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Fitness & Performance

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After more than 2 years of attending online events and watching Zoom recordings, we almost forgot how fantastic physical events were. The Fit Summit was back in Singapore this June with the 2022 World Health, Fitness and Wellness Festival. 3 days to discover new products and technologies, try out the latest food trends, learn from industry experts and discuss and share ideas with peers.
If we thoroughly enjoyed the event, seeing new faces and meeting up with old friends, we were also amazed by the new ideas emerging this year – the fitness industry is changing, and for the better.
Let’s take a look at 8 trends that will shape the fitness & wellness world in 2022-2023.

What are the new Fitness trends?

1. Data everywhere

For a few years already, wearable tracking devices have been a must-have when it comes to personal fitness, both for regular gym-goers and athletes. Fitbit, Garmin, Polar are all in the game to provide the user with as much data as possible in an easy-to-understand way, to help them optimize their training and share their results online.
Technology also takes it further in gyms and offers more precise ways to track your progress.
InBody, one of the most famous body composition analyzer brands, keep perfecting their impedance meters, to provide evermore comprehensive analysis in reports that are easy to understand by anyone looking to know more about their own body.
Other companies, like Visbody are going a step further, offering full 3D body scans – the perfect way to find out about imbalances and correct them at the gym. Users can then track their progress very closely – it is not always easy to spot the difference in the mirror, and precise reports come in handy.

Visbody body scan

2. Hyper-personalisation is key

For too long, Fitness and Nutrition were considered with a one-size-fits-all model. However, we now have the data needed to understand that not every individual needs to train or fuel the same way.
The optimum regime depends on a dozen factors, including body composition, age, gender, lifestyle and personal choices. The trainers can no longer apply methods that worked “for them”; they must focus on what works for each of their clients.
Some new technologies, including Shae.ai’s, are aiming to help their users better understand their specific needs, based on a series of questions & simple body analysis, to provide them with tailored recommendations, based on trusted medical studies. It’s all about what works for you, not for others.

3. Enjoyment should be at the centre of anyone’s training

“No pain, no gain” is a concept of the past – it is time to focus again on having fun and (actually) enjoying the workouts. Most of us don’t enjoy very intense workouts – and that’s ok!
A specific type of workout can be the best physiologically to get results, but if we are not enjoying it, we are much less likely to stick to it and get the promised results. Everyone should be looking for a physical activity they enjoy to work towards their goals without it being a chore.
We see a comeback of smaller group classes, Pilates and other “softer” disciplines, helped by new equipment ranges.

4. Post-pandemic changes are here to stay

Gyms had to adapt drastically during and after the covid epidemic to survive. To be successful, both big groups and boutique gyms have to focus on what the client wants – but also who the new client is.
Younger or much older, and generally less experienced, a new audience is now stepping into the gym and needs to be guided and educated.

The Gym Pod understood it perfectly – besides affordable and private spaces to workout, attracting youngsters and beginners, they also provide virtual guidance during the session. Customers can access pre-defined workouts directly on the connected mirror placed in each pod, and check out the correct form for weightlifting exercises if and as needed.

gym pod singapore

5. Technology is making home workouts actually efficient

During the successive lockdowns, we all tried to work out at home – and for some of us, it has been quite challenging, because of the lack of guidance.
Elitefit.ai provides a technology that tracks home workout enthusiasts’ form and makes sure they train with the perfect form. They are partnering with content creators and corporations to provide employees with home workouts, while tracking their posture using their laptop, tablet or phone’s camera to ensure each move is done correctly—a game-changer.

What about nutrition Trends?

6.  Healthy food can’t be boring anymore – it’s all about natural ingredients and flavours

Say goodbye to bland “diet” foods – eating healthy should be a synonym for delicious and nutritious food instead.

The creations from the Clean Addicts achieve precisely that – a mix of intriguing new textures, great flavours and natural ingredients. In our opinion, their most incredible recipe is, to us at least, the Chocolate mochi muffins – available in 3 flavours (peanut butter, black sesame and double chocolate), and low in sugar and calories, they make a fantastic snack or dessert.
Another of their best sellers? A healthy version of the traditional mooncake – the green tea flavoured one is to die for.

mochi muffin the clean addicts
Mini mochi muffin – Chocolate from The Clean Addicts

Scoopz also presented a range of healthier ice cream – no added sugar, no dairy, only natural ingredients. You can expect a creamy texture and tons of flavours, without the usual sweet taste. There are a dozen of flavours to choose from, but our favourite would be Durian, green tea and banana walnut.

scoopz healthy icecream
Green Tea and Chocolate icecream from Scoopz

 

7. Towards a more sustainable diet: plant-based food deserves its spot under the spotlight

5 years ago, vegans and vegetarians were arguably part of a minority. Things have radically changed, and a lot of people are willing now to take a step toward a plant-based diet – even if it only means switching to meat alternatives a few times a week.
It is possible though to go further, as we see more and more plant-based products emerging. More affordable (and less fancy) than meat alternatives or lab-grown meat – yet absolutely delicious when done right.
And as the founder of Faba Food rightly said, a lot more people would be vegan if vegan food tasted better. That’s how they developed a range of frozen meals,  packed and delivered in a more sustainable way than most other actors in the market. The company has created a series of tasty recipes, and lets customers order packs of 6 meals, that are delivered frozen and are perfect to simply reheat and enjoy after a long day at work. faba food

The Whole Kitchen also presented a few samples from their Vegan collection: an abundance of bread, biscuits, brownies and granola that are every bit as good as their non-vegan counterparts.

8. Healthy food, the convenient way

Like Faba Food, many food companies have listened to their customers – most people are keen on eating healthy, or healthier at least, as long as it doesn’t take hours in the kitchen and tastes good.
Ketomei, for example, specialises in weight loss and offers meals inspired by traditional Singaporean recipes and following the principle of the keto diet (high fat, moderate protein, no carb). It is an easy way to stay on track and shred a few kgs, without thinking twice about what you eat.
The same group is also behind FitFresh, which focuses more on healthy eating and muscle gain – and all you have to do is to choose, based on your goals, taste and macros.

ketomei keto meals
Keto meals from Ketomei

Once more, Singapore proved that it is the best place to discover new trends, and a market with a growing appetite for all things fitness and health. We can’t wait to see what will come next!

 

 

 

Now that Singapore residents can travel (almost) freely again, we are all tempted to book trips around Asia or further.
If the primary objective remains to have fun and make the most of the trip, people currently on a weight loss or muscle gain journey can find it quite challenging to maintain their lifestyle while travelling.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to stay on track during your trip – and come back even stronger.

1. Stay on the lookout for a way to train – and be ready to embrace the unexpected

Depending on where you go, it is not always easy to find exactly the type of gym or facilities you are used to. The bad news is, it is very likely that you will have to go with the flow and go to a traditional gym if you are into Crossfit, or rent a less-than-adequate bike if you are a cyclist.
The good news is that it is an excellent way to discover new disciplines, try out new equipment, and maybe find a new hobby on the way.
If your sport isn’t available where you are spending your time off, you will probably find other ways to exercise – pick up Muay Thai or diving, go hiking in the mountains, or visit the open-air gyms that are available in most warm countries. It is not about sticking 100% to your usual program – it is about enjoying your time away and still burning some calories or working out these muscles.

muay thai gloves

2. Stay active on a daily basis

For many of us, being on holiday pretty much means doing nothing. There’s nothing bad about it, but you might want to consider implementing at least 1 hour of physical activity (walking, hiking, cycling) every day. You have plenty of time on your hands, and dedicating 4% of your day to your health is a great thing to take care of your own body.
Staying active is all about small choices – take the stairs instead of the elevators, walk instead of hailing a cab (even if it is very cheap), rent a bike rather than a motorbike… It all adds up.

hiking training

3. Keep your nutrition in mind – but don’t forget to enjoy local delicacies

Again, it’s not about making new changes to your diet or counting macros rigorously – that’s what daily life is for. But if you are trying to lose weight, try to avoid substantial excess calories when possible, by going for smaller portions and avoiding bread or sweets when you already feel full. Avoid as well to drink your calories – like in fancy coffee drinks, milkshakes, cocktails… Focus on what you really want to eat and drink, and avoid what’s unnecessary.
And of course, if you are trying to gain muscle or maintain your muscle mass, ensure you are getting enough protein, by having at least one source of protein (animal or plant-based) on your plate at each meal.

It is fairly easy to learn how to spot the healthier options in restaurants:

Make sure your choice contains one source of protein – Meat, fish, eggs, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, mix of cereal & legumes, etc
Go for steamed or boiled, instead of deep-fried. Stir-fried is better than deep-fried, but still more oily than the 2 first options.
– Avoid heavy sauces (tomato-based sauces are the lightest) when possible, or ask for the sauce on the side, so you can control the portions.

Finally, keep in mind that you can ask for less sugar, no MSG, or extra meat or tofu in most restaurants.

 

Enjoy your trip away and stay healthy! 

When most people think of water aerobics, what comes to their mind isn’t really appealing – in Europe, it’s mostly seen as an old people’s thing, and over here, it’s barely “a thing” at all. Well, it wasn’t a thing, but in 2012, Ripple Club (called Aquaspin) was born – and they intend to make aqua-biking cool again, one pool at the time.
Curious about water aerobics & aqua biking? Here is everything you need to know about The Ripple Club’s classes and some answers to the questions you might have in mind.

 

First, what is The Ripple Club’s concept?

 

The Ripple Club is all about low-impact, quality fitness training – always in a pool and with a bike. The idea is quite simple: using the resistance brought by the water to get a good workout, with low impact on the joints.
They have created 4 different types of classes, to cater to every need.

  • RIpple Signature: HIIT class, activating every muscle of your body – ideal for busy people looking for a complete workout
  • Ripple Endure: focused on Endurance, Endure is mostly about cardio & leg endurance – you spin non stop for 40min, and work in alternating sprint & slower paces.
  • Ripple Power: a circuit-style workout, during which you spend half of your time on the bike and the other half at different stations, using accessories and free weights (everything being waterproof, of course.)
  • Ripple Balance: inspired by yoga, this is the most gentle class – expect stretches and breathing techniques, followed by core & balance work. All sessions end with a 5min guided meditation.

They now operate in 6 different locations in Singapore, in hotels & country clubs.
Note: they also have studios in Dubai, Australia & will open a new one in Kuala Lumpur in April.

Class review: Ripple Endure

For this review, I took part in an Ripple Endure class, led by Edwin, at Swissotel Merchant court.

What happens during an Ripple Endure session?

First, you need to set up your bike – the instructor helps first-timers find the right height and teach the basic moves before the class starts.
The first 5 minutes are dedicated to warming up with gentle moves and turning your focus to the class.
The following 30min is a continuous effort, with a 2min water break. Arms & shoulders get involved occasionally, but Endure is focusing on leg work and endurance. The instructor guides you through the session and details each movement, makes sure you follow the music rhythm and push yourself when you should.
The last 5 minutes are about cooling down & stretching a bit.


What did I think of it?

Overall, really enjoyed it – I was tired after a long day and the instructor managed to share some of his energy with the group, which was much appreciated.
It’s quite different from my usual training routine (mostly weights & calisthenics, with some long trail runs here and there) – and it was nice and weird to feel my quads burning because of the effort’s length. I injured one of my knees last year during a race, and I had to stick to indoor cycling for a while to ease the recovery process – I feel like aqua biking & especially this kind of session would have helped me a lot to maintain some muscle mass in my legs, as well as bringing something fresh & different to my program.
I’d like to try the other classes, and see if I can get maybe a bit more challenge.

Having fun after the class

Can anyone join an Ripple Club class? Who is it for?

Anyone can attend Ripple Club classes – you don’t need to be fit to get started. For now, most attendees are ladies, but some male triathletes start to get into it too.

You don’t need to know how to swim to take part in the classes – as they take place in the shallow areas of the pool. The coaching team is actually used to working with people suffering from aquaphobia on overcoming their fear. So even if water isn’t your thing for now, it might be a good occasion to give it a try.

Now, to answer the question “is it for me?” :

You’ll probably enjoy it a lot if:

  • you are getting back to exercise after a break and are looking for something fun and new to try
  • you want to train in a familial, welcoming environment, within a small group
  • you want to get toned – the pressure applied by the water on your body has a “massage” effect and helps decrease the cellulitis effect & increase the blood flow
  • You are recovering from an injury and need a low-impact activity that will still get your heart pumping
  • you are expecting a baby or have just given birth and are looking for an adequate activity to stay fit

It might not be your thing if:

  • You are looking for a really calm & relaxing activity (although Ripple Balance could be a good option for you)

*On aqua-biking & rehab:

As mentioned earlier, aqua-biking is a low-impact discipline, and it is a very nice way to get back to exercise after an injury. Alicia Antonuccio, one of the founders, holds also personal training sessions, where she helps individuals (often coming through a referral from their physio) get back on track.
Interestingly, she knows exactly what she is talking about: she was diagnosed with a patellofemoral syndrome in her late teenage years, which kept her away from sports for a while. She then discovered aqua-biking and fell in love with it, as it allowed her to get back to training. She’s now willing to expand her discipline, and is a wonderful personal trainer.

 

Curious?
Get more information, book discovery sessions & or take a look at schedule on their website: https://www.aquaspin.sg/

Review: AquaSpin Classes (Aquabiking)
Price range: $$
Who is it for? Anyone looking for a low impact workout, athletes in rehab
Intensity: moderate

 

As a frequent runner and gym-goer, I have been looking for a headset that would suit my needs for a while. 
It being Bluetooth was, of course, the key point: getting all tangled up in a wire during a run is one of the worst feelings an athlete can experience (although this might be a slight exaggeration)

I also needed it to be somewhat waterproof – Singapore is a great playground for runners, as long as they are not afraid of getting sweaty.. or drenched.
Finally, I needed to stay in place – most of the wireless headsets’ earplugs are not adapted to small ears like mine and won’t stay in for an extended period of time.

After testing some products from Jabra and other brands and listening to my ultra-running friends’ recommendations, I decided to go ahead with the Aeropex from Aftershokz. Here is my honest review, after more than a year of using it daily.

aftershockz aeropex
picture: @dirganfasapixels

What are bone conduction earphones?

What convinced me to buy them, apart from the design itself, was the use of interesting technology – Bone conduction, which allows the earphones to sit ON your ears, rather than going in, like more traditional models. 
The 2 most noticeable advantages of this are:
1. Safety – as it doesn’t isolate you from the outside sounds, you can run/walk/cycle with them without putting yourself at risk of an accident due to something you hadn’t heard coming. 
2. Great for people with hearing difficulties – as it doesn’t rely solely on the eardrums, people with impaired hearing can get a better experience than with normal earphones. 

More information about bone conduction headphones and how they work here. 

This model from Aftershockz is, of course, not the only one available on the market based on this technology – but it is the main brand commercializing it in Singapore, meaning you can go to a shop and give it a try to see if you like it or not. 


Pros of the Aftershokz Aeropex:

  • perfect for outdoor sports – the bone conduction system allows the user to stay aware of their surroundings while getting a great audio experience
  • sweat & rainproof
  • Very light yet not fragile at all
  • fits every head
  • The battery can last & recharging it takes less than 2hrs
  • The in-built microphone is very decent and allows to take phone calls – but the lack of noise-cancellation makes it difficult to have a call outdoor, especially near busy roads. 

 

Cons of the Aftershockz Aeropex:

  • No noise-cancellation functionality (simply because they don’t get into your ears). However, they come with internal earplugs you can use along with the headset – which can come in handy in a crowded & noisy environment such as the gym.
  • Within 14 months of usage, I had to fill a warranty claim twice – the charger had stopped working properly, and the battery life was down to a few hours.
    However, Singapore’s warranty service is very responsive, efficient and offered an immediate solution both times. Aftershokz products are covered by a 2year warranty, which makes them a safe bet.


So, should you buy the Aeropex earset from Aftershockz?

YES

If you are looking for very light yet sturdy running/cycling earphones that won’t move during your sessions. 

NO

If you need noise-cancellation, or if you intend to swim with your new earphones.

 

 Last thoughts:

Overall, one of my best sports-related purchases of 2019 – I can’t spend a single day without using it, and I would happily recommend it to anyone looking for a reliable headset to run, cycle or go to the gym. 
If you are looking for a more technical review, TechRadar has published an extensive article about those – check it out! 

 

Where to buy Aftershokz Aeropex in Singapore: 
Stereo 68, #04-06 Orchard Rd, Plaza Singapura, 238839
MobyShop 14 #02-52 Scotts Road, Far East Plaza, 228213

 

The circuit-breaker made me realise I didn’t need a gym to exercise: if I needed some endorphins, I could simply put my running shoes on, and go for a jog in my neighbourhood. From there, I started to run more, faster, longer. Ultimately, I had to step up and improve my gear – running 25km with an armband wasn’t an option, and I got a cheap camel bag to hold my hydration pack, energy bar & phone. It did the job, of course, but you lose the impression of freedom that usually comes with running. I was back on the hunt for the perfect running bag, that could hold my stuff without being a burden. That’s how I came across Naked Innovations’ Running Band. As I know some of you might still be trying to figure out what works best for them, I thought I’d share my views on what became my go-to running belt. 

naked innovations sport belt running

Wait, what is the Naked Running band about? 

The Running Band from Naked is a belt, that sits nicely on the bony part of your hips. No shoulder strap, no zip, nothing – you have to get it on like a skirt or a pair of pants, and pull it up to your waist.
Then what? Then it stays there, are allow you to pack everything you need for your run. Literally EVERYTHING. Phone, keys, wallet, but also energy gels or bars, CrampFix, a flask (up to 500ml) – You can even use the straps to hold your running/trekking poles.

Why do I like it so much?

It’s SO light you don’t even realise you are wearing a belt. And it makes me think of Mary Poppins’ bag – the pockets are so extensible that it feels like you could store every possible item and still have room for more. The design is nice too – I can’t help it, I’m not a fan of very bright colours on running apparel, and this black & yellow combo is perfect for me.

naked innovations sport belt running

What do I like a bit less about it?

Due to the fabric, you are supposed to hand wash it with cold water – I used to just toss my cheap running bag in the washing machine, and now I spend a bit more time taking care of this belt.
Also, my shape is a bit odd, so I would have loved a size between 1 and 2 – but that’s a personal thing. I went for size 2, as I want to avoid having my belly tightly held during the longer runs.

 

Where to buy Naked Innovations Running Band in Singapore:

Naked Innovations products are available at the Red Dot Running Company, located in Joo Chiat. I’d highly suggest going there and trying the belt (or vest) out to make sure you get the right size for you. The team there will be happy to assist with any questions too.

Red Dot Running Company, 152 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427430

photography: Dirgan

Does the word “Calisthenics” ring a bell? I wouldn’t be surprised if it did: this discipline is getting more and more popular, especially among gym addicts who are getting bored with weights. If you’re looking for a new sport to try, and some new skills to add to your repertoire – you should probably give calisthenics a try. Here are a few good reasons to register for a Cali class today!

Wait, what exactly is Calisthenics?

The definition is quite broad, but basically, Calisthenics is a discipline involving no or minimal equipment (usually rings or bars, no free weight or barbells) teaching athletes how to master their bodyweight.
If you can’t really imagine how it looks like, I’d recommend checking some youtube channels, like CalisthenicMovement & ThenX.

Here are 5 reasons why you should try Calisthenics

1. It’s a great opportunity to learn how your body works

You’ll gain in balance, strength and overall consciousness around your body – which comes handy in all other activities you might be into. You will also realise that you are stronger than you think, and maybe discover muscles that you had never felt working before.

2. It’s suitable for everyone – and there is a lot to learn

If it’s based on a limited set of movements (principally push-ups, pull-ups, dips), calisthenics offer tons of variations and progression opportunities, making it both accessible from beginners & still challenging for advanced athletes.
Men & women are equally welcome too, and your body type doesn’t matter!


3. It’s an incredibly complete workout

If you’re a regular gym-goer, you could think that working out without weights could potentially be “pointless”. Well, wait to try a Cali class first – because it requires the use of different muscle groups, as well as a lot of the core muscles you might not use on a daily basis if you only work out with guided machines.
It might not be as “cardio” as a HIIT class, but you should still expect some sweat. If you give your 100%, you’ll get out of the studio exhausted and shaky (But beginners can also take it easy!)


4. It’s a good occasion to meet like-minded people

Calisthenics classes are usually held in small groups (just imagine the exact opposite of a crowded body combat class, if you’ve been to one of these) – you can have a chat (and most likely a laugh) with the people around, and good pieces of advice too for people who’ve been training for a while.
As everyone is learning (it would take years to reach the stage where you can’t get better at it), it is pretty much a judgment-free zone.


5. It’s good fun!

Because you get to learn a lot of new techniques and experiment with your body, calisthenics is a really fun activity. It is challenging for sure, and some people might be quite intimidated during their first session. But the more you practice, the more used your body will be to the different exercises, and you’ll make amazing progress in no-time. Time flies during a Cali class, and you won’t even think of checking your phone!

And last, but not least: where to learn Calisthenics in Singapore?

There are a few studios offering Calisthenics classes in Singapore, including some in public parks – but if I had to pick one, I’d definitely choose The Faculty (of calisthenics & yoga) on North Bridge Road.

Why you should visit the Faculty?

  • They offer several different calisthenics classes, focusing on specific skills (handstands, pull-ups, muscle-ups) or helping with general fitness (push-pull, strength), along with Yoga classes.
  • The classes are beginner-friendly – except for a few advanced classes, that require an invitation, all sessions can be attended by newcomers who want to improve and are willing to sweat.
  • The team is amazing – every trainer has their own speciality, but they are all dedicated to sharing their passion, making each session a great learning experience
  • They have a 3session intro pass at S$50 – so you can get your own opinion!

The Faculty of Calisthenics and Yoga, North Bridge Rd, Singapore 198691

Not feeling like going back to the gym after the circuit-breaker? Absolutely fine – there is no need to spend money on a gym membership to stay fit. Of course, you could find tons of excuses not to do anything – but with the right equipment and a bit of planning, it’s very easy to get into a great home-workout routine.

Here are our best tips to get your own home-gym and make the most of it!

1. Pick an objective – and stick to it!

First and foremost, if you want to stay motivated in the long run, you need to decide first what you are going for. Is your goal to…

  • lose weight?
  • gain muscle?
  • improve your performance?


It is much easier to stay on track when you train toward a well-defined objective, so you should probably spend some time crafting one. Give yourself a quantifiable goal, with a timeline... and stick to it.
It needs to be realistic (you won’t lose 20kg in 1 week, nor go from 0 to 100 pull-ups overnight) and you can even plan for some sort of reward when you achieve it – a new gadget, a new piece of gym outfit, or a meal at a nice restaurant.

You will need to track your progress, so choose some metrics that allow you to see the change. It can be your weight, some before/during/after pictures, your weightlifting or running personal records… or if you have just started working out, simply the number of sessions you log in every week, that you may want to increase over time. Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve is the best way to stay motivated.


2. Get the RIGHT equipment 

You don’t need much to be able to train efficiently, build muscle or burn a crazy amount of calories, and you certainly do not need every piece of equipment available.
Just select the few that match your goals, and train hard with them. Of course, if you are afraid of getting bored, you can spice things up with a few additional pieces, like resistance bands & accessories. But the baseline is: KEEP IT SIMPLE. A few weights to choose from to encourage muscle growth, a couple of ways to do cardio (that you enjoy, don’t force yourself to go jogging if you hate it) and you’re all set up!
Here are the few pieces we would recommend getting first.

A pull-up bar

A bar to hang on is one of the home gym absolute must-haves. It is the simplest way to get better at pull-ups & chin-ups, but also to release your back from the tension accumulated all day, especially if you spend most of your time at a desk.
Quick tip: grab the bar for a 30sec active hang a few times a day (or every time you walk under the bar) to get a stronger back & a better grip in no time.

You want to make sure your bar is nicely installed and secure – if fixing it to the wall with screws is an option, please do so. It will allow you to practice a broader range of movements, including toes to bar, knees-to-chest & muscle-ups.

A pair of dumbbells (or more)

Dumbbells are great, because they let you do a broad range of exercises – you can train your entire body with just a couple of them.
They are also more challenging than barbells, as they prevent your strong side to compensate – from squats to overhead press, you will feel the difference.
Choose a weight that allows you to do various moves – you can buy a separate, lighter pair for isolation movements, like biceps curls.
For ladies, we would recommend picking a pair of 10kg, guys could pick 2 x 15kg or heavier. You should be able to do at least front rows, snatches, squats & deadlifts with them. 
Don’t panic if they feel heavy at the beginning: your body will quickly adapt, and the weight will feel much lighter soon.

Get your dumbbells from F1recreation and enjoy a 10% discount with the code HEALTHY10

A kettlebell

Kettlebells are great for HIIT training – They can be used both for the cardio part (with KB Swings, for example), and the resistance part (with KB Squats, Deadlifts or Romanian Deadlifts).
Make sure you get one that is decently heavy (12 or 16kg for ladies, 20+ for guys) in order to get the most benefits from your training.

A Jump rope 

If you don’t want to run outside and don’t own a treadmill or indoor bike, make sure you get a jumping rope! You can either go for a weighted one (used in MMA gyms) or for a speed rope (the very thin one), that will allow you to also train your double under technique and burn a lot of calories in a very short amount of time.

A good quality mat

If you are into yoga, you probably have one already – if not, make sure you don’t get the cheapest models if you plan on doing burpees or any sort of cardio on your mat, as it will get damaged pretty quickly.

A BOSU Balance Trainer (especially if you are a runner!)

BOSUs (the blue half-spheres you sometimes see at the gym) are great to add imbalance, and therefore complexity to your workouts. They are also fantastic to train your ankles & knees’ stability and get stronger legs – the best way to prevent running injuries!

BOSU products available in F1 Recreation online shop (10% discount with HEALTHY10)


3. Block your schedule & get started

Now that you have your objective & equipment, comes the hardest part: make some time for your workout!
During the past few months, we all got more spare time, but it was quite easy to get absorbed by other activities – or just come up with excuses – not to work out. However, staying active is crucial, especially as the daily energy expenditure of people who started working from home has dropped quite significantly.
Make sure you find 1hour at least 3 to 5 times a week and commit to a ritual.
Try to stick to the same timeslot – it makes your other activities easier to articulate around it.
If possible, turn off your phone, and don’t let the outside world disturb you. You should take it as you “me” time and turn all your attention to your goals.
Make sure you start every session with a clear program in mind – it helps a lot turn any session a fruitful one. You can build your own training program or check out online to find the best exercises to achieve your goal.
Finally, to keep making progress, you will need to gently and regularly increase your training’s intensity – what doesn’t challenge you (and your muscles) doesn’t change you!


If you are looking for a place to train regularly, and are not interested in specialised group classes, you may want to sign up in a “commercial” gym. There are a few chains with gyms all around the islands, and it might be a bit hard to choose the one that is the most suitable for you – especially if you’re not a gym expert. To guide you, we’ve put together a list of pros & cons for each big-name – feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

What are commercial gyms and who are they made for?

“Commercial gyms” is the term used to design large training facilities, usually ran through multiple branches: big training spaces, lots of equipment, lot of salespeople selling memberships & a few coaches looking over the people working out.
It’s usually opposed to “private gyms”, that have smaller facilities & crowds. These are typically owned by a former trainer and have a much more serious & competitive atmosphere. There are also usually more expensive.

Picking one type of gym or the other is a matter of preferences, and you probably should give both a try before making up your mind. However, they are a few indicators that commercial gyms would work for you.. or wouldn’t.

Commercial gyms are for you if:

  • You’re looking for a (relatively) affordable place to train regularly
  • You want to decide when & where you want to work out
  • You’d like a large variety of equipment, free weights & machines that you can’t find in your condo gyms or smaller gyms
  • You’re looking for a broad range of classes or are a fan of Lesmill programs that you won’t find in specialised studios
  • You are self-motivated & don’t need a proper commitment (like a class booking) to go and train
  • You know how to plan a session or are happy to ask guidance to the staff (you won’t get good results if you just go there and try machines, all training sessions need to be organised and planned beforehand)

Commercial gyms are NOT for you if:

  • If you’re looking for very specific training or skills – CrossFit, callisthenics, advanced yoga… Commercial gyms host classes but they are far less technical than what you can find in dedicated studios and boutique gyms. 
  • If you live far away from any branches – the closer you are and the smaller the effort it takes you to go, the more likely you are to stick to your routine.
  • You like quiet spaces & don’t feel comfortable in a crowded environment – you need to be prepared for loud music and a lot of people working out around you.

That being said, there are a few commercial gym chains to choose from in Singapore. Which one is best for you?

Photo credit: Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness

Pros: 
Very cheap compared to the other gyms, opened 24/7, equipment include everything that you need to train (except maybe pull-up bars). All gyms are relatively quiet – definitely a better option than the community gyms if you are looking for some personal space but are on a budget.

Cons: 
Questionable cleanliness sometimes, most of the branches don’t have dedicated locker/changing rooms, showers & toilets are straight forward and there’s no toiletry provided at all. 
There’s no staff outside of very limited time slots, so you might not be able to ask for help if you need any. Most branches don’t offer group classes, and there are no Personal Trainers available.

Make it your gym if… You’re looking for a cheap, no-fuss option. Expect to spend around 90$/month (subscriptions can be negotiated)

Fitness First

Pros:
There are a lot of branches across the island and most of them are really clean and well equipped. Some spaces are much bigger than others (Bugis being one of the best branches they own). The machines are new, there’s a functional training area in almost all branches, and they have all sorts of equipment & accessories you can just go and use. They provide attire too.
Subscriptions are affordable, especially if you go for a longer period of time, but they also offer flexibility and relatively short term contracts (last time I checked, the shortest was 4 months). If you happen to be a member for more than a year in a row, you’ll get the right to bring a friend with you for free on weekends – which is pretty cool.
Oh, and if you’re into group activities, you’ll definitely enjoy Games Of Zones, taking place on Saturday in the Bugis gym. A friendly competition & a perfect way to make new friends!

Cons
Below average group classes – too many attendees & relatively disengaged coaches is not the best combination for a fruitful session. Of course, not saying all group classes are bad there, but the setting is clearly not ideal in most branches, and all coaches are not equal, skill-wise – you can actually tell, as some classes are fully booked one week in advance.
Some branches are ridiculously small (especially in the CBD) and most of them get really crowded after work. Some of them don’t have a closed space dedicated to group sessions – yes, it gets pretty messy.
They are not open 24/7 and most of them run on shorter hours during weekends – not ideal if your schedule is not standard.

Make it your gym if… You’re looking for a mid-range option with excellent facilities – but aren’t expecting too much from group classes. Expect to spend around 180$/month (subscriptions can be negotiated)

Virgin Active

Pros: Great variety of group classes & personal training sessions led by qualified coaches, spotless facilities including pools, steam baths… and of course, every machine and equipment you could think of. Some of the branches are simply mind-blowing (cf the Virgin Active Marina One’s pool above), and everything (except shoes) is provided.
They have the most extensive range of bathroom toiletries & the changing rooms & showers are the cleanest you can find around.

Cons:  
The memberships are (very) pricy and don’t offer much flexibility – you have to commit for 1 year or 2. It is still worth asking if you’re looking for a shorter-term option, some salespeople will make a gesture (but don’t take it for granted.)
Quite surprisingly, the whole atmosphere is so premium that it can be a bit obnoxious for newbies and people feeling more comfortable in chill environments. If luxury isn’t your thing, you might feel a bit out of place.

Make it your gym if… you’re looking for high-quality services & super clean facilities, but are happy with solo workouts and a quite “asepticized” environment.
Expect to spend around 250$/month (subscriptions can be negotiated)

Not willing to join a commercial gym for now? Check out cheaper options to work out here & specialised studios here! (coming soon)


! Before making a choice, keep in mind:

All gyms will be more than happy to offer a free trial – or several, so you can take a look at the facilities and try the machines and the classes out.

All gym memberships can be negotiated – there’s always a promotion going on and saying you’re considering joining another chain might help them make a better offer. Some outlets are cheaper to sign up at than others – visit the branches that are a bit further from the city centre for better deals.

Always triple read the contract before signing and make sure the exit clauses are clear! Some contracts can be pretty dodgy and hard to get rid of, even if you move out of the country.

Picking the perfect sports gear & equipment can be tricky: it needs to look good, of course, but most importantly, it has to match your needs & practice level. If you can buy whatever you think is best for you right off the shelf, you would probably benefit a lot from advice from someone with more experience – whether you’re a professional athlete or a novice. If you feel a bit lost, fret not! Many physical stores in Singapore have qualified teams to help you pick the right gear. 

Pro-tip for beginners: There’s no need to spend a lot of money on gear & equipment if you’re just getting started with a new sport and going for mid-range quality products instead of costly & technical stuff (that you won’t be able to really take advantage of anyway) is a good way to save some bucks.

For multisports gear & equipment: Decathlon

Decathlon has now several outlets around the island & installed their flagship in Mountbatten. Regardless of your level of practice, and the discipline you’re into, there will be something for you to buy there. They only sell products from their own brand, so don’t expect to find your favourite logos there – But everything is quite cheap and it’s the best shop to get basic equipment when you start a new activity. And if you can’t make up your mind, the staff will be happy to help you choose too.

Decathlon Sports Lab, 230 Stadium Blvd, Singapore 397799
Most products available online (some of them are not listed, so don’t hesitate to visit one of the stores and ask, if you can’t find what you’re looking for on the website)

For & equipment: F1Recreation (online shop)

If you are looking for really good quality weights & professional equipment, give their website a go. They have a large range of brands, including Trigger Point, TRX, LifeFitness & Bosu – if you have spotted some accessories at the gym that you would love to bring back home, they are most likely available in F1 Recreation’s shop. If you are on a budget, you can also find pre-loved equipment there – a must to build your home-gym!

F1 Recreation – Use the promo code “HEALTHY10” for 10% off your orders!

For Crossfit gear & equipment: ArmourUP Asia

armour up asia store orchard

If Crossfit is your thing, you are in the right place. They have items that are pretty hard to find anywhere else in Singapore, including chalk, handcare products, speed ropes and international brands like KingKong, HAW & Rocktape. Can’t lie, I’m a big fan of their extensive range or wrist wraps too – there must be a pair just for you there.
Last, but not least: they are pretty well known because they offer a broad range of vibration therapy massage guns – and if you haven’t tried one already, you should probably drop by.

Visit their store in Orchard 181 Orchard Rd, #06-23 Orchard Central, Singapore 238896 or go online

For Trail running & Ultra Running Shoes & accessories: The Red Dot Running Company

red dot running company singapore
Photo credit: RDRC

Choosing running shoes can be a challenge – especially if you plan to spend long hours wearing them. Red Dot Running Company has a great selection of models across a few selected brands. They also have all sort of accessories, from gels & bars for your next long run to the comfiest socks you can imagine.
The best thing about the shop though is the team: everyone is passionate about running & outdoor adventures – ask for tips, they are always ready to help.

Red Dot Running Company, 152 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427430

For cheap(er) workout attire: Changi City Point & IMM Factory Stores

If you are looking for new shorts or tops to go to the gym, head to Changi City Point (MRT Expo) or IMM (Jurong East) to visit big brands’ factory stores: Nike, Adidas, Puma, Reebok… You’ll surely find some treasures among the numerous discounted items. If you don’t live in the East or far West, it might be quite a journey, but with branded sports shoes starting at 40$ and clothes as low as 5$, it is definitely worth the trip.

Changi City Point, 5 Changi Business Park Central 1, Singapore 486038 and
IMM, 2 Jurong East Street 21, Singapore 609601

For Sports Nutrition & Protein Powders: Nutrition Depot

Getting on a protein-rich diet might come pretty costly in Singapore – a lot of big brands are selling expensive bags of protein powders – most of them being pretty tasteless & hard to drink. If you’re looking for diversity and excellent recommendations, I’d highly recommend you to go to Nutrition Depot. The team knows their products perfectly and will be happy to provide you with the whey powders or high protein snacks that are most suitable for your needs. They also work with several brands, and there’s always something new to try – You’ll love their protein bar section!

Nutrition Depot, 2 outlets in the CBD

Weekends are made to chill. But what if you brought your friends, better half or family to try something new? Keeping active is key to both physical & mental health – and it’s also a great way to spend time with your loved ones and challenge yourself. So check out these 7 cool & unusual activities you should try next time you get a day off!

1. Pretend to be a Ninja Warrior at NinjaSG

Have you ever watched a Ninja Warrior competition and hope you could learn some of the athletes’ super cool techniques? Well, now you can! NinjaSG is an obstacle gym located in GroundUp Climbing space and equipped with all sort of crazy elements. Pegboards, ropes, rings, floating doors, you name it! They also tweak the obstacles quite often, making every visit unique.
You don’t need to be crazy fit to go and give it a try – but it definitely takes practice to master everything, so get ready to sweat.
They have launched a while ago some classes as well, led by talented Alvin Gan and mixing obstacle training & fitness – the best way to learn while having fun.

NinjaSG, Civil Service Club, Level 2, 60 Tessensohn Rd, Singapore 217664

 

2. Be faster underwater at The Ripple Club

aquaspin classes aquabike singapore

Not a fan of commercial gyms? Let’s get wet instead. Aquaspin offers a brand range of low-impact classes, each with its own specificities. Perfect if you’re looking for a fun activity (you can chill by the pool afterwards) that will get you toned without getting sweaty!

The Ripple Club, various locations – Read Healthyin.sg review of their classes here!



3. Bounce your way to fitness at Bounce

If you’re bored with your usual gym classes, you have to try Bounce Fit classes at least once. They mix high interval intensity training and trampoline skills, to tone up abs, bum and thighs. Go for the basic class if you are a beginner and push it a step higher with Bounce Fit Combat, inspired by MMA & boxing.
HIIT classes aren’t your thing? You can always visit and enjoy the trampoline park outside of classes if you are willing to learn tricks & techniques.
Bounce Fit classes at Bounce, schedule & booking available online. Bounce, Cineleisure, 8 Grange Road #09-01 Singapore 239695


4. Be graceful on the ice at Kallang Ice World

If you’re tired of the heat outside, it is the perfect time to give ice-skating a try. Get your most comfy sweater, some woollen socks, and a pair of loves: you are ready to ice-skate like a pro!
There are a few ice rinks in Singapore, but the Kallang one is both fairly cheap and quiet – they also offer classes for beginners, if you don’t feel comfortable stepping & sliding on the ice straight away.
One more thing: last time we checked, you needed to book a slot in advance. 

Kallang Ice World, 5 Stadium Walk, Singapore 397693

 

5. Go deeper with Freediving

Also known as breath-hold diving, freediving is a fascinating discipline. By taking classes at the Singapore Freediving Academy, you’ll learn how to control your breathing and make the most of every gasp of air. If it looks intimidating at first, it offers a great opportunity to calm your mind, clear your thoughts and focus on yourself for once. They offer beginners classes and workshops to get comfortable with the idea – and you’ll soon be able to join a trip at sea (whenever you’re ready!)

More information and class booking on freedive.sg