2013 AlphaFit Adventures

As we will soon bid 2013 farewell, we look back at what was a very exciting year. There were ups and downs, big and small kettlebell events, relocation and also consistent learning of new skills despite it all but our first priority in this post is to THANK all those who have contributed generously to AlphaFit to make us what we are today. Life is like a garden. You will only grow what you cultivate. Our members have cultivated a sense of belonging to the community, strength in supportive spirit, camaraderie and I can’t thank you enough for attracting more like-minded individuals into the gym. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (in advance to everyone) and enjoy looking back on 2013 with me as you scroll down the post.

As today marks the passing of a highly influential freedom fighter, Mr Nelson Mandela, here is one of his famous quotes which is one of my favourites. Rest in peace Sir.
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And now …. let the pictures do the talking.

March 2013 – Asian Kettlebell Championship 2013
Many thanks to our sponsors, helpers, UWCSEA Tampines for their sports hall and everyone who pitched their efforts in to make this a roaring success! Over 90 participants from 12 countries, stay tune for more in 2014!
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April 2013 – Girevoy Sports Workshop with Muk Venkataraman @ AlphaFit
The brave man to organize the very first Asia’s kettlebell competition “Hong Kong Kettlebell Open” in 2011 and the most experienced kettlebell lifter in Asia with the most competition under his belt over 4 years and counting. (Watch how he convinced the girls to practice the 20kg and 24kg Snatch in the video)

May 2013 – AUKL (Asian Union of Kettlebell Lifting) was born in May 2013! The AUKL is an open organisation to help spread Kettlebell Sport through Asia.
Our goal is to educate, train and create the highest level athletes in the region.
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President – Muk Venkataraman (Hong Kong – Elite Fitness & Conditioning)
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Vice President – Hayati Nuffus (Singapore – AlphaFit)
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Head Coach & Advisor – Sergey Merkulin (Russia)
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The first Girevoy Sports workshop in KL conducted by Hayati.
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“There are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.” —John Richardson

June 2013 – Relocating from 100 Turf Club Road to 789 Bukit Timah Road
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July 2013 – Singapore Kettlebell Meet 2013 organized by Alphafit in conjunction with the National Sports Strength Classics 2013
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August 2013 – Gullnaz Baig raised $4225 for Muhammadiyah Welfare home in the fasting month of Ramadhan so the boys have a little extra pocket money for Eid. She challenged herself to a total of 20mins Snatch without putting the 12kg kettlebell down! Great effort Naz and Jenn who joined to support her all the way through the 20mins mark!
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Our trainer, Jenn Tan, travelled all the way to St Petersburg for a sports camp and on top of that claimed a RANK 1 during an impromptu competition – 133 reps on the 12kg long cycle. Well done Jenn!
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September 2013 – Yamakasi Parkour Workshop

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October 2013 – Steve Maxwell 3 Dimensional Strength Seminar

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Maxinutrition was kind enough to give us a kettlebell space in their booth during the Fitness Expo in October 2013! Thank you Mike & gang!

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Roy Mewjork from BangkokKettlebells and Krish from Rebelgym Indonesia organized the very first Thailand Kettlebell Competition during the Asia Fitness Convention 2013 in Bangkok. It was a great event creating awareness of the kettlebell sports. Congrats to Timothy Ayson, head coach of L3F, and Redho from Indonesia for achieving their CMS during the competition, good job guys!

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November 2013 –
Sam and Stu represented and competed in Japan Kettlebell CHampionship! Stu brought back best effort trophy and both brought back wonderful memories. THanks Sam for the video!
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Alphafit celebrated our 2nd year bash on 23rd Nov 2013. What a great night! Thank you all for coming and the gifts!

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December 2013
A 90 minutes well prepared nutrition presentation by KC !
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Next up in December is our Commando Challenge! We’ll let you know how we do next year. Till then … HAPPY HOLIDAYS !!!
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Every achievement in life is worth looking back at,and worth being proud of.

What I have learnt from Kettlebell sport

Last week I took a private lesson with Sergei Merkulin, a multiple Kettlebell sport World Champion who was in town to conduct the IKFSA Kettlebell certification.

Prior to this, I have attended the IKFF level 1 & 2 certification conducted by Steve Cotter and this was back in 2009. So, I have been lifting kettlebells for awhile but I haven’t been very diligent with them. To me they were a set of conditioning tools which I use from time to time and Kettlebell sport wasn’t something I ever thought of pursuing

So after that one hour session with Sergei, was there a change of heart? Haha, perhaps but I learnt something really valuable besides all the refinement that in the snatch. It was tension and relaxation; the perfect blend of it. If you watch great athletes such as Michael Jordan and Roger Federer, their movements are graceful, effortless yet powerful. Watching Sergei hoist the 32 kg bells is no different; it was grace and power personified.

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Most of the time, we carry excess tension when we perform our daily tasks. From breathing to carrying groceries and training in the gym. However if one has to lift the Kettlebells continuously for 10 minutes, efficiency is king and the Kettlebell athlete would have to perfect his timing in terms of breathing, tension and relaxation. These concepts are applicable to any sport and if one practices this way, they are on their way to becoming a much more powerful and efficient athlete, not to mention being injury free as well.

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Kettlebell sport might not be your chosen specialization, but try it out and be surprised. You’ll not just develop mental toughness but also an uncanny ability to relax when under ‘tension’ – something all athletes will benefit from.

Alphafit is blessed with having 2 amazing kettlebell athletes/coaches– Hayati and Jenn. Just by watching them lift, I have secretly learnt some Kettlebell sport techniques and that made my session with Sergei much more productive. For those who are keen, athlete or not, Kettlebell sport can be tough yet lots of fun so if you haven’t tried it, give it a chance. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

– KC TAN

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If you’re strong, go out and play!

If you’re strong, go out and play!

For those who were at the gym on 23rd Feb 2013, you would know that AlphaFit hosted the Movnat certification and I was one of the attendees.

Movnat refers to natural movement which is our ability to climb, run, hop, jump, balance and crawl. Ever see a child perform these movements flawlessly and effortlessly? Perhaps it’s time for adults to go out and reconnect themselves with their bodies. We invest time and money into getting fit which it great. What if one day we don’t have a gym while we are travelling? What if the weather is bad and we can’t play our favourite sport outdoors? Human movement is so varied and complex.

Just look at circus performers, parkour practitioners, dancers, martial artists etc and we marvel at how can be achieved with just our own body. As humans I believe we crave for self expression be it in physical forms or less tangible art forms; we are complex creatures and our physical activities should also cater to this aspect of our being. Therefore, besides going to the gym and pushing your physical limits; test your abilities in other settings. Try some rock climbing, try a new sport, try some dance, swing on the monkey bars etc and you’ll realise things about your body you never would in the gym. Perhaps some of these activities may reveal weaknesses or strengths but the point is, spend some time playing; be it in parkour or other creative movement.

Test out your new found strengths built in the gym and be surprised with yourself. Lifelong activity is achieved more easily when there’s a right dose of physical challenge and complexity for the mind.

Hence, at Alphafit, we employ various training modalities and tools to keep things fresh and your body and mind challenged every time. The video below is me exploring some parkour and just having fun. So, anyone game for some parkour strength and conditioning?

Written by: KC TAN

IKFF Level 1&2 Certified Kettlebell Teacher
NCAP Level 1 Wrestling 
NCAP Level 1 Weightlifting
MOVNAT Level 1 Trainer
ADAPT Level 1 Parkour instructor
Movement Efficiency Trainer
Rehab Essentials: Rehab Trainer (Aust)

Kettlebell Awareness Day III

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Want to spice up your fitness routine? Try the kettlebell. Kettlebell Awareness Day is organized yearly and this is the third year running! Join us!

Get your resolution on track, get fitter and most of all have fun with like-minded individuals!

Date: 17th Feb 2013, Sunday
Time: 8:30 – 9:30am
Venue: AlphaFit, 100 Turf Club Road, Horsecity
Trainer: Hayati Nuffus
Contact: training@alphafit.sg / 98449191 (sms/whatsapp/text)

Are you mobile? Test it with Kettlebells.

Mention Kettlebells and many trainers would cringe saying it’s a fad and doesn’t build strength like barbells. Like every tool, Kettlebells would have a place in an athlete’s or fitness enthusiast’s tool box.

What are Kettlebells great for?
• Developing eccentric strength (absorbing force) from Jerks and snatches
• Aerobic and Muscular endurance – bearing the weight of the bell for time
• Mobility and stability – Turkish getups and windmills
• Developing efficient breathing patterns – great for contact sport athletes

The average gym rat is usually a firm believer of the big 3: squats, deadlifts and the bench press. These movements however, are all saggital plane movements and arguably one does not need a great deal of mobility to perform these compound movements. There’s also the tendency to load oneself too quickly when it comes to these lifts. The big lifts are excellent for developing a strength base but all round health and fitness doesn’t end there.

Enter the Kettlebell:
Due to the shape of the Kettlebell, it is suitable for ballistic movements and these are easier to learn than the barbell versions of the clean and snatch. When something goes awry in a Kettlebell lift, one could just take a step back, drop the Kettlebell and avoid hitting himself. I like to think of Kettebells as Olympic lifting for the masses.

The windmill shown in the video has an emphasis on shoulder and hip mobility. If the hamstrings are tight, this movement would reveal it brutally. The main muscles worked are the shoulder girdle, the glute medius/minimus, quadrates lamborum and the hamstring.
The Turkish Getup encourages core stability and teaches multi-planar movement and level change while maintaining the Kettlebell overhead. It is literally a full body workout which requires focus and mental toughness.

Kettlebell movements also tend to reveal muscular imbalances and tight muscles. E.g., someone who has very tight hip flexors would have difficulty having explosive hip extension in the Kettlebell swing. Contrast this to an athlete who loads himself excessively in the barbell squat even when his hip flexors are chronically tight. He might squat the weight up eventually without understanding that the tight hip flexors are impeding his performance. Therefore, a balanced strength training program would include plyiometric/ballistic training and Kettlebell movements can potentially teach someone to move efficiently with weight. The Kettlebell lifts are also relatively low impact compared to box jumps and other forms of plyometric training.

However, before embarking on any form of training, it will be good to have your posture assessed by a medical professional or qualified trainer. Regardless of your level of fitness, our trainers at Alphafit can improve your mobility and strength for improved health and performance.

Written by: KC Tan
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Testimonial: Teo Wan Soon (Trainer: Jenn Tan)

She is my angel coach!
Tough yet gentle! Strict yet accommodating!

The journey started when my little gals started to comment that mummy has a big tummy. I made a move to attend a course that introduces weight management tactics . During that course, kettlebell was introduced. I was curious, I wanted something fast tat I can balance my time between work, exercise and my family. Kettlebell seems to fit the bill. It does not take long time, I can do at home and the only piece of equipment is the kettlebell. Did a google search for kettlebell courses. I found AlphaFit-Hayati Nuffus training centre. The founder, Hayati heard my story and she brought my angel coach to my life, Jenn.

The personal training journey begins. Jenn seems to read my body every well. This body of mine had not been through any form of exercise before, could not press a 8 kg kettlebell, could not do v-ups, could not do proper sit ups, could not do burpees, not to mention flipping a 90kg tire. She managed to plan the exercise routine. She knows how to push my limits and how to motivate me, providing me the dietary advise.

Strict she is, tough she is. Every time when I had thought I reached my limits, she never fails to convince me that I can do more. I am a 1’s and 0’s person and my body seems to react the same way. She patiently corrected my postures and showed me the right tactics. The tough part was the intensity workout session, where at times, you would wish it to be over and done with asap. Whenever i had those thoughts and starts to slows down, my angel would just encourages me on and on. Each time i finishes the session, her Hi Five hand strike is a form of recongition and it is my prize. It perks me up. The process is tough but I DID it.

Almost 2 months passed since I started personal training, I have moved from size L to M. I can now do swings on a 12 kg and press using a 10kg, flip the 90 kg tire 3 sets of 5. The fats are reducing and the muscle mass is increasing. Metabolic age moved from 39 to 32.

Jenn, I would not have done it without your patience, coaching and motivation. It is amazing when the training is tough and yet I am looking forward to the classes each time. From someone who does not like to sweat at all to someone who is sweating profusely twice a week. You have transformed me to a healthier and fitter person.

From the bottom of my heart, Thank you Jenn.

Thank you, Hayati my angel grandcoach for the recommended training classes and instructor, Jenn. I know you are watching me from a far.

And now I can tell you that I am confident to join the more intense kettlebell classes. I know I am going to regret saying this but with faith, YES I CAN.

Love you both.

– Wan Soon (1st feb 2013)

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