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

Are Fad Workouts Bad?
article by John Cheah

It’s really difficult to define what a fad workout is because nearly every movement or style of training done within the right context and for the right population, has some benefit, whether large or small.

So when people ask me if they should be learning how to snatch a barbell, doing a HIIT workout 3 times a week, or doing a pistol squat on a Bosu ball with half their body weight on their back, my answer is usually a noncommittal and half-hearted: “it depends”. The answer is either a long one that usually turns into an on-the-spot physical assessment that people don’t usually pay for, or people aren’t quite ready to hear my honest opinion.

Perhaps the question shouldn’t be: “Are fad workouts bad?”. The question should be: “Is what I’m doing suitable for my current state of fitness?”

Here’s where it gets fuzzy. The fitness industry has morphed into many shapes and sizes over the years, and unfortunately for consumers, the most common “current truth” is this: The Loudest Voice Wins. From Aerobics to Zumba, from HIIT to CrossFit, from Yoga to beer yoga to paddle board yoga, the trends ebb and flow from one to the other as companies and studios fight to shout the loudest; The Loudest Voice Wins.

All of this is not all bad. At the very least, sedentary folk are enticed off their sofas; they identify with a certain movement expression and readily join “the fitspos”.

Having people around you to motivate you as you work out is probably the best thing since sliced bread, because you feel a sense of belonging and inspiration: whatever’s worked for Firebreather Freddy is also going to give me that insane cardiovascular ability “at the end of it all” — there’s hope for me!

So here’s where I’ll invite you to pause and ask yourself: What is “The End”? Should there be “The End (of it all)”?

The current state of the fitness industry is this: come to us, do this, and get this. It’s immediate, fast and the endorphins released feel good at the end. It’s a bit like fast food: It satiates you now - and if you buy this happy meal, you get a collectible thing!

So back to the question: “Is what I’m doing suitable for my current state of fitness? What about 5 years from now? What about 10? What about 50?”

Those were a lot of questions, and this is unfortunately the long answer I spoke about before. What should you do then? 

Here’s a good place to start: find a place or person that’s honest with you. If you’re new to all this, a good sign of honesty is simplicity. Everyone’s body has joints and levers, some more important than the other. You don’t have to be an expert in anatomy to pick something off the floor, learn how to jump efficiently, or push and pull your body through space. It’s like reading food labels. The rule of thumb is to be able to read and at least 80 percent of the ingredient list.

Honesty breeds growth. If you’ve never moved any weight dynamically through space, perhaps a well lit studio and a small coach to student ratio where you can see what you’re doing might help you learn the ropes better than say, a dark room of a certain color with the music blaring.
When you’re building something to last for a long time, in this case your body, in another case a house or airplane, you want the proofing process to be meticulous and definite, not quick and easy. Nothing worth having comes easy, and if they say your body’s a temple, you don’t want to be replacing things that break or crumble later if you could spend a bit more time at the start.

Growth, if sustainable and wise, lasts for a long time.

"In Summer!"
- Olaf the Snowman, Frozen


Summer is here (at least for the northern half of the world), and for those of us heading home or away from home, the good vibes of travelling can soon give way to more troubling emotions:

“Dang it! My daily routines are broken, all my work in the gym is wasted!”

“I really shouldn’t eat that, I’m feeling bad about what I ate last night!”

“I don’t feel so good, I stayed in the sun a bit too long and had too much cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner!”

We’re here with 3 tips to tide you over the mid year break so you come back hopefully more refreshed from your holiday, and maybe even healthier!

1. Drink plenty of water!
Summer’s hot! We’re not going to remind you to put on sunblock while you suntan because you know this, but drinking a litre of water for every hour you spend in the sun or while you’re active can go a long way in helping you rehydrate on your holiday.

Don’t forget water at mealtimes too! For every glass of wine, match it with a glass of water: you’ll save money, and the extra trips to the bathroom will help you flush out excess toxins from your body. Save on the juice cleanses after your holiday of bad choices, this is a passive detox the way your body intended.

2. Don’t feel bad!
You’ve spent half the year dreaming about this moment of bliss, and the deep fried, sugar coated piece of pastry from the last underground coal-fired oven in Mozambique is not going to unravel your hard earned body. Eat the things, appreciate the culture, enjoy yourself!

Follow the 80/20 rule, heck, drop it to 70/30 if you feel like it. Make smart food choices when you have the options, and for the rest of the time, live a little.

3. Find ways to stay active.
If your holiday brings you into a city, walk! Do your homework beforehand and find sightseeing routes that involve passing by smart food choices for lunch before you indulge in a well deserved dinner. The “Health” app on your iPhone has a built in step tracker, and we’re looking for around 10,000 steps a day.

All these steps add up (even and especially when you shop), so don’t worry about having enough time to exercise— you’re on holiday after all!

That being said, if you find yourself in a hotel gym on a lazy afternoon, here’s a neat formula to ensure a total body workout in 12 minutes:

1. Pick a lower body push or pull movement (any variation of a squat or hinge)
2. Pick an upper body push or pull movement (push ups, pull ups, renegade rows, shoulder presses)
3. Pick a cyclical cardio element (treadmill, bike, skipping rope, a long piece of land to run on)
4. Create a 3 minute set. For example, 40 seconds of work, then 20 seconds rest of body weight squats, push ups and a 150m shuttle run, and then stick it out for 4 sets!

The possibilities are endless! Use what you have and get creative! If you’re near a beach, try running on the sand or include some swimming pool laps in your circuit with jumping jacks, burpees or walking lunges next to the pool.

Keeping on track when you’re on holiday doesn’t take a whole lot out of you. Make good choices, enjoy yourself, and remember— we’ll be here when you get back!

Coach Spotlight: John Cheah
Our boy’s pulling his weight again, this time in Samoa!

Coach John Cheah recently finished 6th in the under 96kg body weight class at the 2019 Commonwealth Championships in Apia, Samoa, where he lifted a personal best 129kg Snatch and 160kg Clean and Jerk, breaking the Singapore national Clean and Jerk record!

His resultant total of 289kg also sets a new bar for the local 96kg men— the previous national best was 285kg, also set by Cheah earlier this year.
Class of the Month: Structure

We've revamped and renamed our classes across our Robinson and Telok Ayer studios to better reflect the soul of each one. Check them out and tell us what you think! This week, we get a taste of Structure. 
Structure’s a lovely word. It feels strong, like the walls of a building, and firm, like the pole you tie next to a sapling to ensure it grows into a strong tree. We liken our new class to that description, and whether you’ve been coming to the gym for years or whether you think a barbell’s a musical instrument, this class has something for everyone.

It’s a good place to get a feel for weighted movement before throwing yourself into the deep end in a Sweat or Skill class. Anyone can swing a kettlebell, but if you haven’t discovered where or what your posterior chain is or experience lower back pain every time you bend over, you might find hidden gems in this class that will set you up for better, pain-free movement.

Book your first Structure class on our website.

LEVEL x Club Med: Join us in the jungle

Last week, Dimitri headed to Malaysia to take part in the inaugural "Adventure Into the Wild" event at Club Med Cherating Beach.

His "Beach Bootcamp" ran from the 13th to the 20th of  July  and was extremely well received, with participants loving our brand of HIIT on a beautiful beach.


If you're feeling a bit left out, the beautiful Adelene Stanley will be taking over from the 27th of July to the 2nd of August at Club Med with her signature Movement Therapy styled dance workshop. "Dance in the Jungle" is an hour-long movement workshop where you'll get in touch with your primal side, learning to move your body through the jungle in a unique way. 

Want to take a trip to the wild side?
Find out more here.

The next Spartan Race happens in 2 weeks!
We're ramping up our routines in prep for the next Spartan Race in Bukit Timah on August 3.

Stay tuned for our race report in our next newsletter!

Want to get a taste of what we do? Come experience a session with us! Email us at

Want a New Fitbit?

Our partner Fitbit is extending a 20% OFF all Fitbit models with promo code "LEVELGYM20".

Simply visit their online shop and enter the code when you check out to get your new Fitbit now-- this promotion ends on the 31st of July 2019!

The new Fitbit Versa™ tracks heart rate, activity & sleep and gives personal guidance to help you reach your goals. Run your day better with advanced features like music, on-screen workouts, notifications, apps and more. With a water-resistant, lightweight design and 4+ day battery life, the Versa is your all-day companion.*

*Water resistant to 50m. Battery life varies with use and other factors. Payment availability at
Enjoy special discounts at our partner outlets.

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Ask for more information at our front desk.
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