Ever felt lost? – in the forest of the fitness world, especially when you are just trying to shed that stubborn extra weight?

It’s just exercise, how hard can it be?

You start a Google search for the “best exercises to burn fat”.

Almost everything you read gives you a different answer.

Disappointed, you then switch to YouTube for some videos from expert individuals or coaches saying these are the top 5 exercises you must do at the gym.

But every person on social media seems to have a different opinion, some of them are even contradicting each other.

Some say you don’t even need a gym, home workouts will do.

You end up more confused than when you started.

We’ve all been there – the struggle is as common as ordering a plate of delicious Penang street food. But fear not, because today’s the day you embark on a journey tailored just for you.

Imagine a world where fitness isn’t a one-size-fits-all T-shirt, but a perfectly tailored suit designed to highlight your strengths and conquer your weight-loss goals.

It’s like finding the perfect pair of jeans– a game-changer!

So, get ready to ditch the generic programs and embrace the personalized ones. We’re about to explore why personalized exercises might just be the missing ingredient in your fitness success.

Let’s dive in!

What’s the purpose of your workouts?

First things first, you have to be very clear about the reason you are training.

If you just want to break a sweat and have a fun recreational workout, by all means, keep on going. That’s great.

For some, training isn’t just about going through the motions—it’s about achieving tangible results that reflect your dedication and effort.

You want to get the most out of your time spent working out.

Every second counts

Whether it’s striving to shed fats, build muscle, enhance joint strength, or simply improve your overall well-being, the ultimate goal remains the same: to see meaningful progress.

And if you are looking to get the best results in the shortest amount of time, then read on.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution

This is the first principle that you have to understand.

Let’s take the healthcare system to make this point. You have surely been to the doctor before. You meet a doctor and then tell them the problems you’re facing.

They listen to your symptoms, maybe run some tests and then prescribe you some medication. It’s almost certain you get a different set of pills from the person before you and the next person visiting.


This is because you don’t necessarily face the same problems as another person. Even if you do, the meds might work differently from person to person.

So why would you try to solve your fitness problems using another person’s solution plan?

If you’re looking to get stronger and get better results from your routine, you must personalise your plan according to YOU.

Because stronger and better results mean very different things for any 2 individuals.

A randomized controlled trial done by Dalleck et. al (1) looked at the results of 45 men and women who were split into 2 groups and put into a 12-week training program.

One group followed a personalized training program while another did traditional moderate-intensity exercise at the gym.

What they found was those who were following the personalized training programs experienced better results than those stuck in the one-size-fits-all rut.

No surprise there.

Takeaway Tip: The reason personalized workouts work wonders is that they’re designed just for you, taking into account your strengths and weaknesses. Start small by incorporating simple and achievable exercises that feel right for you. Squats, lunges, or even a push-up in your living room – the key is to make it yours!

Generic fitness plans often lead to frustration and disappointment


Because they lack the specificity needed to address your unique goals and may even exacerbate existing challenges or lead to injury.

Imagine pushing yourself through countless repetitions of exercises that yield minimal results, all because the plan fails to align with your body and objectives.

This is one of the most common scenes we see at gyms in Penang. They randomly run on treadmills with no program or plans, then move on to do as many crunches as possible. Maybe join a group class or two.

Cue Rocky training theme song

The more the sweat, the better.

We’re not saying that it’s bad. It’s like trying to fit a round roti canai into a square tiffin – sure, you might make it work, but it’s not quite the perfect fit.

It’s a recipe for burnout and disillusionment if you want real results.

Now, here’s where personalized exercises swoop in like a superhero: they’re tailored to sculpt your body just the way you want it.

Picture this: you’ve got a specific area you want to tone up or some specific joint pain you want to bid farewell to – personalized training will zoom in on those targets with laser precision.

A personal trainer with the right expertise can help you with this. Moreover, it is found that if you work with another person to achieve your goals, the results are more sustainable. Interesting!

According to research published in the International Journal of American Medical Association (2), folks who followed personalized training plans with a human touch saw better longer-lasting changes in their body composition.

Let’s explore the alternatives

Of course, there are many other ways towards achieving great health and fitness, we don’t deny that. In fact, let’s take a look at some of them:

  1. Group Exercise Classes: These classes offer structured workouts led by instructors in a group setting. While not tailored to individual needs, they provide a sense of community, motivation, and variety in workouts.
  2. Online Workout Programs: Many platforms offer pre-designed workout plans accessible via apps or websites. It lacks feedback and human interaction but often includes a range of options based on fitness level, goals, and preferred workout styles.
  3. Guided Workouts: Individuals can follow an expert’s workout plan based on available resources, such as fitness books, online resources, or YouTube videos. This approach requires self-discipline and knowledge of effective exercises.
  4. Small Group Training: Training can also be done in smaller groups where attention is higher than a group exercise and you get more feedback than none. While not as tailored as one-on-one training, they offer flexibility and convenience.
  5. Sports and Recreational Activities: Engaging in sports or recreational activities like running, badminton, or hiking can provide both physical activity and enjoyment. Sports are not structured for specific fitness goals, they offer overall health benefits and have a competition factor that drives some.
  6. Traditional Gym Workouts: Following a friend to the gym or trying it out yourself is another option. Lacking experience and knowledge, these plans typically require a lot of time learning and making mistakes.
  7. Home Workouts: Utilizing minimal equipment or bodyweight exercises, you can create effective workouts at home. This option offers convenience and affordability but may lack variety and progression without proper guidance.

Here’s a comparison table highlighting different factors for all the alternatives:

Protip: Ask yourself, what’s important to you right now?


Ultimately, we believe you should choose what works best for you.

If you’re on a budget, training by yourself is best for you. You will learn discipline and determination.

If you like people, feed on their energy and just want to have fun, look for the best group classes around you. The sense of community and feeling you get from a group workout is unparalleled.

If results is what you are looking for, then we strongly believe (may be a little bit biased) but we are confident that working with a personal trainer is the best way to get there fastest.

In any case, they are all good for you and your health, physically and mentally. And that is what’s important.

We wrote this article for those who are looking for the latest solution that has the highest chance of success in their journey of fitness.

Modern medicine has already recognised the problem of a non-personalised approach and you might notice that it is now working towards a strategy that is more personalised, individualised or termed by some as precision medicine.

Looking at an article from Springers Sports Medicine Journal (3),  a group of exercise scientists has advocated for an individual-centred approach when it comes to fitness and health as well.

So there you go, this is why we believe that your exercise routine should look different from others.

If you’re in Penang and you’re looking for professional advice from an Exercise Expert, leave a message here.


(1) Dalleck, L. C., Dalleck, A. M., & Byrd, B. R. (2021). Personalized, adaptive resistance training is superior to traditional resistance exercise: a randomized, controlled trial. Int J Res Exerc Physiol16(2), 53-56.

(2) Svetkey, L. P., Stevens, V. J., Brantley, P. J., Appel, L. J., Hollis, J. F., Loria, C. M., … & Ard, J. D. (2008). “Comparison of strategies for sustaining weight loss: the weight loss maintenance randomized controlled trial.” JAMA, 299(10), 1139-1148. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/181605

(3) Wackerhage, H., & Schoenfeld, B. J. (2021). Personalized, evidence-informed training plans and exercise prescriptions for performance, fitness and health. Sports Medicine51(9), 1805-1813.