Obsession With Fitness Tools : A Singapore Perspective

March 14, 2012

Image of a fitness tool in use.In recent years, a disturbing phenomenon has emerged within the Singapore fitness scene – that of groups of exercise enthusiasts, or even fitness trainers/coaches – who go around advocating fitness training centred around a single, particular choice/type of fitness equipment.

Whether this tool is a Kettlebell, a Suspension Strap, a PVC Tube or a type of elastic Band, the message is inherently the same: “Use this one piece of equipment for ALL your fitness needs” !!!

These “fitness cults” often go about preaching and propagating their “One-Tool” message to the public, their followers and trainees, strongly advocating that their particular piece of equipment is the “Be All and End All” of fitness.

The more extreme ones would even convince their ‘tribe‘ to forego ALL other forms of training that require the use of other tools, equipment or approaches, and just rely on that ONE tool for every fitness workout!

On top of that, followers are also often goaded into “investing” in their very own personal “new-fangled” tool – not only for themselves, but also one for every family member, relative, colleague etc ….

And unfortunately, many ignorant consumers (and even some trainers) have been sucked into this scam, feverishly centering ALL their workouts around that one piece of tool, and falsely believing that ALL their fitness goals and dreams are going to be realized with that one piece of equipment!!!

To put things right, once and for all, we – at Singapore Fitness Professionals Network – would like to advise all fitness consumers and fitness professionals in Singapore that:

Regardless of what you read/hear out there, there is absolutely NO – NOT ONE – single piece of equipment in the Entire Universe – that can scientifically develop ALL the fitness components of the Human Body, or meet EVERY fitness need/goal of a person – solely by itself. 

As any certified strength coach or bona-fide personal fitness trainer – worth his/her salt – would tell you, your BEST BET for building optimum fitness, health and a great body – is to use a combination of fitness approaches, together with a VARIETY of fitness tools and equipment (preferably of the functional-kind) to hone your physique.

Anyone else (even if he/she professes to be a professional, expert or “guru”)who suggests otherwise, is simply ignorant, misguided or has hidden agendas of his/her own.

Much as we know that every piece of fitness equipment has its own merits, NONE can provide your body with absolutely ALL the moves, resistance, angles and planes of movement that your body requires for All-Rounded Balanced Development.

So the next time, if you chance upon anyone trying to sell you the idea that all you need to get that Dream Body of yours is to get their latest single piece of fitness “wonder-kit”, please check their fitness credentials or pedigree, and tell them off politely: “Thanks, but NO thanks!”


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!!!