Sorry, gym bros, but bicep curls do not equate to weightlifting, no matter how heavy your dumbbells are. Before you come for us with pitchforks and Molotovs in shaker bottles, hear us out — engaging in strength-building exercises (as the average person does in the gym) is lifting weights in the semantic sense, but it’s a completely different breed from the true sport of weightlifting. For that, it helps to have proper weightlifting gyms at your disposal.
Weightlifting, more commonly referred to as Olympic or Oly lifting, involves only two movements: the clean and jerk, as well as the snatch. These highly technical, explosive lifts engage your entire body, offering a comprehensive workout that even the average person can benefit from, as long as proper technique is in place.
A gamut of digital resources exist to help one get familiar with weightlifting, be it YouTube how-tos or Reddit communities that welcome form checks. Still, the best way to cut one’s teeth in the sport is to join a gym that offers specialised classes run by experienced weightlifting coaches as you’ll gain far more with hands-on guidance.
Olympic weightlifting may still be a niche in Singapore, but there are a handful of dedicated gyms that let budding weightlifters get familiar with the snatch, and clean and jerk. These typically feature proper equipment (read: no hex plates, and actual lifting platforms), weightlifting groups known as barbell clubs, and legitimate coaches that you can engage personal training from if you’re willing to invest. Here are some of our picks.
The Strength Yard is a strength and conditioning gym housed in a shophouse along Joo Chiat. The gym itself houses nine lifting platforms open for public use, along with a six-week-long beginner’s course that zones in on the 101s of Olympic weightlifting. Each class runs for 90 minutes with only six participants to a coach, perfect for novice to intermediate lifters looking to progress their technique in a semi-intimate setting.
Lavender’s red-walled Olympic weightlifting facility is the place to be if you want to be competent, or even proficient at the sport. Patrons pay a monthly fee and get assigned to a coach who will guide them through a programme catered to their level. Training typically runs thrice a week, making The Forge a destination for lifters seriously looking to get better. If the commitment seems hefty, just remember that one ever got good at anything just by putting in the bare minimum.
Learn at the hub of Singapore’s professional weightlifting circuit with the Singapore Weightlifting Federation. They hold a quarterly schedule of weightlifting workshops that will get registrants familiar with the basics, lasting just two hours long. While it may not provide the same level of guidance that other gyms do, this is a cost-effective place to get you familiar with what Olympic Weightlifting is and whether it’s a sport you’d like to pursue.
Solitude of Strength is run by national weightlifter, Lewis Chua, also known as The Buffalo. This 5,166 square feet open-air gym holds a variety of classes, including Max Lift, dedicated to perfecting Olympic weightlifting movements, as well as guiding members to hitting PRs on their snatch, clean, and jerk. Personal training is also offered with their weightlifting coaches, most of whom also compete at a professional level.