But when you do that, you can bring out the full potential of the product. My previous company happens to use this equipment, so despite what had happened, I went back to teach the trainers there.”

The future of fitness is niches

Now that business is picking up and with some regional awards under his belt, Glenn is more confident about RAW Active’s future and where the fitness industry in Singapore is heading.

RAW Active battle ropes

“The next frontier where gyms will be fighting is finding their niche and providing top notch customer service.”

“I’m not too bothered about whether or not Funan is going to have a gym. Many gyms are still competing in terms of price and the number of things that they can offer, instead of focusing on the customer service and the niche that they are good at. There are so many types of concepts, and if they complement, there should be some form of collaboration.”

“The next frontier where gyms will be fighting is finding their niche and providing top notch customer service.”

Find out more about Glenn’s fitness classes.

Images by Lester Koh from AGX Photographie.


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I'd rather write how-to guides and stories than about myself, unless absolutely necessary. Also, ironically, I hardly write with a pen and paper.
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