Man in motion

Updated: 2011-07-17 08:44

By Rebecca Lo (China Daily)

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 Man in motion

Davide Butson-Fiori now champions the outdoor life, and is almost evangelistic when it comes to promoting his boot-camp cum holiday experiences. Provided to China Daily

Man in motion

Heard of Circuit 25? Let Rebecca Lo tell you more about this interesting combination of holiday excursion and boot-camp run by an American fitness instructor - in Hong Kong.

If working up a sweat while breezing past along Hong Kong's green slopes is your idea of a fun time, then Circuit 25 (C25) may be your ideal holiday. Davide Butson-Fiori, founder and head trainer of this combination of sightseeing, boot camp and interval training, thinks it's a great way to meet new people while doing something good for your body.

He should know; the American has always been active. "I was never picked for sports teams when I was a kid," he admits. "So I began dancing and competing in roller skating tournaments while in high school."

When he first started his 20-year career as a designer and photographer in New York City, Butson-Fiori picked up some bad habits.

Man in motion

Sitting behind a desk all day, smoking and working long hours began to take their toll. In his early 30s, he decided to get back into shape and started training as a tri-athlete in 1997.

"Tri-athlete Mike Pigg said I had the perfect body for a tri-athlete," he recalls, juggling a newborn baby in his arms as he pauses to quiet her down. "I did my first triathlon after training for six months. It is all about endurance. You use all parts of your body, just like in dance."

After relocating to Hong Kong, he found that there was a lack of triathlon venues, and switched to lifting weights. He put on 30 lbs of muscle but lost his endurance. That was when he came up with the idea of working out with friends in a circuit type of program while using the city's urban landscape for strength and cardio challenges.

It became so popular through word of mouth that he turned it into a fulltime business.

He personally trains his team into mini-Davides, and has garnered a loyal following of fitness buffs.

"Designing magazines was not changing people's lives," he says. "The first part of my life was all about glamour and being fabulous. Now, I am helping people live longer.

Man in motion

"Hong Kong is fantastic for outdoor activities - there are so many extremes. There are lots of parks with benches. We run past the aviary in Hong Kong Park or jog by 100 flamingos in Kowloon Park. We have classes in Repulse Bay on the beach. There is so much variety."

Butson-Fiori designed the program around the number 25, which makes it suitable for anyone from beginners to dedicated athletes.

"Twenty-five seconds is the beginner's limit for an intense workout burst and it is an effective way of exercising," he explains. "Everything we do is in this time frame, with rest periods in between. Our 50-minute classes are split into 25 minutes of strength and resistance training, and 25 minutes of cardio, core and cool down. And everyone wants to be forever 25 years old!"

Currently, he has 12 trainers and he offers morning and evening weekday, as well as weekend morning sessions in English.

There are plans for a Cantonese series of classes that will be more game-based, to meet local demand.

And there will also be family classes that focus on younger fitness buffs as well as activities to get mom and dad moving along with the kids.

You can contact the writer at

(China Daily 07/17/2011 page15)


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