Literally hidden amidst swanky franchised gyms and health-focused cafes within the Central Business District of Singapore, Boom is perhaps the best escape after an overwhelming day. The latest boutique gym to join the bustling enclave is the brainchild of fitness-passionate couple, Bryan Tay and Victoria Martin-Tay, and they obviously know a thing or two about looking and feeling good.
Bryan, for one, is a passionate swimmer, having represented Singapore for many years in international competitions, including the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He was the only male swimmer here to have qualified then. Now, his fitness routine also counts CrossFit, barre, yoga, and basketball —anything he can fit into his daily regime to stay active. Victoria’s journey started in college, where she found running to be a form of stress relief, and has since worked her way up to become a dedicated instructor and fitness buff too.
As mentioned, Boom is neatly tucked away in the basement of the TPI Building at Cecil Street, so you’ll be far removed from the bustle of city life for your sweat session. Enter an iridescent door and a minimalist, fuss-free interior greets you like a breath of fresh air.
Most workouts happen in the Boom Room, a dynamic space filled with funky technicolored lights and thumping music. Each participant is provided with a fully-equipped personal spot, which includes an aqua bag, step board, weights station and just enough room to move about freely. You won’t have to scramble for equipment, and your personal space is well taken care of.
A training area is designated for circuit classes and any personal training sessions, and a Community Area encourages members to hang out before and after their workouts — a homely environment where they can discuss all things fitness, or just simply socialise and make friends.
Full shower and changing facilities are also available, with amenities that are well stocked throughout the day.
Of the two classes available, we decided to give the Boom Box a go, a signature class developed specially with the couple’s years of experience in coaching. Led by Bryan, the 45-minute session was divided into 10 rounds of boxing elements, interspersed with targeted weight training for muscle development. Although it was a straight-out-of-work affair, Bryan’s infectious energy and curated playlist of fast tracks made it easy to forget the day’s fatigue to focus on the workout.
If you’re a beginner, the seemingly complex boxing movements are first broken down individually with tips on posture and form, before increasing in intensity and speed eventually. There were minimal rest between the rounds, as Bryan pushed us through a series of punches and dodges, before breaking the monotony with push-ups, planks, mountain climbers, weighted squats, and the like.
The fast-paced nature of Boom’s classes is based on Bryan and Victoria’s ethos that “it is easy to make someone tired, but hard to make someone strong”. The gym’s other option, the Boom Circuit, is a more intimate 45-minute full-body circuit workout which doesn’t include boxing, but instead focuses on high intensity intervals, functional movements and machine-based stints on the rowers and assault bikes. Expect variations in each workout to prevent the dreaded fitness plateaus.
Hourly private and group personal training sessions are also offered at Boom, each tailored to specifically meet personal targets, be it improving your boxing technique, or developing muscle strength.
Loud music and strobe lights are now common themes in newly-opened boutique gyms now, but if you want a space where you can completely escape and feel at home while sweating it out, then Boom is the place for you. The trendy atmosphere there is punctuated by good hospitality and a sense of camaraderie between participants, most of whom utilise the common area to socialise or wind down after a long day.
The workouts are intense — even for seasoned gym-goers and athletes — and you’ll be challenged throughout as you navigate between the tricky boxing sequences and weight training. The instructors are patient, but will not hesitate to keep you on your toes throughout. It shouldn’t take long before you hit your fitness goals with this one.
(All images: Boom Singapore)