EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS FOR UFIT BOOTCAMPS AND NUTRITION

Thanks to the support of all our wonderful clients, UFIT Bootcamps has grown from strength to strength and we get really touched when we hear about our clients’ new personal milestones and deep friendships made across all our communities.

Wendy Riddell has done a fantastic job leading both UFIT Bootcamps and UFIT Nutrition in the last year. And now, as they are two very specialised businesses that continue to grow we feel they both need individual attention.

With Wendy’s huge experience and success as a nutritionist, it makes perfect sense for her to focus on that part of the business exclusively, as the Head of UFIT Nutrition.

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And, on the Bootcamps side, Marcus Fam will become the new Head of UFIT Bootcamps.

Marcus has been chosen as the new Head of Bootcamps because of the excellent feedback we’ve received about him as a coach, and his great ability to drive and motivate the community. He does a lot of Bootcamps and is very familiar with this business, and has great passion for the industry and our clients.

Wendy says: "I’m excited to be helping people with nutrition which is my passion. I’m looking forward to taking it further with the new UFIT Body Transformation program, cooking classes, and further developments with Clean & Lean and our nutrition programs.

And over to Marcus: “I've always had a soft spot for group fitness which is where I started 14 years ago. But what has always stood out for me as being so special about UFIT Bootcamps is its thriving, inclusive community that was built by Darren Blakeley and carried on with distinction by Lisa Clayton and Wendy, and I have big boots to fill. We have the best Bootcamp coaches in Singapore and I’m extremely excited about leading this wonderful community with our amazing team".

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We wish Wendy and Marcus all the very best in these roles!

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Two successful UFIT Clean & Leaners share their story

Rob Hewitson

ROB lost a staggering 11.4kg AND 7.2% body fat in the last UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge AND TOLD US:  

“It’s been a great 4 weeks! The before and after photos are unbelievable! Really don’t want to go back there, especially as I thought I was in OK shape before!! Told you I was competitive …” 

He shared his experience with us some more:

1. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO DO THE CHALLENGE?

I am coming up to a significant birthday and having been over 100kg (always 108-110kg) for about 15 years, felt it was time to give it a proper go at getting into double figures and staying there!

2. HOW DID YOU FIND IT IN THE BEGINNING AND THE END?

In the beginning I felt very dizzy and lightheaded, plus exceptionally grumpy. I wasn't great to be around! I found it easy to maintain the food menus and exercise but I dreamt about beer and whisky … A LOT!

I found I lost a lot of weight in the first week then hit a plateau and it wasn’t until week 4 when I started to see the scales really change. It is worth sticking with it.

3. WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT AND EASIEST PART?

The hardest part was going out with work and not being able to join in with a drink. The easiest part was the food, especially the fry-ups every morning!

4. WHAT DID YOU LEARN THAT SURPRISED YOU?

How much sugar I take in on a normal day without realising. I haven’t been under 100kg since I was 25 and I feel so much better for it. 

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5. WHERE WILL YOU TAKE YOUR CLEAN & LEAN KNOWLEDGE FROM HERE?

For me it's about having a better balance so keeping the Clean & Lean food options for most of the week with a couple of cheat meals. Food prep is also really important, as is always have Clean & Lean snacks in the fridge! 


SHVETA N.

SHVETA LOST 5.6% BODY FAT IN THE LAST UFIT CLEAN & LEAN CHALLENGE. SHE SHARED WITH US: 

Educating people about nutrition is probably the most important thing that can save this world :-

Why she did the Challenge

"I have always had problems with my weight and my problem was a bit of both - laziness and weak willpower with food. I took various gym memberships but could never stick to them out of sheer boredom. One day I attended a group fitness class and I was hooked. The music, the energy all around got me going and I didn't realise 1 hour was up. I joined that community and though I didn't do much about food intake, I did see some progress.

And then last year in September 2016, we moved to Singapore and my entire schedule went hay-wire. We started eating out more and last month I realised I had gained 10 kgs. All the weight I had put off the year before that and some more. Finally I realised till I don't mend my relationship with food, whatever I do will always bounce back. UFIT's Clean & Lean challenge seemed like the perfect thing to join.

It was a group thing + the competition part was really motivating + I knew I could do it if only I had the right knowledge and awareness about the food I consume. 

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How did she find it?

At the beginning, I was super-motivated. The thought that the first week we only have to consume greens was a little un-nerving but it wasn't so difficult. Thanks to the amazing options all over the CBD, I learnt to make similar salads at home for dinner. It wasn't as hard as I had expected. I felt lighter but felt a mix of highs and lows (energy wise).

The Saturday sessions always made me look forward to the new additions in the plan and that's what kept me going. However, towards the end of the third week, somehow I started getting demotivated. Maybe I was expecting too much and started doubting myself. But I started cheating a little here and there. I wish I had stuck to my willpower and hadn't done that now. Even after C&L ended, I've been continuing with the same dinner options and I don't feel it's being forced on me. I enjoy having them which is the best thing for me. 

The most difficult and easiest part ...

The most difficult part was the weekends. When you're meeting friends, being social and saying no to everything. I had started dreading weekends if we had plans with someone. Making sensible choices was easier compared to constantly saying no to persistent friends. I can't seem to decide the easiest part of the challenge. I had started enjoying salads and dining outside, choosing the right places / foods to eat even when outside became easier and easier. Grocery shopping became easier and faster because you end up skipping most of the rows and only end up at the veggies / meat and frozen sections. 

What was the biggest surprise?

I was always a little aware about how harmful sugar is for our body but that knowledge was only limited to processed foods. The Saturday sessions were an eye-opener. The biggest thing that I learnt was that even a clean diet like C&L gives you so many food and flavour options that you actually can't get tired of it. 

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Next steps ...

I'm looking forward to eating the C&L way and making the right choices if eating outside. It all comes down to decision-making and I feel the last 4 weeks have given me a lot of knowledge and particularly the result has given me that belief that I just have to keep working hard in this direction to reach the fitness level I want to be in. I'll be focusing on making those right decisions. 

It's not to late to get into great shape for the forthcoming Silly Season!! The next UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge is running 28 October to 25 November - just in time for Christmas. Finish off your 2017 with a bang and sign up now here for Clean & Lean 17 !!

Introducing the new UFIT Tanjong Pagar PT studio

Our brand new Personal Training studio on the mezzanine level of our CrossFit Tanjong Pagar gym is open for business! This private oasis in the middle of the CBD allows clients to feel part of the welcoming, vibrant CrossFit community downstairs, yet provides a quieter, dedicated area to focus in and smash their goals with their Personal Trainer.

Our coaches are highly respected trainers and athletes, with enormous passion and experience in personal training, weightlifting and CrossFit. They also have many hidden talents and secrets up their sleeve. Find out more about them right here ...

Dylan Goddard

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"I’ve always been highly competitive at every sport I've been involved in. From the age of 10, I represented my province in South Africa in squash, athletics and rugby. I turned to competitive bodybuilding when I left school, competing at a provincial level for four years, and also got involved in Mixed Martial Arts.

Soon after I discovered mountain biking and rode and raced for two solid years. It’s a tough sport that really challenges the mind, body and soul. I ended up racing bikes when I moved to Singapore six years ago and then took up the discipline of CrossFit. 

I’ve competed in CrossFit for three to four years, achieving some significant milestones including perfect scores at the Sin City Invitationals 2016, winning 2015’s “Fittest Male in Singapore” (by CrossFit HQ, USA), third place in the 2016 "Fittest in Singapore" and have been a Reebok ambassador since 2014. I now carry a Crossfit Weightlifting Certification and a CrossFit Level 2 certification.".  Read more about Dyl here.

Nazharia Schifra Lomboan (Naz)

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Naz hails from Jakarta and later went to school in Singapore. "I was athletic and competitive ever since I was little. I grew up with an older brother so liked what he liked, and my dad was super competitive which rubbed off on me. PE was my favourite class at school, and I did track, swimming, footy, basketball and martial arts. 

At the same time I did musical theatre in Singapore and Jakarta, performing every year since I was 12, including as lead female in Footloose and in Grease as Rizzo. I also performed at The Esplanade with my band as a guitarist and back-up singer. I wanted to study performing arts but my dad sent me to business school in the UK - but then I decided to pursue my real passion which was fitness and weightlifting which led me into CrossFit".

Naz went on to become a regular CrossFit competitor and won 2017 "Fittest Female in Singapore" at the CrossFit Opens. She remains an active CrossFitter and is also now pursuing her love of weightlifting. Read more about Naz here.

John Cheah

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"I started doing theatre for my A Levels in Singapore and taught myself to play guitar, drums, bass and percussion. My thesis was on percussion in Native American Theatre and after graduating, I got a role in a theatre company for a work doing contemporary dance. I started more dancing, and combined playing music in bands, physical theatre and dance.

In 2013 I performed at the Prague Dance Festival in the Czech Republic. I had a lead role and won the Dance Theatre, Folk Dance and Participant's Choice categories. We came back in 2014 and I won first place in Dance Theatre and Participant's Choice.

Around then I was exploring CrossFit and weightlifting. I was the head coach of another box in Singapore and competing quite around SE Asia. Dylan, Daryl and I were friends and rivals, often on the podium together, and when Dyl opened CFTP, it made sense for to come over.

I was accepting less theatre and dance work in 2016, and whilst doing my last dance gig I met Adelene Stanley, my dance partner, and we started going out soon after the concert ended. We're getting married in December this year :) I've stopped CrossFit now and am pursing goals weightlifting. Along this journey, I hold all the weightlifting national records in the under-85kg and under-94kg categories. Read more about John here

Melanie Lim

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Melanie moved to Singapore from KL on an ASEAN scholarship when she was 14 years old. She went on an exchange program in Oregon when she was 21 to do sports marketing and digital arts.

She was training actively on the side and injured her lower back L4/L5, and met a physiotherapist who was a CrossFit trainer and began rehabbing using CrossFit methodology.

She moved back to Singapore at the age of 22, and interned at CrossFit Fire City for 8 months and now carries a CrossFit Weightlifting Certification and CrossFit Level 2 certification, accumulating over 200 hours of coaching in various landscapes in Asia.

When she's not training clients, herself or doing competitions Mel is an extremely talented photographer and many clients will have seen her behind the lens shooting fabulous photos of all the action for UFIT and CrossFit Tanjong Pagar.  Read more about Mel here.

Adam Ransley (BLUEY)

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Bluey has had a lifelong passion for sport, having played and coached competitive Rugby League in Sydney from a young age. He has always participated in many team sports and active events as possible - from Australian Surf Life Saving to Adventure Racing, Downhill Mountain bike riding and most recently CrossFit.

Taking his love for sport to forging a new career in the fitness industry was a natural progression for Adam. He completed his Australian Certificate III in Personal Training, and CrossFit Level 1 course to enable him to develop the same passion for fitness and training in others.

Adam believes in a balanced approach to a healthy lifestyle, which includes functional training and smart nutrition to achieve goals. He prides himself on being committed to helping others in their fitness journey as he continues to grow his. Read more about Bluey here.

FARREEZ ROSNAN

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Farreez started his career as a Personal Trainer in 2011. His passion previously as a sportsperson was as a rugby player since the age of 11 and till now, has always loved the sport. He was fortunate enough to represent Singapore in rugby at the ages of 12, 15 and 16.

His specialities with clients would be able to make them feel comfortable when they are training, improve technique and understanding of their training so they know how to use the equipment properly. Read more about Farreez here.

 
 

Come and train at our new studio at Tanjong Pagar and enjoy our special offer of 5 personal training sessions for $399, whether you are new to working out, have specific areas of the body you want to focus on, have personal goals or want to make a complete transformation.

Our coaches work with clients from all walks of life and of all fitness levels, and there is nothing that satisfies them more than helping people reach their goals.

Is Clean & Lean right for me?

They say that to lose weight, 80% of it comes down to what you eat, and this is where the UFIT Nutrition Group comes in!

Hundreds of people have done the UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge, and many have come back to do it again two, three and four times. Find out from Sheri and Scott Green - who've done it four times and got amazing results - how it changed their lives. 

“My energy levels improved, my skin was nice, my moods were more stable and then there are the changes you see in your clothes, they fit better, even get too big. I learnt to love my exercise much more. These are just a few things but there are so many more”. Sheri Green

We answer your questions on the UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge here:

Q: WILL I BE ABLE TO DO THIS FOR A WHOLE MONTH? 

We'll teach you how to eat the right things that make you feel full and reduce your hunger and cravings, so you don't starve yourself but will lose weight. The month will be over and you'll be glowing before you know it!

Q. I LIKE TO EAT OUT OFTEN, HOW WILL I MANAGE?

We can advise how to choose your meals when you eat in restaurants, ideas of where you can get clean and lean food and give ideas for simple meals that don't need cooking.

Q. IF I'VE DONE THE CHALLENGE BEFORE, WILL I BENEFIT FROM DOING IT AGAIN?

Yes! As you become leaner, fitter and stronger your goals will change each time. Also as you fall off the bandwagon after the challenges it's good to get back on again to refocus with a purpose and team motivating you. The more you practice, the more of a habit it becomes.

Q. I'M A PRIVATE PERSON - WILL I NEED TO SHARE MY STORIES AND PHOTOS?

The group gives you motivation, energy and ideas. Whether you want to contribute is totally up to you. There is no expectation to be active on the Facebook group or in person - but you're totally welcome to just read it and get ideas and recipes.

Q. I HAVE SIGNED UP FOR A RACE, WILL I HAVE ENOUGH ENERGY?

You will be low in energy during the first week, but will have much more energy after 10 days, so no reason not to do your races at the same time.

Q. DURING C&L, SHOULD I WORRY IF I LOSE WEIGHT TOO FAST OR SLOWLY?

Don't weigh yourself during the Challenge, it's a process with ups and downs, influenced not only by what we eat but things like hormones and water retention. Be patient and just wait till the end!

Q. WILL I PUT THE WEIGHT STRAIGHT BACK ON AT THE END OF THE CHALLENGE?

We will help you successfully re-introduce the right carbs. For some the greatest challenge is to avoid bread or rice, for others it's alcohol, for some the challenge is to be planned, for others it's the training. But what this challenge teaches is you're capable of doing so much more than you imagine! And we are adaptable creatures of habit.
 

Q. I'M ALREADY QUITE FIT AND LEAN - IS IT FOR ME?
 

It will help you learn more about food - and get the right balance of good fats, proteins and sugars in your diet. It will cleanse your body of what it doesn't need, give you a great facial glow and more energy than you've had before. It's not just about weight loss - it's also about eating well :-)

SIGN UP FOR THE NEXT CHALLENGE STARTING 28 OCTOBER!

How 100 days got Robbo over the edge

Andrew Robertson took on a 100 day weight-loss challenge on the advice of his UFIT Amoy St trainer Lawrence Cartwright. Over that time Robbo had to cut alcohol for 100 days, send Lawrence photos of every meal he ate, and make huge changes to his diet. Lawrence also suggested he go public on Facebook over those 100 days for extra motivation. 

The results? Robbo lost 15kg and 6% body fat. Even better, he changed his several-decade long drinking habit, found he could enjoy going to bars and restaurants drinking water and eating veggies, got his friends involved, and ended up supporting two great Aussie charities, Beyond Blue and Soldier On who support people with depression and anxiety. 

In Robbo's words: "With the giving up of the grog I went from replacing one excessive habit to working out six days a week and feeling so much better".

 
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What made you decide to take on a 100 day challenge?

I've been complaining for years that I needed to get off the grog, usually on a Monday morning!!  However it has been a constant refrain with my trainer Lawrence Cartwright with me stating I needed to give up and him saying well just do it.  

Long story short - one Tuesday morning session after a particularly long weekend I launched into my usual “I need to give the booze a rest for a while” when Lawrence just said look either do it or shut up complaining (or words to that effect). It was similar to being told off by my daughter and I’m pretty sure they had been scheming!!! Anyway something switched in my head and boldly I said right then I’m off the grog for 100 days. You could have heard a pin drop in the gym!!! Seriously did he say 100 days, no that cannot be right, Robbo a 100 days off the grog, well this will be interesting, buckle up sparky and hang on for the ride!!!

How did you find it?

The training has been far more intense, even though I'd always been fairly active (life’s motto 100mph or asleep) and trained hard (though Aaron and Lawrence suggest more like 60%). 

Interestingly it became the default activity for releasing stress and then it was a case of just pushing myself harder both at Amoy St and then at home when training. We switched to a more strength based program in the gym and then cardio was done at home, with Lawrence (amongst others) getting into my head about how far I could push this old body of mine.

The neighbours have stuck their head over the fence and asked if I’m OK as I grunt and groan. We have told them if I’m too quiet then please worry. 

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How did your life change?

My diet for the first two weeks of the 100 days was non-existent. I hoovered just about everything in the fridge as I seemed to crave chocolate (Tim Tams what Tim Tams!!!), bread etc. We figured that it was just the sugar cravings. 

After the first two weeks I got a little more serious and gave up processed bread, noodles and spuds (and my beloved chocolate). We figured it would be easier to gradually take things out. However in general up to the 50 day mark the diet was reasonable without going overboard. 

For the last 50 days we got really strict.  No bread, pasta, noodles, potato – it was meat, veggies, fruit (berries mainly) and salad. To be honest some days I ate like I was 21 again with heaps of bacon, eggs, avo and tomatoes after training, other days if I didn't feel like eating I didn't. The longest fast was 3 days. Lots of whey shakes. The only thing we disagreed on was dairy intake.  I maintained three serves of dairy every day, so either home made whey shakes or milk for breakfast or late dinner, and cheese. The deal was that if I started to plateau I would give up the dairy but I lost more in the second half of the challenge than I did on the first (and dare I say it Mum was right again, still she has been in the food industry for a while!!).

There were cheats obviously, some ice cream here and there, a piece of cheesecake, a small brownie, a Bundy Ginger Beer watching the footy. However as I had to take a photo of everything I ate and send to Lawrence that created the discipline and also made me aware of what was on my plate. The interesting thing was my body's reaction to the ‘sugar’ foods and let’s just say the body punished me way more than Lawrence ever could think of!!!

Since finishing the challenge I have tried to moderate my carb intake and to be fair it has been reasonably easy. Going out and asking for veggies instead of mash or chips is now second nature and I still haven’t had spuds. A meat pie down in Oz with my daughter was brilliant but I managed to stop at one, so maybe I am learning moderation. More importantly the same with the grog. I am learning that moderation is fine and can make the switch to my beloved Icelandic Sparkling water (my drink of choice for the challenge and now also for gin!!).

How did you feel over the 100 days?

The first three weeks were horrendous, not the training but the headaches.  I would Google giving up alcohol cold turkey and it would say DON’T. It wasn’t this bad giving up the smokes. However eventually they went away and whilst every now and then would come back by midway I was feeling pretty good physically. 

By the end I was feeling physically great, sore but certainly in far better shape than I had for a couple of decades. I won’t say the sleep was significantly better as I was still tired and mentally it was a constant challenge to continue the same social life but ensure that I kept off the booze. However overall I’m feeling really good about what I achieved, the support of mates and the impact it’s had so not a bad result all round. 

Have the results met your expectations?

I was gobsmacked at the end and I’m not usually short of a word!! 15 kgs dropped over the 100 days, about 5-6% body fat loss over the last 50 days, 3.5 inches gone around the waist (costing me a fortune in new clothes).

More so than my personal achievements has been the impact it's had on others. This was always meant to be a personal challenge to give up the grog and see if I could modify my drinking habits (don’t mind to have a few yards over a few beers, wines etc). I had two mates that joined me one for 100 days and one for 50. Both finished. I trained on the weekends with mates and their kids who swung round, the support by mates and family has been enormous and goes a long way to getting you through this. It meant that I could turn up to an event or a pub an no-one batted an eyelid that I was drinking water. It was really positive.

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I have also found that going to the pub and not drinking is not boring. I’m still loud, cranky, love a yarn, smash water down the same way I drank beer and generally hate it when my footy team loses. You don’t need to be a hermit if you doing this as life is too short. Just find your drink of choice and not soft drink!!!

How are you continuing with it - what’s next?

As my other motto is ‘never waste a good start’ I’m maintaining the fitness regime and being far more conscious as to what I eat and drink. I’m still conscious that I don’t slip back into bad habits with the booze and we have devised some “rules” around that. Roughly I have picked a weight and if I go over that then I’m off the booze and strict with the diet until well back under.  

Two months a year (first half and second half) I will go dry and cannot drink on days that I don’t exercise hard. As with most things I went into this without any plan and just winged it. This is as close as I get to having some structure to my life!!

Tell us some more about your trainer Lawrence and the Amoy St team

I have got to say that Lawrence went way over what is expected of a personal trainer. It’s bad enough he has had to put up with my grunting, groaning, smart comments and expletives as I yell at myself and him (along with all the other long suffering clients and trainers at Amoy Street) but for this challenge he got sent pictures of all my food, me post workout, videos of me providing constructive but direct feedback as to what he could do with a new exercise challenge he had set me and I had just completed. So to be really honest I would not have got through this without his guidance and support.  

As with all things at UFIT it's a strong team and the support and encouragement from all of the trainers at Amoy Street has just been overwhelming. From having to put up with me whilst Lawrence was away, asking how I was going, personal WhatsApps providing support around diet, training, suggestions around taking photos weekly to see the impact and generally just putting asmile on my dial with some crack, it has just been a cracker.

It would be unfair to single anyone out but Rachel and the team at Amoy St really provide for a great sanctuary from the daily grind.

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Anything more to add about Lawrence?

Oh where to start ... Lawrence thought it would be a good idea if went public with the challenge.  So I drafted a long piece on Facebook and decided that if I get through the 100 days I would donate $1K each to Beyond Blue and Soldier On. Both are charities that help people with depression and anxiety, this having personal resonance with me and my family. Well the Facebook thing kicked off and every day I would get up and post what day I had just finished. I thought people would get bored but the reactions were priceless as I introduced bingo calls, concerns about my welfare as the wallabies, waratahs and NSW Blues lost again and again.

I had to post my weight loss, which due to the state of my toes resulted in a nice pedi and coloured toes kick started my other half Cheryl (and more donations to the charities). My daughter laughed when she saw then as they were shellac and I still have the most colourful toes at Amoy Street (the look on Lizzie’s face was priceless!!)

Lack of alcohol had not helped my loudness, coordination or eyesight and dropping a weight on my toe at training with Lawrence.....well you could have heard a pin drop at 7ish one morning!

Lawrence told me that I should try to do a 5km row, 100 burpees and then run for 20 mins. When I finally informed him I could only do 50 but had done the rest it transpired he had it got the program wrong and it should be 2km row, 100 burpees and no run….. that stretched the friendship and started a debate amongst Frazer, Will and Lawrence as to what my next exercise challenge should be. 

Word of warning if anyone asks you to combine rowing with a heavy bag, politely decline.

What Lawrence has to say about Robbo

I’ve been training Robbo for 3.5 years and he’s come a massive way in his fitness and his strength has gone through the roof. We've been up and down with his weight but it's come down a lot since the start. It started at over 100kg and it flew right down. 

For a while we weren't getting anywhere with his weight and I said to him mate let’s get more serious and come up with a bit of a challenge. He was always a drinker so we came up with 100 days of no drink.

After 50 days to really make big changes I told him to send me a photo of every single meal he had, and I was like change this and change that, and I said right let’s go completely carb free. Over the last 50 days he went really strict and that's where you can see the massive change difference in his weight and body fat. His strength has stayed the same, and he's still strong, deadlifting two times his body weight for 5 reps of 160kg.

The main reason he stuck to this challenge was putting it on his Facebook - so he went there and said right I’m gonna do 100 days no piss. He got a massive following and his friends were like no way mate, wow that’s really good. People were motivating him from day 1, day 2, all the way up to 100 and people were really following him. 

I really enjoy training Robbo, he's a character in the gym and he knows everyone here. You'll hear him yelling from all over the gym. He's really uplifting and a natural motivator also for the other clients around him. We really love having him here and are all really proud of him.

 
 

How has he been sinced he finished the challenge?

He's dropped another 1.5kg since finishing because he's been training so hard. We've re-introduced carbs which he needs to fuel him though his training which he does sometimes twice a day.

Also his main focus has shifted - over the 100 days we wanted to drop weight and body fat, and we're now building on strength and muscle gains so have changed his diet and training somewhat. As well as training here at the gym three times a week he plays rugby with The Wanderers and he does a cardio ciruit at home to supplement his strength work here in the gym. 


The charities

Robbo supported the two Aussie charities Soldier On and Beyond Blue who support people with depression and anxiety, especially in men and young adults. 

He contributed $1.5k to each charity and a number of Robbo's friends matched that contribution. And there was the toenail money. Either way a great result and exposure for both of the charities and depression.

Getting to under 100kg after 15 years

Rob Hewitson lost 7.2% body fat in the last UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge. During that process he lost a staggering 11.4kg and at the end of the Challenge shared with us: 

"It’s been a great 4 weeks! The before and after photos are unbelievable! Really don't want to go back there, especially as I thought I was in OK shape before!! Told you I was competitive …" 

He shared his experience with us some more:

1. What made you decide to do the challenge?

I am coming up to a significant birthday and having been over 100kg (always 108-110kg) for about 15 years, felt it was time to give it a proper go at getting into double figures and staying there!

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2. How did you find it in the beginning and the end?

In the beginning I felt very dizzy and lightheaded, plus exceptionally grumpy. I wasn't great to be around! I found it easy to maintain the food menus and exercise but I dreamt about beer and whisky … A LOT!

I found I lost a lot of weight in the first week then hit a plateau and it wasn’t until week 4 when I started to see the scales really change. It is worth sticking with it.

3. What was the most difficult and easiest part?

The hardest part was going out with work and not being able to join in with a drink. 

The easiest part was the food, especially the fry-ups every morning!

4. What did you learn that surprised you?

How much sugar I take in on a normal day without realising. I haven’t been under 100kg since I was 25 and I feel so much better for it. 

5. Where will you take your Clean & Lean knowledge from here?

For me it's about having a better balance so keeping the Clean & Lean food options for most of the week with a couple of cheat meals. Food prep is also really important, as is always have Clean & Lean snacks in the fridge! 

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It's not to late to get into great shape for the forthcoming Silly Season!! The next UFIT Clean & Lean Challenge is running 28 October to 25 November - just in time for Christmas. Finish off your 2017 with a bang and sign up now here for Clean & Lean 17 !!

Kids rugby update

We are excited that John Brake has joined UFIT after retiring from playing professional rugby and a very successful ten-year career with England 7s and Northampton Saints.  

John will do Personal Training at UFIT Amoy, be a coach at the UFIT Kids Holiday Rugby Camps, and coach kids at SCC Rugby Academy in collaboration with The Fry Group.

John’s arrival at the SCC Rugby Academy heralds an exciting new partnership between the Academy and UFIT. John says of his first month in Singapore: “It’s been a great couple of weeks – I’ve had a very warm welcome from everyone and am impressed by the enthusiasm of the coaches and players, and the huge presence of family and friends at the Saturday training. The standards of playing have exceeded my expectations and I’m looking to forward to pushing on and being competitive across all age groups. There’s such a great community feel at Dempsey".

Come and meet John and UFIT's Commercial Director Will Skinner over Q&A sessions this Saturday 16 September at the SCC Dempsey.

And whilst John is training kids at the SCC we will be running a Saturday morning UFIT Bootcamp from 23 September at the SCC in Loewen Gardens. Details will be announced shortly!

Update from The Fry Group

The Fry Group warmly welcomes you to its upcoming workshop: The Changing Face of Retirement. Found out more and sign up here. 

The Fry Group and UFIT also recently collaborated on putting on a kids special Rugby training session with Dan Norton and The British Club

Around 30 boys and girls attended from SCC Academy, Dulwich College and The British Club joined the session where Dan Norton and UFIT’s Frazer McArdell shared some top training tips and drills. After the session the children enjoyed pizza provided by The British Club and had the opportunity to fire their questions at Dan and take pictures with him and his Olympic medal.

 

 

 

The benefits of strength training for your kids

Adults often fear that strength training is unsafe for kids - find out in three simple steps how your child can benefit. 

As a parent, it’s easy to understand these natural reservations, but it's important we set the record straight. The truth is, strength training is safe and good for kids - when it's done the right way.

Strength training provides many benefits for children and adolescents in a physical and physiological capacity however it may also have a profound effect on their health later on in life as well, and here’s why:

Regular physical activity is essential for normal growth and development and kids should be encouraged to engage in 60 minutes of vigorous activity every day. However, most parents shy away from allowing their child to participate in strength training activities. This is normally down to a belief that performing this type of work can be dangerous for their growth and development or simply a lack of a safe appropriate venue and instructors for them to go.

Research over the last decade has repeatedly suggested that strength training can have a unique benefit for kids when appropriately supervised.

Similar to adults, a structured strength training program can have favourable effects on a child’s musculoskeletal strength, body composition, cardio vascular risk factors and psycho-social well being.

When is the right age to introduce them to strength training?

Between the ages of 11 to 16 is an ideal time to develop musculoskeletal strength, this will have a positive effect on a child’s ability to perform life’s everyday activities with greater energy and will increase a young athlete’s resistance to sports related injury. There is a growing trend in sports related injuries amongst young athletes this can be caused by muscular imbalances, poor conditioning and overtraining (doing to much too soon).

Mentoring and learning from highly experienced strength & conditioning coaches is crucial to your child’s development.

Causes of injury

A common cause of injury amongst young athletes is early specialization. This is where a child performs a high amount of training in one particular sport which often leads to overuse injuries due to the repetitive stress on the body. Young athletes should be encouraged to take part in a variety of sports along side an appropriate strength training program in order to combat repetitive strain and overuse injuries.

It’s not just the physical you need to look into…

It is important to stress here that strength training isn’t only important for kids that participate in sport.

One of the most overlooked benefits is on a child’s physiological well being. Research has suggested the health and body image benefits that come with strength training have improved the self confidence and physiological health with young boys and girls alongside the social skills that are developed when training in a group setting. Research has also found that physical activity habits that are established in early life tend to carry over in to adulthood.

An important part of this is developing what we call fundamental movement skills (FMS) such as jumping, hopping, squatting, pressing, balance etc. Research has also shown that children who develop these skills at a young age are less likely to be sedentary during adulthood.

UFIT Clinic provides one of the best Performance Psychologists in Singapore - Dr Jay Lee. She works with parents and children to develop their mental focus and get the best out of their performance. Furthermore, children who do not develop these skills will find it hard to learn these requisite movements which allows them to participate in physical activity and sport later in life, thus effecting their confidence and vigour when it comes to working out.

So what kind of exercises are we talking about? 

Joe Williams, Personal Trainer from UFIT one-north and UFIT Youth Academy and UFIT Kids Holiday Camps coach shares his top five exercises right here:

Box Jump
An important exercise to teach proper landing mechanics for youth athletes. The box takes away some of the landing force, allowing for a better landing. Important to land in a good position, with hips above knees - so don't make the box too high!

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Single Leg Hop, Stick and Catch
Single leg control is really important for most sporting movements, and helps to strengthen the ankle knee and hip dynamically. Catching a tennis ball on landing encourages correct posture, and can be progressed by throwing the ball harder to difficult catching positions. It also adds another element of fun to the drill!

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Goblet Squat
Squatting is what we call a fundamental movement skill, or FMS. It teaches a young athlete the move simultaneously at the ankle knee and hip while maintaining correct posture, as well as building strength and stability in the lower body.

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Push-Up
Correct push-ups are much harder than they look! Whole body stability (like a plank), scapula (shoulder blade) function and control and strong pushing muscles are taught here. All these things are important for any sports or games, especially those that involve the potential of falls - a strong stable upper body can make landing much safer!

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Pullunder
Similar to the push-up, a pullunder works the posterior shoulder and is simply the same movement reversed; again, whole body control is developed. It's really important for all athletes - not just developing ones - to balance their pushing and pulling exercises.

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If there’s three things you should take away from this article, then make sure you’re doing this for your child…

  • Strength training should be an essential part of a child’s development
  • Make sure they are following a supervised and appropriate program both physically and psychologically
  • Despite concerns by parents, scientific evidence has proven that strength training provides many benefits not just on improved sporting performance but overall long term health and well being.

 

Does your child need Strength Training guidance?

Content brought to you by Tom Clarke who runs UFIT Youth Strength and Conditioning Academy out of UFIT one-north gym. The Academy is designed for 11-18 year olds to help improve sports performance and increase overall fitness and health. Tom has a Master’s degree in sports strength and conditioning with a focus on youth training and has previously worked professional sports team’s youth academies in the UK. For more information, contact academy@ufit.com.sg.

And we are also running the next UFIT Holiday Kids camps from 16 October where you kids can have guided supervision and loads of fun at The Jungle!

What's to love about CrossFit?

We've all heard of people who try CrossFit and before they know it they're hooked! Dylan Goddard, Head of CrossFit Tanjong Pagar tells us why CrossFit is so popular and worth including in your training regime.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is constantly varied functional exercises performed at high intensity - and based on the best functional aspects of weightlifting, running, gymnastics, rowing and more.

In CrossFit you move larger loads over longer distances, so you maximize work done over short periods of time. Intensity is essential for results, and the more you do in less time, or the higher the power output, the more intense the effort.

And with a constantly varied approach to training, these movements at this intensity lead to dramatic fitness gains.

But the most unique thing about CrossFit is you don't do it alone - it's the community that makes it a shining star in the fitness world.

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What's so special about CrossFit?

  • You train alongside strangers who eventually become "family"!
  • The community is a lot bigger than the “Box" you train at, there's an international CrossFit community that is felt worldwide
  • Every class is coached by a qualified coach and classes usually limited to 10-15 people which instills high quality coaching
  • The training program is well thought-out to improve your overall strength and conditioning 
  • There's no judgment, we really strive to advocate the mantra "everyone started at the bottom!"
  • Results will be seen as early as 4 to 6 weeks if the program is followed and nutrition is in check 
  • The scaleability of all CrossFit movements makes it very accessible to everyone 
  • You will have the opportunity to learn skills that will enhance your life inside and outside the gym
  • All are welcome! We've had many people join out CrossFit classes who have never even exercised in their lives before.
  • Every WOD (workout of the day) is different, this allows for constant varied exercises and workouts.

The KEY workouts

Fundamentals: Before you start you do a Fundamentals course to teach you how to do the exercises safely and effectively.

WOD: The “Workout of the Day” is what you perform on a given day. Many follow standard CrossFit WODs, and also do their own programming.

Metcon: "Metabolic conditioning,” trains stamina, endurance and conditioning. Unlike WODs — which can also include purely strength or skill-based workouts— metcons generally include timed components performed at high intensity.

Hero WODs: Named after military servicemen who have died in the line of duty, these provide an extra challenge and reminder of their sacrifice.

Murph: one the toughest WODs, this consists of a one-mile run followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 bodyweight squats. 

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THE BASICS

AMRAP: As Many Reps As Possible over a specific time period. Often lasting 10, 20, or 30 minutes (though it feels a lot longer) AMRAP workouts challenge you to finish as many rounds as you can in the allotted time. Just don't lose count…

Ass to Grass: Get low! Also called “Ass to Ankles,” this is a full-depth squat. 

For Time: Lets you see how you stack up with the rest of the CrossFit world by measuring the time it takes to complete a prescribed workout. 

CrossFit Games: Each summer the CrossFit Games test participants with physical challenges and workouts, ranging from swimming and running to pull-ups and handstand walks. Participants accrue points and the male and female winners are crowned World’s Fittest Man & Woman.

Earlier this year our very own Nazaria Schifra and Stuart Diplock were awarded those titles.

CrossFit Open: Allows competitors to register online and compete on their own or at local CrossFit boxes.

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SOME OF The Movements

Many of these movements are classic exercises you would do in Bootcamps and with your Personal Trainer. However the extra layer that CrossFit adds is the intensity and timed non-stop duration or by the amount of power you put in. 

  • Band assisted pull-up 
  • Bodyweight/Air Squat
  • Box Jump
  • Burpees
  • Double Unders - when a rope passes under your feet twice and you jump only once
  • GHD Sit-Up - sitting face-up on a Glute-Ham Developer reach back until your hands graze the ground, then explosively extend legs and sit up
  • Handstand Push-Up - you can kick up to a wall for stability 
  • Kipping pull-up - when you swing from a bar with rhythm
  • Knees to elbows - when you hang from a pull-up bar
  • Muscle Up -  hang from gymnastic rings and explosively pull your chest above the rings
  • Pistol / single leg squats - which require half the legs, but twice the effort
  • Ring Dip - just like a conventional bodyweight dip, only on gymnastic rings
  • Rope Climb
  • Snatch - explosively lift a weighted barbell from the ground to overhead in one movement
  • Sumo Deadlift High Pull - take a wide stance over a barbell  and explosively pull from the ground upward until the bar comes up to shoulder height
  • Thruster - a front squat straight into a push press
  • Walking lunges - using bodyweight. barbell on the shoulders or weight plate held overhead
  • Wallball throws.
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Come and join us at CrossFit Tanjong Pagar to find out what makes it so special for yourself.

 

NEW PERSONAL TRAINING GYM OPENING at CrossFit Tanjong Pagar!!

We are opening a brand new Personal Training gym in the mezzanine level where you can train with our coaches who have great passion and skill for lifting, CrossFit and strength training.

OPENING LATE SEPTEMBER!!

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How playing sport as a child set me up for life

Frazer McArdell, Head of UFIT Education and the UFIT KIds Rugby Development Camps shares some valuable lessons he learnt on the rugby pitch as a child that have helped him stay at the top of his game ever since. 

1. What inspired you to play Rugby?

My parents took me to Rugby at an early age and I hated it! So they proceeded to take me to every other possible sport they could find! I loved them all and did a different sport every night of the week and most hours of the weekend!

Then around the age of 12 or 13 my dad took me to give Rugby another go. This was the switch! From that minute on I was hooked! I loved the physical element of the game and was a huge fan of the competitive edge that it had! But most importantly the team sport element topped a lot of the other sports I had been doing! We had a great group of lads in the age group and it made Sunday mornings great fun! Plus I new if I played well on a Sunday there was a fantastic beef roast dinner waiting at home! 

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2. What is one of the lessons you learnt as a child that really helped you?

The main lesson I learnt as a child was to work hard for everything. Nothing comes easy and the more you want some thing, the more chance you have of making or getting it. This came from my parents who had a very hard work ethic and it rubbed down on the kids.

3. What do you get out of coaching?

I get out of coaching the things I miss from playing. I had to stop playing rugby due to 3 knee reconstructions. This was forced upon me and I wanted to do some thing about it myself. A great coach that I was previously coached by, Allan Lewis approached me and asked if I would like to start coaching and he would mentor me. The Honour to coach Hartpury College and under an ex international coach was huge!

From there I have never looked back! I love winning, everything that surrounds winning and being the best! So for me coaching is about making players the best people, players, Athletes and family members they can be! By doing this I feel I am helping the person develop completely and allow them to become a winner! 

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4. What are your tips for kids playing regular sport or competing?

Practice, seek advice, work hard and NEVER give up! Sport is like any thing! The more you practice and then more you seek help to improve your performance correctly, the better you will be! There is no substitute for hard work!

There will be plenty of times you are rejected, knocked down and fail! But these should just inspire you to work hard, longer and smarter to become better!

And also always remember to work as part of a team.

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5. What was one of your rugby highlights?

Being picked in a Scotland under 19s trial 'possibles v probables'  between Xmas and New Year in cold Scotland! 

I was picked as captain in the 'possibles' squad! Meaning I wasn't first choice in the selectors eyes! The prize at the end was a trip to Italy in January to play the opener of the 6 nations! 

To me this was a challenge! I wasn't rated first and was written off for the trip!

I had the best game of my career and in the team announcement for Italy after, I was named as the only 'possible' player in the 6 nations squad! An amazing feeling and one day I will never forget!

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6. What didn't you like but in hindsight realise it was really helpful? 

My parents' strict work ethic and morals they imposed on me! Time keeping, attitude, team work, sportsman ship etc! At the time I wanted to be out messing about and not applying my self! But they taught me a great balance between working hard and playing hard!

I believe that has stayed with me through to my work career. 

So what's Frazer doing now?

Luckily for UFIT, Frazer got his MSc in Coaching Science and eventually moved to Singapore, started up the UFIT Education business and runs many accredited courses for kids, coaches and people wanting to take their training further.

He runs the Rugby Development Kids Camps and can share his energy, passion for the game and great experience with your kids.

He is also an excellent Personal Trainer at UFIT Amoy and is guaranteed to get you kicking your goals in no time.

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