Welcome to Time Out Singapore's 52 Weeks of #ExcitingSG – our commitment to showing you the best of what's going on in the city this week. Every Monday, a guest writer who's "in" with the scene shares a recommendation on what to see, eat, do or buy in the city. This week, we chat with Bryan Tay, ex-national and Olympic swimmer and now owner of boutique boxing gym boOm Singapore. With FitnessFest 2018 happening this week, he tells us all about what gets him excited about Singapore's fitness scene.
1. What gets you excited about Singapore?
More people are starting to prioritise their general well-being, be it physical fitness, mental health or just happiness in general. I think it's a really positive shift that I'm excited to be part of.
Fitness aside, I'm inspired by the fact that so many people out there are trying to make an impact, be it in a small or large way. Ilm proud to be in a country where people are always trying to do things better or different. Also, there are always new things popping up – ideas, industries, technologies, passions, trends, restaurants and more – it’s hard not get excited about that!
2. What are your thoughts on the fitness scene in Singapore?
It's heartening that group fitness is gaining popularity. Physical fitness aside, the community aspect of this trend is what I find most meaningful. These classes have the ability to bring together different groups of people for a short period of time (say 45 minutes to an hour) with one shared purpose to get a good sweat session in. While group classes are a great way to bring individuals together, it also makes embarking on what may seem to some as an intimidating and daunting journey a little more comforting – to know that there are people that are in the same boat as they are is incredibly motivating.
3. You're an ex-national and Olympic swimmer so fitness is obviously a big part of your life. What gets you up in the morning and stay motivated to train?
I've always been one of those swimmers who loved racing and competing. Back when I was training for the Olympics, I had very specific goals that I set for myself (eg. the timings I wanted to hit, who I wanted to beat) and I would do whatever it took for me to hit those goals. Swimming is a sport in which you can't hide laziness – the harder you train, the better you race.
Now that I've gained a bit more perspective, my idea of fitness has become so much more than just racing. I'm motivated daily to maintain my overall health. My love for food has not diminished over time, so I have to balance my occasional gluttony with a robust fitness regime.
4. Where do you go for a good sweat sesh?
Naturally I go for classes at the studio I own – boOm is a functional fitness studio that incorporates boxing and strength training in a 45-minute workout. But when I have time, I relish the opportunity to hit the squat rack. However, after spending so much of our day in our studio, my wife and I do crave some fresh air and sunshine. So we always welcome the chance to squeeze in a short jog or bicycle ride around our neighbourhood or our once favourite date destination, Marina Barrage.
5. What are you looking forward to this week?
FitnessFest on May 19 is definitely on the top of my list for this week’s events to go to. I’ll be spending the entire Saturday there heading up the Boxing Arena from 10am to 9pm, as well as teaching a fitness concert at 2.15pm. Come swing by boOm’s booth if you’re interested to learn some boxing moves!
For more upcoming cool happenings, check out Time Out Singapore's 52 Weeks of #ExcitingSG challenge. Don't forget to show us how you're living your best Singapore life via the hashtag #ExcitingSG – we might just throw some free passes and VIP tickets to exciting festivals, gigs and events your way!