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…..

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.

Confessions Of A Singapore Personal Trainer

January 15, 2011

Image of a male personal trainer's torsoEver wanted to know what goes on inside the mind and behind the scenes of a Singapore Personal Fitness Trainer? Well, you finally got the chance to do that today.

Our team here at Singapore Fitness Professionals Network has managed to track down and convince one of our country’s longest-serving “elite-class” personal trainer and got him to spill the beans on his profession and the industry.

For confidentiality reasons, we will only refer to our interviewee as M.

All we can say is that M is a local male Singaporean in his mid-thirties, and who has been serving in the fitness industry for over 10 years as a Personal Trainer and Private Fitness Instructor. He is also one of the higher-earning fitness freelancers around with an average monthly income in the 5-figure bracket.

Below herewith is a transcript of our phone interview with him.


Parts of the conversation may have been paraphrased, truncated or edited to suit the print context.

– The views represented here are purely those of the interviewee, and do not represent the views of Singapore Fitness Professionals Network (SFPN).

– Reader discretion is advised

Interview With M- Singapore’s Elite Personal Trainer 

SFPN: Hi, Glad to get in touch with you, and firstly a word of thanks – for agreeing to this interview.

M: No problem. My pleasure.

SFPN: OK. Let’s get to the point. How long have you been in the Singapore Fitness Industry.

M: Coming to 11 years.

SFPN: That’s quite a long time. Please tell us how it all started.

M: I have always been interested in fitness and sports since young. So when I left NS (National Service), I decided to sign-up for a fitness instructor course with the Singapore Sports Council….. and one thing led to another ….. and that’s where I’m now.

SFPN: Is the sports council certification the only one you got?

M: Oh, No. No. I actually got a few more certs over the years as well.

SFPN: Can you tell us what are some of these certs for?

M: I got a cert for advanced personal trainer, one for special populations, and another for rehab training.

SFPN: Are these certs local, by the way?

M: Nope, some are from Australia and others from the States (USA).

SFPN: Great. Let’s move on. We understand that you are currently an independent freelance trainer. Has it always been this arrangement?

M: No…not really …. I actually started out as a gym instructor in ******** (one of the big gyms in Singapore). I left after about a year-and-a-half there, and been on my own ever since.

SFPN: Can you tell us the reason why you left?

M: Ha, HaI was hoping you wouldn’t ask! But anyway, it’s been such a long time ago. Let’s just say that the (commercial) gym culture didn’t suit me, and I just can’t see any future (in) staying on….

SFPN: If given a chance today, would you want to go back to a commercial gym to work again?

M: No way, man. Are you joking? I will never want to go back  there. Guys, to be honest, working as a gym instructor sucks. It is a s**t life. Low pay. Long hours. Plenty of politics. Lousy management……yeah…

SFPN: So are you saying that you’re much better off now?

M: Oh, yes. Definitely. Look – I’m earning much, much more now. I’ve got respect. I’m in demand.  And I’m free to do my own thing.

SFPN: Is it OK to tell us how much you earn?

M: I make about $10 000 to $12 000 per month …. hold on, before you say anything else, let me say this: I work REALLY hard to earn that amount of money, and all of it is legally earned, OK!

SFPN: Whoah… That’s quite a lot of money. Definitely much more than what a gym employee makes in a fitness center.

M: That’s what I mean. Why get stuck in a gym and earn s**t when the big fish is out there.

SFPN: But don’t you agree it’s not all about money…

M: Yeah. Sure. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not just  money, OK? I enjoy my job – that’s why I”m still in it after all these years. C’mon, but in Singapore, we have to be realistic, man. Money talks. And if I can do something I like and still earn big bucks, why not???

SFPN: Right, makes sense……

SFPN: OK, moving on…… anything interesting you would like to share with us…. about your experiences… about the industry?

M: Like what?? Can you be more specific.

SFPN: OK, let’s say….how about your clients. Who are there, and have you had any unpleasant encounters? Things like indecent proposals etc ?

M: Man, are you serious? Ha! OK…… my  clients are all what you call the “UPPER” class people – the executives, the CEOs, the V-Ps, the directors ……and well, most of them are nice people  – polite, respectful, eager to learn ….  maybe just one or two b*****ds who like to throw their weight now and then …. other than that, OK, no problem!

SFPN: Any Tais-Tais …. any indecent proposals ? Just an assurance – you know your identity is confidential here, right?

M: Ha ha ha…..c’mon man, I have a good reputation, OK!……Yes, I do have some Tais-Tais, but they’re OK….. nice but filthy rich. No hanky-panky stuff with them …..The closest to an “indecent” proposal I have was a long time ago ….maybe 5, 6 years ago …..when this client of mine – I’m no longer training her now by the way – hinted that I could stay overnight at her home – a semi-D…. that’s all. I said “NO” and we never brought up the matter again.

SFPN: So you have been strictly professional with all your clients?

M: Of course, what do you think? Frankly, a lot of these rumours of personal trainers sleeping around are made up. This is Singapore, OK? Not America. Not the West. Most of us don’t do such things….. maybe just one or two black sheep, that’s all.

SFPN: So do you know any of these “black sheep” yourself?

M: Yeah…sure…I know of this PT ( personal trainer) who is gay, …. and seems like many people have seen him mixing around with some middle-aged Caucasian men in the area…… expats I think, and his clients also …..  but they’re all gay and like to fool around …..

SFPN: What do you think of trainers like him?

M: What I think? Ha, I think they are fools, man! Why ruin your professional reputation doing stupid things????

SFPN: OK, back to an earlier point….. You mentioned that you train mostly “upper” class people, correct? Is that by choice or by accident?

M: Well …. let me put it this way: whoever can pay my rates I will train them. As simple as that.

SFPN: And what are you rates?

M: $120 per hour … onwards.

SFPN: That’s on the high side , isn’t it? At those rates, only the so-called “upper” class can afford it.

M: If that’s the case, then too bad. I don’t believe in lowering my rates to attract clients.

SFPN: What do you think of those trainers who charge something like $50-$60 per hour ?

M: I think it’s a joke, man! At those rates I can’t even pay my rent! Let me tell you: these trainers who charge these rates are what I call the “low-end” trainers… you know…. the part-timers who freelance for fun … teaching at public gyms and training only HDB ‘uncles’ and ‘aunties’……( ps. for foreign readers not in the know, HDB stands for Housing Development Board: Singapore’s public housing arm that supplies affordable flats for the general masses to live in)

SFPN: So you think they are not as good as you?

M:  Of course, they’re not real professionals, man. Just some youngsters out to make a quick buck. Let’s be honest …..we are different (class) ……they attract the neighbourhood-type of clients you know… the local housewives, NS ( National Service) boys, old aunties and uncles…. but I work with expats, CEOs, managing directors, TV artistes…..you know what I mean?…..

SFPN: So in other words, you price yourself out of the range of the average local Singaporean, right?

M:  Well, … if you want to look at it that way, then so be it. But frankly, all the better and more experienced trainers charge somewhere near my range….and I think clients also know that: if they want a better trainer, they must be prepared to pay for it.

SFPN: OK, fair enough, …. now back to something you mentioned earlier …. you said something about paying rent, right? So where are you putting up now?

M:  I’m renting a private apartment just outside town…….

SFPN: Well, that must be quite costly, isn’t it?

M:  It’s OK. Can’t be helped. I need to be close to my clients. And I can still afford it with my income.

SFPN: So most of your clients live around town area?

M:  Yup.

SFPN: So you go to their homes to train them?

M:  Yup. I do house visits. Condos, apartments, bungalows… I do them all…

SFPN: So you’re basically a mobile home trainer – going round the island training people?

M:  Ya….but not round the island… just around town area. I like it this way.

SFPN: OK, I think we are running a bit out of time. So last 2 questions. What do you think of our website: SingaporeFitnessNetwork.com?

M:  I think it’s a good idea. It’s time Singapore has a fitness directory like yours… (a website) that can connect trainers to clients is great……, I think if it can help more freelance trainers find jobs and clients – something which they (otherwise) won’t be able to do so (on their own) easily, it’ll be great.

SFPN: Thanks for your support! One last question: what career advice would you want to give to all the new fitness instructors and personal trainers out here in Singapore!

M:  Just be cool… follow your passion, gain experience and be professional in everything you do!

SFPN: Sorry, one final question: would you encourage them to follow your path?

M:  Sure, why not? Go freelance, be your own boss…..because that’s the best deal!!

SFPN: Thank you very much, M…. and all the best to you.

End Of Interview