Wednesday, March 6, 2013

NOT Your Typical Singapore Fitness Trainer

Whenever I tell people that I'm a professional fitness trainer here in Singapore, what usually come to their minds and their basic assumptions would be:

1) I must be one of those - huge, bulky and heavily-muscled trainers - out there,
2) I must be working in a typical commercial gym setting,
3) I must be training my clients using conventional gym machines and other latest 'hi-tech' gadgets,
4) I must be utilizing a "body-part" system or "body-building" philosophy in coaching my clients, and
5) I must be selling health supplements on the side to supplement my income (pardon me for the pun) ..... etc etc

Well, in truth and in reality, NONE of the above really describes me ........

You see, to be quite honest, I'm actually quite the antithesis of most of the fitness trainers or coaches you would find here in Singapore.

Although I have to state emphatically that I did not intentionally set myself out to be unconventional or different, somehow, a combination of fortuitous circumstances, together with my personal take on fitness, understanding of exercise science principles and human movement concepts, coupled with my personal life and business philosophy, brought about this difference .......

So much so, that I'm now pretty much, more or less, known as "that mobile trainer/coach in Singapore" or "that gym-free guy in Singapore" within the fitness circles here locally - a tag that I'm pretty comfortable to hang around my neck as long as it serves the greater good of fitness here in Singapore .....

As to how I'm un-conventionally different from my fellow fitness professionals:

Firstly, I am neither huge nor bulky nor heavily-muscled.

In fact, with my relatively small bone structure and frame, coupled with my personal conviction on training only for All-Round, Integrated Functional Fitness - above all else - my physique has evolved over the years to become the lean, athletic-looking type rather than any of the above. In fact, I intentionally resist putting too much muscle bulk on my frame these days - so as not to compromise my day-to-day fitness performance in areas such as agility, speed, balance, coordination and dexterity.

Secondly, I have NEVER worked in a typical commercial gym setting, neither do I own a gym nor aspire to set-up one.

As a matter-of-fact, I conduct most of my fitness sessions and training at client-determined, out-of-the-gym locations - such as in my clients' living rooms, balconies, home garages, and even in the occasional basement/attic etc, and also in the Great Outdoors - in parks, gardens, along beaches, in parking lots or just about any empty space that we deem "train-able". In fact, I would go so far as to make it my personal goal to wean each and every of my clients away from a gym setting - so that they can truly get in touch with their bodies, and learn how to manage, move and maneuver their bodies the way Nature intends them to - functionally, naturally, multi-directionally, multi-planarly and in an integrated fashion ..... .

Outdoor Stair Sprints - One Of The BEST Ways To Get In Great Shape

Thirdly, I eschew most forms of technology and machinery when it comes to training.

This includes all the latest chrome-plated, eye-pleasing "hi-tech"contraptions found in today's modern gyms. Frankly, in my opinion, most of the gym equipment we see around us are fundamentally flawed and virtually useless. In fact, many are just mere eye-candy - nice to look at but serve ultimately little if any constructive purposes for scientific fitness training (For a more thorough treatment on this subject, you may like to check out my earlier blog entry entitled "The Problem With Singapore's Gyms And Fitness Centres") Hence, I always make it a practice to announce to all my prospective and current clients that one of the main pre-requisites or conditions for acceptance into my training program would be an agreement to be trained using ONLY real-world, functional fitness aids/tools, like: suspension straps, medicine balls, ropes, exercise tubings/bands, kettlebells, free weights (weight plates, dumbbells, barbells, etc) and other environmental tools (everyday objects like: park benches, tree branches, stairs, slopes etc )

Outdoor Bench Work - Another Great Way To Get In Shape 

Fourthly, unlike many other fitness trainers, I do NOT favour a "Body-Part" or "Body-Building" Approach to training

While the "Body-Part" approach (training as in: "Chest & Shoulders Day", "Back & Arms Day", "Legs & Abs Day" etc) may have been highly-popularized back in the 80's, 90's and even early 2000's, the latest findings and research emanating from exercise science labs and sports performance fields have pointedly proved that this approach has serious limitations in today's scientific training environment. Personally, I favour an Integrated Approach coupled with elements of Functional Training, Movement-Based Training, Metabolic Training and High-Intensity Interval Training whenever training my clients; regardless whether their goal is to: build lean muscle mass, burn body fat, enhance sports performance or develop all-round functional fitness. In fact, the above combination has helped many of my clients transformed their bodies and changed their lives for the better.

Metabolic Training With Kettlebells Build Serious Strength & Muscle

Finally, supplement sales are a strict NO-NO to me.

Much as I'm trained in sports nutrition, scientific supplementation and other fitness dietary principles, I always make it a point to give only general suggestions as to what supplements would be useful in pursuing one's fitness goals. And then leave it to my clients to purchase their own supplements from their own sources. At no time would I ever consider selling supplements or even recommending certain "brands" to my clients. Yes, I know I'm probably missing out on a large "profit cache" (as in commission sales), but to me, my professional, ethical and moral obligations to my clients come first.

Yes, I'm aware that many (both within and without the fitness industry) consider me quite a Maverick here in Singapore.

But, frankly, it does not bother me a bit - simply because all the above is how I TRULY think and how I TRULY feel fitness training and running a fitness business should be.

And since it is also turning out to be the very BEST thing for my clients, I'm more than happy to wear this hat for as long as possible.

Improvising Your Home Workouts With Common Household Objects

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