More than 300 people have signed up to join one of Hong Kong's newest fitness centres. The $12 million gym, New York Fitness, opens next Saturday in Hollywood Road, next to the Mid-Levels escalator. The nine-month project was launched by general manager Marsha Davis and investment banker Anthony Desir, who is the co-founder. For Ms Davis, the project is a culmination of 12 years' experience in the Australian and New Zealand fitness industry. She said keeping fit was now a lifestyle rather than a chore. 'I wasn't a natural athlete. I was quite lazy. In fact, I was usually the one sneaking a cigarette when we had to do sport.' So, how does she explain her success? She has excelled in swimming, softball, fencing, athletics and triathlons and, in 1991, represented New Zealand in body building. 'I think it was because my coaches pushed me to compete,' Ms Davis said. 'I like being in this industry because you are working with people.' At New York Fitness, the concept is 'fitness by design'. 'Our fitness programmes can be individually designed for each person, covering medical history, goals, lifestyle and areas that they wish to improve in,' Ms Davis said. The centre has imported Italian TechnoGym equipment which monitors the user's heart rate during a workout. It is used in rehabilitation, sports medicine and by Olympic athletes. Life membership to the centre costs $15,000 with a monthly subscription of $1,000. Membership cards have PIN numbers giving members access to personal information on their fitness progress. The centre offers seven types of aerobic classes on the only double-sprung aerobics floor in Hong Kong. It was flown in from Finland. There will be karate, Hatha yoga, 'Fit Kidz' classes, a designer nutritional supplement range and personal trainers. New York Fitness also offers a programme where instructors visit executives in their office or home for a workout. Using one piece of equipment, the instructor will spend between 15 and 30 minutes improving the client's strength, conditioning and toning. 'It is aimed at the busy executive who says he doesn't have time and then, after playing a game of golf every two weeks, thinks he is fit,' Ms Davis said. Body Works is the centre's in-house beauty salon. Treatments focus on facials, eye care, make-up, waxing, body massage, bust treatments, hand treatments and slimming treatments. New York Fitness will be the first Asian fitness centre to have physiotherapists on site. The seven-day-a-week consultancy and Body Works will also be open to non-members. Staff are a mixture of Westerners and multi-lingual local residents. 'We are not just a Western centre. We are aiming for the local market,' Ms Davis said.