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Level Gym
Photograph: Level Gym

The best gyms in Singapore for express workouts

From high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to metabolic conditioning, these 30-minute workouts still pack a punch

By Michelle Ng

Don’t break a sweat when it comes to finding a gym to sweat in. These gyms ensure you get your dose of endorphins in about the same amount of time you take to wolf down your lunch – because spending hours at the gym is so passé.

RECOMMENDED: The best HIIT gyms and studios in Singapore and the best gyms in Singapore

Level Gym
Photo: Tatyana Kildisheva

For those who like: a combo workout

Sport and fitness Gyms and fitness centres Tanjong Pagar

Level Gym
Duration: 30 minutes

Fitness is taken to a whole new level at this gym – forget typical classes and instead go hard with a specially tailored fitness regime using barbells, ropes and rings. Level Gym emphasises on workouts that incorporate daily movements, making exercise more relevant and integral to one’s life rather than a chore. 

Get your heart pumping at Midday Madness, a 30-minute HIIT fat-blasting session that combines strength training, bodyweight exercises and cardio. 

Ritual Gym

For those who like: fat-burning HIIT

Sport and fitness Raffles Place

Duration: 30 minutes

Ritual specialises in high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which combines strength training with cardio to ensure you get a full-body workout in every session. Because its owners believe in training the body as a machine and not with machines, you won’t find treadmills or bikes here. Instead, there are dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, suspension ropes and gymnastic rings that you’ll use during the sessions.

During a 30-minute session, you’ll do different exercises such as burpees, push-ups, kettlebell swings and squats with minimal rest time (about 15 seconds) and with at least one trainer on the floor motivating you to pick up your pace. Each session can accommodate up to ten people, and starts every half-hour so there are no excuses to skip. Ritual also has a ‘fuel bar’ where you can treat yourself to a hard-earned post-workout protein shake. Clothes, towels and toiletries are provided and the shock-absorbent gym floor means no shoes are required – just rock up and work out. 


For those who like: an electrifying sesh

Sport and fitness Raffles Place

Duration: 20 minutes

With iPad stations located all over, VisionGym doesn’t look like your run-of-the-mill gym. But then again, it isn’t. It's the first fitness studio in Singapore to specialise in Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS) training, where electrical impulse currents are used to stimulate your muscles. It’s not as painful as it sounds ­– the current is adjusted according to each individual, and ours only mildly tingles.

The contractions stimulated by EMS reach deep muscle tissues and are said to be 18 times more effective than conventional weight training. A typical workout involves wearing a special PowerSuit while executing basic bodyweight exercises. The PowerSuit connects wirelessly to an app (that’s what the iPad stations are for), controlled by the trainer. The programme is simple: for the whole 20 minutes, you do an exercise (say, a plank or lunges) while the current is turned on. And when it’s off, you take a breather.

For those who like: camaraderie and competition

Sport and fitness Raffles Place

Mobcon at CrossFit Mobilus
Duration: 30 minutes

Unlike most gyms, there’s no shortage of congratulatory cheers at CrossFit Mobilus. Yes, the community bond here is strong even when competing for the fastest timing. And MobCon, a 30-minute metabolic conditioning class designed to increase stamina, isn’t any different.

The key workout in MobCon is the Workout of the Day, otherwise known as WOD. It’s a series of exercises set by the trainer that are to be completed within the shortest time possible – and the idea here, surprise, surprise, is to keep trying to beat your previous time. The exercises range from cycling on an Airdyne to barbell deadlifts, and they’re always performed with a partner. Don’t you worry, lone wolves – the camaraderie that grows from performing the WOD as a pair within a group is perhaps the most attractive aspect of CrossFit Mobilus. 


For those who like: cosy, women-only gyms

Sport and fitness Tampines

Contours Express
Duration: 30 minutes

Ladies, if you’re not a fan of grunting men crowding up the gym, this is for you. Contours Express has a friendly and non-intimidating family gym environment for women to tone, burn calories, improve overall flexibility and, of course, make new friends.

Its full body circuit training includes machine work that targets all major muscle groups, floor exercises and cardio. Newcomers are given an initial body fat percentage assessment to determine the areas to work on, after which the trainers tailor fitness plans according to goals, health and medical conditions. Trainers then check in every six weeks to assess your progress.

Contour Express has branches all over Singapore’s heartlands, so you can always fit in a workout before or after work.

Got an extra 15 minutes to spare? Try these

platinum fitness
Photograph: Platinum Fitness

Platinum Fitness

Sport and fitness Gyms and fitness centres Raffles Place

Duration: 45 minutes

This 24-hour gym in the CBD is one for the busy bees. Cosy in size, the affordable luxe gym offers everything you need in a gym – quality equipment, high-end facilities and classes to work up a sweat. Get your blood pumping with its GetPhlatFit HIIT Class, a 45-minute full-body high-intensity session that runs daily. The best bit? These classes are held in small groups, giving you more freedom to move as well as allowing the trainers to guide and correct your form when needed.

F45 Training Amoy Street

Sport and fitness Tanjong Pagar

Duration: 45 minutes

F45 uses a combination of high intensity interval training (HIIT), circuit training and functional training in its all-inclusive workout program that maximises fat burning and lean muscle building in a 45-minute session. Each class varies between cardio, resistance training or a combination of both elements. On average, there are 27 workout options to choose from – so you'll never be bored.


Xtend Barre Express at Upside Motion

Sport and fitness Yoga and Pilates City Hall

Duration: 45 minutes

Increase flexibility, build lean muscles and train your core at this express class offered at Upside Motion. Its full hour-long class Xtend Barre combines ballet, Pilates techniques to work small muscle groups and sculp bodies but if you're trying to get a quick barre fix during your lunch hour, sign up for the Express version of it and be prepared to work harder. 


Sport and fitness Gyms and fitness centres Raffles Place

Duration: 50 minutes

Break a sweat at Barry's world-renowned HIIT classes conducted in the signature Red Room. The carefully curated workouts are known to incorporate cardio exercises on treadmills with strength and conditioning exercises using free weights and state-of-the-art equipment. This provides an immersive and motivating experience that helps burn up to 1,000 calories per session. Besides the core workout, get some #fitspo with its own Fuel Bar concept, where made-to-order nutritionally-approved and locally-adapted protein smoothies are available. While you're at it, get kitted out with an extensive collection of Barry's activewear.  

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