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Getting Fit in the Bukit

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Offering more than the beautiful view of Bingin Beach, Bali Training Centre is also the only place in the Bukit area for anyone looking to stay fit while not missing the chance to surf  the waves. 

Born from the idea of bringing a reliable training place closer to where he lives, Jake Illings as the Co-Founder and Head Trainer of Bali Training Centre courageously decided to open one in Uluwatu. As an avid Muay Thai lover, Jake already has over than 12 years of experience in his belt. Originally from Gold Coast in Australia, he started training in Muay Thai under the hands of 10x World Champion, John Wayne. After fighting in Australia, Jake made the move to Thailand to further his Muay Thai training. Using that experience and his passion for helping others to reach their best ability in fitness or Muay Thai, Bali Training Centre is now a reality. 

Located only 400 meters away from Bingin Beach, Bali Training Centre (BTC) is a very welcoming place for anyone, of any ages, race, color, or forms, that wants to get high-intensity training but in a relaxed and friendly environment. To maximize its space, BTC is equipped with heavy bags, quality boxing gloves, and pads, a few sets of dumbbells, battle ropes as well as skipping ropes in a semi-open training area. In order to share his experience in Muay Thai training, Jake and his team of instructors created special classes for each day. Each session can be filled to up 35 people and lasted for about 90 minutes. This session usually combines the basic techniques of Muay Thai along with additional fitness challenge as we as some bodyweight workouts. This high intensity work out might seem too much for beginners, but don’t worry, Jake has modified each movement to cater to new people who visited BTC every day. 

To understand more about Bali Training Centre, we were lucky enough to be able to speak directly with Jake Illing  and let him share his passion directly to us. 


First of all, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am originally from the Gold Coast, Australia. My life passions are Muay Thai, fitness, surfing, and I prefer dogs to humans. When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a great Muay Thai fighter but then an injury happened during a fight. So now, I ended up opening a gym in Bali and teaching has become my new passion. 


What is Bali Training Centre?

Bali Training Centre is a fitness center located in Bingin Beach, joined to a healthy restaurant The Cashew Tree. We offer Muay Thai, HIIT Fitness, and Kettlebell group classes along with private training sessions. BTC is a friendly environment where you leave your ego at the door and we are welcoming all levels from beginners to advanced. 

What makes this place different than any other fitness place on the island?

The second you walk into BTC, you will see it looks different from any other gym on the island. Our training area has no walls and we have a huge grass area with some of the best-kept grass on the island. I spent a lot of time in Thailand training in open aired gyms so I wanted to keep the same vibe flowing here in Bali. 


Why did you choose Bali to open this fitness center?

I could write many reasons why, but the simplest answer and the most honest one is because I love Bali!


What motivated you to open Bali Training center?

I have always spent a lot of time at Bingin Beach, and my cousin, who is also my business partner, has lived here for a long as she’s married to a Balinese. Before this, I would come to Bali for a few months every year and stayed at their place but there was never anywhere for me to train. I have always wanted to call Bingin my home but I never felt fully content without being able to train properly. I wanted to open one for myself and maybe for other people in the area. From that idea, I talked it over with my cousin and her husband and we just went for it. 


Can you describe briefly what Bali Training Centre philosophy is all about?

Bali Training Centre is about high standards of training in a friendly relaxed environment. Our training sessions are hard, intense but will leave you smiling. We practice what we preach! 


In the beginning, was it hard for you to get the word out for your place?

Yes, it did take some time for us to get to the point where we are now. When we first opened, it just Muay Thai classes 2 times a week and we would only get between 6-10 people per session. Then came in the HIIT Fitness Classes, which are now our most popular classes. My goal for our first year of opening was a class of 10 people. The year after this, which was last year, we had a day where around 50 people turned up to a class. It was chaos, as we couldn’t fit everyone in the gym so it grew pretty fast. Word of mouth is the best thing for gyms in Bali. If your customers left with a great experience, no matter where your location is, people will talk. 


Did you have a coaching experience prior to opening Bali Training Centre?

No, I never worked as a coach before opening this gym. I started training when I was 17 years old, and in that time frame, I trained at so many different gyms in Australia and Thailand. I learned a lot in that time so I took what I liked from gyms and what I didn’t like to help design the structure we are using right now to keep it fun but still an intense workout. My time in Thailand taught me that we get to learn more if we only train twice a day for 6 days a week for 2 hours each. 


In your own words, what are the biggest fitness trends of this year?

It’s going to be Muay Thai and Kickboxing, especially for the girls. So many girls are getting addicted to this kind of training because they went in without having the intention of ever actually fighting. We have been seeing an increase in interest from the girls at our gym. It’s crazy to see about 90% of the girls destroying the pads each session. 


What are some of the common mistakes that trainees make with regard to working out? 

A lot of people train because they want to physically look fit or to change their bodies. Sure, it’s a good motivation but a lot of people train because they want to look a certain way. I feel that’s the biggest mistake anyone could ever make. I want people to have the motivation to get addicted to the lifestyle. So instead of saying they want to look good, they should want to feel good. 

Being the owner and head trainer, how would you motivate a first-timer who doesn’t have the confidence to do it?

Everyone has to start somewhere. I always get messages saying, ‘Hey, I’ve never done Muay Thai before, can we still come to a class?’ Of course, they can! Most Muay Thai gyms all around the world have a very friendly culture welcomes anyone. Muay Thai changes people’s lives for the better. It has changed my life, and most trainers would feel the same way so we are just super happy to share a passion that has made us be better people, so don’t ever be shy to walk into a gym if it’s your first time. 


What are some of the highlights that you have achieved since opening Bali Training Centre?

To be having our group class numbers increasingly in such a short time. Last year, we also became sponsored by a sports brand, RVCA, which was awesome. 


Lastly, how soon can we see the changes in our bodies if we decided to join Bali Training Centre?

That depends on your mind and how hard you push yourself in each session. It really does make a huge difference if you put 100% into the session rather than just 70%. I’ve had some of my one-on-one clients see the good results after only training every day for two weeks. On average though, if you commit to come and train in our classes every day and eating healthy you will see the results in 2-4 weeks. We had some pretty amazing 10-week transformations you can have a scroll in our Instagram (@bali_training_centre) feed to see them. 



Jalan Pantai Bingin, Pecatu
+62 819 162 76 813


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