Modern gyms are a dime a dozen, and with terms like “functional fitness” being used willy-nilly these days, any gym with barbells and bumper plates can brand themselves as being “different”. But the quality of a gym is determined by more than its equipment. For those with specialised goals in mind, finding a gym with the right trainers, expertise and focus is pretty much a dream come true. If you’re looking for gyms that bleed and sweat Strength & Conditioning (S&C), lift your sorrows (and some serious weight) by checking out one of these gyms!
Strength Avenue bills itself as a “sports performance” gym and boasts a team of professional coaches from various athletic backgrounds. Headed by Andyn Kadir who himself has over 10 years of experience in fitness coaching, Strength Avenue speciality lies in optimising athletic potential, regardless of sport. Strength Avenue also holds a pedigree as a powerlifting gym, being home to Singapore’s all-female powerlifting team, comprising national record holders and medalists alike!
Mark Rippetoe is one of the most respected S&C coaches in the world, and is the founder of the widely acclaimed Starting Strength programme. To date, Hyigieia is the only Starting Strength-accredited gym located outside of the US and in Asia. Founder and trainer Shaun is the first Starting Strength-certified coach in Singapore, whose belief lies in the improvement of health through strength. While many have used the Starting Strength approach as a gateway to the sport of powerlifting, you don’t have to wear a powerlifting singlet to enjoy setting PRs!
If obstacle courses are your cup of tea, you won’t find a gym more suited to your needs than The Fitness Protocol. Decked out with almost every kind of obstacle imaginable, you’d be well-prepared for OCRs like the Spartan Race if you spend the months leading up to the race day swinging, hurdling and climbing with founder David Devito. There’s even a range for spear-throwing set up out back! Military personnel can also benefit from the OCR-style of training as it can mimic the unpredictable nature of their job when in the field.
Kettlebell sports began in Russia when farmers would use them to display feats of strength. Despite its history, properly trained practitioners are few and far in between, making it hard for kettlebell enthusiasts to seek proper instruction in the traditional practice. G1RYA teaches the “hardstyle” type of kettlebell training which focuses on higher intensities as opposed to girevoy which emphasise more on endurance, and is the only gym in the region with Strongfirst-certified trainers. If you’d like to take your knowledge of kettlebell movements beyond the swing, you won’t find a better place.
5. The Forge
Mobility training and weightlifting tend to go hand in hand due to the athletic demands of the latter, and The Forge delivers on both accounts. With the exception of the Singapore Weightlifting Federation, The Forge is one of the very few places in Singapore that can legitimately call itself a weightlifting club. Calibrated weights and a floor space lined end to end with lifting platforms mean that you can snatch and clean & jerk with absolute confidence and freedom without having to worry about causing a disturbance. The large space also gives you plenty of room to perform various mobility drills. Basic barbell movements are also taught for those with no interest in the sport of weightlifting but would still like to learn how to improve their fitness with lifts like squats, presses and deadlifts.
Choosing to specialise can be a daunting journey. After all, there will come a point in time when your average neighbourhood gym just won’t cut it anymore. And few things are worse than being stuck in a training limbo when you’re busy trying to find a new facility that’s suitable for your needs. With this list in hand, you won’t have to worry about losing your mind (or your gains)!