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.

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:

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.

What Singapore Fitness Professionals Can Learn From Jack LaLanne

February 6, 2011

Photo Image of Fitness Guru Jack LaLanneOn Sunday, January 23 2010, American Fitness Icon – Jack LaLanne  – passed away peacefully at the ripe old age of 96 after a bout of pneumonia.

Tributes to him poured in from all parts of the world in remembrance of this Great Fitness Guru who almost single-handedly revolutionized the fitness industry, and brought fitness to the masses.

Tales of his past fitness feats and wonderful personality filled the Media as America and the rest of the world struggle to come to terms with the loss of this iconic figure.

Though thousands of miles apart, many over here in Asia – particularly Singapore – felt the impact of the loss too.

As our tribute to this great Fitness Guru, we – at Singapore Fitness Professionals Network – would like to dedicate this blog post to the Father Of Fitness, and at the same time, hopefully inspire all our local personal trainers, fitness instructors, wellness coaches and other exercise instructors  to live up to the high standards set by this fitness pioneer.

As a fitness professional, Jack LaLanne embodies everything that a professional in the fitness/wellness industry should possess – and more – and these include the following:

Being A Superb Role Model

In every aspect, Jack “walked the talk” of his fitness ideology. From his vigorous exercise routines to his strict dietary intake, Jack was a walking embodiment of what a fitness professional should be. Compare him to some of today’s so-called “fitness professionals” – who smoke, drink, party and do drugs – it’s not difficult to see why Jack is a true legend and role model in every sense of the word! 

Being A Great Communicator

Without a doubt, Jack was a superb communicator and people’s person. His effervescent and positive personality coupled with his natural charm helped him to spread the message of fitness and health effectively to the masses. Countless individuals have their lives transformed through exposure to Jack’s TV programs, books and various other products.

Being  A Creative And Innovative Fitness Practitioner

At a time when weight-training was hardly practised and even frowned upon, Jack bravely went against conventional wisdom and daringly advocated training with weights to both men and women. He was also one of the first – if not the first – to promote home fitness training through the use of simple household items like chairs and towels to get into shape. Truly a maverick and pioneer in innovative fitness training!

Being A Lifelong Learner

If there’s one person who truly deserves the award of a lifelong learner, it must be Jack. Always seeking for new ways to challenge and stimulate the human body; Jack carried his obsession with fitness education and learning all the way to his last days, never once, content to rest on his laurels. A true professional – right to the end.  

Being An Inspiration

Who can forget Jack’s great feats of strength, stamina and human endurance – including doing more than 1,000 push-ups in 23 minutes on a television show, and swimming from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco — handcuffed, shackled and towing a boat! Few, if any fitness professionals in the world could come within a whisker of duplicating Jack’s stupendous feats. And let’s not forget that great physique of his which he carried so well right up to his nineties. Compare that to some of the bloated, out-of-shape “fitness pros” that we see nowadays, it further reinforces how inspiring Jack’s life was.

As Jack passed on to a better world, we hope that the values, morals and example that he has left behind for us, would forever be a yard stick for Singapore fitness trainers and local exercise instructors to measure up to.

Singapore’s Worst Personal Trainers And Fitness Instructors

November 19, 2010
Image of the 'other' kind of personal fitness trainerIn Singapore, the majority of personal trainers and fitness instructors plying their trade across the island are excellent professionals no question about that.
In fact, many of our country’s top, elite fitness professionals are so good – that many are often bestowed accolades and commendations from members of the Singapore Public itself.
Unfortunately, there is still a minority who seems to exist merely to give the industry a BAD name.
The list below (albeit written tongue-in-cheek) profiles some of Singapore’s worst personal trainers and private fitness instructors.
Do make sure – that as a Private Consumer – no matter what you do – NEVER EVER – engage any of the following types of trainers/coaches if you value your own well-being and sanity! 
The Smug Know-It-All
– thinks he/she is smarter, better & more qualified than everyone else,
– is never wrong, ALWAYS correct,
– loves to bad-mouth OTHER trainers and instructors,
– talks down to clients and makes them feel stupid & worthless.  
The Hardcore Sadist
– believes only in ONE way of training – “No Pain, No Gain”.
from the “old-school” system of hard knocks,
– takes sadistic delight in torturing clients with gut-spilling workouts,
– NEVER allows a client to rest or have a breather,
– belittles other ‘softer’ fitness disciplines such as Yoga, Pilates & Aerobics,
– uses only Free Weights – barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells – in training,
– scoffs at “wimpy” training routines that use bands, machines or gym balls. 
The Lazy Duplicator
– loves repeating/duplicating the SAME fitness routines over & over again,
– simply too LAZY/can’t be bothered – to design new routines for clients,
– justifies duplication by telling clients that they are “not ready to move on yet ” or they “have to master the basics first”  etc ….
– loves to gloat and boast at how “EASY” a trainer’s life is.
The Wide-Mouth Gossip
– overly sociable creature,
– loves talking, chatting and gossiping more than anything else,
– spends MORE time TALKING than actually training his/her clients,
– loves to share juicy gossips about OTHER clients or OTHER trainers,
– feels miserable if not given a chance to talk.
The “Thunder” Motor-Mouth
– close relative of the Gossip,
– loves to draw attention to himself/herself,
– NEVER stops talking or shouting commands,
– loves to speak REALLY loud ALL the time to draw focus on self,
– likes to be seen as THE Leader or Authority in the gym,
– no qualms splattering others with his/her salivary projections.
The Self-Indulgent Vain-Pot
– more interested in own physical appearance than anything else,
– constantly checking oneself in the gym or studio mirror,
– client’s training is secondary to his/her pruning and preening,
– believes that he/she – is the Centre Of Attraction at all times,
– feels that the client is merely an “accessory” to accentuate self. 
The Out-Of-Shape Trainer
– often underweight/overweight
– perpetually in a pathetic state of physical condition,
– usually hides poor condition in loose-fitting top and baggy track pants,
– rationalizes poor physical condition with the classic excuse: “I’m simply too busy with my clients to work on my own body.
– afraid to demonstrate any exercise or workout,
– passively stands-by, or better still, sits at a corner while ‘coaching’  clients,
– gets highly agitated in the presence of better-shaped contemporaries. 
The Feely-Touchy
– extremely creepy personality,
– often likes to place hands on clients’ bums, abs, lower back, thighs etc, 
– rationalizes the need for touching clients with the phrases:  ” to help you FEEL the movement better” OR “to help you get in TOUCH with the working muscles“. 
– has only ONE aim of joining the fitness/wellness industry: to get in-touch – literally with other people’s bodies!
The “Blur” King/Queen
– wears a lost or ‘blur’ look on the face perpetually,
– glances around furtively all the time,
– always looks unsure of what to do in the gym,
– can’t tell the difference between a ‘cable row’ and a ‘rowing machine’,
– whispers, stammers or stutters in front of clients,
– extremely shy and insecure.
The Confused Trend-Follower
– blind follower of the latest fitness trends and fads,
– integrates new fads into training approaches unthinkingly & randomly,
– follows latest trends for the sake of appearing ‘up-to-date’ and relevant,
– often jumps from one approach to the other – with NO scientific basis: one moment has the client balancing on a bosu ball, the next moment has the client suspended from ropes, and the next juggling kettlebells…..etc etc.
The Sneaky Salesperson
– a natural-born sales and marketing whiz,
– sees personal training or fitness coaching as a mere SIDE-LINE,
– MAIN agenda is to promote and sell health/fitness products,
– never a day goes by without any subtle or overt SELLING,
– peddles stuff from weight-gain powders to weight-loss pills, from gym gloves to energy drinks etc ….
– gets very annoyed when clients resist his/her selling efforts,
– always thinks in dollars and cents.
Well, there you have it – the different types of personal trainers and fitness instructors in Singapore that you – the Fitness Public – would be wise to AVOID at all costs!
Thankfully, the number of top-notch and exceptional Personal Trainers and Fitness Instructors here in Singapore still outnumber the bad hats in the industry.
To check out some of Singapore’s Finest Fitness Professionals, do visit now. 
Also, if you think we have missed out on other examples or categories of BAD fitness professionals, or would like to add your own category of ‘Bad’ trainers here, please feel free to send us your comments!
We would LOVE to add your contributions here too!

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.