The wittily-named Physical ABuse is a boutique gym that emphasizes effective fitness and health practices.
Contributed By Yeap Yixuan
Physical ABuse seems an unusually cruel name for a fitness center.
Until its founder Edmund Tan, 25, explains the wordplay on “ABuse”: “AB” plus “use,” referring to the use of one’s abdominal muscles. The focus of this gym is to help clients become fitter and lose weight, not to bulk up.
Launched in May 2011, Physical ABuse, located at 2HR, aims to set itself apart from other gyms with a different approach to helping clients achieve a higher level of fitness. One of its unique offerings is Drums Alive, a form of physical exercise that involves drumming actions coupled with rhythmic movements that takes the practitioner’s mind off the physical exertion of the exercise and instead engage in fun of the rhythmic movement. Drums Alive provides not only physical fitness but also mental acuity—there are no repetitions unlike other forms of exercise so participants need to focus to keep up. Drums Alive was founded by a lady who suffered a serious hip injury, and decided to drum on boxes while going through therapy.
Being the first fitness center to conduct Drums Alive is not all there is to Physical ABuse. This gym deliberately keeps its class sizes small—25 students per class compared to 60 or 70 participants at a mega fitness center. This allows members to get the personal attention they need from the instructors, which helps the individual to keep improving his or her technique and quality of workouts.
Tan believes that fitness companies should have small branches in more locations; this is more effective than having a mega gym in one location, as smaller branches can offer the personal touch bigger gyms cannot.
Tan, who was a personal trainer before he set up Physical ABuse, was inspired to set up his own outfit because having worked in various fitness centers before, he observed that exercising was impersonal and sometimes, clients even felt stressed out from being pushed to exercise. Physical ABuse fulfills Tan’s desire to see clients happy and excited for physical training.
To encourage more clients to sign up for personal training—all personal trainers at this gym are certified trainers, something Tan insists upon—Physical ABuse is offering a free gym membership for a limited period. This is an attractive perk, as most gyms charge extra for personal training on top of gym membership. Tan believes that “people who are serious enough about exercising to engage a personal trainer should have the chance to exercise for free in group classes.”
Tan believes the best results come from working out with a personal trainer. Apart from sharing their knowledge and experiences with clients, Tan says that most of the personal trainers have a personal relationship with their clients. However, the learning experience for the trainers is not limited to merely teaching and relating with their clients; Tan intends to send them for life coach training next year as he believes that a strong mind is essential in fitness. Many people are willing to exercise but as their minds are not strong enough, they set their own barriers and limit their own progress. With life coaching comes the mental fortitude to overcome barriers, strengthening the mind to strengthen the body.
Though young, the fitness center is not without its success stories. One client suffered two miscarriages because of unhealthy body weight. After training and following her trainer’s dietary advice, she lost 25kg over nine months and now has a healthy baby.
Physical ABuse is offering free one-hour personal physical assessments and advice to City News readers. At this session, readers will receive advice about achieving personal fitness goals after being assessed for their individual physical and medical conditions. To take advantage of this offer, make an appointment at the gym and state that you read about Physical ABuse in City News Weekly.
COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT FITNESS AND WEIGHT, SET STRAIGHT BY PHYSICAL ABUSE:
Myth #1: If women lift heavy weights, they will become muscular.
Truth: Muscles takes time to grow, and women’s hormones naturally prevent them from over-developing muscles. Lifting weights increases metabolism and bone mass and reduces risk of osteoporosis in women.
Myth #2: To lose weight for a certain occasion, I should eat significantly less, and after achieving my goal I can eat more and maintain my weight.
Truth: Dieting causes body to enter starvation mode, causing the body to produce more fat cells and to put on more weight when one resumes normal meals. A better solution is to eat five or six small meals over a day rather than three large ones. The body would not have excess to store as fat. It is also good to eat breakfast an hour after waking up as it would increase metabolism by helping the body burn 25 percent more calories than usual. A good habit is to have a healthy breakfast, and a prolonged lunch and dinner to reduce the tendency of overeating. It is more important to limit dinner as the least calories are burnt at night, and excess is stored as fat.