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 some of the best personal trainers in Singapore and the awesome results they’ve achieved.
Looking to kickstart her fitness and maximise her health, British expat Sue turned to FitNut Loft, a boutique fitness and Pilates studio that’s dedicated to helping women over 40 transform into stronger, more confident versions of themselves in a nonjudgmental setting. Since March 2022, she’s been working with Merve, her personal trainer in Singapore, two to three times a week, focusing mainly on Reformer Pilates but mixing it up with strength training and group classes. Not only has she seen great results, but she’s also enjoyed becoming a part of the dedicated fitness community that keeps FitNutters coming back consistently.
Why she loves this personal trainer in Singapore
FitNut Loft is a very supportive environment. The trainers are very understanding of my fitness goals and tailor my programme so that I can reach those goals. I particularly enjoy working on the Pilates Reformer, but I also like FitNut’s strength-based HEAT Circuit class. Both challenge me in very different ways.
As I age, it’s important to exercise to keep healthy. My experience with FitNut Loft has reminded me just how important exercise is to my physical and mental wellbeing. Also, training with a professional has been essential in teaching me correct form.
Since training with FitNut Loft, I have seen significant improvements in my core strength, flexibility and endurance. On top of that, I have lost inches all over!
• 15 Mohamed Sultan Road, #03-01
• 2 Pandan Valley, #01-201
8686 8299 | fitnutloft.com
Looking to lose weight and build a regular exercise routine, Venkatraman enlisted the help of Athleaders, which pairs personalised workouts and nutrition coaching with the convenience of coming to the client. Now one year in (and over 100 sessions later), he feels better than ever, thanks to twice-weekly full-body training sessions that incorporate cardio and muscle building. When he’s not training with an Athleaders trainer, Venkatraman gets in extra workouts on his own using routines provided by Athleaders.
Why he believes Athleaders has the best personal trainers in Singapore
The convenience, the customisation and the results. All Athleaders trainers are extremely results driven. They set very clear milestones and timelines at the start, and make sure to follow up with me outside of my regular sessions – accountability at its finest. They also explain very clearly to me the exercise I am doing and why it relates to my initial goal.
The best aspect is that I don’t have to waste time traveling to a gym. They come to my doorstep and even bring the equipment. On average, I save around eight to 10 hours a month (almost 100 hours a year!), as I don’t have to travel to and fro. Also, everything from my nutrition plan to my fitness programme is personalised. Athleaders doesn’t follow a ‘one size fits all approach’ and it shows. The exercises are varied and it’s just the right amount of motivation. I always look forward to my sessions!
I lost 12kg in 10 weeks with a customised nutrition plan and a structured workout routine. Now, I’m able to run 10km at a stretch, as opposed to a few months ago when I could only run 1km. I feel a lot more energetic, stronger and actually enjoy working out a whole lot more than I used to.
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WhatsApp 9890 7224 | athleaders.co
Feeling energy deprived and “squishy” as a result of lax eating during lockdowns, American expat Jason knew he needed to make some changes. Determined to get his diet right – and wanting to see if he could look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club! – American expat Jason knew he needed professional guidance. So, he enlisted the expertise of Ultimate Performance Singapore (U.P.), which offers no-nonsense personal training for those who want to achieve serious, hard-evidence results. In November 2021, he began working with personal trainer Hariz three times a week, with the goal of building muscle and shredding fat. He also gave his diet a complete overhaul, taking in far fewer calories, drinking four litres of water a day and basically quitting alcohol, making his transformative journey far more than just a physical one.
Why he loves this personal trainer in Singapore
Not only did I enjoy the workouts, but I also enjoyed the challenge of eating well every day. I slept better, was in a better mood and generally had more energy than before the transformation.
Working with a personal trainer in Singapore added an important level of accountability and really helped with motivation along the way. I also really learned a lot from my trainer. The biggest thing for me was “form”; most of the movements I had done before, but my form was off. Hariz taught me how to do the movements the right way. We also talked a lot about diet, and how food choices impact performance and react in the body.
I lost about 5kg to reach a low of 80.1kg and went from 18.7 percent to 9.5 percent body fat. I also became very strong, adding 10kg to my chest press and almost 50kg to my trap-bar routine!
Additionally, I built food habits that I still follow today. While I did eat somewhat well before my transformation, it wasn’t disciplined. I didn’t get enough protein, and over-consumed starchy carbs and candy. Now, I’m much more confident in knowing what to eat and I have the willpower to make the right food choices.
As fitness is a lifelong journey, I may go through the programme again in the future. But, for now, it’s just about showing up every day: walking, exercising and watching my diet.
Ultimate Performance Singapore
Ground Floor, Manulife Building, 8 Cross Street
6536 8649 | upfitness.com.sg
Left weakened by a broken ankle and eight weeks of post-surgery recovery, along with a bad frozen shoulder, 60-year-old Turkish expat Isil enlisted the help of UFIT – one of the largest health and fitness communities and personal trainers in Singapore for over a decade now. When Isil started working with her personal trainer Chris, she could barely walk. But, after training two to three times a week for almost two years now, Isil has not only gained back her strength but can jump, sit and squat without pain. She can even deadlift her own bodyweight!
Why she believes UFIT has the best personal trainers in Singapore
As soon as I’m greeted and warmed up by Chris at UFIT, I feel motivated, no matter how hard the workout is. I love seeing that I’m making a little more progress every day as a result of the plan Chris has personalised for me.
My pain has subsided, my posture has improved, my lung capacity has increased, my hypertension is more under control, and I feel dynamic, strong, happy and beautiful. Also, I have regained all range of movement in my shoulder and my joints are much more mobile. The routine workouts with Chris have enabled me to do activities like long-distance walking and climbing much more comfortably. In fact, I can say for certain that I am back to doing the same physical activity I was 20 years ago!
Club Street, One-North, Orchard and Fairmont Hotel, Raffles City
Having struggled with staying motivated in the past, British expat Chris knew he needed a personal trainer to create custom workouts and keep him committed to leading a healthier lifestyle. So, he turned to TSquared Lab – a “bespoke body transformation ecosystem” that takes an all-encompassing approach to physical and mental fitness.
Almost two years later, the positive results he’s achieved with the help of his trainer, Danial, can be seen in every aspect of his life – from weight loss and better eating habits to increased energy levels to improved mood and sleep. His twice-weekly training involves a combination of weights and resistance training, finished off with cardio to end each session.
Why he loves this personal trainer in Singapore
For me, the biggest benefit of having a personal trainer in Singapore is that it’s kept me motivated and committed to working out. In the past, I struggled with knowing what to do in the gym and how to add variety to my workouts; that’s where I would lose interest. Having a trainer has eliminated that for me. When I get to the gym, Danial’s already got a session planned and I can focus all my energy on doing the workout rather than trying to figure out what to do. He knows my limits and when to push me to do that extra rep or two, and I see the results.
I really enjoy the variety of programmed workouts Danial creates for me. Plus, TSquared lab has a wide range of equipment to choose from, much of which you can’t get in your typical commercial gym. So, it feels like no two consecutive workouts are the same. The sessions are hard, but I always feel so good afterwards – and motivated to come back for more. Additionally, TSquared Lab goes beyond the gym workouts. Danial creates a schedule of workouts for me to do on my own and provides detailed dietary advice depending on my goals. This has been helpful and contributed to my results.
Since joining TSquared Lab, I’ve dropped eight kilos in weight, significantly reduced my body fat percentage and increased my muscle mass. But, it’s more than the body metrics and how I look. I have come to realise the many other benefits that come from regular exercise. I have a lot more energy, reduced stress levels, less anxiety and improved sleep. Overall, I just feel much happier and healthier.
• HarbourFront location: 991F Alexandra Road
• CBD location: #01-01A/02 Keck Seng Tower, 133 Cecil Street
8891 8313 | tsquaredlab.com
With a demanding job, and the added role of wife and mother, American expat Tessa found that she was always putting exercise at the bottom of her priority list. Realising that she needed that extra motivation to take time out of her busy schedule to exercise, she went in search of a personal trainer in Singapore who could work around her schedule, train at the location of choice, and keep her focused on her health and fitness goals. She was able to tick all those boxes at once with EzFit, which brings personal training right to clients’ doorsteps. Her twice-a-week workouts with Vanan in her condo gym – and occasionally outside – typically entail 10 minutes of a cardio-focused warm-up before moving on to strength building, or a high-impact workout that combines strength and cardio.
Why she believes Vanan is the best personal trainer in Singapore
I like Vanan’s creative approach of using playing cards to dictate the workout. He assigns a different exercise to each card, and we play through the deck. It’s intense, but it makes the workout go very quickly. My favourite is when he brings out the boxing gloves; I think it’s the perfect Monday afternoon workout! I really enjoy the variety of each session and having someone there to motivate me to work hard. Vanan does a great job of changing it up so that I’m never bored!
I’ve noticed a marked improvement in my overall energy levels, as well as an improvement in strength and muscle tone. I have also noticed that I’m much more conscious of the choices I make regarding diet and sleep. I would say that my personal training programme has made me more health-conscious overall.
Looking to become a healthier role model to her 12-year-old daughter, Tammy turned to Fitness Functions, a fitness company that conveniently brings personal training to clients’ doorsteps. Almost five years later, the Irish and Australian expat has seen excellent results. These days, she’s training with Ivan three times a week at her condo (both indoors and out!), incorporating circuit training, progressive overload, HIIT and AMRAP (as many reps as possible) into her cardio and weight-based workouts. What’s more, he even brings the equipment to her, which she feels is a major bonus!
Why she loves this personal trainer in Singapore
The versatility and flexibility, as well as Ivan’s personality. No session is ever the same; I don’t know how Ivan manages that! He keeps on top of whatever exercises I actually enjoy doing and incorporates them into the workouts where possible. For instance, I love to run. So, we usually mix weight training with short sprints. When I went through a boxing phase, he even weaved that into some of our sessions.
If I’m feeling particularly good, Ivan will push me just enough to go further than I think I can go. If I’m having a bad day or recovering from injury or illness, he can tell when I genuinely need to take it easy, as opposed to me just feeling lazy and needing some extra encouragement! Even when I train alone, I can hear him saying ‘lower, lower!’ – usually when it comes to lunges or squats!
Ivan is also very flexible with rescheduling on the rare occasion that I can’t make a session, or with doing online sessions when my schedule – or pandemic restrictions – demands it.
When I was training for the Singapore marathon, Ivan helped me work on key areas to support the crazy long runs I was doing at the time. I love that he is always evolving and educating himself to benefit his clients and team. He regularly attends fitness conventions overseas and always comes back with new devices and routines.
In the past five years, I have become stronger, both mentally and physically. I have pushed myself further than I ever thought possible, thanks to Ivan’s support and encouragement. A hundred burpees with no rest in one particular Zoom session during lockdown was a highlight! I’ve also seen the difference it makes when I train between sessions with Ivan, which motivates me to keep it up.
Given that I’m in my 40s now, strength training is more important than ever. But, I would never attempt it without a professional’s advice. Ivan ensures that my posture is correct and encourages me to increase the weights or do more reps when it seems that I can.
Most importantly, I believe that I’m setting a great example for my daughter by showing her that it’s really worth investing in your physical and mental health. As a single mum working full-time, it’s often hard to put myself first. She has seen me struggle to motivate myself, but she has also seen how good I feel when I’m in good health – a result of working with Ivan. Just a few weeks ago she encouraged me to get some exercise when I was recovering from COVID and feeling lazy, saying, ‘You know you’ll feel better after!’
9654 7064 | fitness-functions.com
StringsSG is a great service to know about if you’re looking for a freelance personal trainer or gym to help you meet your health and fitness goals. The web and mobile app platform, which connects service providers with the people that need them, can help you find the very best personal trainers and gyms for you based on your budget, location and other preferences.
Simply download the StringsSG mobile app to view over 200 trainer and gym profiles, and more than 250 deals, including group classes. You can request and receive responses from the fitness professionals, and book sessions directly, for free via an inbuilt chat system. There are even free trials available to choose from!
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To learn more, visit stringssg.com/sg/personal-trainer or contact email@example.com.
FITLUC Gym – Vinnie Lauria
As a father of three and co-founder of Golden Gate Ventures, Vinnie didn’t have much time or motivation to train. With frequent overseas travel and middle-of-the-night work calls, Vinnie’s health was neglected and need of an overhaul. Determined to change his lifestyle for the better, he enlisted the help of celebrity personal trainer, Lucas Lim, who is also the founder of FITLUC Gym. His key goals were to build strength and lean out, and establish a good work-life balance.
Why he believes FITLUC has the best personal trainers in Singapore
“Lucas has been a great trainer to me and my wife Kristine! He always keeps our fitness in check, and even checks in on my meals via WhatsApp. His constant motivation is the reason why I was able to keep pushing hard all these years. As I improve, his coaching and skillsets improves, too. He genuinely cares about every aspect of my life and always customises a programme to best suit my lifestyle.
In addition to having the usual personal training certifications, many of the FITLUC trainers have Sports Science degrees; so, you are definitely in good hands! The personal trainers are also well-recognised by many celebrity clients and media publications.
The training method at FITLUC is not intimidating at all, unlike many other places with the go-hard-or-go-home kind of regime. The trainers, staff and clients at FITLUC are all very friendly and approachable, and I have fostered strong friendships, not just with my trainer, but with other FITLUC clients as well.”
“The past seven years have been an incredible ride. I feel stronger, heathier and in control of my body. I am glad to have taken that leap of faith with Lucas and FITLUC. We have walked through the highs and the lows, and have seen each other grow. Under his watchful guidance, I’m now able to hit big compound movements safely and comfortably. I am much more functional and active, and now have enough endurance to keep up with my three kids!
My relationship with Lucas is a special one. Thanks Lucas, for always pushing me to be my best!”
CBD location: 21A Keong Saik Road, Level 2
Boat Quay location: #03-01 82 Boat Quay
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This article first appeared in the September 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!