3 female personal trainers who can kick your butt

With more female personal trainers in Singapore, we put the spotlight on three of them and their fitness journeys

Perhaps you’ve over-indulged or are falling short of your fitness resolutions — these are certainly good reasons for hiring a personal trainer who can whip you back into shape.

But for ladies who are shy about training with a burly and muscular stranger, you’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of highly-qualified female personal trainers in this male-centric industry.

We spoke to three of them.

Pearly Ng

Years of Experience: 2


With her flashy smile and petite frame, Pearly Ng may not come across as your typical personal trainer.

But, for the past two years, the 31-year-old has made personal training her career, showing her clients how to best achieve their fitness goals.

Despite her passion for fitness, the former advertising and marketing executive says that she once did not know much about keeping fit.

“I battled with my own weight for years and the only exercises I did were cardio-based workouts like running and Muay Thai, which gave me limited results,” she says.

It was only after she met her husband, a personal trainer, in 2010, that she learnt the benefits of lifting weights.

“In cardio workouts, calories are burnt only during the duration of the exercise, but in strength training, your body burns calories even after the exercise is over. I saw an improvement in my physique after I started lifting weights,” she adds.

Her advice for busy women looking to keep fit is simple: Keep a fitness diary for weekly workouts.

“The journal will help you be accountable to yourself and stay committed to your goals,” she says.


Dawn Ng

Years of Experience: 7

#137_shop_dawn1For personal trainer Dawn Ng, 36, staying fit has always been a way of life.

Even as a child, the sports enthusiast would spend her time playing softball in school.

When corporate life took over, the former events executive progressed to working out in the gym because she did not have as much time to participate in team sports.

But it was only after she suffered heart palpitations as a result of a high-stress job that Ms Ng decided to switch careers in 2008.

“During that time, exercising had helped me relax and maintain a sense of calm. I realised that if it could help me, it would also benefit many others who are in the same position,” she says.

Though her current working hours are long — she starts at 7am and ends at 9pm — she has no regrets moving into her new role.

Ever the fitness advocate, she often encourages her clients to keep moving by using the stairs instead of the escalator or taking a longer walk home.

“It’s better to be consistently active than to have sporadic bursts of intense exercise. You will see more results this way,” she says.

She has no qualms working in what is commonly seen as a male-dominated industry.

She says, “I don’t feel any difference. When some people think about personal trainers, the first image that pops up is probably that of a big, muscly guy.

“But to me, what matters most is your ability to inspire your clients and push them to improve and achieve their goals.”


Kathy Pak

Years of Experience: 2

#137_shop_Kathy-1Kathy Pak’s busy schedule as a full-time mum — she has three sons, aged between 11 and 17 — has not stopped her from helping people get fitter.

The part-time personal trainer usually starts her day by training her clients or teaching group fitness classes before she starts “being a chauffeur for her kids”.

Though she makes lifting weights seem effortless, her journey towards becoming a personal trainer was not an easy one.

Ms Pak, 42, who had led an active lifestyle since her teens, tore her knee ligaments in 2013 following a bout of Muay Thai. She had to forego exercising for about half a year to allow her injuries to heal.

“It was during this recovery process that I decided to become a personal trainer.

I wanted to share my experience in bouncing back to fitness and show how sport-based injuries can be prevented,” she says.

To her, female personal trainers are just as capable as their male counterparts, and may even be able to design a more balanced muscle-building programme catering to women’s fitness goals.

“It’s a truly rewarding career, especially when clients hit their fitness targets, which includes small achievements like doing more box jumps or skipping for longer periods. It encourages me and makes me feel super proud of them.

“Sometimes, we’ll even shed tears of joy together,” she says.
By Samantha Francis