Travel/Experiences

Rethinking Fitness with BASE Bangkok

Cutting through the myths, debates, and changing landscape of fitness is increasingly difficult, but science makes it easier. So says Jack Thomas, founder of BASE Bangkok.

May 05, 2017
Fitness is for everyone. That’s the belief of Jack Thomas, founder and trainer at BASE Bangkok. After an hour of discussing the truths of modern fitness over lunch from Broccoli Revolution, it’s hard not to feel energized, motivated, and enthusiastic about your personal fitness. This is arguably a sign of any great trainer or salesperson in the growing fitness landscape but, with his deft hand and confident knowledge, Jack is able to instil a level of certainty in anyone aspiring to get fit.

BASE is a gym in Bangkok that wants everyone to know that it does things differently. Sure, it blends group classes with personal training, traditional fitness with modern exercise regimens like CrossFit and HIIT, and nutritional advice with personalized exercise programs, but the way the team engages clients and customers is what really sets the center apart: through real, scientific, data-driven results. Jack backs up every stage an exercise regimen with biometric testing to give everyone a chance to see progress on an almost microscopic level.
Jack doesn’t pretend to be some kind of fitness savior though. Throughout our discussion, he openly recommended alternatives to his own business. It doesn’t matter if you participate in the latest, most niche fitness trend or train with locals for free at the park, what matters is for everyone to make whatever changes are necessary to start exercising, including considering the impact that lifestyle and diet have on one’s health. It’s hard to avoid clichés in the fitness industry, and navigating the jargon and pretense can be a reason to disengage from the exercise world to begin with. Jack separates the BS from the truth, and does so with a refreshing levity.

“It’s just common sense.”

The more we unpack the subject of nutrition, the more this simple statement holds true. Should we be eating a plant-based, low-carb, high-fiber, low-fat, low-sugar, keto, paleo, Atkin, vegan, dairy-free, high-protein, small-portion, high-frequency diet? Is sitting down deadly? Will street food give you cancer? The answers are hard to decipher, but trusting your instincts will get you through to the other side. Despite endless trends, studies, and innovation, the core concepts of fitness, health, and physiology haven’t deviated far from their founding principles: eat a balanced diet, exercise frequently, and focus all exercise on building both strength and aerobic fitness. The science remains clear on this, and Jack uses every technological advance to prove it. Fad dieting, intensive regimens, and exclusionary diets are just modern means to the same traditional end.
Jack wasn’t always involved in the fitness industry, but seeing his own results after some simple lifestyle changes during his high school years changed this. A confident, lean figure, Jack stands tall and articulates his ideas with a relaxed but authoritative demeanor. It is hard to dislike the smiling Brit in front of you. He shuns the ‘gym bro’ attitudes and appearances that are typical of the many cowboys in the industry, and approaches everyone (friends, clients, press, and partners) with the same level head and simple ideas. It’s an attitude that has seen BASE attract a community of diverse individuals, enthusiastic about their own progress as well as the progress of those around them. This isn’t a place to feel out of place or underwhelmed. It is a supportive yet competitive, friendly environment filled with like-minded, everyday people pursuing their own intentions under the BASE philosophy: everyone can, and should, train—and have access to the knowledge, tools, and data that will help.

To highlight this philosophy, BASE recently kicked off the 60-day challenge, offering a chance for anyone to benefit from the wealth of experience and knowledge of BASE. Whether you choose to train at BASE’s Sukhumvit headquarters, at your own gym, or at home, BASE is offering its own flavor of science-based training to everyone willing to commit to the program. 2Magazine’s own Trevor Ranges just joined the challenge, which began on May 6, and will report his data-driven experience with us soon: stay tuned!