Gym Studios Review


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.


Get more information, book discovery sessions & or take a look at schedule on their website:

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


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

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

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.

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

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!

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.

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.

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 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