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Welcome to Level's February newsletter!
Read on to find out about the latest events, workshops and celebrations happening in our community.

Self-Love: A Case For Individual Design
article by John Cheah


Yoga. Spinning. HIIT. Strength Training. CrossFit. Pilates. Martial Arts. Bootcamps. Barre. Jogging. The choices are unending!

We live in a world of choices, and because it’s Valentine’s Day, I’m going to draw an analogy based on trying to find a decent relationship in the 21st century.

I’ve been married for 2 years and a bit now, and when I was thinking about popping the question way back when, I remember asking my parents how they knew they were right for each other. They gave me an answer that was as helpful as it was annoying: If You Know, You Know.

Sometimes our journeys through the Fitness and Relationship landscape can be equally confusing and scary. You don’t want to be drawn into a fad fling with a 10 class pack who you feel isn’t quite ready for commitment. You don’t want to be hurt by a class who doesn’t tailor the movement to what’s suitable for you. You don’t want to be ghosted by a session that seems like they’re really into you but you feel real empty inside after.

Dating is exciting, spontaneous, and sometimes downright sexy, and the boring future of a gym session that does the same basics over and over again doesn’t quite make you go weak at the knees. Changing partners on a whim on an online platform that makes it easy and accessible to try new classes options makes for a hopeful foray into this new life, but will that make you happy?

Ask anyone in a committed, mature relationship or a committed, mature fitness lifestyle, and they’ll tell you that they’ll find ways to keep things exciting. It could be finding and overcoming new challenges, learning a new skill (wink wink), or even just being present in the process of enjoying what’s in front of you. What you'll also discover is that there needs to also be regular check-ins to dial in feelings, emotions and thoughts with this other person, not dissimilar to the deal with your own body and mind.

At the end of the day, a lot of what makes a relationship with a person or your fitness journey successful is a keen understanding of yourself; what your body and mind can handle and do.

 


Individual Design in training means we stop being okay with random movements that are more arbitrary than actually helpful for building and reinforcing movement patterns that are important for you, or going to the gym to "get a good smash", or "killing it". It takes the guesswork out of what your body needs to be doing. A properly designed program looks at your sleeping patterns, nutritional needs, and the sex training is just the tip of the iceberg (all the puns intended, but sex drive is also a good indicator of health).

When we take care of ourselves physically and focus on not neglecting our specific needs, we become more confident, more able, more ready to take on a Spartan Race, a casual game of tennis with someone you really want to beat, a yoga class, or a partner you choose to care about because you really love them and want to give them the best gift— yourself.

It turns out my parents were right; the only way for you to know what you know is to be clear and honest with yourself: who you are, how you function and why you do what you do. The choices you make stem from that. There’s nothing wrong with trying new things, because new experiences are always good for us. But developing a core sense of who we are and why we do things help us to then make informed decisions on what to do next.
Spartan Training: In Session!
 
Our Level Spartan program kicked off on the 18th of January, and since then, we've held thrice-weekly training sessions at Fort Canning Hill as well as obstacle-specific familiarization at our Robinson Road branch. We saw people at the top of the rope climb on day one thanks to a few technique tweaks by our coaches, and more and more people traversing the dreaded monkey bars across two weeks of training!

We've got high hopes for this class of Spartans as they prepare to run their race on the 28th of March. If you're still on the fence, don't be! Our training sessions involve a high trainer to student ratio, so you can be rest assured you'll get the individual attention you need, especially when you're 10 feet off the ground.


Our Spartan Training Program runs through to the end of March, and ensures your readiness for the Spartan Race happening then. Want to work towards an achievement you can be proud of?  Drop us an email at trial@level.com.sg to start training!
Coach Spotlight: Alex Salihin
 
We caught up with Alex Sahilin, the man behind the madness here at Level. We spoke to him about the growth of the business, his influences behind some of the decisions he's made, and how, despite all the things he's learnt about fitness and the experience behind programming for hundreds of clients over his years of being a coach, he doesn't plan his own training.

It’s been close to 6 years! What’s new at Level?

Years ago we started with a team of 4 and focused solely on personal training. We’ve come a long way since - we now offer Group Classes with our signature SWEAT, STRUCTURE & SKILL. We’ve grown our team significantly and have plans to expand internationally this year. 

There seems to be a new kid on the block: SGID. What's that all about?

Small Group Individual Design is a service that bridges group classes and 1-1 personal training. It allows clients to access a coach on an individual basis through a consult that happens every other month and weekly program design, tailored specifically for you. This happens post-consult and assessments. With individual design you get: an  Individualised Training Program, nutrition and lifestyle coaching. By meeting you exactly where you are in each aspect through our detailed assessment and consultation process, we establish your starting point, from which your coach will help you consider your priorities and values that are meaningful to YOU. 


What’s the difference between SGID and classes? 

SGID is programming that's built for a specific person who has specific goals. We take the time to understand where a client is, relative to behavior and nutrition/lifestyle. Once this is identified, we create and individualised prescription to get them where they want to be with consistent check ins. 

Group Training (Classes) is getting multiple people with multiple goals and skill levels together a class environment and perform the same daily workout, typically scaling or adjusting exercises and/or loads as a way to attempt to personalise based on ability, goals, etc.

What’s the difference between SGID and personal training?

The only difference is the contact time with your coach - with personal training you get to spend the session with your coach guiding you / standing in front of you whereas with SGID you generally share the floor with other clients who are also working through their individualised design program while you have access to a shared coach who oversees the slot that you happen to be in. 


What is a misconception about strength and conditioning that you’d very much like to change?

There's a general lack in regulation in the fitness industry in Singapore; almost every class offered in the country is known as “Strength and Conditioning” (S&C), when sometimes it's the furthest thing from S&C.

A study by Bompa, TO, and Haff regarding Periodisation for Strength and Conditioning states that basic principles permeate all of strength training and conditioning.

For example, one of the pillars of strength training and conditioning is the idea of Progression. Progression refers to the selection of exercises, loads or resistances, order of exercises, and readiness of the athlete that are just right (not too hard, not too easy) for the status of the athlete and the demands of the activity.

Another basic principle is that of Specificity, the body tends to adapt very narrowly to the nature of the exercise performed.

Finally, even Supervision itself comes in different forms, and it is important to know the circumstances when a particular form of supervision is ideal.  


Simply put, there are too many factors that make up the foundation of a S&C program to be offered in a class setting unless the structure of said classes happen to be designed over a period of time (say 10 - 16 weeks) with proper considerations to: Training, Volume, Intensity, Volume Load and Frequency. 

You talk a lot about how other factors (diet, sleep) play into our training lives. How would you go about quantifying and measuring that on a basic level?

Basic Lifestyle Guidelines, or BLG, is a way to look into a person's sleep, nourishment, energy, stress, breath, purpose, food quality and digestion. These are some of the things we talk about when helping and guiding clients. At a very basic level, we want to see that a client has close to optimal sleep, energy and nourishment before we even embark on goals and wants, in terms of training. As this is very different from one individual to another, we can only really deduce a recommended baseline by conducting a full consult, where we delve deep into the clients lifestyle and habits before we come up with a prescription, or guidelines for lifestyle or training. 
 
 
How do you go about planning your own training and lifestyle?

I don’t. I always have a belief that even as Coaches, we need to be coached. Why? Accountability and honesty. I work with a coach who sorts my programming and BLGs out for me. The plan for me, with my current workload and lifestyle, is literally to ensure that I can keep moving and expressing my physical fitness abilities well into the next 2-3 decades. 

What’s one thing you’d like to see Level move toward in the near future?

I’d like for us to delve deeper into quality coaching and fitness education; and maybe this has to exist within a tiered approach (like SGID and PT). I’d like to see our coaches unmatched in this industry (yes I am talking about years more of experience and furthering education) - I like playing the long game, chipping at things like standards and culture.

Alex runs the increasingly popular Small Group Individual Design concept at Level, in addition to seeing clients on a 1 to 1 basis, where he dives deep into every aspect of their life in order to coach a lifestyle that transcends the work they do in the gym. Send us a message at trial@level.com.sg to start your own journey in fitness.

Client Spotlight: Sarah Cole
 
We caught up with Sarah Cole, a prodigal coach of Level who's now at the other end of the coaching relationship. Her goals have changed dramatically over the years and what drove her years ago is firmly in her rear view mirror. She's on the way to greener pastures, but that doesn't mean less work, just different work.

Hi Sarah, what do you do outside the gym and how long have you been training at Level?

I work as a Health and Physical Education teacher and Health and Performance coach in an International school, and I'm 6 weeks into training back at Level!

How has training with us helped you in your daily endeavors?

My job's pretty demanding, so training here allows me to enhance what I can do in the workplace. Level is also a space for me to recharge and care for myself and my health; a time away from the noise of everything else.

Why the decision to train at Level?

I used to work here, once upon a time ;) I know and trust Alex from the time we used to work together and I like the OPEX way of programming and coaching. Fun fact: I've also competed with John in his previous life of CrossFit and he's a good presence here too!



You were once very competitive in the sport of CrossFit. How has that changed? And how does your current training reflect that?

I'm no longer competing, and currently I'm looking for more balance and sustainability in the way I move and stay healthy. The training intensity and duration is less, yet I'm in a better head space with what I can do physically and how I can balance life outside work and the gym.

It can be hard to let go of the competitive mindset but my intentions are more focused on longevity and enjoyment. My current training is movement over intensity and I'm very happy to gradually build my fitness up as I get older (gulp!)


Sarah is one of many who have managed to find that fine line between work and life through the medium of fitness. To experience that for yourself, drop us a message at trial@level.com.sg
We're Working on our Flexibility Too!
 
We know that committing to just one thing isn't easy, especially when there's so many other choices out there! We also know that we do best in making sure you've got the best quality of movement so you can pursue your other loves.

In 2020, we're simplifying our class packs into single, 5 or 10 bite-sized portions so you can have the flexibility of exploring other expressions of movement. For those who're with us on a monthly membership, don't worry! You guys still get the best deal with the unlimited classes a month for $300 ;)

Every day and every month's a good time to try something new, and we hope these new class pack prices help you do just that!


Find out more at trial@level.com.sg, or drop by one of our branches and speak to one of our front desk staff.

Gaig, A Name To Remember

 
If you've hung out at Stanley Street behind Level at Telok Ayer, you might have noticed a shopfront with a beautiful wooden finish: Gaig Restaurant.

The 151-year old Taberna d'en Gaig in Barcelona, Spain is a heirloom of Carles Gaig, who opened Singapore's edition of the Gaig restaurant in 2017. Their rich and colourful history can be read at their website, and serves an inspiration for all of us in our own endeavors.

Gaig restaurant serves traditional Catalan cuisine with recipes from a family of "great gastronomic tradition", and for the month of February, is offering an exclusive 10% off the bill for members of Level.

If you still haven't gotten your Level tag, you're missing out on a ton of deals from our F&B partners! get yours today at any of our front desks.
Enjoy special discounts at our partner outlets.

Terms and conditions apply. Available at selected outlets only.
Ask for more information at our front desk.
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