Singapore’s Best Sources Of Fitness Information

August 9, 2012

Image of fitness consultation in actionReaders who having been following our last blog entry would no doubt be eagerly awaiting the sequel to our fitness blog : “Singapore’s Fitness Culture: Where Does The Public Get Its Fitness Information From?”

As discussed in our earlier blog, most Singaporeans – in their frenzy to look good and feel good – are turning to entirely WRONG and UNRELIABLE sources for help: sources like the Internet, off-the-rack “health” and “fitness” magazines and even fellow gym-goers for advice.

By doing so, not only are they exposing themselves to the real risks of fitness MIS-information, but also putting their very own bodies, health and fitness in jeopardy.

So, where then should one turn-to for authentic, real and truthful fitness information here in Singapore?

Our panel of professional Singapore fitness coaches, consultants and trainers would like to offer the follow recommendations to our readers:

1) Research-Backed Scientific Exercise Journals

By these, we mean publications from sound and established exercise science foundations and sports science institutions. For instance, publications such as the following offer genuine, trustworthy and scientific fitness information to the public:

  • Journal Of Exercise Physiology
  • Journal Of Sports Science And Medicine
  • Medicine And Science In Sports And Medicine
  • Journal Of Strength & Conditioning

In addition to the above, fitness publications from reputable fitness organizations such as: ACSM (American College Of Sports Medicine), IDEA (International Dance & Exercise Association), ACE ( American Council On Exercise) , NCSF ( National Council On Strength And Fitness) and a handful of other fitness organizations are also trustworthy and worth a read to anyone who is into fitness.

So the next time you are tempted to reach out for that glossy, off-the-rack “fitness” magazine again, do think twice before you act.

Because you’ll be so much BETTER OFF and SAFER gleaning your fitness information from real, authentic scientific sources (such as the above-mentioned) than from those commercial, for-profit-only fitness magazines.

2) Certified Fitness Professionals And Coaches 

Bona-fide fitness professionals who have undergone the full spectrum of academic studies, on-the-field practical sessions and fulfilled rigorous certifying procedures would also be a good source of fitness information for the lay person out there.

Fully qualified and certified fitness instructors, exercise trainers and sports coaches offer you a ready, on-hand source of reliable fitness information to tap upon.

These very same fitness professionals would also be the best persons to offer you in-depth, scientific fitness explanations, perspectives and understanding that you will never get by chatting to your typical gym-rat or workout buddy at your neighbourhood fitness facility.

Now that you know where to go to for accurate fitness information, there’s no reason for you to continue being a VICTIM of fitness MIS-information again.

Always remember to seek the RIGHT fitness sources, and you’ll never go wrong in your fitness pursuits ever again.


Why You Don’t Need A Personal Trainer In Singapore

September 20, 2011

Image of a stupid-looking personPersonal trainers and fitness coaches are pretty hot right now in Singapore. You may have seen them in action in your neighbourhood gym or commercial fitness facility – training men and women of different ages and builds.

And now, maybe you’re intrigued. If so many people are using personal trainers and private fitness coaches here in Singapore, there must be something to it, mustn’t it? 

Well, the truth is you simply don’t need any trainer to teach you about fitness.

And here’s why:

1)  You Are Smart Enough To Train Yourself

Let’s face it – getting fit is easy. Building muscle is easy. Losing weight is easy. Why bother getting a trainer???

You can always pick up fitness information from the internet, from newspaper articles, from magazines off the rack and then apply everything you read to yourself, right? What more can be easier?

As someone with brains and sophistication, you are definitely better off training yourself with so much available information floating around you.

Simply take your pick of any training routine out there and then apply it wholesale to yourself.

And hey presto, soon you’ll have the body of your dreams!

2) It’s Not Worth The Money

After all, it’s just your fitness, health and body you’re talking about, right? No big deal. Why waste so much money on a personal trainer???

Ya, no doubt fitness professionals may have all the relevant knowledge, formal education and professional expertise in the areas of training, nutrition and human physiology, but hey, who needs all these airy-fairy things?

Your money can be better spent in areas like bingeing out at Burger King, watching late-night movies (while slurping your Coke and munching away at Nachos), and of course, buying that iPhone you’ve always wanted.

Your body and health are never as important as money, right? 

What’s more, if you really screw up your body and fitness with some lousy training routine, you can always undo it, can’t you? No big deal.

3) You Can Always Learn From Buddies Around You

What are friends for? You can always workout with a buddy who is an ‘expert’ in training and then follow exactly what he/she does. Makes sense, right?

After all, your buddy must surely know something about training, right? Just look at the size of his arms!

Moreover, your buddy’s body works exactly like yours too, correct? So what works for him/her must surely work for you, too. Simple logic, right?

So, just go and make friends with all the impressive-looking bods out there and then learn their training ‘secrets’ – and then replicate them like for like. 

See, told you it is easy, isn’t it?

Always do what the famous philosopher said: “Monkey see, Monkey do” and you’ll be fine. Promise.

In Conclusion

Personal trainers and fitness instructors are just a waste of time…..

After all, they are merely ‘teachers’ of fitness .

And as an adult who still needs teachers or mentors to tell you what to do and how to do things???

After all, you’ve been getting along fine all these years, right?

Hmmmm, just wait a minute…..


Pet Peeves Of Singapore Personal Fitness Trainers

May 29, 2011

Image of an unhappy personal trainerEveryone has his/her pet peeves at the workplace, and our personal trainers and fitness coaches in Singapore are no different too.

The following are some of the most common pet peeves shared by trainers, instructors and coaches from the Singapore Fitness Industry.

If you happen to be a fitness client or a fitness consumer reading this, we hope you will also sit up, take note and make a mental note NEVER EVER to  impose any of the following “irritants” on your trainer or coach.

Common Pet Peeves Of Singapore Fitness Trainers & Coaches:

1. Fitness clients who are ALWAYS late and never repentant.

2. Fitness clients who think they are SMARTER than their trainers just because they have some half-baked fitness knowledge, or happen to have some prior training background.

3. Fitness clients who love to WHINE and COMPLAIN about everything.

4. Fitness clients who keep CANCELING or RE-SCHEDULING their workouts.

5. Fitness clients who FAIL to follow what their trainers tell them to do. 

6. Fitness clients who don’t PAY on time.

7. Fitness clients who can’t stop TALKING or GOSSIPING.

8. Fitness clients who JUMP-HOP from trainer to trainer.

9. Fitness clients who have UNREALISTIC expectations.

10. Fitness clients who can’t STAY OFF their Blackberrys or iPhones while training.

11. Fitness clients who are RUDE, OBNOXIOUS and ARROGANT.

12. Fitness clients who simply CAN’T be bothered.

Well, there you have it: 12 top pet peeves of personal trainers and fitness instructors in Singapore.

Have any of your own???

Feel free to share them with us.


The Best Fitness Careers And Jobs In Singapore

April 25, 2011

Image of a personal trainer working with a client.With a vibrant economy supported by an increasingly cosmopolitan population, it is no surprise that the fitness industry here in Singapore is currently in the midst of a boom.

As demand for private and personal fitness services continue to rise, more and more people are now opening up to the idea of a career or job within the fitness sector in Singapore.

A fitness career or job does come with its fair share of perks and benefits – most notably, being in a position to help others improve their health, fitness and quality of life; and also being able to pursue one’s own hobby or passion in fitness full-time as a career choice.

And of course, not forgetting that the fitness industry also happens to offer one of the most lucrative and rewarding remuneration plans to its BEST performers – especially to those who choose to operate a private or independent fitness business.

It is an open secret that most TOP or ELITE  trainers, coaches and instructors within the private fitness sector today rack-in 5-figure sums monthly – rivalling even the paychecks of many senior business executives in the corporate world – and truly living up to its billing as one of the highest-paying “freelance” jobs in Singapore.

In no particular order, the following are currently some of the most popular, lucrative and ‘hot’ fitness careers and jobs within the fitness sector here in Singapore:

Personal Trainer

A Personal Trainer is essentially a fitness professional who specializes in one-to-one personal exercise prescription, instruction and guidance. The personal trainer usually chooses to specialize in one/some of the many fitness fields, ranging from sports performance to strength-&-conditioning to pre-post natal fitness and more.

Usually the highly successful personal trainer would be one who runs his/her own private, independent practice, serving clients in their home residences, condominium compounds, private offices or even at outdoor settings.

Typically, an established personal trainer here in Singapore would charge anything in excess of S$100 per hour of training.

Yoga Teacher

A Yoga Teacher is one who teaches and instructs in any of the various Yoga disciplines and forms, particularly those that involve some system of bodily exercises and/or mental relaxation. 

The elite Yoga Teacher is typically one who offers one-to-one or private small group sessions to an exclusive clientele, charging anywhere between S$100 – S$200 per session, depending on location, style/choice of Yoga, level of advancement etc. 

Pilates Instructor

A Pilates Instructor is one who conducts body conditioning and physical training sessions based on the popular fitness system founded by Joseph Pilates.

Top Pilates Instructors are usually those with a wealth of experience and credentials, and are often sought-after by celebrities, dignitaries and socially elite individuals for private personal sessions in their homes, hotel suites or private residences. On-going rates for exclusive one-to-one Pilates sessions with a top-of-the-field Pilates Instructor could cost anything between $150 – $250 per hourly session.

Group Exercise Instructor

Group Exercise Instructor is a fitness professional who conducts exercise and training sessions in a group setting. These group workouts may be conducted either indoors – in studios, function rooms and private spaces, or outdoors – in parks, public stadiums, along the beaches etc. These workout sessions may also be carried out to the rhythm of music – as in aerobics or dance fitness classes, or without music, as in fitness boot camps and small group conditioning sessions.

Typically, a top-notch, in-demand Group Exercise Instructor commands a rate of $120/hour onwards for each session, or he/she may choose to charge by per head based on a minimum quota of participants ( the total revenue from all participants would usually have to be in excess of $100 per session before a class could start).

Well, there you have it.

5 top fitness career choices for those of you who are keen on a career in the Singapore Fitness Industry.

Just a word of caution though: as lucrative and rewarding a fitness career may seem, it may NOT be suitable for everyone.

In order to make the cut, one must  have a real passion in fitness, be a great communicator, have good social & interpersonal skills, and also sincerely like helping others to improve their fitness and well-being.

If you think that you have all the above qualities and more, then CONGRATULATIONS – the Singapore Fitness Industry would be more than happy to welcome you to its family. 

If you wish to find out more about a fitness career in Singapore, do hop over to the following online sites for more information:


What Singapore Personal Trainers And Fitness Pros Can Learn From The Japan Disasters

April 4, 2011

It has been almost a month since the devastating earthquake and massive tsunami descended upon Japan’s coastal towns and surrounding areas, causing widespread destruction and reducing everything in their path to rubble.

Add to that the subsequent scenario of a deepening nuclear crisis looming over the country, it is obvious that the people of Japan truly have their hands full dealing with one catastrophe after another.

Back in our safe haven here in Singapore, many Singaporeans (including not a few from the Singapore Fitness Industry) have commendably opened their hearts and wallets to the Japanese people, and pitched in generously with donations and reliefs of various kinds to show their unanimous support for Japan.

Incidentally, from these Japanese disasters, numerous lessons have also emerged for the rest of humanity.

Iamge of Japan people reacting to the crisis 2011.

These lessons include:

Expect The Unexpected

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and the earlier we recognize this fact, the better it is for us. As a personal trainer or fitness professional in Singapore, though we may be relatively sheltered from natural or physical disasters, the spectrum of other “disasters” – such as financial, personal or career – are always hanging over our heads, and could very well strike us – anytime, anywhere. For instance, a ‘major’ or ‘loyal’ client may suddenly decide to terminate your fitness services without prior notice. Or, worse, you could find yourself dragged to court by a client for liability issues related to your fitness practice. Whatever it is, the lesson to learn is: constantly be on your toes, look out for ‘warning ‘ signs or signals that something is amiss, and to expect occasional unexpected changes to your status quo from time to time.

Be Prepared

Being prepared for the worst – mentally, emotionally, financially and physically – may be one of your best investments to date. We never know when a tragedy may strike us – such as the discovery of a terminal illness just when we are at the height of our fitness careers, or an accident which may permanently curtail our career as a fitness professional, or even the loss of a loved one just when everything else seems going along fine. Since no one on earth can be entirely spared from crises or tragedies throughout our lifetime, the best bet is to be prepared for the worst-case scenario in our lives. Being prepared will help to soften the blow when the unexpected happens, and puts us in the right frame of mind to deal constructively with the situation.

Be Organized And Efficient

The Japanese penchant for organization and efficiency are laid bare for all to see during this period of national crises. Amidst the destruction in the country, the Japanese’s ability to pick up their lives in such an organized and efficient manner are truly admirable traits for all the other races and cultures of the world to emulate. All professional fitness coaches and group exercise instructors in Singapore can also pick up a thing or two about organization and efficiency from the Japanese. Whether it is the day-to-day scheduling of your fitness lessons, or doing the preparation work for your fitness classes, being organized and efficient will inevitably help you to attain the level of success and accomplishment that you want.   

Always Stay Calm And Positive

The ability to stay calm, positive and even in high spirits are some of the positive characteristics that have emerged from the recent Japan disasters. Despite the massive loss of personal belongings, investments and loved ones, many victims of the current disasters have remained stoic and calm, and even managed to spread positive vibes and goodwill to fellow sufferers around them. Fitness professionals in Singapore would do well to emulate the Japanese, and inculcate these traits of positive thinking and calmness too. Being positive and calm in all situations would only elevate your professionalism, enhance your reputation, garner respect from your clients and peers, and increase your chances of success in your fitness career and personal life.

As the aftermath of the disaster continues to unfold, we – at Singapore Fitness Professionals Network – would like to join the rest of the world in offering our heartfelt prayers and blessings to all the people of Japan and wish them all the best in the coming days ahead.

And knowing the admirable traits that the Japanese people possess, we have no doubts that they will eventually triumph over their recent hardships and mishaps, and emerge victorious at the end.


Best Portable Fitness Equipment For Singapore Personal Trainers And Fitness Coaches

March 7, 2011

Image of TRX suspension training in progress.As more personal trainers and fitness coaches in Singapore provide mobile and in-home fitness services to their clients across the island, the question invariably arises: what fitness equipment is best suited for training clients who have no access to a gym, or for someone who prefers working outside a gym context, or for one who is constantly on the move?

Our team at Singapore’s Directory Of  Fitness Professionals then decided to search for some viable solutions for our mobile personal fitness trainers. As we ponder over the solutions, we set in place the following criteria:

  • The choice of equipment have to be portable, compact, light-weight & convenient.
  • These fitness equipment should be able to setup easily within seconds or minutes.  
  • They must also fit comfortably into a regular-sized backpack used by most Singapore fitness professionals – thus satisfying the criteria of being a “gym in a bag”.
  • They must be versatile enough to provide a full-body workout and a wide range of exercises.
  • They must be usable and applicable to all client types: including people of varying fitness levels.

After much animated discussion and an exhaustive search on the Net, we finally shortlisted the following which we think are some of the best portable fitness equipment available around.

And in no particular order of merit, they are:

1. Jump Rope  

Image of a jump ropeThe humble jump rope is one of the most underrated piece of equipment in the fitness realm. Light, versatile and inexpensive, a single jump rope can help your client burn up to 1000 calories per hour, optimizes his/her cardiovascular fitness, tones all the major muscle groups of the body, and has the ability to maximize athleticism by integrating agility, coordination, timing, and endurance training. Not to mention that it is extremely fun and can be performed in countless variations and styles.

 

2. Resistance Tubings/Bands

Image of resistance tubingsAnother inexpensive and highly portable piece of equipment that should belong to the “toolkit” of any mobile fitness instructor is the resistance band/tubing. Available in various resistance levels, the resistance band/tubing can effectively replicate any exercise in the gym, and has the added advantage of providing multi-directional resistance – something that no free weight can do. Also, they are great for functional training as they can be used to mimic real-life sports scenarios like punching, throwing, pulling and kicking.  

 

3. Power Wheel

Image of a Power WheelThe Power Wheel is an advanced and revolutionary “Ab-Wheel” that comes with both handles and foot pedals to be used on either the feet or the hands. Commonly used as a “Core” trainer, the Power Wheel can also be used to work one’s shoulders, arms, upper back and lower body. A great portable tool for any mobile fitness trainer when making house-calls!

 

 

4. AquaBells Travel Weights

Image of AquabellsThink dumbbells that are portable, collapsible and water-filled, and you get AquaBells! When filled with water, AquaBells are basically dumbbells, but without the bulk and space-consuming features that usually accompany free weights. In all other respects, AquaBells function exactly like free weights, affording the fitness trainer a variety of exercise variations for the fitness client.

 

5. Stability Balls

 Image of Gym Balls

Stability Balls, or sometimes called “Exercise Balls”, “Physio Balls”, “Swiss Balls” or “Gym Balls” etc have been around for some time, and are most commonly used by physical therapists, exercises trainers and fitness coaches in a gym context. However, they are actually very portable, and can be easily deflated and carried along wherever one goes, and then inflated again in a matter of minutes with a pump when needed. This makes the Stability Ball a useful and portable device that can be used for core training, resistance-training or even aerobic training.

 

6. TRX Suspension Trainers

Image of a TRX Suspension TrainerThe latest fitness craze to hit Singapore must be TRX Suspension Training. As the name implies, the TRX Suspension Trainer is made up of a pair of elasticized straps that you fix to an overhead anchor point (eg. a bar or a doorway), and then make use of one’s own suspended body weight to perform a myriad of exercises. Not exactly a cheap piece of equipment ( it can cost well over S$300 apiece here in Singapore) the TRX Suspension Trainer is still a pretty useful and handy gadget for the fitness pro on-the-go.

In conclusion, portable fitness equipment are very useful tools for the mobile fitness professional, and even for the fitness enthusiast who needs to keep up with his/her workouts while traveling, when on-the-move, both indoors or outdoors.

With the above choices, Fitness Pros can now, in essence, “bring the gym along” with them wherever they go and live up to the following motto:

 The World Is Your Gym – Workout Anywhere/Anytime – Indoors Or Outdoors!!!

 


Are Expat Trainers And Foreign Instructors BAD For The Singapore Fitness Industry?

February 21, 2011

Image of a Personal Trainer training a client on a Swiss Ball.In recent years, Singapore has seen a large influx of expatriates and foreigners joining our workforce.

Within the Singapore Fitness Industry itself, industry observers have noted a marked increase in the number of foreigners and expatriates joining our local Singapore-born instructors, coaches and trainers in providing fitness/wellness-related services here.

In fact, a quick glance at various fitness niches popular here in Singapore show a remarkable mix of expat/foreign instructors within their midst.

Consider the following: it is now common to see Yogis or Yoga Gurus from India providing their yoga services here in Singapore, Aerobics Instructors from Philippines conducting aerobics classes at local clubs and schools, Dance Fitness Instructors from Mainland China offering fitness/exotic dance classes throughout the island, Personal Trainers and Fitness Instructors from Indonesia, Australia, Hong Kong etc working the commercial gyms and providing personal training in private residences across Singapore, and even American and European Fitness Coaches running their private fitness boot camp programs and outdoor group exercise workouts at our local parks, nature reserves, public stadiums, beaches etc …. and the list goes on.

So what do we make of all these?

Should Singapore instructors and coaches start tearing their hair in frustration and rue the potential loss in clients and income from this “foreign” influx? Should they fret, curse and swear, and basically give up all hope of ever “making it BIG” in the fitness profession in the face of such massive competition?

Or should local Fitness Service Providers pull up their socks, accept and embrace the changing reality around them, and take the competition head on? And perhaps even forge an alliance with these “foreign talents” and aim for a synergistic and mutually rewarding relationship ?

We – at Singapore Fitness Professionals Network – are of the opinion that we should all adopt the latter approach and create a win-win situation for all those involved.

Let’s consider this phenomenon from a positive point of view: the influx of foreign and expat trainers into the Singapore Fitness industry actually does have many advantages, such as:

1) Coming from different countries and cultures, these foreign imports do bring along with them certain unique skills, experiences and credentials that can only enrich and benefit our fitness industry as a whole. And local Singapore instructors and trainers could draw upon their foreign counterparts’ experiences and skills to further improve their own standing in the fitness industry too.

2) Foreign coaches also bring along with them valuable overseas contacts and networks that our local Singapore trainers can tap upon, or even forge an alliance with, to expand and widen their own businesses beyond the region. 

3) As the Singapore Fitness/Wellness Sector is growing at an unprecedented rate, these foreign trainers can actually help meet the demands of the fitness market, and even afford our local Singapore trainers and coaches some “breathing space” to catch up on their own professional upgrading and personal self-improvement without compromising the needs of the clients.  

 4) And more importantly, the presence of these Expat/Foreign instructors will definitely help raise the overall standard of coaching, instructing and general professionalism within the Singapore Fitness Industry – which by all accounts has much room to improve – by eliciting competition and comparison.

Thus, as the above has shown, the influx of foreign trainers and coaches can in fact be a very GOOD thing for the Singapore Fitness Industry, and a BLESSING in disguise for our own local trainers and instructors.

So the next time you see a foreign or expat trainer in our midst, do walk up to him/her and extend a warm handshake of welcome to them – for they could very well turn out to be the BEST thing ever happen to our Singapore Fitness Industry.