CrossFit Tanjong Pagar


Regardless of the type of exercise you do, including strength training in the mix is super-important. Apart from making you stronger and adding definition to your muscles for a more toned and fit-looking body, it offers so much more:

  1. Burns alot of calories
  2. Revs up your metabolism
  3. Helps with disease prevention
  4. Protects your bone health and muscle mass 
  5. Improves your balance and coordination, posture and flexibility 
  6. Elevates your endorphins, boosts energy levels and improves your mood
  7. Strengthens your bones and muscles to improve your mobility and prevent injury
  8. Helps with your performance at bootcamps, running and other activities like skiing
  9. For competitive athletes it cross-trains the body and helps you race longer and more comfortably.

Some strength training targets your core muscles which underpin everything you do, whilst others focus on very specific muscles of the body. It's been said that the three pillars of great fitness are strength, endurance and mobility, and when you combine your strength work with activities like running, cycling, bootcamps and yoga you've got all you need to be in fantastic health and shape right there.

We figured a great person to give their perspective on strength training would be CrossFit athlete, coach and Personal Trainer Adam Ransley at UFIT Tanjong Pagar. For a CrossFit athlete, correct form and effective training with weights and strength work is essential to be successful in the game. 

Here Adam demonstrates six of his classic strength moves that can be done whether you're a bootcamper who is new to using weights, a regular lifter or a CrossFit athlete. 

Remember that with strength training your muscles need time to recover, and you should warm up and cool down after training. And importantly, get some personalised advice on the type of weights and number of repetitions to make the best and safest progress.


ADAM's six CLASSIC strength training moves


1. The Power Clean - 

Olympic weightlifting is a fantastic way to develop explosive strength, muscle mass and power. Viewed as a shoulder workout the clean also builds muscle development in the legs, lats and overall posterior chain.

2. Front squats

work several major muscle groups whilst enhancing your core strength and improving flexibility. Muscle building and strengthening the lower body is the key benefit of a barbell front squat.

3. Sumo deadlift highpulls 

help you develop power in the posterior chain, strengthening the hamstrings, glutes, lower back and upper back. 

4. Sandbag carries

are a full body exercise and highly functional for everyday use. Sandbag carries restore performance in a basic skill of daily living whilst enhancing strength, core stability and work capacity.

5. Prowler sprints - s

hort duration, high intensity prowler sprints in intervals improves your anaerobic capacity whist building power and explosive strength in your legs.

6. Weighted bear crawls  engage the entire body, strengthening hips and core muscles. Bear crawls help connect the lower and upper body whilst increasing overall power. Adam is nailing it here with 220kg, though this weight is not for everyone and we recommend your trainer helps you choose the right weight for you!

Because everyone is different, a UFIT personal trainer can work out the most effective and safe strength training program for you - based on your goals and strength capabilities - and the best way for that to fit into your current fitness routine and lifestyle.  

CrossFit Tanjong Pagar are running their August Assault strength challenge on 26 August if you fancy trying some of these movements and more with the awesome community there. All are invited, there are plenty of prizes to be won and lots of fun to have - just click here to let us know you're coming.

If you're new to strength training with UFIT, come and do a free trial in any of our five gyms at CrossFit Tanjong Pagar - or at Amoy Street, Orchard Road, one-north or outdoors at Bukit Timah. 

CrossFit – Next Level Performance with John Cheah

CrossFit mixes the 3 disciplines of weightlifting, gymnastics and metabolic endurance. Athletes thinking about competing should be able to perform movements from these disciplines that commonly feature in competitions, such as the snatch, clean, pull up and muscle up at the prescribed loads and repetitions required. What separates the wheat from the chaff, especially in CrossFit competitions, however, is not how an athlete looks, but how they move and think at a fundamental level. When we split hairs even further, the top athletes pull apart because of how they move in relation to their body type and energy system, in addition to how they think before, during and after competing. This mental and physical connection is akin to a chicken-and-egg situation, and being a "Next Level" competitor requires both aspects to be taken, well, to the next level.

Competitions are the best measurement for progress

If you've been doing CrossFit for a while and are looking to join a local competition, I think that's a great idea. Regardless of the result, competitions are the best mirror of your progress as an athlete, and all the time put into training, all the short cuts (if you took any) and all the accurate or inaccurate gauging of your abilities as an athlete will be on full display. To date, I've competed in 15 live CrossFit competitions (taking away the CrossFit Open and other online qualifiers) and sometimes the reflection from the mirror isn't always what I've been content with.

Going into competition doesn’t happen overnight

Let's start with the mind. I believe the mind is the egg from which the Chicken of Physical Strength hatches, if you're still following this chicken-egg analogy. I assume you're reading this because you also share the belief that the process of competing doesn't happen overnight. If you're just looking to join the weekend local competition for a laugh, then I guess this still applies. But think of the results: the former is a meat falling-off-the-bone, fragrant leg of lamb that's been slow-cooking in the oven in its juices for 8 hours and the latter is a pot of Koko instant noodles that's been sitting on the counter in water for 3 minutes. Both do the job for slating the hunger (for competitive success) but one is definitely worth the longer wait.

Preparation is key

We want to start preparing the mind for the long haul, like the leg of lamb in its quest for culinary greatness. We must set goals that are specific, lofty but achievable and within a time frame that's realistic. For me, that's qualifying for the Pacific regionals as an individual competitor in 2018. For the lamb, that's tasting like melted herb butter with a hint of cinnamon for my party of 4 tonight at 8pm.

Then, we must work backwards to make that a reality. For me, that means working with a coach to address weakness in my abilities as an athlete, making time for recovery, good nutrition and low stress situations in daily life and starting the process X years in advance. For the lamb, that means trimming the fat, pushing sticks of cinnamon into the meat, using sprigs of thyme like they're going out of fashion and preheating the oven at X o'clock, ready for dinner.

Testing yourself

While the process is happening, we must test ourselves along the way to ensure we're moving in the right direction. For me, that means joining regional competitions to put myself against known and unknown competitors from around Asia, discovering strengths and weaknesses and growing from strength to strength. For the lamb, that means getting a meat thermometer and being diligent about how it's turning out.

Trust in the work that you have done

When the day comes, all I can do is trust my training, trust the process and live with what I've prepared for myself, the same goes with the lamb. Sometimes it turns out beautifully, and the goal is met like a tennis ball on the sweet spot of a racquet. But because this is life, sometimes goals are not met, and the lamb is charred and ugly and hard. But the party of four still turns up for dinner, because you have surrounded yourself with a community that sees you more than the way you can or cannot cook a leg of lamb.

The physical advice is aplenty, and if you've chartered a mental map to reach your goals, you can sift through the myriad of nutritional advice, training myths and self-doubt to keep moving forward. The key to taking that next step to being a competitive athlete has little to do with the next squat program you follow or whether the Paleo diet is scientifically proven, but the mental plan that ultimately yields the result you want for yourself.


John Cheah is a coach and weightlifter passionate about the graceful art of movement. He’s competed at various stages locally, including the inaugural Asia Championships as one of the three finalists representing Singapore. John has also achieved personal bests in the Commonwealth Games and World’s University Weightlifting Championships for weightlifting. John can be found taking Personal Training Classes and CrossFit WOD’s at CrossFit Tanjong Pagar. When he is not seen holding a barbell, John explores movement of the human body through dance and acting as a prominent local performer in the Singapore arts scene.

Brought to you straight from our CrossFit Tanjong Pagar box, part of the UFIT family.

Catch up with one of Singapore's fittest men - CrossFit Tanjong Pagar's Head Coach Dylan Goddard

CrossFit Tanjong Pagar’s Head Coach, Dylan Goddard was Singapore’s fittest CrossFit athlete in 2015. We managed to get 30 minutes with him to get the inside track on how top athletes prepare themselves physically and mentally for competitions. 

We picked his brains on nutrition, pain management, training and asked him how he sees CrossFit developing in Singapore.

1.     Where did your passion for fitness start?

Straight from Safa land (South Africa). I’ve been in Singapore for five years and always had a passion for health and fitness. Previously I took part in competitive body building for three-four years, grappled with MMA and competitive mountain biking. My real passion for CrossFit started four years ago and really took to competing two-three years from then and I haven’t looked back since. My real passions stem from passing on knowledge to clients at the box, progression in human movement and performance from the moment they start their journey at the box.

2.     What does it take to become one of the fittest men in Singapore?

It all comes down to living a disciplined lifestyle.  I am incredibly driven to constantly improve and by my passion for the sport, so I am able to stay focused and make certain sacrifices.  I am pretty tough on myself to ensure I am always pushing on in strength, mobility and performance.

I live by the 1% rule.  Every time I walk in to CrossFit Tanjong Pagar or any other box around the world, as long as I give 1% more than the day or week before, that’s all that counts.

3.     What gives you the edge?

It comes down to one thing for me - mental strength. I believe that training the brain is a vital component of achieving personal bests. Whether it be a pre-workout meditation, where I focus on the goal and how good it will feel when I achieve it, or having the ability to push past pain barriers in the midst of a tough WoD. 

It’s not just the quantity of training, it is the quality of the work and effort that you give to your sessions. You can only give the best quality if your mind is truly present and alive to the goal.

4. What's your favourite type of training and why?

It’s hard to choose, but I would say endurance based workouts.  I think I am quite mentally tough which helps me to focus and get through pain barriers, often allowing me to get ahead of other competitors.

I also enjoy experimenting with how far I can push my body.

5. How do you get competition ready?

Generally, the workouts are released a few weeks in advance of all competitions. In CrossFit; technique needs to be perfect. Your body adapts to different styles and movements and you need to make sure you are ready to take on those challenges in the most efficient way possible.

 These three steps help me to focus and achieve great results;

  1. Perfecting the technique of the movements in the correct sequence
  2. Trust in your training programme – the hay is already in the barn!
  3. Confidence in your approach – no stress and no cramming!

6. What's the next competition for you?

It’s an awesome Team based competition that CrossFit Tanjong Pagar are stoked for; it’s the Manilla Throwdown on the 4th – 5th November, which is one of the biggest competitions in Asia. We have three really talented teams representing CrossFit Tanjong Pagar.

  • The Dream Team – Daryl Cheng (Singapore 2016 CrossFit Champion) /Trisha Tan and myself Dylan Goddard (Head Coach at CrossFit Tanjong Pagar, CFTP)
  • Triple Jizzle - John Cheah (CFTP Coach), Jordan Fitzpatrick (CFTP Coach) and Jenna Laughlin
  • The A Team – Annie Set,  Evan Partsch and Stefano Scuratti

7. What does it take mentally to focus your mind when you're competing?

There are several steps that help to keep me focused, here are my top three:

  1. Breathing techniques before warming up to reset the mind
  2. Believe in yourself – this is your time to shine
  3. Dealing with the pain before it actually it happens. I re-live past workouts to remember what the pain felt like.  

8. How does your diet change before, during and after a competition?

This depends on the type of competition. For a one-day competition my diet doesn’t change before at all. I tend to stick to my normal regime the night before, and then on the day, I wake up early and have a carb rich breakfast, such as oatmeal and I avoid too much fat.

Throughout the day I make sure I take lots of liquid nutrition, such as a pure carbohydrate sports drink like Gatorade. Due to the Asian climate, I have to be militant about ensuring that my electrolytes are replaced throughout the day with water and Nuun tablets. If I am feeling a bit flat before the competition starts I will usually take a pre workout to get pumped. In the evening I like to enjoy a well-earned BIG FAT meal. 

For multi day events that last between two – three days I stick to the same breakfast. After workouts I refuel with a protein shake, sugar and carbohydrates. Again it is absolutely essential to make sure electrolytes are replaced.  A typical meal will include a rice base with vegetables and protein which will always be fish or chicken.  Sushi, rice, salmon and tuna are foods that we are able to digest really quickly, giving the body maximum time for replenishment and recovery.  I never eat anything I haven’t eaten before and make sure I get enough rest. 

9.     Who and what keeps you motivated and why?

CrossFit competitions are tough! Being able to share the experience and journey with others, helps me keep my form and stay on top of my game. As an individual competitor you’re accountable for only yourself, but as a team competitor you train together which is certainly more fun, and the overall pressure is reduced. I certainly seem to perform a lot better this way.

The motivation I take from CrossFit Tanjong Pagar’s coaches and members, as well as those at our Sister box CrossFit BukitTimah is huge. Seeing members progress, reminds me every day that with a little bit of effort, the results can be astonishing.  Knowing I am representing the box and our communities in competitions keeps me hungry for more.  As we get to the Regionals and Pacifics, I get to stand proud and show what we can do - this is my box, my space and knowing that we’ve built a network and community that inspires us every single day is inspiration itself. 


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle

About the Author 

Dylan has worked in the fitness industry for the past 8 years. Having started his career in his home town of Cape Town, South Africa, Dylan has since gained international exposure by making a move to Singapore to pursue his passion of health and fitness. This passion is evident in the way he carries himself in the box, ensuring he gives 110% in all that he does.

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 people in this way of training and living out a healthy, full lifestyle. He has also attained his CrossFit Level 1 Certification.

About CrossFit Tanjong Pagar


CrossFit Tanjong Pagar is Singapore’s leading CrossFit box located in the heart of the CBD. We are proud to boast the largest training facility of its kind, with air-conditioning, top CrossFit certified trainers and a positive environment that helps create a diverse and successful community.


CrossFit Tanjong Pagar was formed solely to provide the best training, coaching, community, and results that Singapore has to offer. Our coaches design and implement functional training programs to strengthen your body, heart, mind, and soul.

Get in touch to take the first steps with your Free Trial, Fundamentals or if you’re in town walk in and say hey we would love to meet you!

A day in the life of an England Rugby Sevens International; James Rodwell

How do International Rugby players cope with the demands of training for and playing a top class sport in multiple locations and time zones across the globe? With the Singapore Sevens in town, James Forrester, UFIT Founder and Ex England Sevens player spoke to England Rugby Sevens superstar James Rodwell to find out.

We wanted to find out what it’s really like to be a professional athlete, nutrition to life on the road, travelling to Singapore and using local gyms.

So James what do you have for breakfast/lunch/dinner?

During training days, I usually have a smoothie for breakfast, which has oats, banana, summer fruits, peanut butter and protein powder in. This is an easy and effective way to get calories into my body early in the day.

For lunch and dinner, I have a good balance of carbs and protein, with a decent amount of green veg like broccoli. We are fed at training, which makes it easy to get food on board at the right time and to allow us to get the right nutrients for training. It is important to refuel my body for the following day's training.

How do you deal with travelling challenges you’re faced with, like jet lag to fulfilling your dietary requirements?

We have a great team supporting us where our Nutritionists plan the meals in hotels to having doctors getting the team on different time zones which is crucial for us to acclimatize as quickly as possible.

As players and staff we actively carry food and snacks to make sure we never have 'poor options' as we’re often stuck in airports. UT’s essential especially in climates like Singapore to stay well hydration and avoiding alcohol.

How has nutrition changed over the last 5 years?

Nutrition has become a big part of the game over the last few years. Previous to going full time with England Sevens I didn't really understand what my body needed to perform properly.

We have a nutritionist who works with us now, who measures our skin folds (fats) and checks that we are on the right track. He also gives us immune packs to try and avoid illness so we don't miss any training days.

What’s a typical day of training for you?

Our typical training day involves a mixture of sessions. We usually start the day with half an hour of mobility and prehab, to strengthen areas and get our bodies ready for the day.

We then have a 45-minute speed session twice a week, followed by weights and skills. We have a break for lunch before heading out to the field for a rugby session. UFIT has provided some amazing coaches and facilities for a large team to train.

How much have you had to sacrifice (if at all) to pursue your international dream?

First of all it's an honour to represent my country and although it is frustrating to miss out on friends and family celebrations it is also something that I had always dreamed of so the sacrifices are relatively easy.

When I do finish playing I am looking forward to spending more time with my family and catching up with my friends.

How has the game evolved and changed over the last 5-10 years?

The game has changed massively since I started 8 years ago. Back then I was still playing for Moseley in the championship and we would have training camps every so often to see who would be selected for the tournaments, upon returning I would be straight back into XV's mode for the weekends game.

Since 2010 England Sevens has been full time and I was fortunate to sign with the RFU. The actual game has moved on to new levels every year. It is more physical, a much higher pace and skills of all the teams have improved. This has led to an incredibly competitive World Series in which there are no easy games and any teams can win on their day. It will make for an exciting tournament in this summers Olympics in Rio.

It’s been great so far in Singapore and being able to use UFITs CrossFit facilities in Tanjong Pagar. Their gyms suit our training schedules and have some amazing equipment to work with for a large number of people - the England boys are looking forward to experiencing this weekend in Singapore!

About the Author

James Rodwell is a current England Rugby Sevens player. He is the most capped forward in England Rugby Sevens history and is fourth on the all time capped players list. Follow him on Twitter @james_rodwell or you can follow him on Facebook by liking his page here.

About UFIT

UFIT proudly hosted a number of the top teams during the Singapore Sevens 2016, which includes Fiji, All Blacks, England, Canada, USA and Scotland to train at our gyms.

At UFIT, we exist to inspire and guide our community of members, to realise levels of fitness and confidence beyond what could be possible by themselves. Fitness isn’t our job; it is our way of life. Check us out on our website or you can take a look at our Facebook page

Join us – the opportunities are endless.

My journey with CrossFit | John Cheah

The beginning of my CrossFit journey

I started dabbling with CrossFit in 2012. I was a dancer and physical theatre performer, and I wanted to find a way of training that would make me a faster, leaner and stronger performer on stage. CrossFit stood out for me by claiming practitioners to be "fit for anything". After following workouts on by myself, I decided I wanted to stop getting weird stares at the neighbourhood gym (because I was moving all the equipment around and on hindsight, because of my abysmal weightlifting form) and signed up with a local affiliate, CrossFit Mobilus, in September 2013.

My first competition

There was a local competition, Sin City, in December that year and some of the coaches thought I showed promise in the sport and wanted me to give competing a shot. Some of the region's best athletes travelled to Singapore for that competition and I remember being utterly destroyed, both physically and on the leader board. 

A new year, a new coach and new results

Mentally, I was hooked. I continued training with a passion after Sin City, this time under the tutelage of Lewis Chua, head coach of Solitude of Strength and national weightlifting athlete. Exponential progress followed and I was finishing among the top five at competitions in Manila and Chiang Mai in mid-2014 before standing on the podium for the first time in Brunei and then back in Singapore at Sin City, one year after that first competition. Together with Lewis, we opened CrossFit Statera and I begun my new appointment as head coach.

This rise continued

2015 continued with similar aplomb; I qualified for the inaugural Asia Championships in Bangkok, finishing 26th out of the top 32 athletes across Asia. The rest of the year saw podium finishes in Singapore and Kota Kinabalu. Along the way, I also set a new national Clean and Jerk and weightlifting total record at the Commonwealth Championships in India, Pune. All this took a toll on me and I ended 2015 with a 12th place finish at the Manila Team Throwdown in September. Around the same time, personal reasons led me to leave CrossFit Statera. 

Going down a new path on my journey

At the close of 2015, I received an offer to join the newly opened affiliate UFIT CrossFit Tanjong Pagar as a weightlifting and CrossFit coach, and 2016 began with a fresh start. A shoulder injury just before the 2016 CrossFit Open in March threw a spanner in the works, but by the grace of God I recovered in time to resume training for the Battle of the North in Penang, where I finished in 1st place. I travelled to the Pacific Regionals with the CrossFit Tanjong Pagar team as team coach, where we finished 20th out of the top 30 teams in Asia and Australia. Following that, I received a wildcard invitation to the 2016 Asia Championships where I finished 28th in a field of the top 40 athletes across Asia and Russia. 

The past 3 years have been quite the journey, and right now I just feel thankful to everyone who has come alongside me at different points of the road. Moving forward, I'd like to continue to improve myself as a coach to help others achieve their goals with their fitness and improve myself as an athlete to model what that looks like in practice. To God be the glory, the best is yet to be.


John Cheah is a coach and weightlifter passionate about the graceful art of movement. He’s competed at various stages locally, including the inaugural Asia Championships as one of the three finalists representing Singapore. John has also achieved personal bests in the Commonwealth Games and World’s University Weightlifting Championships for weightlifting. John can be found taking Personal Training Classes and CrossFit WOD’s at CrossFit Tanjong Pagar. When he is not seen holding a barbell, John explores movement of the human body through dance and acting as a prominent local performer in the Singapore art scene.

Brought to you straight from our CrossFit Tanjong Pagar box, part of the UFIT family.