The Gen XY Lifestyle

Breaking stereotypes with 63 year old Spencer

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Spencer Soh is a personal trainer, having spent the past 19 years with Fitness First. Surprisingly, he began his career as a musician before deciding that the entertainment industry was not his cup of tea. He was one of the first to introduce and adapt Muay-Thai to local Singapore preference, and continues to instruct clients to present-day.

We speak with Spencer to understand his motivation and get a few tips on not following stereotypes.

the Active Age (AA): What does fitness mean to you?

Spencer Soh (SS): Fitness to me, is all about maintaining a good mental and physical well-being. Fitness is focused on functionality, where you are able to go about your daily life efficiently – simple tasks such as running errands, putting on your shoes or scratching your back.

AA: Can you share with us how you came to pursue a career in the fitness industry?

SS: I was in the entertainment industry for 20 years where I was required to work till the wee hours of the morning. Recognising the need to change my lifestyle, I decided to negotiate a sharp turn on my career path and joined Fitness First in year 2000. I started off as a club attendant, but I wanted to take on the role of a Personal Trainer where I could make a difference and help people to become a better version of themselves. With that vision, I actively pursued various certification courses and within the year, I was offered the position of a Personal Trainer.

Along the way, Fitness First offered me certification and training opportunities where my career took flight over the years. Now, I am glad to be able to grow and aged actively on the job that I am truly passionate about.

AA: What was your journey like as a Muay-Thai pioneer in Singapore? Any challenges or highlights you had to overcome to raise awareness of the sport?

SS: Muay Thai was not a popular sport back then. People perceived Muay Thai as a “violent” sport with lots of kicking and punching, and were quite hesitant to give it a try.

Together with a few other trainers, we launched our very first Pad Work course hoping to warm up the interest for this sport. We didn’t have much training gear at that time – just some pads and shin guards to work with. I designed the training program to introduce the sport in a safe and effective way, with progressive increase in intensity. Slowly after mastering the techniques, they grew to like the sport and brought their friends along to experience the fun in the fight.

AA: What changes would you like to see, in this industry or with your clients?

SS: I hope more people would come forward to get themselves certified to be a Muay Thai Trainer like me, to motivate more people to experience and understand the benefits of this sport.

AA: What’s your top tip for Gen XY clients looking to build/rebuild their fitness?

SS: To keep it simple, they have to be realistic with their goals. Don’t do it because your friends are doing it. Pick up something that is fun for you – if punching and kicking is your thing, do it. If dancing is your thing, get on the groove. I am confident you will find your passion in the things you enjoy doing.

Look at me, it’s not about how well or how much I do. It’s about the amount of passion behind my actions.



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