Pulling their Weight: Konrad Haedicke, Herzy Hosini and Razif Yusoff

Meet Konrad Haedicke, 33, Herzy Hosini, 32 and Razif Yusoff, 31, the co-founders of PushPullGive, a fitness social enterprise. Embarking on an exercise programme with them not only helps you stay in shape, it also offers the opportunity to support their efforts at giving back to the community. Stephanie Tran Rojas speaks to the trio that turned their fitness business into a vehicle for social impact.

The workout crew after a calisthenics class


We’d love to know more about you. What were you all doing previously and what led you to start PushPullGive?

Konrad: I’m originally from Germany but came over to Singapore in 2011 after graduating from university. Prior to PushPullGive, I did an internship at the local Siemens office and also worked for a time in the online travel industry. However, after befriending Herzy and Razif and discovering our common passions for fitness and supporting social causes, we decided to embark on a business that would allow us to engage in both.

Herzy: After graduating in 2014 with a higher diploma in Tourism and Hospitality and a postgrad diploma in Business Management, I began working in the hospitality line. However, I did not find my job fulfilling and always felt mentally exhausted at the end of the day. Towards the end of 2015, however, I chanced upon a weekly calisthenics class near my neighbourhood. That was where I first met Razif—he generously welcomed me into the group and we became workout buddies. Over time, more people began to join our sessions, many of whom were youth who had difficult childhoods or came from low-income households. Listening to them share their challenges and seeing how the weekly classes were a healthy outlet for them, Razif and I felt inspired to keep the sessions going. So together with Konrad, a fellow fitness lover, the three of us decided to form PushPullGive.

Razif: I am a finance graduate, but I left the industry to pursue fitness, my real passion. I am a firm believer that if you take charge of your health, not only will you experience physical benefits; your social and emotional well-being will improve as well. This will then have a positive impact on all other areas of your life, be it professionally, in relationships and so on. Starting PushPullGive with my two co-founders was a way of taking this belief to the next level (beyond the individual) and benefitting the wider community.

Bodyweight exercises at HIIT classes

Tell us about some of PushPullGive's services and initiatives.

Herzy: As the name implies, we provide training in various formats, including one-on-one sessions, group classes and workshops. On the fitness ground, we specialise in functional and bodyweight training that focuses on improving and developing strength, flexibility and body control. We take into account personal nutrition and mental well-being in one’s overall fitness journey, and also try to identify any areas for improvement that could lead to better physical outcomes. In 2016, a year before PushPullGive was officially established, we conducted a series of bootcamp, yoga and hip hop classes to raise S$5,000 for Phnom Penh based NPO Tiny Toones. The latter supports at-risk Cambodian youth through a mix of programmes, such as breakdancing as a way to refocus energy towards self-development. To date, we support a number of Cambodia- and Singapore-based beneficiaries, either through fundraising programmes or by providing regular workout sessions. Our Cambodian beneficiaries consist of the above-mentioned Tiny Toones and EYC (Empowering Youth in Cambodia); and locally we support Muhammadiyah Welfare Home, Babes, ONE (SINGAPORE), HCSA Dayspring and Big Love Child Protection Specialist Centre.  

Razif, Herzy and Konrad with the kids of Tiny Toones in Cambodia

It must've been challenging venturing into an already saturated fitness market. How have you distinguished yourself apart from your competitors?

Razif: Indeed, it was difficult in the beginning to build a brand from scratch, especially in this competitive space. But we also understood early on how important it is to build a strong name to ensure long-term sustainability. Not many people associate fitness with social entrepreneurship, so being a “fitness social enterprise” is what makes us unique.

Konrad: In fact, we aim not just to be known as a fitness social enterprise, but the fitness social enterprise that will help change lives for the better. Whether you’re a client, employee or beneficiary, fitness is our way of offering you a new start.  

A calisthenics class in action

What has PushPullGive taught you?

Razif: It’s helped me discover my life’s mission, which is to make a positive difference on others’ lives.

Herzy: I find myself constantly striving to ensure we deliver quality classes that are both enjoyable for participants, as well as educational. They should not only get a good workout, but learn some techniques and skills to improve their posture and execution of moves. The format of group classes is important too, and I’m always thinking of ways to boost camaraderie or networking opportunities. Finally, PushPullGive inspires me to get an early start to my day, so I have the time to plan for what’s ahead.

Konrad: I've learned the value of mutual respect in a team. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, but a team is more likely to succeed when every member is happy and thriving in their own role and area.  

Nobody is left behind at a workout session

How do you sustain the business financially?

Konrad: Like any business, we charge for our services. However, it is not easy to run a small gym in Singapore due to the high costs that come with rent and gym maintenance. We aim to move from our present location in the old Tiong Bahru estate to a new place by end of 2018, but we’ll need to raise sufficient funds for this next phase.

Razif: Beyond a sound business plan and financial acumen, customer confidence is so important. My clients trust me for my knowledge and experience as a personal trainer.  

From your general observations, how do Singaporeans feel about exercise, and do you believe we have an “exercise culture”?

Razif: I believe most Singaporeans understand that exercise is a major component of a healthy lifestyle, and many of them do make an extra effort to fit workouts into their fast-paced lives. Those who exercise regularly reap the benefits of good physical as well as mental health, which spurs them to carry on.  

After a vigorous HIIT session

Do you have any advice for up-and-coming social entrepreneurs?

Herzy: I think it's important to see that positive change in yourself before thinking of effecting it on others. Having a personal transformative experience will connect you more deeply with your cause and help you make more informed business decisions.  

Let’s wind down this interview with a couple of quickfire “fun”-type questions. Favourite exercise?

Konrad: Squats.

Herzy: I love the high bear crawl.

Razif: Pull-ups!  

Go-to workout music?

Herzy: Hip hop or meditation music.

Razif: Instrumentals of movie soundtracks or hip-hop.  

Best advice for clients to keep them motivated?

Razif: Think about your goals and why you signed up in the first place.  

Book you’d lend a stranger?

Herzy: A Year with Rumi: Daily Readings by Coleman Barks.  

Skill you've always wanted to learn?

Konrad: A muscle-up. I used to be able to do it but not well. I’m about to master it.

Personal motto?

Razif: Legacy over currency.  

The world could use more of …

Konrad: … patience and understanding towards others who are different from you.

Favourite pastime (besides working out)?

Konrad: Travelling and catching up with friends.

Razif: Spending quality time with my friends and family.  

Something you couldn’t live without?

Konrad: The Internet. It has opened new doors and our business depends on it.

Razif: Coffee. Definitely coffee!  


Stephanie Tran Rojas was a 2018 Summer Associate (Editorial) at the Lien Centre for Social Innovation. Born and raised in San Diego, California, she is a third-year nursing student from the University of Pennsylvania. She sees media and art as invaluable tools for social change, and believes that “with art, one can create an intimate connection between strangers that spans across time and space.” Stephanie is additionally interested in the media as a platform for public health campaigns and the use of literature to bring about ideological shifts. Outside of work and school, she enjoys incorporating art into her daily life with dancing and writing. She can be reached at trojas@upenn.edu