I spent one hour with a trainer who brings the gym to his clients – now I’m convinced it’s the only hope for people who hate working out

While Ezfit does offer the typical “buff me up” services, its client base also consists of pregnant mothers, children, elderly, and those in injury rehabilitation – people looking for a gentler workout.
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Think personal trainer, and most people imagine towering gym equipment, glistening muscles, yelling, and lots of sit-ups.

I’ve always wanted to get fit, but it’s these thoughts that scare me off. So when a company came along that offered one-on-one wellness training at the location of my choice, I was intrigued.

The company, Ezfit, does offer the typical service to help clients bulk up, but it also runs an large number of programmes for people who don’t come across as regular gym-goers: children, expecting mothers, and those with injuries or recovering from surgery.

As I found out, even their personal training programmes weren’t the exercises from hell that I expected. They were surprisingly easy to stomach, and even – dare I say – made me want to continue.

Here’s how my session went:

First, someone from Ezfit called to ask what my fitness goals were, and check if I had any existing injuries or aches.

I said I wanted to lose weight. Typing for eight hours a day at the office also gave me back, neck and shoulder pain, and headaches, I said.

I’ll be honest – I was scared. I hate doing pull ups, crunches, and planks – but the trainer promised to adjust the workout to a comfortable level for me.

Read also: I found the perfect office chair for people with back pain – and it’s worth every cent of the shocking S$988 price tag

Based on what I requested, the company assigned me a personal trainer.

My trainer was Vanan Nadarajan.
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Nadarajan is Ezfit’s founder, and he runs the personal training and injury rehabilitation programmes. Each programme has assigned trainers, so you’ll get someone with relevant experience.

After arranging the time and date of my first session, Vanan met me at my office’s rooftop area (the location of my choice). We started the session with a health assessment.

He recorded my height, weight, BMI, and blood pressure. He also asked for my medical history and current activity level.
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Rather than go to a gym, you get to pick the location, and the trainer will bring all the necessary machines. The space doesn’t have to be very large – Nadarajan said some people have even done their sessions in carpark lots, gardens, and offices.

The worst bit was definitely when he took my body fat percentage.

According to his chart, I was firmly in the “poor” zone. It was a bit of a shock.
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Some customers use the Ezfit programme to help improve medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol through exercise.

Nadarajan said that based on the health assessment, I needed to work to reduce my body fat. He asked me about my diet, and advised me to increase protein intake and reduce desserts.

He also adjusted the choice of workout for me to target the fat percentage.

Next, he had me try out a fitness machine to see how effective it was, and if I liked using it.

This one involved a madly vibrating foot plate that left me with a buzzy sensation all over. It’s meant to make the blood circulate around the body and solve my headache complaints.
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I asked Nadarajan for an easy workout that would reduce my body aches, so the machines he brought were tailored for that. A different request would likely have resulted in different equipment.

The equipment that appears at every session will change according to which muscles you’ll work out that day.

He made me try doing some squats on the machine to promote blood circulation. 

I was allowed to do them as slowly as I wanted, as long as I did the number he set.
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Without the pressure of having to follow the pace of an exercise class, I felt more relaxed.

Next, he rolled out a yoga mat and asked me to try some exercises. We started with forward lunges.

By observing how I did the exercises, he could tell my calves were stronger than my arms, and my back muscles were the worst of all, so workouts should focus on these muscles instead.
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Nadarajan said most people who work out on their own end up lopsided – meaning certain muscles are worked on a lot, but other muscles get little to no training. Men in particular are prone to working out the upper body and neglecting the legs.

To counter this, he looks at working out each person’s weaker muscles more.

By looking at how I responded to the exercises, he tweaked the difficulty and number of reps.

Next, we tried some flexibility exercises.

Sean Lim/Business Insider

Sean Lim/Business Insider

I did fine for these, so he recommended I work on strength training.
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As I did each exercise, Nadarajan would explain which muscle groups I was working out, and why I needed to work them out. He also walked around me constantly, observing that the exercise was being done correctly, and frequently asked which muscles I felt were being used.

This was one of the most valuable features of the session, as simply copying someone else’s exercises off a video could result in you doing them wrongly. Worse, you could end up injuring yourself – which I have done before. It was useful to have someone monitor how I was doing.

Also, even if you decide to work out on your own in the future, at least you know you’re doing the exercises the right way.

Last, we tried some ab exercises.

The trainer was gentle and encouraging when I couldn’t do them quickly.
Sean Lim/Business Insider

Nadarajan noticed I use the muscles on the right side of my body (my dominant arm) more than the left. This means I would have to focus more on working out the left side of the body in the future.

He also managed the intensity of the exercises quite well. By this time, I was sweating, but didn’t feel so tired that I couldn’t go on – which is what happened the last time I tried to do physical training.

I left the session feeling pleased with myself instead of defeated and tired.

At the end of the session, he pulled out a magical massage “gun”.

The “gun” costs S$700, and was imported from the US.
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Since physiotherapy is one of the business’ key areas, trainers work not only on building muscles, but easing pain.

In minutes, my muscle aches were solved, and the session ended.

This alone is worth booking the session for.
Sean Lim/Business Insider

The contraption manages to massage muscles deep in the body, which are typically out of reach for a masseuse. However, using it on one spot for too long can result in injury, so I wasn’t allowed to do it myself.

Within minutes, the tightness in my back, shoulders and shins was gone. Having tried going for massages to solve these problems, I can say the machine did in minutes what the masseuse took an hour to achieve.

It also seems like a good tool to use for muscle recovery after a workout.

Overall, it was obvious from the get-go that this personal trainer service focuses more on all-round wellness than just getting people to be thinner or more muscular.

Rather than push me to do as many reps as possible, the trainer did a good job of assessing my energy level and tweaking the exercises to suit me.

While this could mean it will take longer to lose weight or gain muscle compared to a more severe workout, it does mean the exercise programme is more sustainable. This makes it great for people who hate going to the gym – either from the pressure of keeping up with others in a group class, or the immense tiredness from over-exercising the body.

The personal health assessment, one-on-one attention and tailored exercises also make the workout much more palatable, since you know what muscles you’re working, and that someone else is keeping you on the right track.

However, it bears remembering that all this does cost a significant amount: one session with Ezfit (which has trainers on call 24/7) can be anywhere between S$130 and S$180, with a 50 per cent extra charge for sessions from 10pm to 6am.

In comparison, a personal training session at a 24-hour gym like Anytime Fitness costs about S$100 (but hiring the trainer first requires a monthly membership fee of between S$88 to S$138).

Still, good health is often considered the key to enjoying life – so if this is the only way you think you’ll ever end up working out, the price might just be worth it.

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