Not for the faint-hearted, Crossfit is the strength and conditioning program du jour for military academies, special operations units and martial artists. Each hour-long session can involve everything short of climbing buildings—gymnastics, squats, rowing, running—each carefully timed and scored. Unlike most other classes where all you get from slacking off is a meek frown, this one takes motivation to a whole new level. If the next person’s grunting doesn’t set you off, someone shouting, “Oh come on, that’s pathetic!” from across the room will.
For the uninitiated, kettlebell lifting is a sport—and by that we mean there are actual competitions, such as the New York Open Kettlebell Sport Championships happening in April. It involves using cannonball-like cast iron weights to perform ballistic exercises. A pro kettlebell lifter is expected to do this for 10 minutes without putting the weight down, engaging the entire body in the same cardio, flexibility and strength training you’d get from working on a farm. It’s not easy—each kettlebell weighs 24-32 kilograms—but the swinging probably makes this the most fun out of the three regimes.
If your main aim is to get strong, dragging incredibly heavy loads across a distance as a regime—shockingly simple as it may sound—is probably your best bet. The training involves quite a bit of kettlebell lifting (how many overhead swings can you do in 45 seconds?) but the main element of strongman is tire flipping. That’s 200-250 kilograms per flip (and seven flips without stopping if you’re in a competition). Check out the next Strongman Challenge (starts Feb 24, 10am at the Toa Payoh HDB Hub Atrium) to psych yourself up before your first session at AlphaFit. With its sleds, logs, yokes and tires, this fuss-free gym is probably the best equipped in town for strongman training.