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, four EL readers share their own experiences with one-on-one fitness training.
New Zealander Emily does two sessions a week with her trainer Francesca at UFIT’s Amoy Street location (personal training is also offered at UFIT’s One-North, Orchard, Bukit Timah and Tanjong Pagar locations), focussing mostly on strength work; she also attends two UFIT bootcamps per week for some extra cardio.
Why she started: “About two years ago I started with bootcamp on Sunday mornings at Tanjong Beach Club, and then got curious about Metcon (metabolic conditioning) and personal training. I really wanted to make sure I was getting the most out of my exercise time.”
Why she loves it: “Personal training means that I keep consistent with an exercise programme, and that I make the most out of the time I put aside to train. I love the variety, and the motivation Francesca provides.”
Results: “Strength training has helped keep me free from injuries and has made me stronger. My training has proven that consistency is really important.”
Looking to get healthy and active, American expat Trestan enlisted the help of EzFit, a personal training company that brings fitness to the comfort of clients’ own homes. Twelve year-old Trestan has now been training with Azmi from EzFit twice a week for the past six months, focussing on a combination of cardio, weights and upper-body strength training.
Why he started: “I wanted to get healthy and lose weight.”
Why he loves it: “I love that EzFit makes exercising fun for kids. I like that the exercises challenge me but are not too hard. Azmi motivates me, makes me laugh, helps me with my ups and downs, and is always there to help me get stronger. One of my favourite workouts we do is a speed and agility drill where there are 10 cones in a square, and I have to run and pick them up one at a time, bringing them back and stacking them where I started.”
Why his mum Shawna loves it: “What makes EzFit standout among other personal trainers is the onsite training at clients’ homes. In today’s fast-paced world, it makes it easier for our family. Trestan can come home from school during the week, eat a snack and then step just outside our front door to do his workout. Afterwards, he can finish his homework while I prepare dinner. There’s no travel time, which would otherwise eat up two hours of family time in the evening. EzFit’s cost per session is also very reasonable, especially if you look at the money saved from the travel expenses – which is another reason we chose them.”
Results: “I have lost weight and noticed that I have much more energy. I also have more self-confidence since working out with Azmi.”
Russian expat Irina has been training with Ultimate Performance for over a year, working with trainer Brendan to build strength and achieve muscle growth through weight-focused workouts. In between her twice-weekly sessions with UP, Irina is able to work out on her own, thanks to Brendan’s guidance.
Why she started: “I was looking for a professional trainer who could help me build up my strength, confidence and an understanding of how to properly work with gym equipment, as well as knowledge of nutrition, macros, and the impact of exercise and a healthy diet. UP definitely has all that covered, and I’m very lucky to work out with Brendan, who has shared all of this knowledge with me.”
Why she loves it: “My training sessions are always productive, efficient, well organised and thought through. Brendan always introduces new variations to our workouts to ensure that my body is constantly challenged. In addition to following my exercise progression, he tracks my personal nutrition through an individual daily macros plan that I follow. My progression is also tracked with body measurements and photos so that we can see the differences before and after. What makes UP different from my previous fitness experiences is that it’s absolutely personalised, which has proven to be effective for me. With the professional approach of my trainer, I’ve been able to achieve the best fitness shape of my life by far. I really like how much UP cares about its clients while maintaining the right level of discipline when it comes to exercising and nutrition – that sort of approach definitely feels right to me. It might sound like army-style discipline, but I know how to enjoy it and have fun during training!”
Results: “I’ve become more aware of how proper exercise should be performed, and how different routines can impact my body and the way it’s shaped. I now have a clearer understanding of what, how and when to eat and, most importantly, what to avoid. Since I’ve started to pay more attention to what I consume and how I exercise, I’ve definitely seen and felt the difference in my wellbeing, and that change has only been positive. I feel physically healthier, much stronger and mentally happier, and more satisfied with the way I see myself in the mirror. I’ve reduced my body fat, become leaner with more structure in my body and, of course, grown my muscle mass. It’s been an exciting journey that I’m excited to continue on!”
Kimmy has been training with Karenlee Fitness once a week for the past seven months, and counts the kickboxing sessions as her favourites; they also mix it up with functional training, HIIT, endurance and flexibility drills. And, to keep active between her weekly sessions with Karen, the mother of four goes for 5km runs around the neighbourhood.
Why she started: “I needed help getting back in shape to put on my pre-maternity clothes. When I saw the advertisement on Karen’s car, it seemed to be the answer to my question of how I could get back to my pre-pregnancy fitness level again!”
Why she loves it: “Because it’s personal, it’s the right training solution for me. “It’s customised to suit my body type and my needs. For example, I have lower back pain so when I need to concentrate on working my core, Karen tweaks the exercises to help me engage my core without causing any pain in my lower back. Without Karen, I would’ve been blindly following YouTube videos, doing exercises I only thought would benefit me. I was living with the ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality. But Karen has taught me that effective training doesn’t need to be painful; in fact, under her guidance, recovery was faster and I was able to work out on a daily basis without having to wait out the aches. “Karen not only keeps track of the workouts I’ve done but also my food intake, making me more aware of my activities and diet. Not only that, but I’m thankful that I’ve found a friend in Karen too.”
Results: “After the first two sessions, I was able to fit into my pre-maternity outfits, and my wardrobe selection increased from then on. Through meal logging, I was also made more aware of the healthier options that are available. Under Karen’s guidance and advice, I also turned to meal preparation whenever I could; with four kids, I have to make things happen with whatever time I have! Karen always has my interest at heart and is always available to give sound advice pertaining to fitness and health.”
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Wanting to get healthy and fit, Australian expat Mari enlisted the help of Personal Trainer Solutions (PTS), which provides experienced personal trainers in Singapore for home and public gyms, to help her reach her fitness goals. She has been training with Malcolm from PTS twice a week for the past few months, focusing on interval training and small weights.
Why she started: “Over the past two years, I’ve been putting on weight and feeling tired. Then I realised my metabolism had slowed down and it was time to make a change.”
Why she loves it: “The convenience! There’s absolutely no excuse when your personal trainer comes to your condo. Malcolm is encouraging and professional, and always mixes things up with different exercises each week. I also love seeing and feeling the improvements.”
Results: “For me, the intangible improvements such as higher energy levels, and being more fit and active are more important than weight loss or other measureable improvements. Before I started training with PTS, my focus was always on reducing body weight by skipping meals. But now my focus is on having a healthier lifestyle.”
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