Who's The Fittest?
By Deborah Rowe
October 1, 2012
If you want a full body workout that will leave you drenched in sweat and unconscious once you’ve successfully completed it, you have got to head down to The PIT!
I decided to take on the challenge and try out a one-on-one training session at The PIT, a local gym in the alley of Tanjong Pagar district. The name of the gym itself was intimidating enough, filling my head with worrying images of me being tortured in a chamber with gruelling exercise sequences! I couldn’t help but tremble as I opened the door to The Pit.
If first impressions are anything to go by, I knew I was going to get treated to an intense workout in a bit. An image of Socrates with a complex quote that served up as motivation and a harsh reminder greeted me upon my entrance into The PIT, together with racks of dumb bells and kettle bells and several others pushing themselves hard under the guidance of the few personal trainers in The PIT.
I was under the wings of Herman Chauw, a certified physiotherapist. CST coach, TACFIT instructor and personal trainer. He took me through a simple warm up to stretch those stiff and underworked muscles of me, before the torture began!
Herman prepared a TACFIT Tabata workout for my session at The PIT. For those of you who aren’t sure what Tabata training is about, it is actually based on a 1996 study by Izumi Tabata that uses 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise, coupled with 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for four minutes, meaning one goes through eight consecutive cycles of one exercise. I was given six different exercises to complete, all of which focus largely on the core – a key aspect of TACFIT.
At the end of the workout, I must say I was left drenched and lifeless on the floor. I felt my arms and legs aching and screaming for help, and could barely even stand to grab my drink. I was left with just about enough energy to conduct a short interview session with Herman to find out more about The PIT, TACFIT and fitness for beginners!
SAFRA: Hi, could you tell me more about The PIT and what it is about?
Herman: The pit is actually a facility but we are different from other facilities in that we aren’t based on machines. Although we do train muscles, we focus on the movements – functional movements for aesthetic use. As you can see, we don’t use any machines, just free weights.
SAFRA: Could you explain what TACFIT is all about?
Herman: TACFIT is a strength and conditioning program for tactical operators such as military, police and fire-fighters. These are not based on sports. Tactical operators need to function in a wide variety of environments and have to perform under fatigue. You can compare it this way. This is from another coach – Pavel, who popularised kettle bells in the U.S. His analogy is this: The tactical operator is like a hammer, which must perform in the most adverse situations with sub-optimal conditions. The athlete is like a race car, with top-grade fuel, top-grade tires, top-grade everything.
SAFRA: Do you have to be of a certain level of fitness before you can train at The PIT?
Herman: We train anyone of any fitness level. The key thing is progression. We start at what you’re capable of doing. It must be challenging but doable.
SAFRA: What advice would you give someone who wants to start getting fit?
Herman: First thing would be to look at your diet. See whether you’re eating a lot of junk food, a lot of sugar and then cut down on these first. Then for a start, just do some physical activity first. It can be anything – walking, running, cycling. Eventually you want to have a regular program.
SAFRA: In line with the upcoming ONE FC, what do you think are the key skills a fighter should possess?
Herman: From a strength and conditioning point of view, everything starts from the core. If you cannot connect the power from your core to your limbs, you can’t hit properly and you risk injury.
If you’re serious about getting fit, or if you’re up for a serious physical challenge, head on down to The PIT right now!
50 Tras Street, S(078989)
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Photos by The PIT