The benefits of exercise are widely understood. The question is how to reap them, and if you like a gym that offers a wide range of programmes, TFX – Xtraordinary Fitness may be a good place to start. Part of the Singapore-based True Group, which has facilities across Asia, TFX invited us to attend one of its 30-minute Small Group Training (SGT) classes at its Pacific Plaza outlet. Your experience at other branches may vary, but here’s what you can generally expect.
A different setting
TFX Pacific Plaza spans two floors, with the first dedicated to yoga and the second featuring a state-of-the-art gym with different training zones. There are also areas set aside for boxing and functional training, with the latter being the focus for TFX’s SGT classes.
Each SGT class lasts 30 minutes and is led by TFX’s team of specialist trainers. Classes are kept small, between four and 12 participants. Aside from the signature SGT classes, other classes like spinning and Zumba are available at other TFX outlets.
One of the programmes we tried out was JumpX. While other SGT classes have been designed to increase strength and power, among other things, JumpX focuses on developing one’s explosive strength, speed and agility. Participants alternate between 30 seconds of exercise focusing on explosive movements and 30 seconds of rest – an ideal ratio for training plyometric strength while also improving muscular endurance. Besides exercise trampolines, weights, kettle bells, and battle ropes are also used.
As is par for the course, the class instructor didn’t just teach the movements and lead the workout, but also played the role of cheerleader and safety supervisor. The last part is probably the most crucial – many of these movements will be unfamiliar to the average gym-goer, which increases their risk factor. On an unrelated note, expect a good burn at the end of 30 minutes if you aren’t already used to such workout; the trampoline work alone is worth the price of admission.
a whole new world
Maximising space isn’t TFX’s priority – the facility was spacious, with more than enough room between the different stations and equipment for both safety, and some degree of privacy. There is ample room to stretch, rest and wander around between sets, and the gym never feels crowded, even on a busy weekday evening.
Weightlifters who worship Brodin in the Iron Temple will find TFX’s equipment perfectly suited for prayers, with a full range of equipment from the basics to exotic variants. The Eleiko Öppen deadlift bar, for instance, is an even more heavily modified version of the trap bar, which makes the changing of weight plates both safer and more convenient.
It’s the little details that make the difference, and TFX has them down pat. The weight plates come in small enough increments to suit anyone’s strength level while also promoting safer progressive overload. Machines are well maintained. Even gloves are provided for those who want to box – although we advise bringing your own for hygiene reasons.
Every workout ends with a shower, and it’s here that the excellent gyms separate themselves from what are merely good ones. Suffice it to say that TFX’s shower facilities are top notch, so you’ll have no problems freshening up for whatever’s next.
The Bottom Line
Operating a gym in Singapore is a tricky business given the rentals and competition. TFX has a pretty compelling value proposition though, given its equipment and programmes on offer. It’s worth checking out if you’re on the hunt for a place to work out.