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Why we insist on full payment before sending out orders

Sometime in Feb 2014, we were contacted by 3 individuals from Indonesia.

*Names redacted after payment finally received in November 2015 (nearly 2 years)*

They were interested in distributing our range of sports tapes in Indonesia. After a period of negotiations where we met in person in Singapore, we confirmed the deal and informed them the final amount plus the shipping fee.

Person 1 transferred the amount for the order but not for the shipping amount. He said that Mathias would be coming to Singapore in the next 2 weeks and he did not want to incur the bank transfer charges again so Person 2 would pay us the amount in person.

In good faith, we decided to send the order first and pay for the shipping charge in advance for them.

From then on, P1 constantly gave the excuse that P2 would be coming to Singapore, but got delayed for some reason. With further prompting in September to December 2014, we could see our reminders were “seen” by them on Whatsapp, but there was no reply.

We gave up, wrote it off as bad debt and stopped contacting them.

In July 2015, P2 finally came to Singapore to buy other products from us. We reminded him of the debt, but he said that it was a surprise to him, and it was his first time hearing about it as he heard from P1 that it was all settled. I reminded him via email to check with P1  before coming down to collect his new order. There was ample lead time of 2 days for him to check with his friend.

Interestingly, he came down on Friday (today) and told us that he heard the debt has been all settled and he only brought money for his new order. He gave the excuse TWICE that he lost his handphone. But on Whatsapp, his old number is still valid and he has “seen” the messages reminding him of the debt, with no response from him.

As a business, we took this as a learning opportunity and would not be pursuing this matter further. But this post is meant to warn others of their unethical behaviour.

Because of such unethical behaviour, and the difficulty in enforcing cross-border trade, we can only protect ourselves by insisting on full payment on all fees before the order is shipped out.

We stand by what we have said about these individuals, and we have Whatsapp screenshots and email records of our messages.

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24/07/2015 Uncategorized

FitAID in Singapore! Looking for Retailers!

 

FitAID has arrived in Singapore! We are signing up gyms who wish to retail FitAID as a beverage for their members.

Firstly, what is FitAID?

FitAID is formulated with the key nutritional elements that an intense workout demands of your body, so that you are performing up to your full athletic potential. It is the most effective and targeted performance beverage in the market.

Here are some of the benefits of FitAID:

• About one quarter of the sugar as a typical soda or energy drink
• Glucosamine & Natural Anti-Inflammatories for joint health, flexibility, and to help reduce soreness
• B-Vitamins for consistent energy
• Electrolytes to combat muscle fatigue
• Supplements for Mental Acuity, Focus, and Balance
• Sweetened with only 9 grams (45 calories) of Organic Blue Agave which is low on the glycemic index (meaning absorbs slowly into blood stream – no spike and crash)
• NO Artificial Flavors, Colours, or Sweeteners
• No High Fructose Corn Syrup, No Aspartame, No Sucralose, No Grapefruit
• Certified Gluten Free, Paleo Friendly
• Light tropical / citrus flavour. Not too sweet and very refreshing
• FitAID is not only packed with performance enhancing supplements, but it is also all natural and healthy.

With these benefits, your gymgoers would be sure to grab a can during their visit to your gym!

Even Dan Bailey, 4-time Top 10 Competitor at the CrossFit Games, swears by it! This is what he says,

“FitAID has the best ready-to-drink formula on the market. The blend in FitAID was created with the elite athlete in mind and gives me the nutrition my body needs in a convenient and time saving way.”

 

Great! Where do I sign up?

Movement First is keen to partner with retail partners, gyms as well as health clubs to help us spread this healthy and great tasting beverage in Singapore and the region! If you are interested, you can drop us an email at hello@movementfirst.sg (click me!), with subject header “FitAID Distributorship” and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

What we would do is schedule a face to face meeting with you to understand your demands and requirements and propose a win-win scenario for both parties. Our aim is to help you scale comfortably, as well as provide any resources (brochures, posters, glass door fridge) to help you succeed!

If you are dropping by here and want to buy yourself an awesome can of FitAID, you can visit our online store directly here: http://www.movementfirst.sg/75-supplements-beverages.

 

 

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27/09/2014 Uncategorized

Training for Standing Broad Jump at Home with Kettlebells

*Disclaimer: Please be responsible for your own health and training. Watch out for warning signs during training and do not push your body over the limit. The aim of exercise is to aid in daily activity and not impede it. Stronger good, injured bad. If you have any comments, do drop me a message at hello@movementfirst.sg

Summary

Training with a heavy kettlebell for swings with lesser reps (less than 15 each time) and doing front squats with the same kettlebell will improve your standing broad jump. This is due to the similarity in technique and specific strength in both movements.

SBJ

Technique training comes before strength training in the same session as muscles have to be fresh for technique training.

Training programme for technique: Jump forward 8 times landing gently into a squat. After each jump, think how you could have made the jump better. Then jump backwards 8 times, each time landing into a squat. Also be reflexive about this.

Training programme for strength: Swing heavy kettlebell till fatigued, ideally it should be less than 15 swings. Repeat 3 more times. Front squat with kettlebell till fatigued, also ideally for less than 15 times. Repeat 3 more times. Using a lighter kettlebell, do walking lunges till fatigued, repeat 3 more times .

As this is essentially a strength training programme, you should feel soreness the next day in your muscles (not joints). Please rest for around 2 days before resuming this programme. If the weight gets too light, try doing a measurement jump, you will definitely see improvement. And yes, it is then time to upgrade your weight.

How to choose kettlebell weight

New lifters should get the weight as follows:

For male body weight around 60kg : 16kg for swings, 12kg for lunges.
For male body weight 70kg & above: 20kg for swings, 16kg for lunges
For female body weight around 40kg : 8kg for swings, 6kg for lunges
For female body weight 50kg & above : 12kg for swings, 8kg for lunges

To buy Movement First’s AUKL certified kettlebells, please visit our online store here.

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For those who want the full story….

Are you one of those who can run marathons, complete many pull ups or excel at your sport, but yet cannot jump to save your life during IPPT? Don’t worry, you are not alone.  I remember during my short stint in OCS, many cadets had late night RTs simply jumping around the perimeter of the parade square! Yet, sadly, that may not be the complete answer to doing well in SBJ.

A little on my background. I grew up in Punggol, which was a underdeveloped part of Singapore then. I jumped across drains and climbed pillars as a kid. Hence, jumping was never a problem for me. During NS, on a bad day, I can jump 240, and a good day, 250. Yet, this was also my plateau, I could never bypass 260. Perhaps because the limit of gold is above 242cm, I placed a mental limit on myself that I am good enough. Long story short, I got involved with people in strength sports and started doing lots of deadlifts and squats. On a normal day, while running in a park with SBJ markings, I did a casual jump and BOOM! I jumped a 280 with ease. Yes, so deadlifts and squats helped me a lot, but how do we replicate this training for a home user, without barbells and weight plates?

There are two reasons for people failing SBJ. Firstly, lack of technique and the lack of specific muscle strength. I learn from many people, and Coach Jon from Genesis Gym provides good instruction in this.

Technique:

As you can see from the video, the technique for jumping off can be summarized in 3 photographs. Think of your body as a spring, you want to stretch it as much as possible, load it with tension, and then release the tension, which allows you to jump as far forward as possible.

1. Stretch upwards.

1a 

2. Load the posterior chain, specifically the lower back and the hamstrings.

2a

 

3. Explode forward with 45 degree angle.

3a

Strength Training for SBJ:

The two main exercises that contributed to my improvements in SBJ would be deadlifts and front squats. Deadlifts mimics the posterior chain loading and the hip drive required in standing broad jump. Front squats develops the quadriceps, which is important in creating power for more distance. The main advantage of front squats is that it achieves the same muscle activation with less weight (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19002072/).

There is no doubt deadlifts and front squats can improve SBJ (also known as standing long jump in academic journals), but how do we mimic the same type of training with greater cost and space efficiency compared to owning a set of barbell, weight plates and rack? With kettlebells!

For deadlifts, they can be replaced with kettlebell swings, which work the posterior chain in a similar manner like deadlifts. Unlike deadlifts, kettlebell swings also have a high transferability in both technique (loading of muscles, position of hands) and strength (hip drive, 45 degree forward momentum). The below image illustrates my points.

SBJ

For front squats, simply hold the kettlebell by the handles upside down, and squat.

7a 8a

You can also rack the bell by its handle, and then squat.

9a

10a

The SBJ is essentially a combination of technique and maximal strength. Therefore, you should build for more weight, but less repetitions. The kettlebell used must be heavy, and it should make you thoroughly fatigued after not more than 15 reps. For example, I weigh 60kg, and I use a 24kg kettlebell for swings. 15 reps is a cursory number, the idea is not to do a crazy number of reps with a light kettlebell, because it will not optimally help improve your SBJ score.

Training for Kettlebell Swings and Squats

Kettlebell training consists of dynamic movements and is inherently dangerous when performed with bad form. It requires guidance (no, watching Youtube does not count) from certified trainers. Too many bad trainers turn the kettlebell swing into some bastardized child with a rounded back, or squatting instead of loading the posterior chain, or using their hands to pull up the bells. Learn from people who actually know what they are doing.

Here are some people who do know about kettlebells. There are others, but these places offer introductory classes, which will be sufficient to learn basic kettlebell form.

South: Fitness Elitez
East: The Fitness Protocol
West: AlphaFit

Kettlebell lifting is sensitive and it is challenging to prescribe a weight without knowing each person’s background of athleticism, body weight and height. However, here’s a quick guide that would fit most people.

How to choose kettlebell weight

New lifters should get the weight as follows:

For male body weight around 60kg : 16kg for swings, 12kg for lunges.
For male body weight 70kg & above: 20kg for swings, 16kg for lunges
For female body weight around 40kg : 8kg for swings, 6kg for lunges
For female body weight 50kg & above : 12kg for swings, 8kg for lunges

To buy Movement First’s AUKL certified kettlebells, please visit our online store here.

Training Protocol for SBJ

The human body is amazing. It becomes better and better if you give it a chance. Earlier, I mentioned about the OCS cadets jumping across the perimeter of the parade square. This is to train technique. However, technique has to be matched by reflexivity.

Technique

At the beginning of the session, do 8 jumps to the front landing gently into a squat (like a cat, not like a giant). At the end of every jump, think about how you could have made the jump better, with more tension in the back, or in the hamstrings, or for direction of jump to be higher or lower. Too high and you don’t get enough distance, too low and you hit the ground too fast.

Then, jump backwards 8 times landing into a squat. What is the rationale for this? Nothing exciting, but if you are going to train your neural pathways to be a better jumper, you should also balance opposing muscles, and also reflect after each jump how to make it better.

Technique training should always come before strength training, as technique should be fine tuned when all the muscles are fresh.

As this is essentially a strength training programme, you should feel soreness the next day in your muscles (not joints). Please rest for around 2 days before resuming this programme. If the weight gets too light, try doing a measurement jump, you will definitely see improvement. And yes, it is then time to upgrade your weight.

Strength

Swings

The ideal is to stress the muscles until fatigued, so it can come back strong. Pick a suitably heavy kettlebell, swing till muscle failure. The number of swings should be less than 15 reps. Repeat another 3 times.

Front Squats

Squat till muscle failure, repeat another 3 times.

Lunges

You can choose to either use 2 kettlebells in rack position, or hold one kettlebell by its two horns and lunge. Basically, whatever works for you! 

Think of lunges as single leg squats with support. Using a suitable weight, lunge till failure. Repeat another 3 times. Do take note that lunges is definitely harder than squats, so pick a lighter weight for lunges.

I really hope this tutorial is helpful for you. Any comments, drop me an email at hello@movementfirst.sg! Thanks!

Edit: A friend shared this very useful video that perfectly analyzes a standing broad jump. Do take a look as well!

To buy Movement First’s AUKL certified kettlebells, please visit our online store here.

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07/10/2013 Uncategorized

When International Fraud Happens

At Movement First, we treat every single customer with due respect. As our products are relatively niche in this region of the world, we also have customers from other parts of Asia. For international customers, we offer Paypal and Interbank transfer as payment options. Customers understandably prefer Paypal, as it is more convenient. Unfortunately from today onwards, we will be removing Paypal as a payment option for our international customers. The below case will serve as an explanation for our policy change.

In early July, Lily Handayani wrote to my email, requesting for 2 CrossFit MINI timers, and 5 GymBoss, with the total value being $668. As the order is reasonably big, I gave a discount of 10%, and after including air freight, the price was $652. She chose to pay via PayPal and I received her payment shortly.

On July 19th, I posted her package out, and sent her an email of proof  which shows the timers being tested in good working condition, as well as the shipping information. The below image shows the products reached her safely on 1st August.

indo_tracking

Package sent to her successfully

Assuming the transaction was a success, I did not contact her anymore. Yet, on 23rd August, I received an email from PayPal, stating that Lily has filed a chargeback on my account. This means Paypal automatically deducted $652 from my account while waiting for “investigations” to complete.

I quickly dropped her emails to ask her the reason for filing the chargeback. There were no replies. Using her email, I found her on Facebook, but immediately after I messaged  her, she disabled her Facebook profile! I can no longer find her email on Facebook! Amazing!

Cached version of her page

Cached version of her page

There was only radio silence on her part, and there was nothing I could do to get a reply from her. Calls to her phone numbers were rejected. What made it worse was that I sent it to her “Paypal Verified Address”, which means it was not sent to a fraudulent address using her credit card, but she actually did receive it.

As part of Paypal chargeback resolution process, I submitted all the email logs, screenshots, photographs and waybill tracking as proof so Paypal could dispute the chargeback on my behalf. After 6 weeks of waiting, Paypal informed me that “the buyer’s credit card company decided in favour of the buyer”. I provided all evidence which proved beyond reasonable doubt that the buyer was a scammer, but investigations that concluded was in favour of the buyer? This is utterly ridiculous, yet I am utterly helpless.

I just lost $652, out of my own pocket, due to a scammer and I have no way to recover my money, nor any way to contact the person who did this. Paypal has stated that there is nothing more they can do for me even though I was a victim of a scam.

As you can see, it is simply too easy to order a chargeback and there is literally nothing the seller can do to fight this. If it is in Singapore, at least we can physically meet the person, but when the sales is international, we are helpless as a business. Therefore, as a way of protection for ourselves, we no longer accept Paypal for international orders.

Here’s also hoping that anyone in Indonesia and the city of Jawa Timur reading this can help to resolve the issue. From what I can find about this person, she is an independent property agent. Her details is as follows:

Name: Lily Handayani
Address: Jl Kaliurang no 7 Malang 65111
City / Country: Jawa Timur – Indonesia
Phone no: 0341-367023 / 08179666908
Email: lily_handayani@ymail.com

Other links to her:

http://lily_h.agenproperti123.com/detil-ruko-dijual-di-klojen-malang-102478-id.html

http://properti.kontan.co.id/agent/agent/detail/37388/commercial

http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/members/lily_handayani

https://www.facebook.com/mommylily/about

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27/09/2013 Uncategorized

Which equipment gives the most value for money?

As a trainer, I am often asked which equipment gives the most bang for the buck? Beyond body weight training, there are some movements that we still need an external equipment to complete, for example, deadlifts and its variants, as well as pulling movements. For pulling movements, we have the MF Body Weight trainer, which is a value-for-money suspension trainer at only SGD$99.

1

 

However, to me, by far the equipment that gives the most value for money is the humble sandbag. A fully filled 15kg sandbag is only $105 and 30kg sandbag is $139. For other prices, please click here. Compared to other equipment like kettlebells or clubbells, weight for weight, it is already one of the cheapest options available for weight training.

It also comes with multiple handles for different muscle activation and different movements.

2

The side handles are very useful for building grip as it challenges typical holding styles.

3

It comes with 3 filler bags. This means that if you use a 15kg sandbag, it comes with three 5kg sandbags. Therefore, you can adjust the weight to become 5kg, 10kg or 15kg! The filler bags can also be individually used to smaller movements.

4

Here are some of the many exercises which can be done using sandbags. I will skip over simple exercises like bicep curls. Those are quite self explanatory.

1. Deadlift. Bring the sandbag from the bottom position to standing position.

5

2. Clean – jerk the sandbag upwards vertically.

6

3. Catch the sandbag.

7

4. This is the ‘clean’ position.

8

4. From here, you can move into an overhead press. (or push press, or jerk)

9

5. And into an overhead squat.

10

6. You can also do a front squat with it.

11

7. Or a back squat.

12

8. Renegade row is a pulling movement to build back muscle that cannot be done using body weight movement.

13

9. Pull the weight upwards towards the chest.

14

10. Side lunge is a useful exercise to target one leg.

15

11. Kettlebell swings are famous for engaging the posterior chain to burn 20cal/minute. Did you know you can do the same movement with a sandbag? Save money! Buy one equipment and get multiple benefits.

16

12. Get the same hamstring stretch and hip explosion of a kettlebell swing with a sandbag!

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13. Those small filler bags? You can use it for movements that you are not strong enough to do with a full sandbag! For example, front lunge.

18

14. Step out with your hands outstretched. This movement trains both the hands and the quads as well as inner glutes.

19

15. If your overhead press is weak, you can use a single filler bag instead and work with one hand.

20

16. Press it up! Easy! A 15kg sandbag can be used by you and your parents!

21

 

Conclusion

A sandbag is a functional tool that can be used in many compound movements. It is also soft and would not hurt upon impact (unlike a kettlebell, clubbell or dumbbell). The weight is also adjustable with the filler bags have other assistive capabilities to help weaker movements. Any movement that you would want to do with a kettlebell or dumbbell, you can do it with a sandbag too. Better still, it is very cheap.

An empty 15kg sandbag only cost $89! So if you are looking to get your very first functional equipment, get a sandbag, it is a versatile tool that gives the most value for money! To purchase sandbags, click here: Movement First Store – Sandbags.

Download Free sandbags ebook here: http://sandbagfitnessstore.com/pages/free-stuff

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13/02/2013 Equipment

First Post

Hello World! Stay tuned for future posts.

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18/11/2012 Uncategorized