UFIT's 5 Top Benefits of Personal Training

If you are interested in reaching your health and fitness goals, here are my five top tips as to why signing up for a personal trainer is just about the BEST thing you can do!

1. Accountability

I’d have to rate accountability as the top benefit of working with a personal trainer.

A common problem with regards to “exercise programs” off the internet etc. is the lack of commitment that I’ve seen people display after a couple weeks into the programme.

For most people, it’s easy for them to skip their planned session if there’s no one waiting at the gym for them. When clients work with me I’m holding them accountable for every session they’ve committed to, this way, we are partners in their fitness journey and we are both working towards their fitness goals.

2. Individualised Programmes

What works, and motivates one person, may not work for another. So when it comes to choosing an exercise program - I keep my client’s fitness goals in mind when creating their personalised training programme.

During the first few sessions – I gather information and assess both my client’s technical ability as well as goals. Combining this information with my knowledge – I aim to create an effective training programme.

3. Motivation

Through the years working as a personal trainer and coach, I’ve seen MANY people struggling to motivate themselves to either get to the gym or to push themselves just that little bit extra.

While training my clients I try my upmost best to keep them motivated throughout their training sessions and make sure they try do that little bit extra.

You’d be surprised to see how much of a difference a few “little bit extra’s” can make!

4. Knowledge

As a client you will also have the opportunity to learn more about the human body and how to effectively move. You would also be able to tap into a wealth of knowledge surrounding nutrition, supplementation and health matters.

5. Training Smarter, not Harder

A professional personal trainer is able to effectively ‘make the most’ of your workout time. This can especially be beneficial if you have a limited (but realistic!) amount of time you’d like to reach your goals.

As everyone knows, there are a number of health & fitness fads out there. Having a personal trainer as your partner in your fitness journey, guides you towards your goals and teaches you how to care for your body through proper training and nutrition.


About the author

Dylan is a qualified personal trainer and holds a National Certificate in Personal Training from the National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT), United States. HE joined the CrossFit Community and hopes to inspire and motivate his team and people in this way of training and living out a healthy, full lifestyle. 

Read more about Dylan here.


Join Dylan and his team at CrossFit Tanjong Pagar for the best-in-class personal training in the CBD. Start your journey with a free trial or visit us here to see what promotions we're running at each of our locations with our personal training offers.

Oh sugar! How cauliflower became our third best friend with UFIT's Clean & Lean Challenge

Our amazing dynamic duo Mike Thornton and Trine Kaehler took on the Clean & Lean Challenge in January as a couple to give each other the motivation to stick to the programme and avoid any temptations. Hear more about their journey of the four weeks right here. 

 Why UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge?

For both of us, coming off the back of a strong festive season, neither was happy with how we looked in the mirror and we knew it was time to make a change. Mike had undertaken the first C&L challenge back in 2013 and achieved good results so we thought it would be a fun challenge to do by starting off 2017 in the right way and also allowing us to spend more time together in an otherwise busy working schedule. Both of us had our goals in mind however achieving them would take serious commitment!

Week 1: Oh Sugar!

After the first seminar (which are excellent and very informative) and with the same excitement as a kid on their last day of school, we rushed to place a food order containing all the ingredients on the approved menu. Lunch was already planned out, as we are both working full time, Trine would get a salad from the closest Salad Stop every day and myself lunch from The Daily Cut. The tough part was making a food plan for the week (breakfast and dinner) and think out of our old routine. Eggs and cauliflower became our best friend – cauliflower bread, cauliflower fried rice, steamed cauliflower, roasted cauliflower (you name it). We both experienced dips in the first week due to the sugar withdrawal from our diets, Trine’s was immediate while mine (Mike’s) took some time to work in before crashing hard after a 5 a-side football game. Nevertheless, we powered through with the support of the C&L Facebook group. In week 1 we found out how much sugar we had actually been eating before and that there is a massive amount of meals you can make with limited ingredients

Week 2: Carrot-Gate

With the hardest part, over, we looked forward to the reintroduction of new items to the food menu for Week 2. Without giving away too much information, the reintroduction of carrots to the diet made life much easier…it really is the little things! We noticed that Trine was definitely experiencing a pop in energy in the mornings while myself…. well let’s just say on the 5th alarm I at least acknowledged it. We had both been pushing hard in the first half of the C&L, Trine with her Yoga and PT classes (thanks Wendy!) and myself with lunch time workouts and football. By the end of Week 2 we started to see the first signs of changes to our bodies which was exciting and gave us the motivation to keep going.

Week 3: It’s a complex situation, don’t lose your nut!

After pushing so hard in the first 14 days of the challenge it was inevitable that we would reach a burn out / plateau period at some point in the challenge and for both of us, this was week 3. We found ourselves sticking mainly to the Week 1 and 2 diet plan mainly due to our attempts at adding Week 3 foods into our diet plan had made portion control difficult, something Trine is much better at controlling than myself. Nevertheless, on the workout front we continued to do what we could when we could, a highlight of our days being our evening walks around Marina Bay and Gardens by the Bay which kept the clock ticking over while allowing us to clear our minds, evaluate on the day and to discuss what to cook for the next day…. Planning is the key to make C&L a success!

Week 4: Cross the finish line and say cheese!

The final week saw both of us making a big push for the finish line with the intensity of our daily workouts ramped up as the date of our weight out came closer. The introduction of cheese in week four had severely thrown a spanner in the works however apart from a homemade pizza utilising cauliflower crust (this challenge is impossible without cauliflower!!) we did our best to stay away from our favourite snack.

The Weigh Out

Saturday, 11th February, 8:30AM – D-DAY. With the standard “good luck” comments out of the way in our own time we stepped onto the scales…

Trines results:
Weight: 2.6kg
Body Fat: 5.9%

Mikes results:
Weight: 7.4kg
Body Fat: 4.7%

 

Should you do C&L?

That is a question you are probably asking yourself right now, in short, it depends very much on what you are looking to get out of a four-week diet plan. In our opinion the best way to approach it is to view the C&L as the kick start you need to change your lifestyle habits and not simply as an isolated course, this helps you to keep on the straight and narrow when times are tough. Yes, you will experience headaches, tiredness, nausea and dizziness (am I still selling it to you?) from time to time but once you battle through these short-term difficulties the change to your diet and lifestyle will provide huge upside potential. It doesn’t matter if you are 28 or 58 years old, 50kg or 130kg, each person is on this challenge for their own reasons and the coming together of complete strangers into a supportive community network where you make new friends and change for the positive is worth the admission cost alone.

A huge thank you from both of us to Wendy, Noa and the rest of the UFIT Clean and Lean brigade, these guys put in a HUGE amount of work over the four week period to provide support, assistance and in general “feel good vibes” to everyone on the journey in addition to their already busy lives and it simply would not have been the same without them.

Now, if you are still reading this; get online, get signed up and best of luck in your own C&L challenge – we look forward to reading the next persons story.

Mike & Trine


UFIT CLEAN & LEAN CHALLENGE

The 2017 Clean & Lean sessions are happening on March 11 – April 8 (4 weeks), May 20 – June 17 (4 weeks), September 2 – 30 (4 weeks), November 4 – 25 (4 weeks).

UFIT is Singapore’s largest independent fitness community that offers a 360 approach to health and fitness island wide. For more information, visit our website.

 

Safe to say I'm converted to be Clean and Lean for 90% of the time thanks to the UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge

About me: Trampoline Performance Coach and retired Army Captain. Former National Level trampoline competitor in the UK and Billy all sports, 31 years young.

WHY: 2016 saw a lot of injury and the last part leading to Christmas I had a broken wrist resulted in limited exercise and a noticeable amount of weight gain (to me) and definition Loss. I use sugar to get through the day as I coach solidly for up to 6 hours at a time. My skin is bad and I have diet related gastro problems which I know is down to a poor eating habits. I blooming love a pudding, this girl can eat chocolate cake quicker than Bruce Bogtrotter. 

Worries: My job is extremely active, I bounce at least 2 hours a day, not including fitness classes and my own exercise. I am nervous of 'diets' due to eating disorders as a teen and in my early 20's and worry that a massive change will lead to obsession and a return of previous issues. 

Week 1: Firstly, how the HECK am I 25% body fat, that crept up on me... I work Saturdays and have to miss the seminars so the initial email on Friday helped to prepare for day 1. I started on the Friday evening and the food was not too bad. However my first issue, I do not like Avocado, cucumber or celery... so that limited my initial options for lunch. I must admit the Facebook group is great for ideas and different options for recipes. I got through Sunday fairly well and felt (albeit tired) alright. Monday was the first stupid idea... Bootcamp... I was dizzy, struggled in strength and the old army mentality of 'just get on with it' came through. My body is a machine, oh wait no it's not it doesn't want to work for me at all. Headache for the rest of the day and although smashed a staple lunch of spinach wrap, with chicken and bacon I was still hungry. I just couldn't find the energy so avoided prep that night ate my Shepard’s pie from the freezer and thought I'd go for a 'Daily Cut' for lunch... FAIL I am a bit of a nightmare with lettuce that isn't crisp and after the journey to work I managed to heave for about 5 mins trying to eat broccoli, before giving up and just eating the chicken. All I managed Tuesday was eggs and salmon for breakfast, chicken breast for lunch and ham as a snack. I did eat a pre-made Shepard’s pie for dinner at 10pm and then prepped like a mad person for the rest of the week... I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED and actually after Wednesday morning trampoline fitness and a busy schedule for the rest of the week with hands on coaching I survived.  Only as a result of preparation!  the 7P's spring to mind.... Went to the cinema with a pack of whole kitchen seeds and a water bottle, I tend to belt feed a large sweet popcorn bag before the movie starts so for me this is a Result!! Drinking water is not a problem, I tend to drink lots anyhow but a skinny cappuccino with a sweetener has been missed that's for sure.

Week 2: Yay for tomatoes! Oh wait I don't eat tomatoes either. The first meal was roasted veg (mainly green) with Carrots and peppers, they tasted extremely sweet after the sugar purge. I feel like I'm savouring the flavours. After the lessons learnt from week 1, I am prepared and even Managed a jog on Sunday evening. I am still feeling a little Low on energy at times and have succumbed to become one of those people who buys protein. I made protein balls with cacao for a hit while at work between bouncing. Only taken 31 years and needs must. Clothes feel looser, skin is becoming clearer and stomach has settled. My Tuesday from last week was a whole lot different this week. Prepped a decent 'big' lunch and snacks, finished work at 8 and went straight to Hockey training. A year out and you could tell, but I managed to run around like a lunatic for 1.5 hours. Finished the week very stiff and continued with being busy at work. Sleep has been an issue with cramp and just not settling, so invested in Magnesium supplements which has been brilliant. I went to a BBQ and ate so much meat. Took green pepper and carrot sticks with me and soda, watching everyone having a few drinks was slightly annoying but stuck with it. I have managed to 'accidentally' fast for 3 days this week after the seminar on Wednesday as I do not start work until late so actually it's not too bad to wait for lunch. Other than sleep being a pain towards the tail end of the week a much better week for energy... I didn't feel the need to eat quite a lot of the time.

Week 3: OVER HALFWAY!!! Survived 50% and looking forward to adding some sweet potato and beetroot to the diet. Went for a slow and steady 4.6 Mile jog as Since Hockey training my legs have been very sore. Actually had a protein shake and feel ok for it. Preparing hard on the Sunday for the week as it's set to be a busy one. Consciously upping the exercise this week as with the added carbs I hope I can take it. Monday bootcamp I had much more energy and no dizziness. Managed to push myself harder and wasn't 'at the back', body is aching but fueling well. I may have found a faux pas CASHEW BUTTER seriously the restraint not to devour the whole pot is tremendous. But I have made my protein balls using this for a second batch and actually since the revelation I haven't dived a in with a teaspoon since the first few days of having it. 

You can't always plan ahead, being reactive is important and A busy week at work has resulted in only managing my own exercise (other than bouncing) 2 times. But had 2 trampoline fitness classes to deliver and also sporting a slight strain from Too many lunges from Bootcamp and Hockey at the start of the week so some rest is probably needed... stuck to the plan and even resisted my boss's Husband placing a glass of red wine in front of me (he must have thought I needed it) I refused, it smelt so good but restraint (for once) stood strong. Awesome compliments from the parents of the kids I coach saying how great I look and how incredible my skin is, a brilliant boost to enforce the effort going into sticking to the plan. 

Week 4: WOW how is it the last week already.?!? Start as you mean to go on, 9 hours solid coaching on Saturday and an impromptu trip to my boss's meant a late run. But I am slowly increasing speed and the first run since the start that I haven't wanted to collapse. Obstacle Bootcamp Sunday morning and again feeling good, weirdly satisfying burning your legs and working your arms up on ropes, how I miss that part of the Army... I prepared food for the week in a form of curry for lunches when I'm too busy and also making sure I don't forget that green should be the staple. I'm finding myself less hungry but feeling like I 'should' eat for the sake of not overdoing the diet and not fueling myself properly. Finding the balance I Guess will be important this week... I have lots of exercise planned and want to really work hard to find my fitness while maintaining a Clean and Lean diet. Also CHEESE... my hand brake. Just need to remember to alternate days as otherwise overindulgence is inevitable. The True protein from UFIT Amoy Street (chocolate flavour) has not only stopped my need for the sweet tooth but dare I say it aided in the recovery process and also general aches and pains after exercise. From a non-believer in protein powder, I am converted and it will definitely form part of my recovery and exercise routine. With only 3 days before my weigh out, I have managed a good amount of exercise and also learnt lots about what I do and don't need with regards to food, I am a little sporadic in my food choices after exercise as most of the time I do not eat dinner until after work at 10pm opting quite a lot of the time for snacks rather than a meal, which means a big lunch but I'm ok with that as an option to go forward... Another brilliant Wednesday seminar to help with the final push and feeling positive about the changes to make afterwards. Also picked up some shorts to wear to work and have had to roll them up as they are falling down. Jumping on a trampoline today may add some hidden entertainment, never a dull moment. Typical the day before I weight out I'm having a wobble, feel like scrounging around the kitchen to look for something sweet... hoping today flies by without too much stress... so you can't control hormones and the last bit one day out from weigh in has resulted in my body playing up. But I am sticking to it, support from friends and UFIT's own Lizzie Wright has been helpful as sometimes you just need a kick up the butt. Even managed a 5k run in quickest time since before my wrist break in October so something must be going ok. 

The weigh out: After the last day of feeling pretty bad (although staying true) I didn't have much hopes and could not believe it when I jumped on the scales and the first number was 56!! 56KG is below my pre-army 'fit' weight and I was truly shocked. I know I've felt good at times and many have complimented the way I'm looking which has been nice, but to actually see the hard work in facts and figures gives you that measurable outcome to the process.

Safe to say I’m converted to be Clean and Lean for 90% of the time, no one likes a goody too shoes after all. 

Reflection:  So in 4 weeks I have lost 4.5KG, 4.5% body fat and also 5cm from my waist, my skin has massively improved and I have slowly managed to control my hunger and need for sugar. I have found myself in a place where I am really happy with how I feel and look. The energy is starting to come back because of careful planning in food preparation and I am feeling confident about keeping with it and trying to build back into the Athlete I once was. I fully recommend the clean and lean process to those who do not just want to lose weight but for those who want an education about how to take control of your diet and not be a slave to the evolution of poor eating and poor diet choices. It's all about moderation and for me my process will continue with the odd cheat day here and there. Thank you UFIT and especially Wendy and Noa for the support and guidance over the last 4 weeks, also the community Facebook group has been awesome. Safe to say I'm converted to be Clean and Lean for 90% of the time, no one likes a goody too shoes after all. 


UFIT CLEAN & LEAN CHALLENGE

The 2017 Clean & Lean sessions are happening on March 11 – April 8 (4 weeks), May 20 – June 17 (4 weeks), September 2 – 30 (4 weeks), November 4 – 25 (4 weeks).

UFIT is Singapore’s largest independent fitness community that offers a 360 approach to health and fitness island wide. For more information, visit our website.

 

"The first weight loss programme I've managed to stick too," UFIT's Clean & Lean Challenge

Jacqui Young from Expat Living discover Clean & Lean benefits and how the rapport and community kept her strong and going for the whole four weeks. 

For years now I had struggled with the usual on and off latest diet fads, starvation periods and bouts of extreme exercise, all in an effort to lose the weight that I had seemed to collect over the last few years. 

I had heard through the grapevine about UFIT’s Clean and Lean programme and thought of giving it a try. I toyed with the choice of programme dates for 2017 thinking I can't do this one and can't do that one, and in the end, I thought no time is ever a good time and before I knew it, I was jumping straight in and enrolling to start the following day. If I didn't do it then I thought, I never will. Apprehensive, I embarked on my journey with my initial weigh in at UFIT's brand new gym just off Orchard Road before having my last latte in the nearby Starbucks and then joining my 270 comrades for my first Saturday morning seminar. The place was packed and there was an amazing atmosphere with everyone being supercharged for the upcoming challenge. 

The UFIT Clean and Lean programme is about resetting your body and teaching you to have a cleaner, healthier and sustainable lifestyle and maintaining it after the programme ends. For four weeks, you embark on a journey of a mainly green diet which eliminates processed foods and sugars. It’s incredibly easy to follow as it just involves cutting out the highly-processed sugars and eating healthier. There are no set recipes as such, but you do have the ideas from the cookbook that is supplied in a link at the start of the programme. Some foods will be slowly reintroduced during the four week period normally after the weekly seminar which explains different topics along with the reasoning behind what’s being added. There is also access to a Clean and Lean Facebook community page site for all participants to share tips, ideas, recipes, or just to have a general vent if needed. There are also four bootcamp sessions are also given as part of the package which can be booked via a handy app for which all participants are given access. With over 80 classes a week, it’s easy to find a time and day that suits. There is an amazing support network of nutritionists and fitness experts, some of whom are also doing the programme too for support. 

It is an actual challenge, and the winning male and female who lose the most body fat win an exclusive health and wellness package from UFIT and their partners. For me, it was more about resetting my eating habits and losing a few kgs. 

The four weeks passed quickly, and I was actually sad it was ending as it was so amazing having the support of so many people who were also participating. I was amazed at the results of my weigh in last week. 5kgs down on my weight, just over 5% body fat lost, and a good 5cms went from both my hips and waist. I was a very happy bunny! This four weeks has given me some great insight into changes that I made in my diet that I will have no problems sticking to. I’m not saying I won't ever eat a carb again or never drink a glass of wine (or five), but I’m definitely more in tune with balancing things out now. I’m even thinking of joining the next one in March now.

$159 + GST includes......

  • 4 x nutrition seminars 
  • A weigh in at the start, and weigh out at the end of the 4 weeks
  • 4 x bootcamp sessions to use at your leisure which can be booked via a handy app
  • Access to the 'Clean and Lean' cookbook with tasty recipes
  • Access to the Facebook site to support, share tips, stories and recipes

Programmes will run throughout 2017, and the dates can be found here. http://www.ufit.com.sg/clean-and-lean/  The next programme will start on 11th March – 8th April.


THE UFIT CLEAN & LEAN CHALLENGE

The 2017 Clean & Lean sessions are happening on March 11 – April 8 (4 weeks), May 20 – June 17 (4 weeks), September 2 – 30 (4 weeks), November 4 – 25 (4 weeks).

UFIT is Singapore’s largest independent fitness community that offers a 360 approach to health and fitness island wide. For more information, visit our website.

Staying motivated on Clean & Lean with runner up Patrick Bowe

Hear it first hand from Patrick who was our Clean & Lean Challenge runner up in January about how he found his experience over the four weeks.

1.    What made you sign up for Clean & Lean?

My wife was doing the challenge and asked if I’d like to join.  I’m not usually one to join things, but I had the post Christmas feeling and the boot camps, especially BOXFIT, looked like a lot of fun

2.    How was your first week?

The food was ok, I’ve wanted to try no / low sugar for a while, I really buy into it.  I do sports though and care about getting better, so it wasn’t nice to see my stamina and effort drop off as my body didn’t have as much energy to burn.  I found out later that my body just needed to adjust, but at the time it was a worry.

3.    Did you sign up with a friend or by yourself?

I singed up with my wife and a friend.  On Sunday when you fancy a gin and tonic and a bit of mischief it was good to have people around who were fun and committed to the same thing.

4.    How have you felt each week?

Week 2 was great.  The energy was starting to come back and you can see the improvements in your figure.  After that week I knew that even if I struggled to stay clean and lean, as I did in New York in week 3 that I’d always come back to it.

5.    Did it get easier?

Yes.  Get through the first week and you get a positive feedback loop that keeps you motivated.

6.    Congratulations, you made it to the end of the four weeks how do you feel now?

Clothes fit me better, I’m faster and I’m stronger.  What more could I want?

7.    What was the biggest surprise after the four weeks?

The biggest surprise was how much you can eat on clean and lean.  I know it was mentioned in week 1, but it wasn’t until one of the trainers at a boot camp said that if he’s hungry he just goes out and buys a whole rotisserie chicken to eat that I realised that this wasn’t about being hungry.

In the first week I’d come home starving and my wife had prepared a fantastic meal, but it had fish in which isn’t my favourite. I got very juvenile about that and had a ‘hangry’ tantrum.  After the advice from the trainer, if I was going to be working late, I’d buy dinner out around 18.00 from somewhere like The Daily Cut and then come home and have a second, healthy, dinner.

It was great! Marital harmony and I was always full :-)

8.    What kept you motivated?

The results :-)

9.    Would you recommend to a friend?

Oh yes and I’d do it again with them!


UFIT CLEAN & LEAN CHALLENGES 2017

The 2017 Clean & Lean sessions are happening on March 11 – April 8 (4 weeks), May 20 – June 17 (4 weeks), September 2 – 30 (4 weeks), November 4 – 25 (4 weeks).

UFIT is Singapore’s largest independent fitness community that offers a 360 approach to health and fitness island wide. For more information, visit our website.

Why running is the best sport in the world

“The real purpose of running is not to win a race; it’s to test the limits of the human heart.” This is how American track and field and co-founder of Nike, Bill Bowerman, described why we run. 

What an outstanding description of a sport that sees over 16 million Americans doing at least three times a week! Running is the fastest growing sport over the last decade with an increase of 300% in participation noted since 1990 in the US alone. Within this statistic we see the greatest increase in female runners where 25% of all runners were females in 1990, compared to 57% being recorded as female runners in 2013.

But what is behind this phenomenon? Why are people, and females in particular, falling in love with a sport that historically has been hated.

Why? Because running is an addiction, often a love/hate addiction, but a highly empowering and freeing addiction. We often hear people describe how they “caught the running bug” and that’s exactly what they are talking about. Once you find running, it becomes your stress reliever, your fitness regime, your “me time”, your obsession and your passion. This is why runners call themselves “runners.” They see themselves defined by their sport, unlike most other sportspeople who play a sport, we (runners) are our sport.

Having said this though, most runners fall into running, they don’t necessarily choose running as their main sport. I don’t think young athletes look at professional middle distance runners with dreams of aspiration, when compared to premiership footballers, swimmers or tennis players. So it is often by chance that most middle distance runners find themselves addicted to running, myself included.

I was always an active child running around, and growing up with 5 older brothers made sure I was able to run (away) fast. I started playing Irish sports in school, as most Irish children do, but not loving any particular one. This saw me embark on high school with no involvement in any organised sport which a teenage girl is probably the worst position to be in. So many changes are going on inside a teenage girl in terms of emotional and physical changes that I needed an active outlet. So at the age of 15 I simply fell into running because two girlfriends were keen to run for fitness. We then campaigned to our school to allow to employ an athletics coach and the rest is history. My love for running just grew and grew the more I ran, it wasn’t planned nor was it an aspiration of mine, but now I could not imagine my life without running.

As my love for the sport grew, as did my running success. Racing and competing became my drug. Even to this day, the adrenaline rush and natural serotonin high that I get from racing is like nothing else. It is this high that is addictive and makes me want to run again and again, even sometimes foolishly through pain. This is why running is such a rapidly growing sport, this natural high and sense of empowerment, freedom and adventure is hard to find elsewhere. You are in control of it, you can run as fast, as slow, as hard or as long as you want. It is just you, your thoughts and the road.

As they say, success begets success, and this is very applicable to running. Once you race or compete for the first time you then strive to beat your personal best time/placing and this is never ending. That’s what I believe Bill Bowerman meant when he described the purpose of running as testing the limits of the human heart. Testing yourself time and time again, and seeing how far you can push your body’s limits. Pushing yourself to be the best version of yourself, the best runner within yourself.  

To those non-runners that I chat to I always say don’t knock it until you try it. That natural high I get from running, just me, the wind and the road, is a sensation that words don’t do justice to describe, you have to feel it. Experience it first hand and see if you can resist doing again and again, because I know that for this reason I will keep running for as long as my legs can carry me!

Happy running everyone!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Máire Nic Amhlaoibh

Máire began her career as an athletic therapist and trainer. Whilst in university she completed courses in trigger point release, kinesio® taping, massage, muscle energy technique and myofascial release to name but a few. 

If you're suffering from sporting injuries our superstar runner Maire is also an outstanding physio at the UFIT Clinic.

Find out more here

No sugar for a month... are you kidding? Game on! 

UFIT Marketing Manager, Lizzie, takes on Clean & Lean to fight her addiction of what some days consisted to be of four Twix's a day (well that was the latest obsession).

No sugar. No booze. No fruit. For four weeks. But can you really commit to achieving your goals? I hear it every day from friends and family, 

"But I've got that birthday event"
"I've got this wedding I can't do it."
"I have friends in town" 

Sound familiar? 

Too many excuses flood the end goal, and you have to decide how much you want that to get that Beyoncé ‘butt’, or those toned arms and rock hard abs. Or even having that "feel good feeling" about eating real food. Well, in my case enough was enough. I'm pretty head strong so I was up for the challenge as the sugar issue started to get way out of hand. I already fell off the bandwagon twice over with the last Clean & Leans; The sugar highs were just too damn good. After a full on year with a new job, home, and shake up I made the decision 2017 is my year to rein in my sugar addiction. 

So here goes. Third time lucky to make that commitment. Was I serious; Of course I was! As Marketing Manager I think it's integral to understand each and every part of UFIT. After two previously failed attempts due to my insane sugar addiction, a bet with the boss got me signed up for the challenge; $200, let's see if it's worth it! To get the ball rolling I enrolled my partner in crime to make the journey with me and smash our body goals (it makes it easier to say yes when there's two of you). For those of you unfamiliar with the Clean & Lean Challenge UFIT run in Singapore, it's a four week nutrition cleansing programme whereby we see a large amount of people join for a number of reasons including weight loss, getting lean, reducing their cravings to sugar and processed foods. It's a journey for learning how to appreciate the real foods that are right in front of you.

Week One - Cauliflower is my new best friend

Dealing with no sugar was a test in itself for week one. No fruit in the mornings, just green veg, meats, and my soon to be best friend... cauliflower. The key to getting through this first week let alone the whole four weeks was having my buddy do it with me. We were able to help remove temptations from each other, have chilled nights in, and when we did go out we were a team, ordering together our Clean & Lean approved dishes. 

The first day was a Saturday, everyone in our friendship group ordered five large pizzas and a tray of Krispy Kreme's (are you serious guys?). We jumped the first hurdle with our green spinach chicken pancakes and avocado... YUM! I was still hungry though but wouldn’t admit it! The point of Clean & Lean is whilst you cut out the bad you replace it with the good and lots of it. You get hungry and you eat, surely isn’t this the case? For me the struggles started when it came to exercising. My body was telling me no, my head was telling me train, keep your training up. I gave in and listened to my body! The next step was the food. To get through I knew it was all about the planning and that's when FitThree came into the equation. All approved of course. I was set for my five dinners a week and just had to prepare the yummy lunches courtesy of @Soff.it delicious recipes. This was the week we realised that we had endless recipes we could make with cauliflower and zucchini focaccini. The rest was history and week one started to get easier with occasional sugar cravings but no chocolate in sight. 

Week Two - Red pepper never tasted so amazingly good!

With a week of just greens, cauliflower, protein, protein and protein it was time for an addition to the menu. I don't think I've ever realised how tasty and sweet a red pepper was going into week Two; They’re super sweet and full of flavour. We continued our FitThree's, prepped our lunches and snacks on the Sunday. Thank goodness for the introduction of coloured vegetables. Did you know one red pepper can contain a teaspoon of sugar. All natural sugars of course, but the journey is learning about the good sugars, the good fats and oils to put into your body. 

Connecting with real food and tasting the real flavours was something else. Doing it alongside 270 other people was another. The power of people and seeing their results after two weeks was so inspiring. With everything going well I still wasn't able to train after feeling quite weak, but that was about to change when Fran and I signed up to trek up Mount Kinabalu with no sugar and carbs - OMG!

Week Three - Trekking up South East Asia's highest mountain; Mount Kinabalu!

It goes without saying this was seriously tough. Without two weeks of training, no sugar and carbs we had a number of people saying we were crazy, and were not confident we could do it. Probably a little mad, but if we're doing one challenge, why on earth not do two? Trekking is one of my all-time favourite things to do and I wasn’t about to bail on this amazing trip.

To cut a long two days short (full blog coming soon), Fran and I did a great deal of preparation before the trip. We had these amazing cacao coconut protein balls, with nuts introduced which helped fuel us the most and then some super tasty True Protein dark chocolate flavour shakes (life saver). The first hour of the trek kicked in hard; Out of breathe, the midday sun and hours of uphill climbing… but still smiling. The only way was up (pretty vertical). The packed lunch was not the best as we could only eat chicken, a slice of cucumber and an egg. We were expecting to starve the whole trip, but thank goodness for eggs, meat and vegetables which saved us from noodles and rice. 

After a night of no sleeping, acclimatising and hearing a couple of people vomiting it was time to get up and ‘nail’ this climb. For fuel we drank our protein shakes, ate a couple of handfuls of nuts and had our eggs. We made it! 4095m secured! With no carbs and sugar our recovery was something else. When walking for three days afterwards, with a lack of the right nutrients in our bodies, was agony. 

Week Four - On the home straight

Sustaining Clean & Lean for four weeks was tough, but manageable. As soon as I set my mind to the challenge the rest was history. Week four was a breeze. I prepared my protein balls, my lunches, ordered my dinners in advance and I was ready to go. I’m a few weeks on and still keeping up with Clean & Lean week four with one cheat day a week, therefore sustaining a realistic lifestyle and falling under the 80% healthy - 20% eat whatever tasty treats I want… I’m only human after all!

If I could give you anything to walk away with these five key tips, the first would be to get your ‘butt’ into gear and stick to your goals:

1. Determine how badly you want it… 

Are you serious about change and getting the end result? At the end of the day it's your choice. Take control of your life,  make your mindset strong and surround yourself with people that just ‘get’ you. Social events, and holidays etc will come and go so you've just got to make it work! 

2. Get yourself a partner in crime

They have your back, you can enjoy social occasions together and take a stance with your friends that just don't get it. Achieving similar goals with someone else is empowering as you share the ups and downs, and it makes you forget about the four weeks’ timeline. It just naturally continues to become your way of life. 

3. Get planning and prepping

Don't skip the corners, or you’ll suffer. Get ahead of yourself with your breakfast, lunches and dinners and how it fits best into your schedules. Mine was a Sunday session spending a couple of hours getting everything made for the week. 

4. Make it sustainable and be realistic

We can't be perfect 100% of the time so give back to yourself and give yourself a guilt-free treat, you deserve it! 

5. Get your ‘butt’ into gear.

Pick up your training again. Strength training to be exact. Yes - it's known for weight-loss, toning up those muscles, preventing illness and realising those happy endorphins. There’s nothing better than breaking a sweat and earning your body!

I’m pretty happy with my results, but now the real journey starts with carb loading and increasing my strength training to build on muscle tone. Overall I lost 1.66% body fat, 1.6kg and lost 4cm around my waist. I am so guilty of sharing the far right picture after my firs tCrossFit session and getting my muscles working. The lighting was better - guilty. But I now want to show you the slight difference lighting and posing can make to a set of photos. We all have our good and bad days! Now time to train and build my muscle tone back with phase 2 - bring on the strength training.

You’ll find there's always a tomorrow, there's always another Monday or next month. So the question is what are you going to finally achieve this year? Take the first step and if at first you don't succeed just try and try again. 

Fitter, Leaner, Stronger!


The 2017 Clean & Lean sessions are happening on March 11 – April 8 (4 weeks), May 20 – June 17 (4 weeks), September 2 – 30 (4 weeks), November 4 – 25 (4 weeks).

UFIT is Singapore’s largest independent fitness community that offers a 360 approach to health and fitness island wide. For more information, visit our website.

Six reasons to include the Turkish Get Up in your training plan

If you’ve been hiding under a rock or training alone and in secret for the past decade, you may not have heard of The Turkish Get up (TGU). Simply put, it involves holding a kettle bell in one hand and going from lying flat on your back to standing up-right in one fluid movement whilst holding the kettlebell above your head at all times. Sounds simple? Try it and you won’t think it’s a Turkish Delight – that I promise you!

TGU is a benefit rich exercise – but amazingly under-used and poorly executed in many training facilities, possibly due to a lack of real understanding on behalf of the PTs – although certainly not lacking in UFIT gyms! So here are my top 6 benefits for including this amazing exercise in your training program:

1.     Promotes stability in the upper and lower body – stability – including your core stability - is a key component of fitness and without it, an athlete’s ability to produce maximum force would be compromised

2.     Promotes thoracic mobility and extension - in a world of desk-bound people, T-Spine extension and “opening up” should be a daily goal for anybody looking to improve or maintain good posture

3.     Stimulates proprioception - the ability of “knowing where your body is" and how it moves through space. This adds a balance element to the training program

4.     Multiplaniar in nature - a well-balanced program should consist of exercises that are in all 3 planes of movement (Sagittal, Frontal and Transverse), the TGU hits all 3 at one time

5.     Has a cardiovascular effect on the body - with slow, controlled movement and correct weight selection the TGU can become extremely challenging quite quickly

6.     Develops trunk and core strength in more than one movement – it effectively trains the “core” and not just the abdominals, which will transfer better to sports and activities that require standing and rotation/anti-rotation (ie most sports).

If you want to know more about this ancient but effective training method, visit Nathan Williams at UFIT Orchard to get the best training and expertise. 

 

 

 

 

 

UFIT introduces new Commercial Director Will Skinner to the UFIT Team.

UFIT is delighted to announce the appointment of Will Skinner as its Commercial Director. Will is responsible for over-seeing all of UFIT’s commercial and brand development activities, with the aim of enhancing the overall wellness experience for existing clients, and developing relationships with new clients and partners.

James Forrester, UFIT’s Founder and General Manager announced “We have thousands of clients who now do fitness training and nutrition programs with us, and as we continue to grow we want to make their experience even more rewarding, and easily accessible. We can do that by affiliating with other great lifestyle-focussed businesses to offer clients a complete, holistic service, and developing attractive packages for companies wanting to improve the well-being of their staff. Will is a former English Rugby Premiership captain and brings great experience to UFIT."

Will has been involved in professional rugby for over 14 years with England, Leicester Tigers and Harlequins, both as a player and on the commercial side as Head of Sales and Business Development. Will concludes “I’m really proud to join James and his amazing team. After a number of years playing against James on the rugby field and then watching his success with UFIT from afar, when the opportunity came up to become part of the community I just couldn’t say no. The culture of UFIT and its members is incredible and I can’t wait to build on this and realise UFIT'S potential across Singapore and SE Asia”.

Will joins the UFIT management team, and will work with UFIT’s Marketing Manager Lizzie Wright. 


Will can be contacted at:


Will Skinner
Commercial Director
will@ufit.com.sg
+65 9070 9068

Early specialisation of sports in kids - yes or no?

Most parents and young athletes know of Tiger Woods. Often, they’ll know about his route into the sport; hitting golf balls by the age of 2 and a half with razor sharp focus. In other words, Tiger was born to play golf, and everything he did was designed to make Tiger the Number 1 golfer in the world, and he achieved his goal.

But for most of us, and most of our children, early specialisation is not always a good idea. Tiger Woods, Maria Sharapova – and for every sports star who made their entire childhood about playing and being the number one in the world at that sport or event - there are literally a million children who, being forced to play and play and play the same sport, fell out of love with it and never picked up a racquet again.

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But when to specialise? If we as parents or coaches feel the need to hit our magical “10,000 hours” of practice in order to be elite, when else can we hit these numbers? Children want to achieve, and how is swimming, basketball and cricket going to help with my 9 year old rugby prodigy?

Be careful of the misinterpretation of this “10,000” hour golden rule. Anders Ericsson, the researcher who is credited with the so-called rule states his work was misinterpreted and popularised by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers; it ignores the other elements of high performance and only focuses on deliberate practice. Top youth sport researchers suggest an alternative. Whilst competitors whose sports peak after the age of 20 - which, barring female gymnastics and some tennis players - covers most sports – they need to accumulate 10,000 hours of general sports participation. This does not mean 10,000 hours of that one particular sport.

A popular model of youth development is the Long Term Athletic Development Model, and its evolutionary successor the Youth Physical Development Model. Whilst in depth analysis of these models are beyond the scope of this article, there are certain stages of sporting development; the sampling years (6-12), the specialising years (13-15) and the investment years (16+).

Research has shown that multiple sport participation in the sampling years leads to better overall motor and athletic development, longer playing careers and increased confidence, as well as a reduced injury risk. Whilst the LTAD is by far from a perfect model and bases recommendations on chronological rather than maturational age, it gives us guidelines (+/- 2 or so years) that are good starting points.  Specialisation in a single sport accounts for 50% of overuse injuries in youth athletes. Young athletes who specialised were 70-93% more likely to be injured than those playing multiple sports! Variety of movement patterns, variety of opponents and sporting actions allow the young athlete to move in a myriad of patterns, meaning when things do change they have the ability to adapt and overcome the movement problem in front of them without potentially injury inducing compensations.

Playing multiple sports for as long as possible lends itself to greater creativity when out on the field, even during those later investment years. If a rugby player for example has spent his early years playing basketball and tennis, chances are his or her lateral movement and hand-eye coordination will be significantly developed, allowing a more creative movement to beat an opponent or find ways to get the try scoring pass away. In the US, a 2013 American Medical Society for Sports Medicine survey indicated that 88% of college athletes participated in more than one sport as a child.

Psychologically speaking, a child that plays multiple sports is far more likely to play sports into adulthood, either at the elite or non-elite level; and those who specialise early are more likely to suffer stress, burnout, decreased motivation and lack of enjoyment. The focus on only one sport means that their athletic confidence hinges on one thing and potentially one event! If a young athlete performs less than expected or desired at a swim meet, and all they do is swim, it has a huge negative impact. If the athlete performs less than expected at a swim meet but has a great time playing volleyball the next weekend, chances are they’re going to be far less worried about their swim meet!

Remember, sports are not academics; if a child falls behind in school, it can be hard to catch up. In sports, the opposite is often true. Trying many different sports throughout the year will almost certainly enhance your child’s ability to play their chosen sport when they begin their investment years; the science also dictates they might have more fun and be healthier when they get there, as well. Which is almost certainly the real challenge.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joe is an Masters level UKSCA Accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach, with a wealth of experience working with athletes of all ages and standards from professional sportspeople to 6-9 year old youth athletes.

Joe’s training style focuses on the underpinning quality of strength and movement quality to assist performance of sporting goals, body composition, and general health and wellbeing. He focusses on evidence based programming, training smart and getting the basics right before all else. Joe believes in coaching with intelligence, training with intent and keeping things simple.


UFIT KIDS CAMPS

They’re back! UFIT Kids' Camps are on these Easter holidays!

Get your kids active and outdoors this Easter break at our popular Athlete Development and Rugby Development Camps. Running from 3 to 14 April for boys and girls aged 7 to 18 years, these camps will help your kids develop their physical and sporting abilities while they make new friends at the same time. Sign up now to secure their spot!

For more details see our website at www.ufit.com.sg/kids-camps


YOUTH ACADEMY

The academy is designed for 11-18 year olds to help improve their sports performance and overall fitness and health whilst having fun and being part of a motivating group setting.

The sessions enable participants to build a solid athletic foundation to excel in your future sporting or active life. Sessions run throughout the week, please see relevant times below. All levels and abilities are welcome.

Join us every weekday at UFIT one-north,  4pm to 5pm *except Wednesday. All levels and abilities are welcome.

For more details see our website at www.ufit.com.sg/youth-academy