Way back in the sixties and seventies, when fitness first made its headway into the lives of Singaporeans, the majority of serious fitness followers were mainly men, who were predominantly into Weight-Training, Olympic Lifting and Body-Building. In those days, the Everbright Gym and the Evergreen Gym ranked among the top gyms in Singapore in terms of sheer membership numbers and popularity – and were hugely responsible for churning out the various local and regional champions in body-building and weight-lifting for our little republic.
Into the eighties, women started to enter the fitness scene, aided greatly by the world-wide Dance Aerobics Craze which swept across the world like a wild-fire, sparing none including Singapore, and converting hordes of followers (especially women) with its razzmatazz dance movements performed to loud disco music. Aerobics classes were the rave then, from community centres (as they were known then) to public dance halls and even right into people’s private living-rooms – transforming adult women (and even some men) and adolescent girls into leotard-clad energizer bunnies bouncing away to pounding music in the background .
As Singapore moved into the nineties, there emerged a greater interest and appreciation in the actual science and methodology behind fitness training. As a result, it led to a whole school of fitness followers experimenting and swearing by various training modalities, including: High Intensity Training, Superset Training, Circuit Training, Cross-Training etc… Incidentally, fitness training also became more widespread than ever, with its practitioners evenly shared out among both men and women. It was also during this period that we saw the emergence of “mega” commercial gyms in Singapore.
As we enter the 21st century, the popularity of fitness training took off like a freight train, greatly aided by the government’s constant championing of a ‘healthy lifestyle’ and its role in society. An unprecendented variety of fitness disciplines also started to appear during this period – from Kickboxing to Pilates, from Aqua Aerobics to Yoga, as well as numerous other integrated forms of exercises, leaving the Singapore Consumer with a delectable spread of fitness activities to choose from.
Today, the sheer variety of fitness training options available to the public is simply nothing short of mind-boggling. From MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) conditioning classes to Functional Movement Training to Group Fitness Boot Campsto Kettlebell Lifting etc, the consumer is simply spoilt for choice. On top of that, fitness training is now taken as a serious and respectable field of study, with numerous fitness courses and certifications available for those who wish to learn more about the science behind fitness training, and for those who wish to pursue a career in the fitness industry. And every where we see, large commercial gyms, middle-sized fitness centres, small specialized boutique gyms and even mobile personal trainers are now the norm and the mainstay in the local Singapore Fitness Industry.
Moving forwards, we can only wait with bated breath and see what the future holds for the fitness consumer in Singapore.
And looking at our past history, it certainly looks VERY interesting and VERY promising indeed going forwards – especially for those of us who continue to share the same passion and love for fitness as our predecessors before us …….