From Barre To Boxing, We Tried Out These Fitness Studios For A Quick, Morning Workout!

Here’s the thing about the morning workout classes — you either love it or hate it. I belonged in the latter till late. Call me dramatic, but waking up at 6 a.m. for a 7 a.m. class was as painful as the workout itself.

But as a firm believer of challenging myself to try something new, I decided to sign up for early bird sessions from different types of boutique gyms (and rope in my colleague to join me as well). From reformer pilates to Muay Thai, which fitness studio took home first place? These writers are on the case.

Off Duty Pilates


Session: Basic 10
Duration: 55 minutes
What to expect: The 10 foundations of reformer pilates and train for full-body muscle control

our verdict: 3 / 5
Our Experience:

“Before I was introduced to Off Duty Pilates, I had no clue what Pilates was. Was it something like yoga? Not really. Was it similar to Barre? I doubt so. But after going for a trial here, the memory of the pain was fresh enough for me to remember for the rest of my life. I’m not trying to deter you from trying it out, in fact, as mild as it may seem, Pilates is just like any other workout out there. It isn’t exactly on the same level as a HIIT (high-intensity training) workout, but the session I tried involved a lot of LIIT training for the core — although, Off Duty also does a lot of hybrid training, cardio-focused and restorative classes too.

As a beginner, I would say that the trainers here are really approachable and easygoing, making it a comfortable environment for newbies like me to adjust myself in for the workout. However, for someone who loves something with higher intensity, Pilates wasn’t my forte. Still, if you’re looking for a full-body workout without breaking too much of a sweat, then this might just fit your pick.”

— Shazrina, Writer

“As someone who suffers from a slipped disc and endures weekly physical therapy, I was pretty impressed when the instructor, Mira, asked the room if any of us had this specific problem before we began. There were some exercises using the reformer that was excruciatingly painful on my lower back and neck, and I felt like a complete weakling for being unable to power through like the others. Before I showed visible signs of distress on my face, Mira immediately came up to me and adjusted my form to an easier method. It worked. That aside, the bulk of the exercises targeted the core and it definitely had a long-lasting effect. My only gripe: you don’t really break out in much sweat and the pace was a tad leisurely for my liking. ”

— Sinead, Writer

for more information, visit OFFDUTYPILATES.COM



Session: Group Bag Class
Duration: 50 minutes
What to expect: Body shredding, shadow boxing and heavy bag work

our verdict: 4 / 5
Our Experience:

“You’ve probably heard about CruCycle — but have you heard of its sister boxing studio, CruBox? During its opening earlier on this year, I headed over to CruBox for a trial to find out more about the highly raved studio and all I can say is, this intensive workout definitely packs a punch. This engaging class has proven to be a hit amongst many in their 20s and 30s as it features non-combat and HIIT exercises for a full-body workout. With its nightclub-like atmosphere — that’s proven to be a trend in the fitness scene (peep some of the other fitness hubs like ‘BoOm Singapore’ and ‘Ground Zero’) — boxing to their playlist of upbeat tracks definitely made the whole experience more fun as it livens the mood of the whole room.

I thoroughly enjoyed it despite being in so much pain, but at a pretty hefty price and with just one studio, I have my second thoughts about signing up for the full package. Nevertheless, if you’ve never tried boxing or if you’re planning to try something new, Crubox is a great place to start.”

— Shazrina, Writer

for more information, visit CRUBOXING.COM.SG

Evolve MMA


Session: Muay Thai
Duration: 60 minutes
What to expect: Fundamentals of how to kick, punch, knee, and elbow

our verdict: 4 .5/ 5
Our Experience:

“The class participants alone were intimidating enough; many were level 2 or 3, they could warm-up without breaking a sweat and knew the routine moves that had the instructor yell “good job” at you. After the warm-up and start-up punches, I swear I was this close to relinquishing all my shame and just walking out of the class. It was that intense and I really had to step out of my comfort zone; it was nothing like CruBox or Ground Zero — this was purely a form of highly-skilled martial arts.

For those that prefer a high-intensity workout, this class would definitely be right on the money. You can even burn up to 1,000 calories in a one-hour Muay Thai class! Their instructors are all recognised world champions in their sport and they diligently made sure you were doing the right techniques to perfect their craft. Not only did I leave the gym completely aching, but I also felt mad respect for Muay Thai and the discipline it entails.”

— Sinead, Writer

for more information, visit EVOLVE-MMA.COM

Barre Lab


Session: Barre Power
Duration: 55 minutes
What to expect: Cardio, strength and total body-toning and sculpting

our verdict: 5 / 5
Our Experience:

“The Barre Lab definitely deserves props for their gorgeous studio, especially their outlet in the East. Barre Power is basically a small step up from Barre 101 but I was told it was merely more intense, and that beginners with no barre experience could still “make it through” the session. With a buttload of confidence and my fancy new grip socks, I signed up for that class and let me tell you, you’ll awaken muscles you didn’t know you had. It was painful, to say the least — but a soreness I was proud of.

Not many have been introduced to Barre and simply think it’s a sibling of yoga; this was my mindset going in. After the warm-up, I could tell this class was on a much different wavelength: a) the pace is more fleeting, b) deeper stretching and muscle building involved, c) your endurance will be tested to the limit. Every 10 minutes, the instructor dedicated the time to a particular part of your body: toning your lower calves to sculpting your upper arms. But the real winner for me was the assortment of props used. From resistance bands, 2kg weights to medicine balls, the strength and conditioning made me feel more empowered than any regular fitness class. I attended two sessions, and both times each instructor always made it a habit to correct a student’s form properly and constantly encourage them to lift higher. A+ for effort.”

— Sinead, Writer

for more information, visit BARRELAB.SG



Session: Jumpx
Duration: 30 minutes
What to expect: To develop plyometric strength as well as speed and agility

our verdict: 4.5 / 5
Our experience:

“Let’s be real here — going to the gym can be intimidating for some (or actually for most us) considering the high levels of testosterone, especially being in the weights area. Thankfully enough, TFX makes gymming a little less daunting. Here, you’ll be able to try out the ever-so-popular, HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workout, or even opt for a LIIT (Low-Intensity Interval Training) workout which basically involves low impact exercises.

Besides the gym and yoga classes, TFX also offers programs in small group training classes which includes JumpX — a workout that’s plyometric and incorporates cardio movement on the trampoline. The workout spanned for half an hour and it was long enough to make my legs feel wobbly. No lie — it was really intensive and I barely had enough time to recover. These supersets also include doing pushups with dumbbells and brake pushcart trainings as well. A must-try if you’re looking to break a sweat.”

— Shazrina, Writer

for more information, visit TFX.SG

Bo0m Singapore


Session: BoOm Box
Duration: 45 minutes
What to expect: A 10-round cardio and resistance workout comprising heavy bag work, shadow boxing, strength and conditioning and HIIT elements

our verdict: 3.5 / 5
Our Experience:

“Quietly tucked away in the basement of the TPI Building in the CBD lies one of the latest boutique gyms here in Singapore. With so many fitness hubs sprouting across the island, it’s clear that BoOm Singapore was one that we couldn’t miss out on — because 1) it looks pretty swanky, and 2) it offers great functional fitness programs that don’t just involve aqua boxing, but HIIT too. Surely, it lived up to my expectations, just like many of the other boxing gyms in Singapore, BoOm was fully equipped with aqua bags, a weights station, and let’s not forget, their multi-coloured lights system accompanied by heart-thumping music that’s sure to get you going in the morning.

But what I like most about the lesson is that it’s not as intense as what you’d imagine it to be. What I’m trying to say is, you don’t have instructors drilling and yelling at you in the morning. Instead, you’ll be able to do things at your own pace without being pressured to do more than what your body is capable of doing.

However, the only setback is the shower facilities  — that may be a little too cramped especially if you’re in a full class (and if you’re pressed for time). Also, if it’s your first time coming here, and if you’re not as familiar with the place, it may be a little tough to find the gym, so it’s best if you keep a lookout for their signage on the first floor (and also to come a little earlier for the lesson).”

— Shazrina, Writer

“Here’s a lesson you don’t learn until you’re in a boxing class: that current sports bra you have definitely needed to have more support. One thing I surely appreciated during this morning workout was that their projector screen at the front of the class displayed all the sequences during each set. In the beginning, it was rather difficult adjusting to the pace and having the numbered boxing orders really helped.

Taking that into account, I appreciated not getting yelled at by my instructor (and owner), Bryan, as compared to other boxing gyms. While some may not find that as motivational, I felt comfortable enough to continue at a speed my body could handle. It was a pretty typical boutique boxing gym where you’re surrounded in neon strobe lights, a fast-paced playlist and foolproof workout that will have you aching the next day.”

— Sinead, Writer

for more information, visit BOOMSINGAPORE.COM

Written by Sinead Lee.