With so much travel and a jam-packed social calendar, it can be difficult to maintain a disciplined fitness routine here in Singapore – which is why personal training often proves to be a great fitness solution for so many expats. Here, EL readers share their own experiences with one-on-one fitness training.
Ultimate Performance Singapore – Jody Tu
Searching for a sense of fulfillment, Taiwanese expat Jody turned to Ultimate Performance (UP), where she began working out with a trainer three times a week. Through her personal training sessions, Jody gained the confidence she needed to transform both her body and her mindset. Since meeting her fitness goals in May after just 14 weeks of personal training, Jody decided to join UP’s group training classes to learn new skills in a different setting.
Why she started:
“I had just hit a quarter-life crisis before I decided to join UP; I was lost, depressed, had passed on an opportunity at work and was looking for something that I could take complete control of – something that would give me a purpose. This personal training programme was exactly it. The sense of fulfillment from training with UP was what I needed to help get through the down times in life and prepare me to embrace the uncertainty with a positive mindset.”
Why she loves it:
“The feeling of self-empowerment when I achieve my goals puts me in a better mood, knowing that I’ve done something great for my body. Working with UP, I have felt stronger each week, and lifted heavier weights. Additionally, learning different exercise techniques and simply soaking up all the fitness knowledge has been fun.
Before UP, I was all about that Stairmaster cardio life because I didn’t feel equipped with the proper knowledge to do weight training on my own. Now, I love mixing metabolic conditioning workouts and strength training.”
I can testify that my trainer, Dan, wasn’t joking when he said “results, not promises”! In 14 weeks, I took two inches off my waist, lost 12 percent body fat, and became not only more fit and toned, but also happier.
Training with UP has helped incorporate fitness into my lifestyle. Working out six days a week is no longer a chore but something that I actually look forward to. I’m still not a morning person yet, but I’ve come to enjoy making morning exercises a habit to get my day started.
EzFit – Paul Clark
Looking for more variety in his workouts, British expat Paul enlisted the help of EzFit, a personal training company that brings fitness to the comfort of clients’ own homes. Paul has been training with Vanan from EzFit once a week for the past six months, focusing on toning, and building strength and muscle.
Why he started:
“I had lost a lot of weight over 15 months and then hit a plateau, so I wanted to introduce more variety into my workouts to keep things interesting and to keep me motivated. I also wanted to build my strength and to tone up.”
Why he loves it:
Firstly, the convenience. Because Vanan comes to my condo, it fits into my routine so easily. But, it’s more than that. I now feel more accountable for my workouts, and I’m really enjoying them. Sessions are customised to me and what I want to get out of them, so it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. When I first started working out with Vanan, he did a detailed session around what I wanted to achieve, and then built a programme for me around those personal goals.
The variety of the workouts is great, too. Every week, we do something different, whether it’s a new piece of equipment Vanan brings with him or different exercises with equipment I’ve used before. And, a lot of the exercises are easily incorporated into my own regime, when I’m not training with Vanan.
I also like the camaraderie I have with Vanan – it makes it easier when you can laugh through the pain!
I think the biggest change for me is that I’ve realised that I can push myself further than I thought I could. Even though the sessions are really hard work, I do look forward to them. I’m getting stronger and fitter, and that feels great! Sure, there will always be someone more fit or able to do it better, but it’s a personal journey and I’m really happy with the progress I’m making. I’m building strength and muscle, and my body shape is starting to change, too, even though I’ve only been doing it for a short time.
Fitness Functions – Geok Hong Lim
For over a decade now, Geok has been working with Ivan from Fitness Functions, a fitness company that conveniently brings personal training to clients’ doorsteps. Even during her three-year stint in Shanghai, she and Ivan continued training over Skype. Now back in Singapore, the working mum trains with Ivan two to four times a week, alternating between cardio, weights and endurance training. When she’s not working out with Ivan, Geok gets in some extra physical activity with yoga, Pilates, spin and marathon training.
Why she started:
“I was attending lots of gym classes but wasn’t seeing much change in my fitness. Also, as a working mum, I needed to be more effective and efficient with my fitness routine.”
Why she loves it:
Initially, I was just trying to keep fit and maintain a healthy figure. But, I realised working out is what helps me keep a work-life balance, and gives me energy to face the demands at work and achieve personal milestones – including running marathons. Working out also makes my body tired enough that I get a good night’s sleep; without my workouts, work stress would probably keep me up at night.
I’m very enthusiastic about fitness training, and Ivan has a variety of routines for me to ensure a complete workout. Having known my fitness and endurance levels, he was able to design routines to push me hard. To be honest, I dread each session because it’s a tough hour, but my body feels so good and charged up each time I finish. This explains why I’m still doing it after 10 years!
Flexibility is also key to our training programme. I travel a lot, and Ivan is always able to accommodate me, coming up with training routines that can be done with or without a gym facility.
With discipline and the effective training routines, I’m very happy to say that I’ve kept a healthy, slim silhouette and have built strength in my arms, legs and core. I’ve even completed five marathons, including the Great Wall Marathon in China.
Many people have a misconception that cardio is the one and only type of workout. However, it’s important to ensure that a fitness routine covers all areas. Training with Ivan has introduced me to strength and endurance training, CrossFit and HIIT.
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