Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Skim Milk Powder: Poor Man's Protein Powder and the Guide to Cheaper Alternatives to an Overpriced Gym Membership in Singapore

Some of you may remember my Gomad Experiment (not to be confused with my Gonad Experiment, which is a different thing entirely) a few months back in my effort to look like Thor by the time of my wedding.

Hulk and Thor
Unfortunately, not even the power of GOMAD (Gallon Of Milk A Day) could alter my weight, which is as unchanging as the rising and setting of the sun ... as consistent as the coming and going of the tide.

That hasn't stopped me from continuing to exercise, and even though I refuse to pay for overpriced gyms like True Fitness, Fitness First, and Jackie Chan's California Fitness (sorry Jackie, don't kill me), there are many other (cheaper) ways to stay in shape--especially in Singapore.


Expensive: Premium Gym Membership - anywhere from $70-$130 / month

Pros - Very nice equipment, showers, and high drop-out rate ensures you'll always be able to find free machines. Intimidating pictures of Jackie Chan staring you down as you work out.

Cons - $$$$$$$. Constant harassment and verbal abuse from trainers/soliciters trying to squeeze more money out of you.  They try to make you feel bad for not joining their gym. "What, you don't care about your health?"  "You're okay with your ugly body?" "Even your grandma can bench more than you"

Cheaper: Community Center Gym Membership 
Can cost as low as ~$60 for 6 months 
or you can pay per visit  (~$2.50 per entry)

Pros - super cheap, free, unsolicited personal training (see "personal trainers" below)
Cons - usually has dirty, old equipment (with stains). May be hard to get to the machines you want on busy days.

Cheapest: Working out in the playground/park - FREE

Pros - Singapore has these exercise stations all over the place but they're mostly intended for old people. However, with a little ingenuity you can get a decent workout out of this playground equipment.

Cons - Since these stations are usually placed around residential buildings, working out here means you'll be putting on a show for all the old ladies (and some old men).

Other ideas for cheap exercise: 
  • ultimate frisbee or soccer (if you like running around a lot)
  • swimming (cheap at some of the local sports complexes/swimming pools - or in the ship-infested waters of Sentosa)
  • stair-climbing (Singapore's got a lot of high-rise buildings)
  • basketball (there are courts almost everywhere)
  • jogging (there is solid ground to run on almost everywhere)


Expensive: Whey Protein from GNC or other expensive supplement places (SG$80 for 900g)

Pros - Lots of protein in just one scoop of disgusting powder! If you can get used to the chalky taste then it's not that bad

Cons -  $$$$$$. Also, I read somewhere that this stuff can cause liver problems.

CheaperSkim Milk Powder (33g of protein per 100g of powder)
I found a 600g bag of milk powder for $10 at fairprice

I discovered that some people substitute expensive protein powder with cheaper skim milk powder. While it doesn't pack the same amount of protein, by heaping piles of this stuff into your glass (and maybe some milo) you can get the same amount of protein.. now whether it's as effective or whether it absorbs into your system as quickly... that may be another story.  Also, that's a lot of lactose crammed into one drink if you want the full 33 grams of protein.

Pros - cheaper than protein powder
Cons - Diarrhea and flatulence.  Actually can cost almost as much as real protein powder if you're not careful to buy the kind with enough protein or if you buy an expensive powder that's not on sale.

Other cheap sources of protein:
Reduced Sugar Soy Milk (10g of protein per serving)
Peanut Butter

Personal Trainers

Expensive: Premium Gym Officially certified trainer guy
($100-$150 per one hour session)

Pros - hmmm...still thinking....

Cons - overpriced, considering you don't really need one since you can motivate yourself by simply posting pictures of obese people on your refrigerator.
The trainers in Singapore usually aren't that impressive anyway and you can find out their secret exercise plans with Google.

Cheapest: Old guy at the park/community center

Pros - Free advice and usually they kinda know what they're talking about

Cons - Sometimes when they don't know what they're talking about it will cost you a hernia.

Related Entry:
The Gomad Experiment

Related Links:
Guide to Singapore's Big 3 (expensive gyms)
How to avoid getting ripped off at Singapore's Big 3 Expensive gyms
Unfortunately these articles totally ignore the cheaper alternatives, which is where I come in. :)
Scumbag Body vs Scumbag Brain
GOMAD Part 1 and Part 2
Cheap Haircuts in Singapore
Sleeping Cheaply in the Singapore Airport
Budget Airlines in Singapore
Singapore Bathroom Guide

(WARNING: the advice given on this blog should only be followed at your own risk.  I am not a professional.  I'm just a guy who wants to be cut like Bruce Lee)


  1. You should try convict conditioning and beast skills until you can find a gym. you can find links to convict conditioning on reddit, and beast skills is just beastskills.com.

  2. wow, those guys are crazy. thanks for the info.. maybe i'll try some of this out sometime.. i wanna be ripped like a convict too!

  3. Literally, you did sharing very informative product and always my first choice of milk protein powder..Thanks

  4. Hi, I would really recommend this Whey Protein Singapore for weight loss, I think it has been very effective especially when combined with workout.