Coach Spotlight: Farrah Teo

by | Dec 5, 2023 | Trainers

A former college dance performer, competitive squash player and current pole athlete/ instructor, Farrah utilises strength and conditioning as a key tool for performance optimisation and injury mitigation.

As an accredited Clinical Exercise Physiologist, she also uses strength training principles combined with aerobic conditioning to help clients mitigate chronic disease, metabolic syndrome and weight management

Farrah has worked with both clinical and general populations since 2015, both in Australia and Singapore. Clients typically describe her as empowering, dedicated and educational.
Currently pursuing a Master of Gerontology, her goal includes extending safe exercise programming for senior care and healthy ageing.

Hello, and welcome to Level! Tell us about yourself.

I am 6% dark chocolate, 8% caffeine, 23% veggies 29% compassion, 34% water! I love my greens and hydrate like a camel.

Caffeine admittedly messes up my sleep hygiene especially if I have it after 11am. To have my coffee and drink it too, I’ve resorted to full-bodied decaf coffees for my 1st morning cuppa. Personal game-changer!

How have your years in the fitness industry led you to believe in what you do about fitness today?

Fitness is a one size fits ONE model!

There’s more to it than just chasing the highs – be it personal bests, runner’s high, heart rate. It’s the mental agility of tuning in to our bodies to allow for adequate recovery, a sensible boost or routine tweaks.

There is so much information and fads out there that leads to a paradox of choice. I don’t believe there necessarily is a bad exercise, but it has to be contextualised to the individual.

My advice to clients is to be curious and stay informed, explore, experiment and evolve fitness programs accordingly.

What do you like to do outside the gym?

Most people think I’m an extrovert but really I can be quite a hermit. My absolute favourite me-time involves long walks by my estate’s PCN towards East Coast Park, without any tech or communicative devices.

One guilty pleasure of mine is indulging in contemporary romance novels and getting lost in plot and character development.

I unwind through creative outlets like pole dance and freeflow writing – SO CATHARTIC! I love dance because it fuses technical mastery and athletic demands with musicality and emotional expression. I have a penchant for creating choreography to rock ballads. Writing is a safe space to unleash my thoughts and feelings, and a way to make sense of this world through introspection and self-counsel.

How would you like to chart your journey in the next 3-5 years? What are things you are aiming to do and are striving toward?

Chronic disease risk mitigation and helping seniors age gracefully through exercise!

It’s been a pet project since my days in Australia where I ran seniors exercise classes at Salvation Army, and worked alongside healthcare teams to manage metabolic syndrome markers and degenerative conditions. Exercise truly is a natural medication!

I would also love to be involved in health tech in the upcoming years, and contribute to the advancement of preventive healthcare and longevity. Hopefully I graduate with a Master of Gerontology by 2025, as a springboard for some of these aspirations!

What do you think are two biggest ways in the way people are miseducated about fitness? Explain!

Engaging your core is more than just sucking in your belly!

Think of it as your internal aquarium that you need to keep levelled so the fish don’t get tipped out! Our core influences posture/ spinal alignment, intra-abdominal pressure and power transmission to enable safe and efficient movement. This is paramount for bigger lifts, post-natal recovery, falls prevention and even chronic pain management!

The importance of cross-training is underrated!

We all have our preferences for a certain sport or exercise type, and it’s pretty natural to engage in them as regularly as we’d like. But to mitigate common issues like muscular imbalance, burnout, injury, and simply to improve endurance – we need to invest in appropriate avenues of cross-training!

What are three things people don’t know about you? Elaborate as much as you can if you like!

My favourite number as a kid was 16, so whenever I was on the road I’d try to permutate car plate numbers to equate to 16!
E.g. 1156 : (1+1) x 5 + 6 = 16 🤣

My lips, fingernails and toenails turn blue when the temperature dips below 20 deg celsius! Dr Google coins this condition as cyanosis. So you’d never see me voluntarily booking a winter vacation – I’m truly a tropical chic and sunseeker. Besides, short days/ long nights can be quite a damper for outdoor activities!

Ice cream without a cone is utter blasphemy, and I refuse to negotiate otherwise.

Farrah teaches six classes at Level – Mondays and Tuesdays at Telok Ayer at 730am and four classes on Wednesday at 730am, 830am, 630pm and 730pm at 14 Robinson. Book now on MBO!

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