by Lydia Wong

Whenever I tell my friends that I work out at Ritual, the usual responses I get are questions about the gym and what it’s like behind the scenes, from the difficulty of the workouts to what kind of guy-candy one can see in the co-ed changing room. Very often, my girlfriends are just curious about what to expect if they’re part of this gym.

So, without further ado, here’s a quick insider’s guide to Ritual for the ladies, from the perspective of a happy client.

1) An Endorphin-Driven Friendly Environment

Starting out in any new environment is never easy and worrying about an intimidating gym environment is sometimes enough to stop us. Don’t let the black and white utilitarian vibe get to you as Ritual is all about going back to the basics, and while it may come across as intimidating at first, you’ll be surprised at how friendly and warm the staff and members are here (must be all the happy endorphins from the workout!). I’ve made more friends here in a month than I have in the entire year at work, from bankers and teachers, to housewives, designers and even a female fire-fighter. You’ll definitely meet a wide range of friendly people, most likely when you’re all hanging out at the Fuel Bar enjoying a hard-earned ice-cold protein shake after the workout.

2) Smaller Classes Equals Better Form and Safety

I used to do Muay Thai as a workout and the number of injuries I sustained was much more detrimental to my overall fitness than I had realised. A lot of it had to do with the fact that the classes were far too big for one or two instructors to handle. Imagine two trainers having to pay attention to over 20 clients! What makes Ritual stand out for me is the level of attention that coaches give each client here, with a maximum of 5 clients per coach. Having my form corrected means less or no injuries. Plus, the Ritual people are sticklers for safety. Together with their years of experience in fitness and training for both men and women, I must say the anxious girl in me really appreciates the assurance I get out of a safe workout environment.

3) Too Many Guys?

You’ll be surprised at how many girls actually work out here. When I first joined, I was happy that I had a girlfriend to do a trial with me. But soon I found out that the girl to guy ratio is pretty much balanced. The best part: guys usually take literally a quarter of the time to use the showers, so we ladies get most of the facilities to ourselves. And no need be self conscious about people judging you because of your flabby thighs or belly; we are all too focused on our form and breathing to notice anything else!

4) Last But Not Least, Enjoy the Workout!

I recall complaining to another gym mate about how I haven’t been progressing from Level 1 workouts in the last 3 months, and one of the gym owners, Brad, overheard me. And he shared, “Hey, I’ve been a professional athlete for most of my life and I still do Level 1 sometimes because if you push yourself and make sure you do it with the right form, trust me, it’s just as tough as Level 3.”

I’m happy to say that after 6 months at Ritual, I can do a jump pull-up, lift 24 kg in kettlebells, and I even completed the Commando Challenge 2015 with the support of the coaches and friends I’ve made right here at the gym. If someone had told me a year ago that I would accomplish that, I would have just laughed and opened another bag of chips.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt, fitness is a lifestyle choice and a habit (or even a ritual!). And the best way to form a habit is to enjoy it in a positive way. If you find the workout tedious or boring, challenge yourself more or approach any of the coaches – they’d be more than happy to give you the helpful tips you’ll need to ‘up your game’. Watching your diet is another important factor because no one can out-run a bad diet. The Fuel Bar and their delicious protein shakes really helps with those cravings. My favourite? The yummy Vanilla Gorilla.

So see you at the Fuel Bar!

Lydia Wong