Editorial What Trainers Do Differently

What do trainers do different?

Being new to the fitness industry, I honestly imagined a majority of the day to day operations resembling the Mark Wahlberg film Pain and Gain. However, it was a lot less of that, and actually a whole lot of getting inspired- on a daily basis even!

Being a three-time international wrestling champion and coming from a jocular background I’ve always worked out a lot and spend an awful amount of time inside gyms.  So I thought I knew most of what there was to know about working out and keeping in shape.

But recently I made training others my full time job and joined Gym n Tonic as a personal trainer.  I’ve only been there a short time but I’ve already learnt things that made some real changes to how I work out and I thought I’d share with you three things that really resonated with me

Warm ups and cool downs

Warming up was almost irrelevant for me in the past. Entering a gym consisted of the most machismo-dripping introductions ever- I’d prance straight up to the barbell, load it up with plates and commence. While it was very entertaining for my training entourages during those title run-ins, silly me was unaware about how much more harm than good I was doing.

Over here, I realised the importance of safely elevating one’s heartrate prior to physical activity, as well as letting the blood and oxygen traverse through the body as part of the preparatory process. Likewise, at the conclusion of workouts, I notice trainers encouraging stretching and cool down processes, to relieve the tension and lactic acid build-ups, yes, but also ensuring clients wellbeing and postural health were being seen to. Recovery was a whole lot more than just a simple post workout shake.

Rising early

There is a trainer with us who rises daily at 4:30am to begin the work(out) day. I thought I was the tough guy, coming from a sports entertainment background, getting slammed for the delight of the masses in my tights.

Today I complained about rising before 8 to one of the older guys training clients here. He seemed relatively amused at my outcry, which immediately reminded me of the other multi-hyphenates who come in and better the lives of our clients. Pro wrestler turned personal trainer? Big deal. We have soccer coaches, yoga experts, bootcamp drill sergeants, HIIT practitioners and trainers and goodness knows who else. Dragon slayers? Base jumpers?

Eating clean

I was a fan of food. Big meals would await each festive occasion in my life, and here’s a personal secret of mine I haven’t shared with anyone yet- after each of my three wrestling title victories, I’d go on horrendous benders- chucking whatever junk into my being because why not? I was the champion.

Silly? Very silly. I kept resetting and sending my body back to the drawing board with arduous intakes of high GI foods and bluntly speaking, trash. Here with Gym n Tonic for a month, and I have already reaped the benefits of a positive environment. I’ve never lived through a month where my sugar and carb intake has been at an all-time low, and it’s actually easier to do here with such a positive environment. Every day a trainer would share what they had for their meals, and knowing that this is what these people ate, eventually it became what I ate. Fruit juices? I’ve chucked those in favour of real fruits. Chicken rice with white rice and skinless meats is my cheat meal now. I could possibly write a chapter on this but alas, I am not fortunate to have that much column inches at the moment.


All the above things I’ve observed and learnt, they are all binded by something extremely important, perhaps the most vital thing of them all- consistency. Each of my new mates here are consistent. Rising before the sun, going for days and weeks without cheat foods, always stretching before and after exercises. I was practising fitness seasonally once- I’d have a match or tour coming up and then I’d begin training for it. But here at Gym n Tonic, it turns out that I was practising pretty wrongly prior, because, hey, fitness is forever, you know that?

Words by Kenneth Thexeira. Kenneth is better known in the global professional wrestling industry as The Eurasian Dragon, and is the first-ever Wrestling Champion of Singapore in history. His other accolades include winning the Malaysia Pro Wrestling World Championship and the India Intercontinental Championship, as well as a starring role in the Discovery Channel film Spandex Dreams. He is arguably the most well-liked pro wrestler in Singapore and a pioneer of the sport on a regional level, having wrestled in ten countries to date and counting- more than any other wrestler in Southeast Asia.

Photography by Mr Najwan Noor. Najwan is one of Singapore’s finest wrestling photographers.