Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Fitness Diary :: Home Gym Equipment from Primero Fitness Singapore

Since my last post on our 3M Post-It Super Sticky Dry Erase Surface "instant whiteboards" where I showed a sneak peek of our home gym, some friends have asked on what equipment we have, where we got our equipment, how we fit it into the room etc etc..

I'll do a proper room tour of our home gym later, but first I'd like to introduce one of the shops we got our equipment from - Primero Fitness. We looked at many different fitness equipment shops, both local and overseas, before deciding on what equipment to get for our needs based on quality and value-for-money.

Primero Fitness is an online fitness equipment shop based in Singapore. You won't find big global brand names like Rogue, Eleiko or York equipment in their store, but they specialise in providing durable equipment at the most affordable prices. Whether it is dumbbells, barbells, or other fitness equipment, the products they sell are designed in-house, adapted for use in Singapore and are guaranteed home-safe.

Building a home gym usually takes a lot of money. My personal trainer, Superman, spent almost S$10K just on his Eleiko {used in the Olympics} weightlifting platform, barbell {only 1, mind you!} and bumper plates for his home gym. That's not including the amount spent on his other floor mats, rack, bench, other barbells, dumbbells, bumper plates etc. As a dedicated fitness professional, he really wanted top of the range equipment to provide the best training environment for his clients so didn't mind investing so much money on it.

However, for most of us who are just average Joes looking to get some basic equipment at home to work out at home and save time on going to a crowded commercial gym, I really don't think we need to spend that much money or bother about getting "branded" equipment that cost a bomb to ship in from overseas as long as they are still standardised and made well.

If you think the same way as me, then Primero Equipment is a good place to start to buy fitness equipment for a basic home gym that caters to all kinds of gym users.

Depending on the type of exercises you intend to do and the space you have in your home gym, Primero Fitness offers good value-for-money home bundles to get you started such as the 2 above. You can also customise your own bundle and ask them for a quote.

In Home Bundle A, you get a 20kg Dumbbell / Barbell Combo where the dumbbell hand pieces can actually combine and convert into a barbell! This saves you money and space in keeping an additional barbell, which is pretty ingenious.. of course, a regular weightlifter won't use such a barbell to lift heavy weights but for a casual gym user, this is really handy.

Home Bundle B is more for amateur / intermediate users that want separate dumbbells and barbells. Some programs may require you to use both in a single workout so having them separate is more convenient too. The straight barbell in this set is reinforced to carry more weights and the weight plates provided are interchangeable between the dumbbells and barbell.

Actually all the weight plates sold in Primero Fitness are interchangeable with all their bars because they have designed all the plates to have a standard 28mm hole. That means that we do not have to buy extra weight plates to fit the dumbbell handles, barbell or ez-bar that we have from them.

Their plate increments come start from 0.5kg to 15kg. The larger and heavier plates have a Tri-grip design allows you to carry and load weights easily. It's worth getting a few lighter weight plates too so that you can progress consistently.  Smaller weighted exercises are going to need smaller weight increments for a good progression scheme. We only got plates from 2.5kg onwards though and need to order some 0.5kg and 1.25kg plates from them soon. Forgot about those hehe..

One thing to note is that the weight plates from Primero Fitness uses virgin rubber. Most of the rubber weight plates you see in commercial gyms or other gym shops use recycled rubber, hence you tend to see them cracked or flaky after a while. Recycled rubber does that - their life span is only around 2 years and they crack easily from exposure to temperature changes and regular impact.

Virgin rubber has a much better quality, is highly shock absorbent and feels smooth and consistent. Unlike recycled rubber, there's also no / faint rubber smell which you can barely notice. It is supposed to expand / contract easily, and last for at least 10 years.

Of course, we haven't used Primero's weights for that long so can't vouch on that long-lasting quality, but there is a 10-year warranty on Primero weight plates and it does have that consistent, smooth rubber coat and barely-noticeable smell from virgin rubber.

Space is definitely a premium in any home and even though the boy and I have a dedicated room for our home gym, we still need to maximise the space.

The Compact Weight Rack has a sturdy base, is space-saving and organises our weight plates and bars neatly in a corner {as compared to just laying them on the floor! Unsightly and dangerous!}. It can hold 2 bars, and at least 6 plates of different sizes. The boy assembled it pretty fast too. 

Primero Fitness sells 2 types of straight bars - 5kg {1.5m} and 6kg {1.8m} bars. They are reinforced steel electroplated with thick chromium plating and I reckon are good enough for casual to intermediate gym users.

The boy and I are considered advance gym users and lift pretty heavy. We use standard 20kg bars in our training, so the 5kg Primero Fitness bar is not suitable for us. However, I think that it's perfect for Lil Pumpkin to practise her CrossFit Kids training where they are just starting out to use reeeeeally light weights.

The 5kg bar is easy enough for her to handle, and the ergonomic, not-too-thick bar is just nice for her small hands to grip comfortably. That's her lifting 10kg by the way, under her daddy's watchful eyes. Don't worry, she has been taught never to touch the weights in our home gym unsupervised, even if she has done the exercises before. 

Lil Pumpkin doing Bicep Curls with the empty dumbbell handles hehe. If I'm not wrong, they should be about 1.5kg each?

Primero Fitness dumbbell handles have 4 layers of chromium plating over a solid steel core to resist corrosion and increase hardness. The middle portion is covered with a comfortable, ergonomic anti-skid rubber grip and like the bars, it uses a spin-lock system for easy loading of the weights.

The boy and I use the dumbbells in our workouts and they can carry up to 40kg of weights. Currently, I can only do shoulder presses of up to 17.5kg so that's more than enough for me hehe.

We ordered an EZ Curl Bar from them too as it's much more comfortable doing biceps curls, lying triceps extensions and even upright rows on an EZ bar compared to a straight bar because you can use a slightly more neutral grip, and a more natural hand position, that's less taxing on your wrists and elbows.

It also has 4 layers of chromium plating over a solid steel core to resist corrosion and increase hardness and the knurling isn't too rough.

Other than strength and conditioning equipment, Primero Fitness also sells mobility equipment like foam rollers in various densities, textures and sizes. Using a roller that is too soft can provide inadequate pressure while a foam roller that is too hard can cause bruising and trauma, which can result in pain and have a negative effect on your performance.

The one Lil Pumpkin is lying on above is the Fascianator II, which is one of the hardest foam rollers around in the market. It has high density and deeper "spikes", ridges and knobs to provide more precisely targeted massage to work out knots in your muscles.

I'd say it's more for intermediate to advanced athletes who have been foam-rolling for some time as it can be quite painful to use.

I've mentioned how important foam-rolling is before in breaking up the tight muscle knots, releasing trigger points, increasing blood flow and circulation without relying on anybody. The boy and I try to do it every single day as an important part of our training because recovery, healthy muscles and mobility are important factors in workout performance.

Especially with my bad back and knees, foam-rolling does help a lot in reducing the aches I get in those areas.

I even have a mat and roller in my office for me to stretch and roll whenever I can hehe..

This green roller is the Centenarian and has a multi-grid design that is suitable for all muscle groups. It is hard due to the high-density foam too, but is much more comfortable to use because of the smoother, and more even pressure.

I'd recommend this to someone just starting out in foam-rolling too. No point getting something too soft as it's not "shiok" or provide any pressure to do what it's supposed to do haha.. it's also a good portable size for you to bring along to the office or out to your own gym.

The mat is their NBR Exercise Mat, which is made from a mixture of PVC foam and nitrite rubber, making it more durable and tear-resistant than PVC. It has an anti-slip backing and I love that it is extra thick {15mm, as compared to a typical 6mm exercise mat} as it's so much more comfortable when I do any floor exercises or stretching. It makes for a pretty decent make-shift bed for my lunch-time naps in the office too hehe..

If you want a mat for yoga, I think you should get their TPE Yoga Mat instead as this would be too slippery. That mat has a double-sided non-slip texture for better grip and a Body Alignment System: which alignment lines to help users to concentrate while adjusting hands and feet to precise position.

Our home gym is still a work-in-progress actually but it is fast becoming our favourite family room haha.. Fitness plays such a big part of our lives now that it was a natural "progression" to have this in our family home.

It is not only more convenient for the boy and I to fit in our workouts now {although we still train outside at our club, CrossFit box and with my PT}, but also to not just role-model, but include Lil Pumpkin in our fitness lifestyle as well as kids are well, not typically welcome in commercial gyms.

As a full-time working mum, there are times when I feel lazy and want to just give up... give up exercising, give up meal-prepping, give up being conscious of making healthier, sometimes harder choices.. But then, I remember who is watching me. Being healthy isn't just for us. It's to inspire our kids to take care of their bodies and make that a priority in their lives too. Healthy kids are raised by healthy parents!

Anyway, check out Primero Fitness website for more information on the fitness and gym products they provide and contact them directly for any questions. Self-collection and free local delivery for purchases above S$150.

I've been communicating with one of their staff, Jordon, for our equipment from them and I must say that their customer service is really excellent - polite, prompt replies and even goes out of the way to check the equipment before delivery and replace them when he thought they weren't up to standard, even without me asking. Helps that they are based in Singapore too so works according to our time and returns / replacements, if any, can be easily done :) 

More on my Personal Training Updates:
The Beginning - Signing Up for Personal Training


Unknown said...

The foam rollers look interesting! I saw some at the gym my friend owns.

Your fitness journey is really inspiring. I have been going to the gym pretty regularly this year, mainly for classes - glad that it's 5 mins from my office so having convenient access really helps in motivating one to exercise regularly!

Michelle said...

That's awesome that you found a place that sells good quality fitness equipment at affordable prices. I'm heading over to see if they sell kettlebells now!

An Apel a Day said...

I love the images of little pumpkin lifting. We have hand weights, the roller, and bands. That's about it. Now that I can breathe I should use them. I have to admit though stress and being on Steriods makes me tired.

--andy-- said...

Awesome, family which keeps fit together stays strong together.
Wow, you got your own Gym too, POWER!

cheers, Andy

Theresa Mahoney said...

Look at that buff family ♥ I am slowly starting to lift, though I don't have a home gym. Just hand weights for now. I want to know that I can stick with the routine before investing in a home gym.

Stacy said...

Oh wow I really wouldn't want to mess around with you guys. :p

Young Smarties said...

I love the colour of the green roller. Reading and looking at your post make me feeling guilty of not exercising. Big Oops!!
Is great to stay fit and healthy as a family! Way to go!

Unknown said... guys are serious! But good lah...not like me, half-here, issue is going to the gym but your post is making me think about setting up one at home too! Why not? One way to inculcate a healthy lifestyle is to put a gym at home and its rather inexpensive to boot! .. Thanks for sharing....hmmmmm (thinking...)

Unknown said...

So inspired by your fitness journey that I'm embarking on my own! Will definitely take a look at that yoga mat/exercise mat you recommended. Right now I'm just using a towel on the floor and it hurts!