2014 Fitness Trends In Singapore

February 27, 2014

Image of a fitness session in progress.Fitness is, and has continued through the last couple of years, to be an ever-growing phenomenon here in Singapore.

With more and more people embracing the health fitness lifestyle here, coupled with the ever-increasing proliferation of fitness chains, commercial and private fitness facilities, small boutique studios, and even converted warehouse (read “hardcore”) gyms, it is no surprise that as we enter year 2014,  a number of interesting new trends pertaining to the Singapore fitness industry have emerged.

Our sources close to the ground have identified a number of key emerging trends that are worth noticing – especially for fitness coaches, personal trainers and exercise professionals – who would like to keep abreast of the latest developments in their industry and country.

The following are some of the fitness trends that would possibly have a huge impact on our local fitness industry for year 2014 and beyond (in no particular order of significance):

1) Small Group Training

Unlike both personal training (where coaching is done 1-to-1) and group exercise classes – which include aerobics, dance and yoga classes as well as fitness boot camps (where class size could easily exceed 20), small group training focuses on participants ranging from 2 to usually 5 or 6, and hardly, if ever, exceeding 8. This format allows the trainer to tailor both short-term programs and specialized workouts to cater to specific population groups. As a trend, it is indeed growing in Singapore – as seen in the sheer number of small group workout programs available in both private facilities as well as those conducted in public venues throughout the island.

2) Outdoor Fitness Workouts

Another trend that is on the rise is outdoor fitness training. With Nature and its surrounding greenery just a stone’s throw away from most homes here in Singapore, more and more people are now ditching the 4 walls and stale air of indoor gyms for the Bright Sun, Fresh Air and Cool Breeze of  outdoor environments. Go to any public park, beach or open stadium in Singapore – especially during the early morning hours and the late evenings – and the sheer number of people working-out outdoors easily verifies the above observation.

3) Minimalistic Training Approach

Think body-weight exercises, suspension training, home workouts etc – and you will have got the gist of what minimalistic training is all about. In essence – minimalistic fitness – as its name implies – means getting into great shape and developing superb fitness – with little or no equipment. Contrary to popular belief, it is indeed POSSIBLE to achieve one’s fitness goals with just one’s own body weight and surrounding environment. And this trend is indeed taking the nation of Singapore by storm, as more and more individuals and fitness enthusiasts are now shunning gym machines and turning to minimalistic training for their fitness kicks.

4) Medical Fitness & Corrective Exercise Programs

With modernization and technological advances come along inactivity and sedentariness. And none so more apparent than in our tiny little island-state of Singapore where a large majority of people are leading not only sedentary lifestyles, but also developing accompanying disorders such as medical ailments, metabolic dysfunctions and other physical and musculoskeletal impairments as a direct result of their sedentary lifestyle choices. Thus, it is not surprising that new fitness sub-disciplines – that of medical fitness and corrective exercise – have emerged and mushroomed to cater to the growing demand and needs of this specific group of population who are facing immense medical and physical challenges.

5) Specialized Age-Related Fitness Programs

With a wide range and diversity of age groups among the Singapore population, specialized fitness programs catering to each of this group have also emerged and continued to grow over the years. Some of this age-related programs, such as those specifically catering to Kids Fitness, Youth/Teen Fitness, and Older Adults/Senior Fitness are rapidly gaining traction and popularity here in the country.

Conclusion

The above 5 fitness trends are by NO means the only ones observed here in Singapore. Obviously, there are also others that have, or are beginning, to emerge too.

However, in our opinion, they (the above-mentioned) are probably some of the MORE significant ones to have taken hold of our little island-state in recent times.

Of course, it remains to be seen – down the road – how many of them will actually continue to grow, lay their roots and make their mark here in the local fitness industry.

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Succeeding As A Fitness Entrepreneur In Singapore

October 20, 2012

Fitness has become a mainstay in the lives of many here in Singapore.Image of a Private Fitness Entrepreneur

In so much that many young men and women in the country are now actively considering fitness careers in the Singapore Fitness Industry, hungrily eyeing positions in commercial fitness facilities, or even trying their hands at becoming fitness entrepreneurs and business owners themselves.

At Singapore Fitness Professionals Network, we are constantly inundated with emails from aspiring fitness professionals – both from within and without Singapore – requesting for more information on how they can be part of the booming fitness industry here in the country.

And most of these requests, interestingly, are centred around on how one  can set-up and run his/her own private fitness facility, practice or consultancy firm here in the country.

As such, and in view of the above, we would like to offer the following list of attributes that all aspiring fitness entrepreneurs can refer to, to assess their very own suitability in becoming a successful private fitness entrepreneur.

Traits Required To Succeed As A Fitness Entrepreneur:

1. Passion

Passion is the most important trait of the successful fitness entrepreneur. Without it, you can NEVER succeed. In order to see the fruits of your labour, you really need to be passionate about your fitness niche, and truly love what you do. You must also be willing to make the necessary sacrifices, sweat and tears in order to make your dreams a reality.

2. Self-Belief

Successful fitness entrepreneurs truly believe in their abilities, talents and calling. They have an unwavering sense of self-belief that they CAN and WILL succeed in their fitness pursuits – come what may – and spare no effort in making this belief a reality.

3. Vision

Succesful fitness entrepreneurs not only know what they want, but more importantly, how to get there. They also have the ability to: view things and happenings around them with an analytical and open mind, interpret and predict future trends, patterns and behaviours, and focus on building their businesses around what works and what people want.

4. Strong Communication Skills

Fitness entrepreneurs have strong communication and people skills as they need to convince others to do business with them. Most successful fitness entrepreneurs know how to motivate themselves, their business partners, their co-workers and their clients to all work towards helping them to grow their fitness businesses and to achieve their goals.

5. Sound Business Acumen

All successful fitness entrepreneurs have sharp business minds and strong inclinations in business operations – including strategic planningbusiness networking, sales and marketing, public relations, cash flow management, human resource management etc. With their strong business grounding, they are able to build and launch their fitness businesses on solid foundations.

The above represents – what we think – are some of the most important attributes needed for an entrepreneur-minded fitness professional to succeed here in Singapore.

Obviously, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur or business owner. In fact, many may be better off simply working for others in public and commercial fitness establishments.

Only some – the cream of the crop – will eventually succeed as private fitness professionals and entrepreneurs.

For those readers who feel strongly that you possess most, if not all, of the above qualities, and have truly what it takes to be a successful fitness entrepreneur, we strongly encourage you to press on and make your dreams a reality!

Be assured that we – at Singapore Fitness Professionals Network – will be behind you all the way!


Ethics Within The Singapore Fitness Profession

February 6, 2012

image of fitness trainingIn Singapore and in other parts of the world – which have an active, vibrant fitness scene – trainers, coaches and instructors who provide professional fitness services of one kind or another are expected to abide to a code of ethics governing their interactions and transactions with members of the public.

These code of ethics are usually set forth by the respective fitness organizations that issue certifications to trainers, and most, if not all, have codes of conduct such as: providing quality instruction to clients, not discriminating against persons irrespective of race, gender or age, respecting other fellow fitness professionals and carrying oneself with utmost integrity and professionalism.

And to our knowledge, the majority of Singapore Fitness Pros do abide to these ethical codes and have little, if any, problem living up to them.

Unfortunately, like in every other industry, there are always some black sheep among the community who blatantly disregard these ethics for their own agendas.

Below mentioned are some of the common ethical shortcomings observed among a small segment of fitness professionals within our community:

1. Trainers Who Are More Interested In Selling “Fitness Products” Than Coaching Itself

These trainers are the ones who believe in pushing sales of supplements, pills, powders, and other fitness products onto their unsuspecting clients. In fact, for some of these trainers – the profits from the sales of these products far outweigh their earnings from coaching itself! However, from an ethical point of view, this business of selling should be frowned upon as it demeans the fitness profession, and distracts from the real purpose why clients sign up for fitness lessons in the first place – basically for instruction and NOT for the purchase of fitness products.

2. Trainers Who Discriminate Against Segments Of The Population

There are also some trainers who are extremely selective and discriminatory in whom they choose to be their clients. In fact, some of them have been known to set certain arbitrary criteria when it comes to selecting clients: for example, they are only willing to take-on clients who come from certain well-to-do districts (usually the landed private property areas), belong to a certain social/economic status, or who are from a certain ‘teachable’ age group. Prospects/clients who do not satisfy these conditions are summarily dismissed by these trainers and told to “look elsewhere”. Again, such arrogant and discriminatory behaviour have no place in our fitness industry.

3. Trainers Who Do Not Abide By Their Fitness Contracts 

When a business transaction takes place between a fitness professional and a willing client, a paper contract or agreement is usually signed by both parties to acknowledge the terms and conditions under which the service will be provided and payment to be made. Unfortunately, there are known cases of trainers or instructors failing to abide by the agreed terms listed in the contract, or those who short-change their clients even after signing a contract, resulting in much inconvenience, disillusionment or even monetary losses on the part of the clients. Again, this is something extremely unbecoming and unsavoury for anyone who professes to be a professional in the fitness industry.

4. Trainers Who Get Into Inappropriate Relationships With Their Clients

As professionals providing an honourable health/fitness service to mankind, a high level of moral integrity is to expected among those who call themselves fitness professionals. Unfortunately, a small minority are always willing to forgo their morals and indulge in inappropriate or ‘hanky-panky’ relationships with their clients – either for individual gain or as a consequence of their own flawed characters. In Singapore, there have been cases of trainers having sexual relationships with married clients, being involved in straight/gay/group sex with casual prospects and openly offering special services” as part of their ‘fitness packages’. Not only does such behavior go against every grain of conduct for fitness professionals, it also casts a misleading and negative light on the profession as a whole, unfairly tainting all other trainers along with it.

6. Trainers Who Discredit Other Fellow Fitness Professionals

Whether it is out of pure jealousy, professional envy or industry rivalry, there are always some trainers or coaches who simply have no qualms discrediting their fellow fitness pros for their own individual gain. Perhaps thinking that it would help them gain an upper hand when it comes to attracting clients, these trainers would resort to spreading unfounded rumours, speaking ill-will, gossiping, or simply distorting facts regarding other trainers in order to cast a bad light on them. Again, such behaviours are not to be condoned as they merely serve to put the industry down and sow seeds of discord and suspicion among fellow trainers.

As bad as they may seem, the above ethical shortcomings are fortunately NOT the norm in the Singapore Fitness Industry.

However, the fact that they exist – shows that much can still be done to improve the state of ethics within the fitness community here.

Ultimately, the onus falls on each individual trainer, coach or instructor to uphold for himself/herself – a high standard of ethical behaviour as becoming that of a Fitness Professional – and to recognize that the benefits of adopting such sound ethical practices will eventually far outweigh any short-term gain or temporary advantage that any ethical short-cut may bring about in the long run.


Singapore Fitness Trends For 2012

December 26, 2011

Image of a group exercise classNot too long ago, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) came out with its annual report on the fitness trends that are expected to make headlines around the world in year 2012.

Much as we – at Singapore Fitness Professionals Network – agree to most of the information published in the report, we can’t help but feel that the report may not be doing justice to the actual trends that we – who are based here in Singapore – are witnessing and experiencing for ourselves in this part of the world.

As such, we decided to come up with our very own compilation of fitness trends that we feel are more realistic and have greater chances of happening in our local context here in Singapore.

Though nowhere as exhaustive or comprehensive compared to the original report from ACSM,  the following represents our gut feeling of what the Singapore Fitness Industry (SFI) would register in the coming year ahead.

Fitness enthusiasts who wish to know what’s in store for them in year 2012, and more importantly, Singapore Fitness Professionals – who wish to position themselves to profit from future predicted market movements – may do well to read the following report in detail:

2012 Fitness Trends For Singapore

1. Increase In Numbers Of Certified And Educated Fitness Professionals

Now, more than ever before, the fitness profession seems to have hit a new high in popularity in Singapore. More and more people have either joined the industry, or are seriously contemplating a fitness career in the near future – either as a personal trainer, a group exercise instructor, Yoga/Pilates teacher or any of the many fitness professions widely available here. Aided by strong market forces, a blooming fitness scene, and the availability of a wide array of fitness certifications, we expect to see a dramatic increase in the number of professional fitness trainers and coaches here in Singapore in the coming new year and beyond.

2. Increase In The Numbers Of Independent/Private Trainers And Specialty Boutique Gyms

As large, commercial “mega-gyms” gradually lose their appeal and attraction, we foresee an increase in the number of small-sized, highly specialized boutique gyms and private/independent trainers flourishing side-by-side. This trend perhaps best epitomizes what the Singapore Consumer wants nowadays – specialization, personalization, privacy and convenience – factors which are all so glaringly missing in the highly commercialized “one-size-fits-all” approach found in most fitness chains’ business models.

3. Rise In Demand For Non-Traditional Fitness Training Modes

Forget about machines, barbells and dumbbells – the savvy and educated fitness consumer in Singapore is now more daring than ever before, and more likely than ever before to experiment with non-traditional training approaches.  Think: kettlebells, sandbagsropes, clubs, over-sized tyres, sledgehammers, body-weight training and even Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) – all these and more seem to be THE choice for yuppies and the Generation Y cohort.

4. Greater Popularity Of Outdoor-Based Fitness Sessions

In 2012, we also expect to see more and more fitness consumers ditching the gym for outdoor-based workouts in the form of fitness boot camps or small group personal training. This trend seems to arise from the recognition and appreciation of more ‘natural’ forms of training – such as utilizing one’s own body weight through the use of highly portable outdoor fitness equipment (eg. TRX Suspension Trainer) – as opposed to the old era of depending solely on cumbersome indoor gym machines. At the same time, the expanding Outdoor Exercise Movement which advocates exercising in natural outdoor surroundings and environment (think: fresh air, sunshine and greenery) also plays a large role in bringing about this trend.

5. Increase In Popularity Of Sport-Specific Training

The number of people in Singapore playing recreational and competitive sports have been steadily increasing over the years. In fact, participation in popular sports like golf, running, tennis, bowling, martial arts etc have hit an all-time high in recent years. This phenomenon has also given rise to a greater demand for behind-the-scenes sports science support – especially in the form of sport-specific conditioning programs and sports nutrition programs – which are both seen as paramount to helping an athlete achieve optimal performance in his/her sport of choice. As such, we expect to see a continual rise in the demand for sport-specific conditioning services and sport-specific nutritional programs in the coming years ahead.

6. Rise Of Corrective and Rehabilitative Exercise Programs

Following the increase in participation in sports and fitness here in Singapore, there will also be a corresponding increase in awareness of the various muscular dysfunctions and movement imbalances that may result from faulty training patterns; as well as a higher incidence of sporting injuries arising from overuse and/or sporting trauma. As a result, there will be a corresponding rise in demand for more corrective and rehabilitative exercise programs to help these exercisers and athletes correct, rehabilitate and regain proper and full function of their bodies.

This report on the 2012 Singapore Fitness Trends is by no means exhaustive nor definitive.

We have merely hoped to represent – as accurately as we can – what we have observed and feel is the pattern that will most likely emerge in the coming year ahead.

Although none of us can really predict what the future holds for us, we sincerely wish that this survey will be useful to all fitness professionals – especially those based here in Singapore – who need to make important decisions with regards to the direction and focus of their fitness businesses for year 2012.


Challenges Facing The Singapore Fitness Industry And Profession

October 19, 2010

Image of female personal trainer with clientThe Singapore Fitness Industry and Wellness Profession has seen remarkable changes in the past ten years or so.

From a state of infancy and initial growth, the industry has since morphed into a vibrant sector of the Singapore economy, providing job openings for personal trainers, fitness coaches, group exercise instructors etc, as well as providing crucial services to the Public Consumer.

At the same time, this unprecedented expansion of the fitness sector has also given rise to a number of challenges facing the industry today:

1. Explosion In Trainer Numbers

The explosion and influx of personnel into the Singapore Fitness and Wellness Industry in recent years has been nothing short of phenomenal.

From the viewpoint of the Public Consumer, this may a good thing in terms of price competitiveness and market choices, but to the Private Fitness Facility Owner or even the Freelance Fitness Instructor/Coach, the perception is that the size of his/her pie has dramatically reduced.

Although one can argue that the huge increase in demand for fitness and wellness services across the nation can more than offset the increase in trainer population, the truth is in fact more insidious: the exponential rise in the number of trainers and instructors across all vocations has simply outstripped the current demand!

As a result, internal competition within the industry has intensified, leading to a situation where only those who are able to add value to their services, optimize their market exposure, and stand out from the crowd – are thereby poised to capture the lion’s share of the market. 

2. Change In Employment Profile Of Trainers

Where – once upon a time – trainers and instructors in the Singapore Fitness/Wellness Industry were mostly salaried employees of fitness and health chains, today, the Successful Fitness/Wellness Professional is usually one who has ditched his/her employee status in favour of a being a Private, Independent or Self-Employed Coach.

In a way, it makes absolute sense to many fitness/wellness professionals to be their own BOSS as the benefits far exceed that of being a mere employee. From increased social status, to higher paychecks, to greater personal and professional freedom, the lure of self-employment has resulted in a massive outflow of many otherwise capable and talented individuals from the commercial establishments to private enterprises.

Correspondingly, and worryingly, many commercial fitness facilities are now left with the ‘dregs’ – trainers and instructors of a lower calibre and lesser talent – as unsurprisingly, the better, more capable  and more ambitious ones have all but ‘jumped ship’ to run their very own private fitness enterprises!

The fitness landscape in Singapore is thus being rapidly transformed into one where it might actually make more sense for a client to engage the services of a Private/Independent Trainer or Instructor – for the sake of trainer quality and coaching excellence – instead of joining a commercial facility and be trained by second- or even third-tier trainers. 

3. Increase In Client Sophistication

With higher education, wider media exposure, and increased fitness knowledge and savviness, consumers and clients nowadays are more sophisticated and particular in their fitness demands and expectations.

Unlike the past, where most people would have no qualms engaging a trainer or coach with just a ‘General’ fitness educational background, clients are now more likely to seek out someone who is trained in a specialised fitness field or vocation to meet their needs. These specialty fields could involve anything from corrective exercise to post-injury rehabilitation to older adults fitness to functional therapy and more. 

As such, to continue staying on top of things,  fitness/wellness professionals should make it a point to specialize in certain specialty fields, as well as keep their ears continually to the ground in order to keep tabs on other emerging trends in the fitness realm.

4. The Internet Conundrum

With the meteoric rise of the Internet, and the number of users relying solely on the World Wide Web for information and data, it takes a foolhardy fitness/wellness professional to ignore the impact of this technological phenomenon.

However, to date, many fitness professionals have yet  to take full advantage of this tool to enhance their business; and the few who have tried, simply lack the technical expertise and relevant knowledge to position themselves optimally on the Web.

With no signs of the Internet Wave abating, savvy fitness/wellness professionals who wish to dominate the industry would do well to educate themselves as much as possible on this Public Platform in order to be connected to the large majority of consumers who are currently plugged into the Internet.

As such, picking up specialized internet marketing strategies and techniques, and collaborating with Local Online Fitness Directories & Guides, is no longer an option but a necessity for business success in the fitness industry.

With all these challenges facing the Singapore Fitness Profession, success seems destined only for those who are able to take positive action to adapt themselves to the challenges, rise above them, and ultimately, ride them out to their advantage.


More Myths On The Singapore Fitness Profession

September 29, 2010

Picture of fitness professional coupleThe last time we shared our take on the myths and misconceptions surrounding the Singapore Fitness Industry and its professionals, we inadvertently seemed to have opened Pandora’s Box…..

We are both surprised and heartened by the amount of feedback we garnered – the majority of which are supportive and appreciative of our stance on the subject; though a few are simply quite amused by our tackling of what they deemed was a ‘sensitive’ or controversial subject!

Nevertheless, we seemed to have got ourselves quite a few ‘fans’, and more importantly, new materials and an emboldened impetus to write on!

As such, we would like to dedicate this follow-up article as a tribute to all our readers – many of whom are themselves trainers, coaches and instructors in the Singapore Fitness Industry – for contributing their ideas, materials and feedback to a topic so dear to all our hearts.

Myth 5: A Singapore Fitness Trainer Or Coach Is Only As Good As He/She Looks.

FACT: Like everyone else on Planet Earth, Singapore fitness trainers, instructors and coaches come in all shapes and sizes. Very often, their physical appearances are closely related to their choice of fitness vocations, to the type of sporting or physical activities they pursue, and even to some degree, their own genetics! 

The important thing is: NOT every fitness professional is going to look like a Professional Fitness Model or a Competitive Bodybuilder fresh off a photo shoot with professionally styled hairdo, gleaming white teeth, radiant tanned skin and a rock-hard, 3%-body-fat physique! 

And as a matter of fact, we, at Singapore Fitness Professionals Network , would like to state categorically that how a trainer, coach or instructor looks, has absolutely ZERO bearing on his/her ability to coach!

To illustrate our point, consider this: a trainer with a buffed, ultra-ripped, Hollywood-type physique may turn out to be a less than desirable trainer with questionable coaching techniques, poor communication skills or even morally defective personality traits!!! Conversely, another trainer with a less “eye-catching” physique, may in fact be a fantastic teacher, a great motivator and a tip-top role model! 

Thus, as the adage goes – NEVER Judge A Book By Its Cover! As long as a fitness professional projects an active, fit and healthy image – doing justice to his/her professional credibility – anything else is just plain Eye-Candy!

Myth 6: A Singapore Fitness Professional Who Has Won Accolades Like “National Champion”, “World Champion”  Etc Is Superior To Those Without.

FACT: Like the earlier myth, there is an unfortunate and skewed belief in Singapore that a fitness professional who has worn numerous “titles” throughout his/her career is far superior to one that hasn’t.

The truth is: Winning titles for oneself is one thing, but having the theoretical, practical and methodological know-how and ability to coach another person effectively and efficiently is another thing!!

Without taking anything away from many of our worthy champions and winners, the fact is this: in the fitness industry, both in Singapore and abroad, there are indeed trainers who are great (and interested only) in tuning their OWN BODIES into shape; but have absolutely NO CLUE on how to design a training program to help OTHERS get into shape!

On the other hand, there are many TOP, ELITE trainers in Singapore and around the world who have absolutely ZERO interest in competing – often preferring to work BEHIND THE SCENES – to support, nurture and train the actual competitors and athletes themselves. For these professionals, their focus is on Coaching and Teaching; NOT in competing in sporting contests or physique competitions for self-glorification or self-promotion purposes! As such, these trainers and coaches – though not holders of titles themselves – are in fact often the ones with the most diverse knowledge and the most hands-on experience,  having had the advantage of working with diverse pools of clients throughout their careers.

Hence, we, as part of Singapore’s Professional Fitness Body, would again like to reiterate our belief that the number of “titles” a trainer, coach or instructor holds, has absolutely NO bearing on his/her ability to coach!

Myth 7: Singapore Fitness Professionals Are Inferior To Foreign-Trained Coaches And Instructors!

FACT: Without a doubt, the fitness/wellness industry in Singapore is less mature and developed compared to that of the West; considering the fact that it was only in the recent past decade or so that things really took off from the ground.

However, to say that our Singapore Fitness Professionals are INFERIOR to their foreign counterparts are wide off the mark, and smacks of disrespect and ignorance. Critics of our local trainers, coaches and instructors often FAIL to realize that many of our fitness professionals today undergo the SAME certifying processes from the SAME certifying organizations that award the very SAME qualifications or certifications as those awarded to our foreign counterparts!!!

This phenomenon is entirely possible today due to globalization and accreditation – which has facilitated the flow of personnel and information across countries and borders making  it convenient and possible for anyone, regardless where he/she is located, to pursue the relevant qualifications or certifications needed to start a career in the fitness/wellness industry! 

And since the majority of Singapore Fitness Professionals are also subjected to the same certifying protocols, standards and checks as those of their foreign counterpartsthere is absolutely NO cause to believe that our local trainers or coaches are in any way inferior to foreign-trained ones!

Myth 8: The More Certifications A Singapore Fitness Professional Has, The Better He/She Is As A Trainer, Coach Or Instructor!

FACT: Like many things in life, it is the QUALITY and NOT the QUANTITY of a fitness professional’s certifications that counts. Especially in an age where one can practically pay about S$100 or so to download a 30-page PDF “study manual” and sit for a 20-question MCQ  “online certifying exam” and then call oneself  “Certified” at the end of it all – all remarkably within the same day!

As such, the quality and reputation of a fitness/wellness certification has become more important than ever today. Although, a certification is no more than a tool to authenticate and legitimize a fitness professional’s mastery of a particular fitness skill,  it should always still adhere to professionally acceptable standards and protocols in order to have any worth, validity or credibility in the eyes of the public.

 As a rule of thumb, reputable and recognized certifications are usually: 1) administered by a board of independent fitness experts made up of sports/exercise scientists and other prominent academics in the field of fitness/wellness,  2) requires intensive and extensive study of the requisite subject matter,  3) culminates in a professional examination consisting of BOTH theoretical and practical components, and 4) recognized nationally/internationally by the respective government bodies. 

If, and ONLY if, a fitness/wellness professional could attain certifications which match ALL the above criteria, then, and ONLY then, could he/she be deemed to possess a greater or more in-depth body of knowledge of that particular skill compared to another. Other than that, it is always better to hire a trainer/coach with perhaps only 1 or 2 SOLID, REPUTABLE and RECOGNIZED certifications, rather than one with over-30 half-baked, suspect, scammy or phony qualifications which practically translate to ZERO advantage – in the field of fitness/wellness knowledge. 

Well, there you have it – our sequel to the much-discussed topic on the myths and misconceptions surrounding the Singapore Fitness Industry and Fitness/Wellness Profession.

We hope you like it and do feel free again to share with us your views, feedback or even criticisms on the above.


Common Myths Surrounding The Singapore Fitness Profession

September 15, 2010

Image of a personal trainer training a client.The Singapore Fitness Industry – like many of its counterparts in other countries – has its share of urban myths and misconceptions that never seem to go away.

We – as Singapore’s Network Of Fitness Professionals – feel compelled to dispel some of the most common myths surrounding the Singapore fitness profession – many of which are a result of plain IGNORANCE on the part of the public; while a few are vicious and unfounded jibes churned out by the minds of detractors – individuals who for reasons known only to themselves – harbour deep insecurities, hidden agendas and resentments against the fitness profession.

Myth 1: Singapore Fitness Trainers & Instructors Are Just Simple-Minded Muscle-Heads.

TRUTH: This myth has been around for ages – and most likely perpetuated by those who belong to the school of thought that all muscular/fit/toned individuals are ‘All Brawn and No Brains’. The truth can’t be any further. In Singapore, or as a matter of fact, in any other part of the world – fitness professionals are mostly a Highly Educated bunch – with many possessing BOTH Tertiary Education AND Professional Qualifications in their chosen fitness disciplines. In fact, the average fitness professional here in Singapore has MORE years of formal education (taking into account the various continual upgrading courses they undertake regularly) than most average Singaporeans! If you consider further that many are also highly successful and prominent individuals who own thriving private fitness practices, this whole myth about “Muscle-Heads” is even more laughable and absurd!

Myth 2: Singapore Fitness Professionals Are Those Who FAIL To Make It In The Corporate World.

TRUTH: Fitness/Wellness Professionals are individuals who CHOOSE to follow their Passion and Calling. They may have once been executives, managers or some other senior personnel in the corporate world, but have since discovered their own passion and calling. Most, if not all, CHOOSE to leave the corporate world on their very own accord – to pursue their passions and beliefs. This requires, above all else – COURAGE, CONVICTION and SELF-BELIEF! Our Singapore Fitness Professionals are definitely NOT drop-outs or failures; they are in fact – ENTREPRENEURS and TRAIL BLAZERS who dare to follow their dreams and worthy of everybody’s respect !

Myth 3: All Fitness Professionals are “Fitness Freaks” – Obsessed With Fitness And Nothing Else!

TRUTH: Undeniably, fitness plays an important and large part in the lives of all our fitness/wellness professionals. Otherwise, how else could they maintain credibility and “Walk The Talk”  before their clients? On the other hand, many of our local Singapore personal trainers, aerobics instructors and Yoga/Pilates teachers – while maintaining a close walk with Fitness/Wellness in their daily lives, also maintain a large semblance of BALANCE and INVOLVEMENT in their respective personal, social and family relationships. Anecdotal evidence has shown that numerous fitness/wellness professionals – here in Singapore – are devoted and involved PARENTS, filial SONS/DAUGHTERS, accomplished MUSICIANS, ARTISTS, COOKS or BLOGGERS etc, with many more actively involved in other fields such as FASHION, TRAVEL, WEB DESIGN, CHARITY etc and possibly even POLITICS! As can be seen, our fitness pros are not only proficient in their profession, but are also ALL-ROUNDERS with diverse interests and hobbies! 

Myth 4: Most Singapore Fitness Instructors/Trainers Take Drugs & Steroids To Look The Part.

TRUTH: The very large majority of fitness/wellness professionals in Singapore – regardless of gender – are CLEAN! Most practice what they preach: they train hardobserve a clean diet, rest and recuperate adequately, and overall, lead a very healthy and fit lifestyle that is usually the envy of those outside the profession. It is no wonder therefore that they LOOK GOOD! Their  great physiques and impressive figures are a direct result of their own HARD WORK, not drugs! Of course, there may be a handful of black sheep within the fitness community who abuse illegal performance aids secretly to ‘buff’ themselves up; but to our knowledge, these form the VERY VERY SMALL MINORITY. Even then, they risk being frowned upon by the rest of the fitness/wellness community if their indiscretions come to light.  

There you have it – some common myths regarding the Singapore Fitness Profession that never seem to die.

We hope our article have – for once and all – put these myths to rest.

Do let us know if you have heard of other related myths, and please feel free to share them with us.