Embarking on a fitness journey is not just about breaking sweats and beating personal bests; it's about laying the groundwork for a healthy, active lifestyle. With the rise of gym influencers on social media, more teenagers are showing interest in gym workouts. However, diving in without proper guidance could be risky. To ensure a safe and enjoyable initiation into the fitness world, expert trainers from the Civil Service Club (CSC)’s partnering gyms offer essential tips to help youth start their gym routines safely.



An early start pays off


While it's common to think of gyms as adult-only zones, the reality is quite the contrary. Trainers, such as Charz Wang from F45 Training Tanjong Rhu, advocate for early exposure to fitness, emphasising its long-term benefits. "In addition to the numerous benefits of staying active, research has shown that if you start a gym routine at a young age, you will likely continue to pursue a healthy lifestyle as you become an adult,” she said. Charz added that as long as gyms implement proper safety measures, they provide a secure environment for customers of all ages to train safely.


Muhammad Rahmat, affectionately known to his customers as Madd, an instructor at Anytime Fitness (Kovan), highlighted the developmental benefits, "Beginning workouts as early as 13 years old enhances physical growth and muscular development, paving the way for robust health."


Evelyn Choo, another trainer from F45 Training Tanjong Rhu, connects fitness with academic excellence. “Strength or resistance training is a key component of many sports in school co-curricular activities, and it would benefit teenagers to begin training when they start getting involved in such sporting activities,” she said.


Charz Wang (bottom row, 2nd from right) and Evelyn Choo (top row, 2nd from left) with other members of the F45 Fitness Team.


Learn to work out safely


Safety is paramount, especially for first-timers to the gym. Evelyn advises a pre-emptive health check. "Before starting at the gym, ensure your teenager is cleared for gym activity by a doctor, in case they have medical conditions that may be impacted by training."


Following that, take a guided tour of the gym facilities to help demystify the space for your teenager. Next, consider having a professional trainer show your teenager the ropes of working out safely, such as proper forms and techniques to avoid injuries. Madd supports this approach, emphasising the value of mentorship over digital resources. “Working with a trainer is a great hack to start any fitness journey,” he said. “A trainer provides real-time feedback and tailored guidance that digital platforms cannot replicate."


Evelyn concurred, “Having an expert guide is crucial for teenagers to establish solid exercise habits. Select a trainer who is knowledgeable about teenage development milestones, so that the tailored programmes can support your teenager’s growth and development stages.”


Anytime Fitness instructor Muhammad Rahmat, affectionately known to his customers as Madd. 


Beyond physical training


The gym environment offers more than just exercise equipment; it's a venue for holistic development. Learning gym etiquette, as Evelyn pointed out, is an important part of the fitness journey. "Teaching teenagers to respect shared spaces and equipment — such as placing equipment back in their proper place, waiting in turn, asking to use equipment and wiping down equipment — is all part of their gym education."


Furthermore, the social dynamics of group classes can be incredibly beneficial. Charz observed, "Group classes not only foster physical health but also enhance social skills, teaching teens about teamwork and responsibility."


There is also the benefit of variety in group classes " Different classes such as high intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga and martial arts offer unique benefits to cardiovascular health, strength and flexibility,” said Madd.



A wider fitness lifestyle


As teens grow more confident in the gym and become more entrenched in their fitness routines, their overall lifestyle begins to shift towards healthier choices. However, Charz warned against the pitfalls of fad diets, especially for growing teenagers. “Such diets might offer fast results, but they are not sustainable in the long run. As teenagers are still growing, going on, say, a calorie-restrictive diet – unless cleared by a medical professional – is not recommended.”


Madd suggested integrating simple, wholesome cooking into daily routines. "Cooking at home is empowering, helps dodge unhealthy processed foods and makes fitness more enjoyable," he said. “Teen should have a balanced diet, have adequate sleep and stay hydrated. They should also engage in activities they enjoy, to make staying active fun and sustainable.



Make fitness a family endeavor


Madd encouraged parents to actively participate in their teenager's fitness routine, setting a powerful example, "Joining your teen at the gym or participating in family sports activities can significantly boost their motivation." 


Charz recommended activities such as after-dinner walks, family jogs and bike rides over the weekend, as well as signing up for sports events together. He shared a personal anecdote to inspire, "I registered for the HYROX fitness race with my 65-year-old mum, turning our workout sessions into quality family bonding time."


“The initial stages of starting working out are the hardest hill to climb,” acknowledged Evelyn. “Even if your teenager changes their mind and starts and stops quickly, keep encouraging them to press on. Fitness has a proven benefit on mental well-being, and being physically fit is both psychologically and physically good for teenagers.” 


Fitness and more with CSC membership:


For structured exercise environments, the supplementary CSC membership is an invaluable resource. It grants access to extensive fitness facilities and expert guidance from gym trainers at CSC clubhouses and merchant partners, ensuring your teenager has all the support they need to succeed.


Supplementary membership is free for a CSC member’s spouse, parents, parents-in-law and children below 21 years old. There is no limit on the number of supplementary members that can be registered under one CSC member. 


Learn more about exercise facilities, swimming pools and gyms at CSC clubhouses, and exclusive wellness offers for CSC members

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