A pair of twin brothers, who share a love for fitness, mix work and play.
If you’re visiting AfterburnStudio for the first time, you’re likely to do a double take. That’s because the founders are identical twins.
Meet Satish Brian JP Anandan, 36, and Subash Adrian (“I’m older by one minute”) who are business partners. The Selangor-born brothers founded the gym in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur in November 2014.
The duo attended the same school, Bukit Bintang Boys’ Secondary School, and then went on to Binary College. “In school, some teachers were confused. They had to separate us,” recalls Subash. “Actually, we didn’t look alike then,” injects Satish. “Subash was kind of fat while I was smaller in size. He got into fitness as he was not getting the girls.”
The duo – who has a younger brother who works as an air steward – even have a mutual set of friends.
“Everything’s the same. I try to get rid of him but I can’t,” jokes Subash. “It was the same for my dad, who has a twin brother.”
They acknowledge that they are friendly competitors – at one point, it was to see who could grow a longer beard.
For the uninitiated, Afterburn is targeted at those who prefer a more private exercise environment; here, the customer is given one-to-one attention.
“We also monitor and advise clients on their daily calorie intake to ensure that they are on the right track with their daily nutrition,” explains Subash.
It’s interesting to note that at Afterburn, the changing room for women is larger than the men’s. “That’s because 90% of our clients are women,” says Satish, who adds that a majority of them are in their 30s.
Are females more inclined to work out at Afterburn due to the trainers’ good looks? “I don’t know about that,” says Subash with a chuckle.
As twins, how are you guys similar and different?
Subash: We have similar interests; besides fitness, we like music. Growing up, we listened to all sorts of genre but in school, we liked R&B and hip-hop the most. As we got older, we got into EDM.
Satish: How we are different is in the way we express ourselves.
Subash: I am louder compared with Satish, who can be reserved….
Satish: And I handle stress better.
How do you settle differences when they arise?
Subash: We have had our share of misunderstandings, while growing up and even now at work.
Satish: We always start off with our arguments, and weigh whose points are stronger. Sometimes, it could take days to reach an understanding.
Have you always had an interest in fitness?
Subash: Both of us entered the fitness industry in 2005. I started first, and he joined a few months later.
Satish: At the age of 16, I bought a pair of dumbbells to train at home. Subash saw them and started working out as well.
Subash: We admired personal trainers as they looked good, and wanted to follow in their footsteps.
As founders of Afterburn, what are the different roles you take on?
Satish: Subash does most of the planning and marketing. I run the operations in terms of scheduling, and prepare payments.
What makes Afterburn stand apart from its competitors?
Subash: We are different from other studios as not many fitness business owners are their “own product”. A lot of them start the business but hire trainers. As the face of Afterburn, we are the owners as well as the trainers. We don’t just simply hire. As you can see, there are only two of us; we want to maintain a certain standard.
Satish: We have a very good relationship with our clients; we have had longtime clients.
Why are women more inclined to hire personal trainers?
Satish: From when I first started, 90% of my clients are women. They are more conscious of how they look, so they are willing to invest in personal training.
Subash: Women are willing to spend money on anything (laughs)!
In running a gym, do you maintain a certain lifestyle?
Satish: We have a kitchen at the back, where we cook brown rice and healthy meals.
Subash: We used to have guilty pleasures when it comes to food. But now we have good willpower; when we’re on a diet, we really watch what we eat.
What are your plans for Afterburn?
Subash: We do want to expand our business but we have to find partners with the right experience and the same passion. After opening Afterburn, we don’t go on holidays much. I have worked six to eight weeks with no rest but I don’t regret the joys and pains.
What has been the best feedback you received from clients?
Satish: The feedback from clients is that they feel comfortable working out here. It’s personalised service in a smaller space, and there’s less distraction. They don’t have to worry about monthly memberships and unwanted stares. Subash: For a majority of our clients, they say that exercising makes them less lethargic. The feel good factor and confidence plays a very big role.