If you’re short on time but want to make the most out of your workout, check out these gyms which offer targeted sessions.
#01-207, 264 Serangoon Central,
Tel: 6287-2280, www.defitnation.com.sg
HOW MUCH: From $60 for a personal training session.
THE GYM: The modest space is packed with gym machines, with a separate room for fitness classes. The bathrooms and changing area are communal areas, and they were basic and clean.
MY TRAINER: Eden spent 10 minutes chatting with me to determine my fitness level. I did a body-weight analysis before he assessed my strength, flexibility and endurance. He also offered weight-loss tips, which none of the other trainers did.
THE WORKOUT: I told Eden about my insecurities with my bulky lower body and he devised a set of targeted movements, including inchworms, alternate leg lunges, glute bridges and leg raises. These were incorporated into a 30-minute circuit of cardiovascular exercises, and strength and balance training –which left me sore.
VERDICT: Working out in a tight space wasn’t so comfortable, but the session was effective and informative.
#02-01, 789 Bukit Timah Road,
Tel: 9844-9191, www.alphafit.sg
HOW MUCH: From $90 for a personal training session.
THE GYM: The workouts here are done with kettlebells. There are pigeonholes for depositing bags and a shelf for workout equipment. Both toilets have modest shower areas; no toiletries or towels are provided.
MY TRAINER: Hayati, the founder of Alphafit, was my trainer. I wanted to tone my lower body and the moves she recommended really worked my legs and butt. She explained the benefits of each move, then showed me how it was done. Hayati observed me closely throughout, correcting my posture and giving me a thumbs up when I was on the right track.
THE WORKOUT: I warmed up with foam rollers, which involved placing the rollers under specific areas – hamstrings, calves, back – and gently rolling back and forth on them to ease muscle tension. Then, I jumped right into an intense 10-minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session. As I was a beginner, Hayati recommended I use an 8kg kettlebell, the lightest, before progressing to heavier weights of up to 20kg. I did three sets of each move – dead lifts, swings, goblet squats, kettlebell tricep push-ups and Russian twists – and felt the strain by the second set. It was a short session, but I felt sore and my legs were shaking after.
VERDICT: Quick, challenging and rewarding.
#03-01, 11 North Canal Road,
Tel: 6536-7291, www.ritualgym.com
HOW MUCH: From $399 for 10 off-peak sessions (over three months).
THE GYM: I was impressed with the clean and posh shower rooms, with their ready supply of soap and shampoo. Every customer is given a Ritual T-shirt, shorts and towels. You also get to use the electronic and keyless lockers for free.
MY TRAINER: Head trainer Ismail gauged my fitness level before showing me the warm-up stretches and nine moves that are part of a Ritual workout. He made sure my posture was right for each move and that I was performing it at a standard that matched my fitness level. If a move was too tough, he would show me a variation; if it was too easy, he adapted it to make it more challenging.
THE WORKOUT: Ritual specialises in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which doesn’t involve any machines. Sessions are held every half an hour and each 15-minute session accommodates up to 10 people. There are no personal training sessions here. The routine changes daily and during my session, we did squats, overhead presses, dead lifts, mountain climbers, half squats and burpees, with a short rest period between each set of two moves, but it was still really intense. My muscles were sore the next day.
VERDICT: A fast-paced and effective workout with a good combination of cardio and strength training.
#03-01, 30 Prinsep Street,
HOW MUCH: From $80 for a personal training session.
THE GYM: With its expansive space and minimalistic layout, it felt more luxurious than the other gyms.
MY TRAINER: Elinn spent the first 15 minutes finding out how often I exercised, the kind of exercise I did and so on, to gauge my fitness level. She also shared her personal fitness stories with me and did a body-weight analysis before my workout.
THE WORKOUT: We kicked off with a five-minute warm-up on the treadmill. Throughout the 30-minute ab-strengthening workout, Elinn would demonstrate a move before getting me to do it. She also constantly corrected my posture. Several moves required equipment, including the Roman chair machine, an extendable chair with a backrest and footrest, and an inflatable exercise ball, but for the most part, I was training using my own body weight. While I didn’t feel particularly challenged as I was familiar with most of the moves, like planking, crunches and oblique push-ups, the soreness hit the next day – my obliques were aching so badly I could barely bend at my sides.
VERDICT: Small movements with great impact, although I would have liked a shorter and more targeted session.
By Smita Wee , Simply Her, November 2015