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CrossFit Exclusive Interview

Exclusive Interview: Revelation Republic Independent Home Gym

A spacious garage, fresh green lawn, rows of dumb bells, barbells, a lifting bench, squat rack, row machines, pull up bars, prowlers, medicine balls, etc ; don’t you wish you could work from home AND workout from home? While some people say “ Dream on! “, the boys at Revelation Republic are living the dream.

Picture from Revelation Republic Facebook Page
Picture from Revelation Republic Facebook Page

ToughAsia talks to Jonathan Wong – Founder and Coach at Revelation Republic:


What is Revelation Republic?

In short, we’re an independent home gym. In detail, we’re a place that people come to develop a better lifestyle, to improve their health and quality of life as a whole. We’re also a community of dedicated people helping others to make better and smarter decisions on how to lead their lives.

How did it occur to start a gym in your home?

We didn’t start off by decisively saying “ Let’s get this done. “ then immediately jumping into action. It was more of a gradual thing ; we already had some basic equipment, friends would come over and we’d all just have such good fun working out together. Somewhere along the way, we realized that it would be great if we could make a living AND have a passion for what we do.

We evaluated the possibility of opening up a full scale gym. However, we decided to start off small and expand as we saw fit. My buddy (also co-founder) Andrew and I invested in some good high quality equipment (Rogue, Pendlay, Ivanko) from the States. We received the shipments, assembled them, and within two days we officially opened for business. (August 2013)

Picture from Revelation Republic Facebook Page

Were there other career paths you had considered before this?

I’ll always be a teacher at heart. I completed my Masters in Educational Psychology in the U.S. and returned to Malaysia in August last year. I’ve taught, tutored, and was seriously thinking of joining the ‘Teach for Malaysia’ programme. In the end though, it could only be one or the other and this won out.

However, I realized teaching and learning aren’t restricted to books and the classroom. I’m still a teacher, only by another name : Coach.

There are different ‘genres’ of fitness out there (yoga, kickboxing, weightlifting, etc). Which do you emphasize in?

At Revelation Republic, we mostly advocate strength and conditioning workouts, complemented by high intensity interval training (HIIT) because we have personally observed and experienced how it gives you an edge, in both performance and aesthetics.

Which would you say matters more, performance or aesthetics?

Both matter equally! (laughs) Who wouldn’t want an amazing physique? Who wouldn’t want to do impressive feats (running, lifting, jumping) with their bodies? We believe that great looks and great performance should go hand in hand.

We want to have it all. What’s more, we want to help everyone have it all too!

Picture from Revelation Republic Facebook Page

Goals are important. How do you help people achieve theirs?

Every individual is different, and it’s important that we meet them as they come (that’s a metaphor). We observe each newcomer and scale the workout according to their ability.

Is there a standard workout drawn up for each day?

Yes. Our WODs (workout of the day) incorporate the aspects of strength, cardio, and high intensity interval training. That being said, we understand, not everyone is the same so we encourage people to scale the workout up or down to their ability

How do you assess a person’s fitness?

Our basic assessment workout is : 800m run, then 3 rounds of 10 pushups, ring rows, situps, squats. This assessment workout is completed as the individual is able and there is no time restriction. Based on how a person handles this workout, we are able to determine their level of fitness and map out a path for them to improve.

Is there a common goal that most people have?

Guys will (generally) say “ I want to get big. Tell me how. “ Well, you could eat a lot of crap and just sit on your bum all day. You will get big, but is that the kind of ‘big’ you want? There’s a difference between getting badass and getting bad ass.

Girls will (generally) say “ I want to lose weight. Tell me how. “ Well, you could just starve and go on an exercise binge. You will lose weight, but that’s a very unhealthy not to mention dangerous way to do so. There’s a difference between getting fit and getting frail.

That’s why we encourage people to eat right, train right, and rest right. It’s important to know and apply those principles accordingly to achieve your objectives. Equally important is defining your goal in as much detail and clarity as possible.

What are the demographics of your members?

In the morning, we have mostly mothers and retirees around the neighbourhood coming in. It’s usually quieter in the afternoon, then in the evening after office hours is when the young working adults come in and we get busy.

During school holidays we have high school and even some upper primary school students joining us. Parents bring their young children along because they know their kids will be in good company while they get a chance to exercise. As you can see, we’re a pretty wholesome community ; almost like a family.

How would you say you are different from mainstream chain gyms?

Coming to Republic is akin to having your own Personal Trainer or Nutritionist but at a fraction of the cost. Due to our vast amount of experience and knowledge in fitness, you have the luxury of getting our personalized attention and we provide specific nutrition / training plans upon request.

We have three main coaches ; Andrew and myself are CrossFit Level One certified. Kedric has ISSA-CPT (Certified Personal Trainer), IYCA-HSSC (High School Strength & Conditioning Specialist), and is also currently pursuing a course in applied exercise sports & nutrition and his CISSN Nutrition Certification.

What are your rates?

  • Per visit : MYR 30
  • Sessions : MYR 200 for 10 sessions (no time frame)
  • Rewards : 12 sessions at MYR 200 a month
  • Unlimited access : MYR 250 a month

Since Revelations Republic is a home gym, are there any special house rules that apply?

We do have a very important one : No cussing around the kids!

Picture by Revelation Republic Facebook Page
Picture by Revelation Republic Facebook Page


Revelation Republic

Article by Cheryl Moy