It’s no secret that staying in shape can be difficult. Stats from the United States suggest as many as 65% of gym memberships go unused after an initial burst of enthusiasm. And it isn’t really hard to see why: For people unfamiliar with the gym, it can be a maze of oddly named activities and tortuous machines.

However, for Menya Hinga, founder of Sogo Fitness, the solution to the difficulties of maintaining fitness was simple — a community that encourages and supports each other in their fitness journeys.

“People think fitness is hard because it’s not enjoyable,” says Hinga, 36, who moved to Japan from the U.S. “It’s hard to commit to anything when you don’t enjoy it. Short-lived diets, gym bursts — all of these things don’t last because they’re not fun. But they’re still advertised as the ‘best’ way to get into shape — and that’s simply not the case.”