It was announced this morning that California Fitness has shut down all of its outlets in Singapore with immediate effect, because its owner can no longer finance it. Its Ngee Ann City outlet was closed in February in this year, and the branch at Republic Plaza closed abruptly last Saturday. While many members have already started seeking refunds after the closure of the Republic Plaza branch, among our peers, we’ve heard of those who thought they could still continue to go to the Novena and Bugis outlets. Nobody really expected the remaining two branches to close so quickly.
California Fitness must be one of the most known gyms in Singapore and has been around for very long. This bad news definitely dips the confidence of consumers in gyms, and hurt the gym industry in general. Since this is a problem of mismanagement of finances, sudden closures like this may not happen to the other gyms and fitness studios in Singapore. However, if you are feeling wary (and weary) of gym memberships, but still want to find ways of keeping fit, we may have a few solutions to share with you.
1. Use community gyms
Did you know that with a free ActiveSG membership (you can sign up at the website with your Singpass) you’ll be able to get $100 free credits that can allow you to pay for gym admissions (and other sports facilities) that are located in your neighbourhood, everywhere from Choa Chu Kang to Pasir Ris. Its unlimited pass for gym access is rather affordable too, at just SGD30 per month. You can get a deal by signing up for 12 months at $300. (Students and senior citizens get further discounts.)
Many community centres also come equipped with gyms and other sports facilities these days. You can opt for per entry payment, or do a monthly package. If you’re a SAFRA member, you can also visit the gyms at six SAFRA locations (Mount Faber, Yishun, Tampines, Toa Payoh, Jurong, and Punggol) at affordable prices (SGD385.20 nett for six months).
These government-linked facilities are very unlikely to close due to financial reasons and are highly-subsidised to encourage healthy living.
2. Sign up for a fitness pass
A fitness pass is a relatively new concept that allows you access to all fitness studios and facilties that the fitness pass partners with. In Singapore, the leading fitness pass provider is KFIT, which charges just SGD100 per month to allow you access to 10 sessions at any of the hundreds of fitness outlets they partner. This works out to just SGD10 per session, which really is quite affordable.
The benefit of signing up for a fitness pass like KFIT is that they work with so many partners, it gives you variety and convenience that no single gym can offer. Just look at its list of partners and how they’re peppered all over the island! We love that we can get to try out different activities to keep things interesting (yoga today, muay thai tomorrow!) that serve as motivation to work out and there’s more security – if one of its partners decided to close, there are hundreds of other ones to go for.
You can sign up for KFIT here or download the KFit Asia mobile app on your phone.
3. Train yourself
Invest in simple equipment like weights and a gym mat, so you can do weight training right at home. Most neighbourhood has easy access to public parks where you can jog or cycle around. If it helps, you can consider following YouTube videos that show you routines and tips to work out better. We love this channel and this one. This is definitely the cheapest way of working out if (and that’s the giant caveat) you have the discipline to do it yourself.