There are few gyms in Singapore that can illicit the same “wow” that I let out under my breath when I first stepped out of the elevator and into the compound. This gym is the new Pure Fitness Ngee Ann City, and the newly-opened 28,000 square-foot facility is probably the most Instagrammable and technologically-advanced in the city, making it vastly different from anything you’ve seen out there.
Facilities and classes
Designed to be a “fitness playground”, Pure Fitness Ngee Ann City offers a smorgasbord of techie and functional innovations that are designed to push you while having fun. The third Pure Fitness gym in town will introduce the Innovation Lab, a concept which was previously launched in Hong Kong this past June, and now exclusively available at the gym.
As an open-concept gym, Pure Fitness Ngee Ann City fully immerses you in a plethora of exercises. The specially-built Circuit Zone features ropes, a monkey frame, smash wall and gymnastic-grade equipment for functional training.
Toys such as the Life Fitness bikes feature VirZoom technology that integrates a virtual reality cycling experience whilst capturing data such as pedal speed, resistance buttons and heart rate. After choosing between a range of different game plays — from being a horseback-riding cowboy with a lasso to driving a car — I started on my journey and let’s just say that while it was a thrilling five minutes, it left me feeling disorientated when I got off. At the end of it all, a live feedback station allowed me to give my feedback, which Pure Fitness will gather to determine whether or not to continue providing the equipment.
The new expansive space also houses the first 270° Immersive Fitness studio, an indoor cycling experience with The Trip by renowned fitness group Les Mills. In the massive darkened room, I cycled into new dimensions through a space age city, projected on a curved screen via cinema-quality equipment.
Live instructors were also on hand to bring you through this immersive sensory journey, which subconsciously encouraged me to push harder and go faster. First-timers who want to try their hand at indoor cycling but always felt intimidated by the overbearingly loud music and pushy instructors will find this a good place to start, because the emphasis is now on personal achievement rather than speed. It doesn’t hurt that the trippy imagery helped break up the workout monotony.
For the old fashioned, traditional equipment are also available for any type of workout. The power lifting station features special foam platforms that absorb the impact and sound when the weights are dropped for a more comfortable session. A strongman zone nearby also sees equipment seldom found elsewhere, such as Indian Clubs, stones, and the NASA-approved kBox4. The latter is a flywheel-based training equipment that provides eccentric training in a safe and controlled manner, and sees higher benefits on muscle mass and strength as compared to strict concentric training.
I was exhausted by the end of the Les Mills stint, but if you manage to muster the strength, give the Woodway or Wattbike cardio machines a go. There’s even a dedicated boxing area where you can practice your Muay Thai or martial arts moves safely.
As mentioned, this is the perfect place for your fitness instagramming cravings. Raw brick walls line the vicinity, and an athletic turf with sport bleachers make for great backdrops as you exercise — or at least pretend to. Franchised gyms are a dime a dozen and provide cookie-cutter classes, but Pure Fitness Ngee Ann City managed to break the mould by spicing up several well-loved exercises with a little help from technology. The classes are also well-suited for varying levels of fitness capabilities and interests, and the unique variety of equipment means that your body is being challenged with every repetition. If you fancy something a bit out of the ordinary, this is the place for you.
(All images: Daniel Koh)