Shape Up

Why core strength matters for personal fitness

Core strength is crucial for even the most basic activities. We speak to Fitness Workz trainer Aidid Haidil to understand why it matters and find out simple exercises to improve core strength.



From an improved posture to enhanced stability and balance, as well as a reduced risk of injuries, a strong core provides numerous benefits to our overall health and fitness. Fitness Workz trainer Aidid Haidil says that a strong core is essential.

“The core is involved in most athletic activities and everyday movements, from bending over to tie your shoes, to lifting a heavy object, to running a marathon,” he said.

“A weak core compromises even basic everyday activities such as lifting, bending, and twisting. When your core is weak, these activities can become more difficult and may increase your risk of injury,” he added.


Couple crunches
Leg Raises
Bicycle crunches
Bird dog

The good news is that strengthening the core can start with these beginner-friendly exercises. The intensity and duration can be adjusted to suit your level of comfort and proficiency.


  1. Place your forearms on the floor with your elbows directly under your shoulders and your hands facing forward.
  2. Straighten your legs and feet and hold your body in a straight line. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then release and rest for 10 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.

Couple crunches

  1. Sit on the floor facing to one side and lean back at 45 degrees. Raise and hold both feet slightly above the ground.
  2. Raise your knees towards your chest and lower on the opposite side.

Leg raises

  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended straight up toward the ceiling.
  2. Slowly lower your legs as far as you can without arching your back, then raise them back up. Aim for 10-15 reps.

Bicycle crunches

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and hands behind your head.
  2. Bring your left elbow across your body toward your right knee, while simultaneously straightening your left leg. Repeat on the other side. Aim for 10-15 reps.

Bird dogs

  1. Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
  2. Lift your right arm and left leg straight out and hold for 5-10 seconds, then lower and repeat on the other side. Aim for 5-10 reps on each side.


A strong core offers several benefits, like an improved posture. “Strong core muscles help pull the shoulders back and maintain a neutral spine. This leads to better posture and can help prevent back pain,” said Aidid.

It also helps to improve your sense of balance and improves overall body strength. It reduces the risk of falls and makes daily activities easier to perform. It’s also essential for exercise. “Strong core muscles protect the back and other body parts during physical activity, reducing the risk of injuries,” Aidid added.

For athletes, this forms the basis of proper sporting form and technique and helps enhance athletic performance.

A strong core also offers surprising longer term benefits. Said Aidid: “The muscles of the core are closely connected to the diaphragm and the organs of the digestive system. A strong, healthy core can help improve digestion and reduce bloating and abdominal discomfort.”


If you haven’t been exercising for some time and are getting back into the swing of things, Aidid says it’s important to establish a base level of overall fitness and strength.

Cardiovascular exercises help to improve overall fitness and endurance. This is important for sustaining a workout programme. Strength training exercises that target the major muscle groups – the legs, back, chest, shoulders and arms help build lean muscle mass and improve overall strength and stability.

It’s important to take it slow, says Aidid. “Start with lower resistance or bodyweight exercises and gradually progress to heavier weights and more challenging movements,” he added.

Once a good base fitness level has been established, compound exercises can lead to greater progress. Incorporating these with the help of a qualified instructor can also be more efficient. “Compound strength exercises target several muscle groups at the same time. These often engage and strengthen the core simultaneously, eliminating the need to prioritise core exercises exclusively,” Aidid added.

Get your engines moving with your workout partner! Try out these workouts together over at our Fitness Workz gyms and spice it up with the equipment available.

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Food Spy Lifestyle Shape Up

6 things to do to experience Thailand in Singapore

Golden Mile Complex may have shuttered, but there are still ways for you to shop, dine and get pampered like you’re in Thailand.



With the closure of the iconic Golden Mile Complex – dubbed Singapore’s “Little Thailand” – in May, long-time visitors lamented the loss of the 50-year-old building that invoked the Land of Smiles with its restaurants serving regional specialities and grocers proffering exotic produce such as banana buds.

It’s undeniable that Singaporeans’ love affair with the Southeast Asian country is nowhere near flaming out, with its capital Bangkok routinely appearing in lists of top destinations for travellers from the Lion City. But if you’re not up for a vacay yet, or simply want to prolong your Thai experience post-holiday, here are some ways for you to feel like you’re in Thailand.

1. Shop for Thai goodies at Thai Supermarket at Aperia Mall

Due to open anytime now, this Golden Mile Complex mainstay relocated to the first level of Aperia Mall after the building was sold en bloc. Besides grabbing takeaway from cooked food stalls selling Thai favourites such as grilled meat and seafood, noodle dishes, and Yaowarat buns (Thai-style charcoal-grilled buns with fillings), you can also stock up on authentic Thai groceries such as fresh native herbs and spices, a dizzying array of sauces, and interesting Thai-inspired snacks. The latter include boat noodle – and crab curry-flavoured Lays potato chips and Koh Kae battered-peanuts. Look out for the piquant J-Koong crispy shrimp typically sprinkled as a topping for noodles and other dishes.

2. Have an authentic Thai massage at Sabaai Sabaai

Sabaai Sabaai
Relax and rejuvenate with a Thai Tradition Massage (PHOTO: Sabaai Sabaai).

Singapore has no shortage of spas offering Thai massages, among which Sabaai Sabaai comes highly recommended. Indulge in their classic Thai Tradition Massage, where a therapist not only helps you stretch your body, but also applies rhythmic pressure using the hands and forearms to the meridian points to ease stiffness. The meridian system is a concept under Traditional Chinese Medicine whereby life energy (qi) flows through paths known as meridians. Besides this, there’s also the Thai Herb Massage, where a heated herbal compress is applied to promote lymphatic circulation and overall wellbeing. With two branches at Boat Quay and Wisma Atria, this spa has been in business for 14 years – so you know you’re in good hands.

3. Learn Muay Thai from experts at Chowraiooi Muay Thai

Chowraiooi Muay Thai
Try your hand in Muay Thai at Chowraiooi Muay Thai (PHOTO: Chowraiooi Muay Thai).

Muay Thai is a form of traditional martial arts that has gained mainstream popularity in recent years as a sport – it has gotten Olympic recognition. In Singapore, beginners and experienced practitioners alike can train at Chowraiooi Muay Thai, which is an affiliate of Thailand’s Chowraiooi Gym that is run by the country’s national Muay Thai coach, Adjarhn Chat. He produces some of the top Muay Thai champions in Thailand and together with head trainer Robert Yap, they hope to do the same in Singapore.

4. Staycay at the Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore

Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore
Soak in the stunning vibe of all things Thai in this local five-star luxury resort, Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore (PHOTO: Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore).

Located within the stunning grounds of Laguna National Golf Resort Club, the vibe at this five-star luxury resort that opened in the thick of the pandemic is decidedly elegant and contemporary Thai. You may want to splash out on a guest suite overlooking the green. Besides the subtle and soothing Thai touches in the resort’s decor (lounge on the three-fold triangle cushion in your room) and food selections at the biophilic Greenhouse restaurant, you’ll of course enjoy the legendary Thai service and heritage of the Dusit Thani brand. A treatment at the Thai-inspired Devarana Spa may include the signature massage, which combines Thai, Ayurveda, Shiatsu and Swedish massage techniques with aromatherapy to invigorate, revitalise and relax the muscles.

5. Enjoy authentic Thai food at Penguin’s Kitchen, Siam Kitchen, and Cheese Story Mookata Buffet

Enjoy the new Thai Green Curry Chicken with Nomjeen dish at Penguin's Kitchen (PHOTO: Penguin Kitchen's Facebook Page).

Hidden in a dusty MacPherson industrial estate, Penguin’s Kitchen is an almost-secret gem, with its tasty and Thai-level-spicy food and casual atmosphere reminiscent of a Bangkok street. For something unique, try the Century Egg Salad or Stir Fried Hot Basil Seafood.

Then there’s Siam Kitchen, which prides itself as the melting point of old and new. With chefs from Thailand, the café-restaurant presents authentic Thai favourites in a casual-modern setting. Must-tries include the Blue Swimmer Crabmeat Omelette and the Hat Yai Fried Chicken Cutlet. HomeTeamNS members get 10 per cent off the total bill at Siam Kitchen at HomeTeamNS Khatib.

Cheese Story Mookata Buffet just opened its outlet in HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier (PHOTO: HomeTeamNS).

Finally, fans of Cheese Story Mookata Buffet that was previously at Golden Mile Complex will be thrilled to know that they’ve relocated to HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier. Enjoy marinated meats, seafood and vegetables with their rich, cheesy dipping sauce. HomeTeamNS members are entitled to a 10 per cent discount on their total bill when they flash their HomeTeamNS digital membership card upon checkout.

6. Visit Thai Buddhist temple Wat Ananda Metyarama

Wat Ananda Metyarama
Learn more about Buddism and its philosophies at Wat Ananda Metyarama Thai Buddist Temple (PHOTO: Wat Ananda Metyarama).

You don’t have to be a Buddhist to appreciate the religion’s philosophies and Thai Buddhist temple architecture, which is distinguished by its soaring gilded stupas and steeply sloping tiled roofs. Immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the hilltop Wat Ananda Metyarama Thai Buddhist Temple, the oldest of its kind in Singapore at Jalan Bukit Merah. Aside from its more recognisable traditional carvings and hand-painted murals depicting the Buddha’s life, the centenarian stands out with its modern, angular $6 million five-storey extension designed by Czarl Architects. The arresting V-shaped building houses a cultural centre and shrine.

Those who want to experience the real thing can head to Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya. With its central location near Pattaya Beach, the resort is an ideal base when visiting this tropical paradise. It’s a five to 15 minutes’ drive to attractions such as 3D art museum Art in Paradise Chiangmai; Sanctuary of Truth, a magnificent unfinished wooden castle; and the world-famous Alcazar Cabaret Show.

HomeTeamNS members enjoy 20 per cent off the best flexible room rate with a minimum two consecutive nights’ stay with breakfast.

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Lifestyle Shape Up

What is altitude sickness and how do you prevent it when climbing mountains?

Learn how to prevent the condition that has led to tragic consequences for mountaineers during one of Mount Everest’s most treacherous seasons.


In May, a Singaporean climber went missing after reaching the summit of Mount Everest. He was reportedly suffering from frostbite and altitude sickness when he got separated from his group. The news, which came amid a spike in fatalities on the world’s highest mountain, raised questions over whether a rising number of inexperienced climbers and guides led to this. What’s certain, is that another factor partially responsible for many of the deaths that occurred this year is altitude sickness.

According to American academic medical centre Cleveland Clinic, altitude sickness may occur in up to half of people who climb to elevations above 8,000 feet (2,440m). It is caused by ascending too rapidly, which doesn’t allow the body sufficient time to adjust to reduced oxygen and changes in air pressure.

Don’t ignore the signs

As mountain climbing becomes increasingly popular, being aware of the risks and red flags of altitude illnesses is key to a safe experience. The mildest form of altitude sickness — which can usually be treated by over-the-counter medication — is known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), with symptoms that recall a hangover. This can deteriorate into High-altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), a life-threatening build-up of fluid in the lungs, and High-altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), a severe condition where there’s fluid in the brain. Such cases require immediate medical attention.

Regardless of your climbing expertise, all high-altitude adventures come at a risk of potentially life-threatening altitude sickness, points out Mr Vijay Kumar, director of SGTrek, an outdoor travel platform that offers mountaineering expeditions. “Even experienced climbers may fall victim to altitude sickness if they disregard proper acclimatisation practices or ignore their body’s warning signals,” he explains. 

With that being said, individuals at higher risk of developing altitude sickness include those with lung or heart conditions, pregnant women and climbers who live at low elevation — such as in Singapore.

Mr Vijay adds that in some cases, climbers may benefit from using medication like acetazolamide (Diamox) to prevent and reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness. However, it is important to discuss this option with a medical professional before use.

Never underestimate the mountain and its challenges, Mr Vijay cautions, adding that “the key to preventing altitude sickness is a gradual ascent, allowing the body to acclimatise to higher altitudes”. “Listen to your body and be aware of any symptoms of altitude sickness. If conditions or circumstances become unsafe, be prepared to turn back. The mountain will aways be there and your safety should be top priority,” he emphasises.  It is also important for people with medical conditions to obtain a doctor’s clearance before embarking on a high-altitude hike. 

Being physically and mentally prepared, and taking the necessary precautions during ascent can reduce your risk of developing altitude sickness. Here are more tips for ensuring a safer and enjoyable climb.

Sources from: WebMD, SGTrek, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Livestrong, and Cleveland Clinic.

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Shape Up

A virtual take on forging fitness milestones

HomeTeamNS’ Virtual Fitness Training programmes at Fitness Workz are helping pave a smoother road for Home Team National Servicemen to stay in shape.



National Servicemen often find it difficult to maintain their peak condition or to remain fit and active year-round. We spoke to HomeTeamNS Fitness Trainer Assistant, Muhammad Danish’aizat Bin Kamsani, to learn more about the Virtual Fitness Training (VFT) programme by Fitness Workz and why it’s grown to become a game-changer for National Servicemen trying to balance life commitments with maintaining a high level of physical fitness for their annual Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT).


VFT is an online fitness programme designed by HomeTeamNS’ Fitness Workz gyms, in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, specifically for National Servicemen looking to up their IPPT game.

According to Danish, the programme is ideal for National Servicemen who are willing to exercise on their own but need someone to guide them. The programme is divided into three main categories – Power, Strength, and Cardio – with exercises aimed at improving these aspects of physical fitness.

What sets VFT apart is that users can tailor the exercises to their fitness level and specific needs.

“It’s a solution that help make National Servicemen’s lives easier, especially those who have failed their IPPT. VFT affords them several options that they can choose from to complete their IPPT cycle,” explained Danish.

Another key benefit of VFT is that National Servicemen can now train and clock in their NS Fitness Improvement Training (FIT) programmes virtually, done in just 10 sessions via the VFT’s IPPT Preparatory Training regimen.


Being uniquely flexible by design, VFT has quickly become a popular choice for Home Team National Servicemen looking to stay on track with their fitness goals – even from the comfort of their own homes. According to Danish, VFT is a great help for those who find it difficult to set aside time for fitness due to work and family commitments.

They can work out anytime it suits them, and at their own pace, gradually building up their strength and endurance without feeling overwhelmed. VFT provides users with a structured and effective way to work towards their fitness goals, with expert instruction to help them stay on track and motivated, through a range of exercises specifically designed to improve IPPT performance.

The CARDIO60 programme, for instance, employs high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to boost cardiovascular strength and muscular endurance for the 2.4km run. Likewise, the CORE60 and PUMP60 programmes build core and upper-body strength respectively to help you crush the sit-up and push-up segments of the test.


While VFT provides a streamlined means to stay in shape and pass one’s IPPT, it is essential to remember that fitness is not just about hitting annual targets but improving your overall quality of life.

Danish advises National Servicemen to incorporate fitness into their lives to steadily improve their wellness.

“For example, pick up a simple sport that you love, and that will help keep you fit,” he advised.

He adds that one can adopt simple lifestyle changes to get the most out of their exercise sessions, like minimising distractions, scheduling workouts and exercising with a buddy to keep you motivated as you work towards your fitness goals.

A balanced diet and sufficient sleep are also crucial components of any fitness journey. To complement the VFT programme, one should aim to eat a balanced diet, rich in whole foods and healthy proteins, and ensure they are getting enough restful sleep.

Ultimately, consistency is key. Keep at it and, bit by bit, you may come to realise that not only are you passing successive IPPTs with ease, but also living a better, more fulfilling life.

“At the end of the day, keeping fit and active helps not only to improve your health, but also your mental state and physical ability to go about your daily life,” said Danish.

Book your VFT sessions with HomeTeamNS now! For the latest updates on VFT or Fitness Workz gyms, visit our website and Facebook page.

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Shape Up

Excess denied: Everything to know about calories

Fitness first: A HomeTeamNS Fitness Workz trainer offers simple, effective tips to burn off the festive flab.



Festive and holiday periods are times to revel, refresh and reconnect with loved ones and head home with happy hearts and full bellies. While it’s easy to pack on the pounds during festive periods – after all, who can say no to a cheat day (or two) – the holidays needn’t always be about overindulgence.

HomeTeamNS Fitness Workz trainer Aidid Haidil shares his perspective on why it’s so easy to put on weight during festive periods, how to watch your calories amid the merrymaking and, when all else fails, how to trim that tummy in the aftermath.


The main drivers behind festive period weight gain are typically twofold: Increased food intake and reduced exercise. While the obvious solution for those watching their weight is to simply eat less and work out more, it can be hard to resist the temptation to indulge in.

According to Aidid, understanding the complexities of where your calories come from can make a huge difference in your consumption habits while celebrating.

“Some foods may seem small and light on calories, but may in fact be packed with calories from the ingredients they contain,” he advised.

Festive favourites like cakes and snacks, for instance, are often full of butter and sugar – both of which are incredibly calorically dense. Besides food, the fitness trainer also advises watching your liquid calories. Sweet drinks can make a big impact on weight gain, containing high amounts of sugar and being very easy to consume in large quantities. Keeping track of your intake can also help you keep the kilos off.


It’s not a must to refuse every snack that comes your way. One can still partake in all their favourite foods and traditional meals so long as they maintain a mindset of moderation. In this regard, mindfulness is key. 

Aidid himself has a few tricks up his sleeve to minimise weight gain while still enjoying festive food, especially with Hari Raya Haji incoming.

“I select a small plate and pick the foods that I am most interested in. Once done, do not immediately take another serving, but wait for a while to allow your stomach to digest the food and to tell your body that you actually ate enough.”

He adds that eating a light meal before heading off to any festive celebration can help you get full faster, lowering your overall calorie intake. Family members can also help one another cut calories amid the festivities.

“If your family members are the ones cooking, consider with healthier alternatives, or reducing the quantity of ingredients like salt and oil,” shared Aidid.


Sometimes, the festive period will end and, despite your best efforts, you’ve piled on the kilos. The best thing to do is to be conscientious in your lifestyle choices.

“Start with the basics of eating right – three meals a day, no skipped meals – and just staying active with light exercises. Also, remember to drink plenty of water,” said Aidid.

He recommends simple ways to move more like brisk walking, swimming, jogging and playing sports. Hitting weights at the gym or doing resistance training at home with bodyweight workouts can also be a great way to build strength while you cut fat.


Above all, ensuring that you maintain a healthy routine sustainably over the long term makes the biggest difference. When it comes to workouts, Aidid advises against anything too intense. Basic exercise sessions two or three times a week, each not lasting more than an hour, work best.

“Train smart and with proper form and technique, and know when to stop. Don’t overexert or overtrain – these are major causes of injury these days,” he added.

Staying motivated and consistent by creating a daily routine and sticking to it is a surefire way to see results. He says that while one typically sees results in just a month, he recommends sticking it out and progressively improving for at least 3 to 4 months.

Of course, just like how you come together for festive celebrations, it never hurts to involve your family in your fitness journey.

“Set a goal. Support one another. Share progress pictures. Motivate each other on both good and bad days. Change the lifestyle at home. Be more active together – that is how family members can influence not only themselves, but others around them to keep fit, get fit and manage their weight,” he concluded.

Need a place to stay motivated? Sign up for a gym membership with Fitness Workz now.

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Lifestyle Shape Up

What keeping a food and activity diary taught me about my overall wellness

Our writer learns that the first step to adopting a healthier lifestyle can be as simple as recording what you eat and do every day.



Looking at me, you’d never think that I was fat – I stand at 1.85m and weigh just over 70kg. But underneath my T-shirt lies one of my biggest secrets: a tummy. It’s the classic “skinny fat” syndrome, which means that I have a relatively high percentage of body fat and low muscle mass — despite maintaining a normal Body Mass Index (BMI).

To address this, I turned to Mr Muhammad Khir Bin Mohd Saleh, Fitness Trainer Assistant at HomeTeamNS Fitness Workz. “The biggest misconception about shedding belly fat is that more high intensity exercises like running, skipping meals and sit-ups are the only ways to achieve it,” he explains.   

Mr Muhammad Khir Bin Mohd Saleh, Fitness Trainer Assistant at HomeTeamNS Fitness Workz
Mr Muhammad Khir Bin Mohd Saleh, Fitness Trainer Assistant at HomeTeamNS Fitness Workz

He adds that there’s no point in doing those exercises if you don’t pay attention to your daily diet. “One of the main reasons why burning calories through exercise may still not result in weight loss is due to overexertion, or inflammation of your body. If you exercise too hard on a daily basis, there is excess inflammation in your body, which in turn makes you gain more weight,” he advises. Instead, he says a low-calorie daily diet is ideal for shedding belly fat. Getting at least seven hours of sleep from Monday to Saturday, and nine hours of sleep on Sundays, can also help you achieve your weight loss goals.

To help me achieve my goals, I documented my fitness routine and food consumption over the weekend. The diary didn’t just help Mr Khir make sense of where I could improve; it also forced me to take note of what I was putting into my body and how much I was exercising.

I’m not alone: according to Harvard Health, keeping a food diary can help you understand your eating habits and patterns. Research shows that for people interested in losing weight, a journal can be an effective tool to help change behaviours. And it worked. For example, only after recording my food intake, did I realise the significant amount of carbohydrates I consume.

Here’s Mr Khir’s review on my food and activity diary and his tips on how I can adopt a healthier lifestyle for the win:


Breakfast: Three wholegrain WeetBix squares with fresh blueberries, blackberries and banana, topped with fresh milk

Lunch: Pan-seared salmon, basmati rice and snow peas/baby corn stir-fry

Dinner: Pork dumpling noodles

Snack: Wholegrain bread with peanut butter

Mr Khir says: Try reducing your solid carbohydrate intake and concentrate on consuming liquid proteins such as protein shakes. With that being said, consuming foods that are high in protein and fibre, and contain iron, healthy fats and vitamins can also help maintain your healthy diet.”

Activity: A quick workout of 180 squats and 180 jumping jacks

Mr Khir says: “So far so good. To challenge yourself more, consider applying some intensity to your squats by hugging a 5kg packet of rice or a weight plate. You can keep yourself motivated by scheduling regular workouts and aiming for fun and variety – swimming, weight and interval training, jogging, walking and cycling are all great ways to lose weight.”


Breakfast: Minced meat noodles

Lunch: Rice, boiled chicken, broccoli

Dinner: Baby spinach salad with chicken thigh, egg (no dressing)

Activity: None

Mr Khir says: “Don’t be afraid of the occasional cheat day. You can plan this for when you’re not exercising, and return to a high protein diet on the days you do work out. The rationale is that by allowing yourself brief periods of indulgence you’re less likely to veer off course for your diet. Cheat meals can help to reset hormones responsible for metabolism and insulin regulation, replenish glycogen for increased energy and keep fat torching mechanisms high. Cheat meals really work for those who are on a strict diet plan or an intense workout regimen. A cheat day or cheat meal should be a small break before returning to your healthy diet.”


What to remember when keeping a food and activity journal:

  • Write everything down, no matter how small it seems.
  • Don’t rely on your memory at the end of the day. Instead, record your meals and activity using your phone’s notes app as the day progresses.
  • Be specific. Had fried chicken? Write it down instead of just stating, “chicken”.

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Featured Shape Up

Fitness Workz Garage: A unique fitness experience

Crossfit enthusiasts rejoice – Fitness Workz Garage, your new home-away-from-home gym awaits at Bedok Reservoir Clubhouse.



Located at HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir is Fitness Workz Garage – a new-age gym built to meet the diverse fitness needs of Home Team NSmen and their loved ones.

Designed as a crossfit haven, the gym also boasts a full complement of fitness equipment and exercise spaces to cater to everyday workout requirements. Here’s what sets Fitness Workz Garage apart from other Fitness Workz gyms across HomeTeamNS clubhouses.


Like any good gym, Fitness Workz Garage not only has the basics of gym tech down – it goes above and beyond to cater to cross-fitters, body-weight exercise enthusiasts, and those who incorporate functional training into their workouts.

Step inside and be greeted by the sight of rows lined with machines including brand-new treadmills, squat racks, a bench press machine and a leg press machine for the ideal mix of cardio and strength equipment. The gym also features popular alternative training gear like a monkey bar, rope pull and battle rope.

The highlight of the gym, however, is the CrossFit zone outfitted with an octagon training frame and a unique free weights zone.


A welcome and familiar sight for any crossfit lover, the functional training zone situated at the heart of the gym is exclusive to Fitness Workz Garage at HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir.

The wide, open area is outfitted for some serious functional training, allowing gym-goers the best space possible to practice Olympic lifts, calisthenics and full-body movement exercises like kettlebell training and slam-ball work.

This area boasts the multi-functional octagon training frame rig – specially made for Fitness Workz Garage – that no other Fitness Workz gyms carry. The structure’s attachments include battle ropes, a punching bag and a cross core system and can be used by multiple users.


While most other HomeTeamNS Fitness Workz gyms feature a free weight zone, there’s a few new toys at Fitness Workz Garage – both designed to deliver the ultimate posterior workout.

The hack squat machine is an ideal tool to build your glutes, maximising your training by enabling a wider range of movement for the glutes.

The zone also includes the Booty Builder: A weight-loaded hip-thrust machine that allow users to specifically target their glutes, instead of having to build up the station individually.


Apart from treadmills Fitness Workz Garage’s cardio zone is equipped with cutting-edge equipment that will satisfy  cardio savants of any calibre. Best of all, the treadmills face Bedok Reservoir – how’s that for a gym with a view?

Complementing the treadmills are Assault Runners – a premium self-operated treadmill powered by a user’s own stride, which are intended to help you meet and exceed your fitness goals while burning more calories. Notably, at Fitness Workz Garage, runners can enjoy a luxurious view of the reservoir as they get their mileage in.

Also noteworthy is the ski machine, which allows users to work their legs, core, and arms in a smooth, continuous motion.


To cap it off, Fitness Workz Garage is the only gym that conducts spin classes at the high-performance studio. The gym offers the CruTV spin bicycle, equipped with a high-definition touchscreen so a user can easily keep track of his or her progress

Another eight spin bikes are also available in the High Performance Studio (HPS) for group classes. Additionally, virtual classes will also be conducted in the HPS on a daily basis for gym users to follow a training program without the need of a physical spinning instructor so members enjoy flexible, fun fitness options.

Ready to join the Fitness Workz Garage community? Check out our website for more information on the rates and other cool amenities.

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Shape Up

Let’s get physical with REAL® Run

Whether you’re new to the REAL® Run or want to beat your personal best, the hallmark of a good race is prepping well and following through. Here’s how.



With virtual races having been the status quo until very recently though, are we really prepared for the differences between physical and virtual runs? Now that you’ve signed up for REAL® Run 2022, here are some tips from our Fitness Workz trainer on how you can better prepare for the race physically and mentally.


Between the day you register and the day itself, only one thing truly matters: Preparation.

Training for a virtual run came with many unique challenges. Being unable to train with friends physically can dampen the sense of camaraderie and hamper the desire to get up for those early-morning training sessions without a buddy.

The benefits of a physical setting, however, don’t stop at just the sense of solidarity we build when training in person with fellow runners – the excitement of physical competition can be a powerful motivating factor.

Even so, it’s important not to get too overzealous while training for a race. Fitness Workz trainer Danish’aizat shares that over-training and lax post-training habits, for instance, are notable hazards.

“To minimise risk of sustaining injury, runners should moderate their training frequencies and intensity. Heat and stretching before all the exercises and icing the muscle area after the exercise itself are also essential for proper recovery,” he elaborated.


Studies show that many runners perceived virtual races to be harder, also showing than on average, runners were slower during stand-alone time trial efforts versus when racing head-to-head against in-person competition.

Part of this boils down to how our brains perceive when and how much effort we invest into an activity. In a physical race however, we have constantly targets in front of us to pace against, chase down and overtake.

The atmosphere of a physical race is not to be understated – competition in close quarters and crowds cheering you on may well give you that extra push you need to smash your personal best time.

Mr Danish’aizat has fond memories of the festive atmosphere at a REAL® Run race. This extends back to well before he became a Fitness Workz trainer. He volunteered with the rest of his class for REAL® Run 2018 when he was a Higher Nitec Sport Management student.

“I was able to volunteer with my peers and make new friends and connection at the event. We were all busy working and communicating as a team and it went super smoothly. When one of us needed help, someone would lend a hand. We enjoyed ourselves immensely and the atmosphere was great.”

While the atmosphere at a physical event can make a big difference, Mr Danish’aizat cautions against being too caught up in the moment and ignoring any potential injury.

“Serious injuries can occur during any run. When it comes to injuries like a twisted ankle, some runners will continue to run if it is bearable – but doing so will only worsen the injury,” he clarified.

“As another example, if experiencing lower back pain, stop the run, stretch it out and continue the run if it feels relief, but if it does not, seek medical help,” he advised.


Another major difference between virtual and physical runs is the race route. With virtual runs tracked using apps or fitness wearables, it’s far easier to plan an ideal route.

With a physical race, the route and timing are often fixed.

Sometimes, runners may “hit the wall” during a race despite ample preparation, which can be particularly crushing during a physical race. Mr Danish’aizat notes that the most important thing to keep in mind is that it doesn’t matter how fast you go, as long as you do not stop.

“You have already spent months preparing for it, why give up now? Always stay positive and remember that there will always be a next race in the future,” he said.


Training for physical runs require runners to anticipate conditions for their competition route.

For example, treadmills can help with training for hilly terrain. By training on simulated inclines, one can not only mentally prepare for steep climbs and long ascents, but also develop leg strength and improve your form in the process.

Also, if one expects bumpy roads or uneven trails during a physical run, it’s worth making preparations like purchasing the right footwear and deliberately running on rough terrain to develop balance and agility while reducing risk of injury.

Finally, make sure you’re mentally prepared ahead of the race itself. The key here is to keep a clear mind focused on your goals. Remember to breathe, trust in your training and push yourself to meet or even exceed your goals as you keep your eyes on the prize: that glorious moment when you cross that long-awaited finishing line.

Food Spy Shape Up

Why a Mediterranean diet could benefit you

Adapting to the Mediterranean diet could offer a wealth of benefits, like improved heart health and lower cholesterol. Here’s your sign to switch up your palate and indulge in healthier food options at HomeTeamNS Clubhouses.



While the Mediterranean diet – featuring more seafood, more vegetables and less carbohydrates – was discovered in the 1950s by American scientist Ancel Keys, it has remained popular for being easy to adopt as well as relevant; with more studies substantiating its promise of multiple benefits.


The grilled salmon mentaiko rice bowl served at Indulge Teppanyaki & Grill House in HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier.

Taking inspiration from the typical menus of those living in the region, such as Italy, Greece, Spain and Morocco, the Mediterranean diet boosts vegetable intake while cutting back on red meats and refined carbs.

Its most pronounced effect is that on the cardiovascular system – reducing risk of heart diseases, alleviating high blood pressure, and even helping with overall mortality. In a 2018 study of nearly 26,000 women, 25 per cent of those who followed the Mediterranean diet had less risk of developing cardiovascular disease over 12 years. The main drivers for this were attributed to changes in inflammation, blood sugar, and body mass index.

There are also increasing reports that support its role in supporting slow ageing and cognitive health as well, especially for men.

The Mediterranean diet fundamentally does this in two ways, by upping nutrient intake through generous servings of vegetables and fruit, and by relying on the use of monounsaturated fats. One of the biggest changes is using olive oil, which is a healthier fat that lowers total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol levels. For proteins, the diet prefers fish like sardines, mackerel, tuna and salmon. These meats are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which fight inflammation within the body, and the polyunsaturated fats also reduce blood clotting, lower the risk of stroke and heart failure. They also help the body with building brain cell membranes.

Ms Jessica Bayes, the lead researcher for the UTS study found that the increased intake of fibre from the diet of nuts, fruit and vegetables contribute to healthy microbial growth in the gut, and that in turn stimulated more production of serotonin – the chemical which makes us happy.

Add to that the nutrient-rich properties of staple ingredients like tomatoes (antioxidant lycopene, vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K) or chickpeas (vitamin B9, copper, manganese and iron), your diet will protect and energise with its natural goodness.


Ela at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok also offers traditional Greek soups like Fasolada.

One advantage of the Mediterranean diet is that it involves shifting your dietary preference than cancelling intake altogether.

Replace refined grains with whole grains and benefit from the added nutrients and fibre while enjoying your carbs. Swap out fried sides like fries and chips and opt for hummus, beans or salads instead. Feeling peckish? Try snacking on nuts and seeds instead of processed treats.

The meat department also needs some rotation. Try to reduce their intake to twice a week as you will be getting plenty of good protein from legumes. Also, move away from red meats and choose fish and other seafood instead.

While following the menus of this region may have you thinking that it’s pizza, pasta and ice-cream all the way, know that while those items do feature in the cuisine, the locals take them in moderation, and tend to eat them in smaller portions with plenty of sides of legumes, vegetables and fruits. This is because items like pizza can contain too much processed red meats and use refined flour, while ice cream contains added refined sugar.


The Steamed Seabass in Chili and Lime dressing served at Siam Kitchen in HomeTeamNS Khatib.

Luckily for us, Singapore has excellent access to affordable imported ingredients, which means kickstarting a Mediterranean diet is within reach! Many of the ingredients that grow on the sunny Mediterranean belt can be found in local farms as well, like tomatoes and greens.

To start, try swapping out one of your sides, or have a meal lean into the principles of more vegetables and white meat. Make small decisions; like replacing desserts full of refined sugar with fruits, or using the rich regional spices or cheese like feta and goat to flavour your food.

Singapore’s vibrant food scene also makes it easy for one to adhere to the diet. Whether it’s chowing down at Singapore Food Festival or one of the eateries at HomeTeamNS clubhouses, you can always easily find meals that line up with the diet.

For example, the Steamed Seabass at HomeTeamNS Khatib’s Siam Kitchen is one item with the fish healthily simmering in a chili and lime dressing. At Indulge Teppanyaki & Grill House in HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier, the Pan-seared Scallop Rice Bowl and Grilled Salmon Mentaiko Rice Bowl fulfil the white meat quota with sides of edamame beans and cherry tomatoes. And if you’re looking for the full experience, Ela at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok offers a delicious Greek menu with pita bread, cucumber yogurt dips, traditional salads and soups like the Fasolada, and marinated servings of chicken and octopus to complete your meal.

If you’re a HomeTeamNS member, kickstart your Mediterranean diet and enjoy 10 to 15 per cent off the total bill at the HomeTeamNS eateries above. Just flash your digital membership card in your HomeTeamNS Mobile App upon checkout.

Shape Up

Fitness Workz trainer by day, Mr World Singapore finalist by night

Mr World Singapore finalist Aidid Haidil has come a long way since his life was changed by a road accident in 2017. This fitness trainer at HomeTeamNS Fitness Workz hopes to inspire others with his story.



A model, an avid football player, and a lifelong fitness enthusiast, Mr Aidid Haidil awoke from surgery in 2017 to see his right arm and leg completely encased in casts. In addition, his upper lip had been torn apart and stitched back together.

He was lucky to be alive, having survived a major road accident in which his motorcycle collided with a lorry at the cross junction next to Marsiling MRT station. Mr Aidid had been flung off his bike into the lorry’s windshield, before landing on the road.

“I thought it was just a dream as it felt like I had just woken up from a nap,” he recalled.

The sudden awakening was soon followed by a bleak period of depression, as he slowly recovered from his injuries but continued to struggle mentally.

“Knowing that I had 20 metal implants surgically placed in me, I was demotivated and started wasting my life away. I was depressed and honestly speaking, I gave up on fitness and sports as I knew for sure that everything would not be the same anymore due to the physical challenges I have permanently.”


Mr Aidid tried to keep a cheerful face on for the sake of his supportive family and friends, but he hit his lowest ebb when he was unable to secure his dream job as a flight attendant, having failed the skin check portion of the interview due to his physical scarring.

“I sat down by the roadside just outside the building where the interview was and I broke down badly,” he said. “I sat there for a good two hours as I could not accept the fate I had been given. But something popped out in my head, telling me to give my lecturer from ITE College West a call.”

It was the turning point for Mr Aidid. His lecturer suggested that he apply for the Work Study Diploma in Fitness Management, as Mr Aidid already had a Higher NITEC in Sports Management and his lecturer was confident that he had the capability to succeed.

Recalling how proud his parents had been when he graduated from ITE, he took a leap of faith and applied for the programme. Today, Mr Aidid is a Fitness Workz trainer at HomeTeamNS Khatib. He received the Personal Trainer Certification from the American Council of Exercise last year and has made it to the finals of the Mr World Singapore 2022 competition.

If he was able to go back to the aftermath of the accident in 2017, he says he would tell himself that everything happens for a reason, and always for the better: “It happened to make me realise that not everything will go as planned. Don’t ever give up – don’t make the same mistakes and waste the upcoming years being so hard on yourself. Get back up on both feet and achieve the success you were meant to achieve.”


Five years after the accident, Mr Aidid still suffers from bouts of post-traumatic stress disorder. But he tries to keep himself occupied and focuses on his mental health.

One thing that gives him a deep sense of fulfilment is helping his clients, especially NSmen like himself at Fitness Workz. While none of them have been through a similar accident, he has assisted clients who suffer from various conditions, such as slipped discs, asthma and polycystic ovary syndrome.

He is able to understand their difficulties and meet them on another level. Over time, Mr Aidid has worked to rebuild his own fitness despite his own physical challenges, such as being unable to flex or extend his wrist fully, which means that he cannot do a proper push-up or bench press.

“I told myself that I have to find ways to strengthen and condition my body again, and not let all of this pull me down,” he said. “I fought through it. The sweat, pain and literal tears were worth it – today, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in.”

Having surpassed his former fitness levels, Mr Aidid is eager to help others do the same.

“I don’t just help the clients who have paid for their personal training sessions with me,” he said. “I attend to any gym members in need, or those who seem lost and demotivated in the gym. I approach them and guide them throughout their gym session.”


Mr Aidid first heard about the Mr World Singapore 2022 competition from gym members, who recommended that he enter. He took up the challenge, feeling that the event would serve as the perfect platform for him to share his story and inspire others in a similar situation.

“I took a chance,” he said. “The experiences I’ve gone through so far are amazing! From going to events, parties, getting sponsored by multiple companies and meeting new people from different backgrounds – it makes my life more interesting and I love it.”

He added: “I have a habit of not expecting great things, but with all the effort and sincerity I’ve put in, I’ve managed to progress on and become a finalist in Mr World Singapore. I believe that with my consistent effort and willingness, I will get to reach out to people and raise them back up on their feet to achieve success, just like me.”

Besides modelling and acting, Mr Aidid still enjoys his first love – football – and of course, working out at the gym. Despite his pageant success, he plans to remain in the fitness industry.

“I want to be better, gain more knowledge and further progress in this line of work,” he says of his career as a trainer. “My goals are not just for me, but also for society. I want to be the reason why people are inspired and get out of their hiding spots to achieve greatness as well.”