A Pricey Gym Membership? This Singapore Fitness Instructor Believes You Don’t Need It

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    When Razif Yusoff (@razpec) decided to make a change from being “skinny fat” at age 19, going into the gym was a foreign experience. “The machines, weights and equipment were very alien to me,” he remembers. But seeing his physique transform was the motivation he needed. “My fitness journey trained my mindset and taught me that I can achieve anything if I set my mind to it.”

    Since finishing his studies, he soon found that he didn’t quite fit in the corporate world. “I started giving group fitness instruction for my community in Calisthenics at 26, doing freelance personal training at 27, and now, having a full-time career in fitness with my own gym at 31.” And it’s not just any gym – PushPullGive teaches bodyweight exercises and functional training, but it’s also a social enterprise that offers fitness scholarships and employs young adults from a disadvantaged background.

    Related:Lose Weight Fast With 5 Simple Bodyweight Exercises

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  • A fitness movement that gives back
    2 / 6 A fitness movement that gives back

    When I was 28, I felt unfulfilled, and that something was missing. And I realised that what I wanted to do was to give. The next year, my two friends and I (Konrad Haedicke and Herzy Hosini, who are also the Co-founders of PushPullGive), ran a 3-month long fundraising campaign to support a beneficiary in Cambodia called Tiny Toones, a youth centre supporting the at-risk kids of Phnom Penh through arts and education. We raised USD$5000 and used the funds to repair the school van and renovate the classrooms.

    Immediately after that, PushPullGive, a social enterprise, was incorporated. My vision is that we become a regional fitness movement offering employment opportunities to the marginalised and also a strong support network for at-risk youths in the region.

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  • Your gym is where you want it
    3 / 6 Your gym is where you want it

    I am attracted to calisthenics because not only it’s a way to workout but there’s also skills that you can learn and master, such as front lever, back lever, handstand push-ups and many more. One of the most gratifying moments was when I accomplished my first ever Muscle-Up. These skills take a long time to learn and it’s very addictive once you see yourself inching closer to achieving the skill.

    Some people think you need to lift weights or have an expensive gym membership to pursue your fitness goals. This is not true. Calisthenics or bodyweight exercises can also get you into great shape, and they can be done anywhere or anytime. Like everything else, you just need the discipline.

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  • To lift, or use bodyweight?
    4 / 6 To lift, or use bodyweight?

    Bodyweight exercises allow for a more natural range of motion and will improve your overall athleticism quite effectively. Advanced bodyweight exercises require unmatched levels of full body tension, which is what leads to incredible strength gain. I personally feel that I achieve better mobility, flexibility and coordination with calisthenics. It’s also less stressful on the joints.

    That being said, I do feel that it’s easier to pack on muscle by lifting. This is because it’s easier and far less humbling to add weights to a bar than remove leverage from a bodyweight movement, which only makes it harder. You need to know and utilise proper bodyweight progressions to have the best results.

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  • Crunches can only do so much
    5 / 6 Crunches can only do so much

    One of the most common question that I’ve been asked regularly, especially among men, is how to lose the ‘beer belly’ or the ‘pouch on their stomach’. Most people would think that doing hundreds of sit-ups, crunches or any form of direct ab work would melt the fat away. But the reality is that your diet plays a major role. It is even more important as we age because our metabolism slows down. So being mindful of your eating habits would help to a large extent to cut bodyfat.

    Related:Does Drinking Beer Really Give You A Beer Belly?

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  • Fasting makes burning fat more efficient
    6 / 6 Fasting makes burning fat more efficient

    I love food, so finding a balance is key. I’m an avid fan of fasting, because it helps to improve my insulin sensitivity and allow the food I consume to be used more efficiently. Plus, in a fasted state, it gives my body the opportunity to burn fat as fuel. I fast for at least 16 hours most days a week.

    Here’s a tip if you are new to the fasting game: Have your bigger meal in the evening before you start your fast and if your love coffee (like me!), have black coffee in the morning and drinks lots of water too. They can help to suppress appetite.

    By Clara How; images by Razi Yusoff

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