There are no shortcuts to getting fit and that’s the ethos championed by Symphony Loo, group beverage manager for hip restaurant group, the Dandy Partnership
Discipline and dedication are paramount to rising bartending star, Symphony Loo. While she has cut her teeth at bars in Malaysia and Switzerland, Symphony has risen up the ranks in Singapore from working her way up to head bartender at Neon Pigeon, winning the “Rising Star” category at the Bar Awards Singapore 2017, to now managing beverage programs for renowned F&B group The Dandy Partnership.
Symphony may have her hands full overseeing beverage menus for popular dining establishments such as Summerlong, Fat Prince, and The Ottoman Room, but she regularly fits yoga, cardio exercises and CrossFit into her week. Just how does she do it? Her answer is simple: make fitness a routine with the help of Fitbit.
Want to break away from your fitness rut? Find out just how Symphony turns an erratic schedule into a manageable routine in our interview below!
How did you get into bartending and what made you decide to pursue it as a career?
My journey into the cocktail world began at a friend’s bar in Malaysia before starting university. I then went on to do two internship stints at the Shangri-la Hotel Group in Kuala Lumpur, and that was when I discovered my passion for people and service. After graduating from Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland, I joined the Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore, where I had the opportunity to train as a bartender at the hotel’s One-Ninety Bar before moving on to The Cufflink Club a year later, to further hone my skills in bartending.
Since joining Neon Pigeon as bar manager/head bartender in October 2015, I’m now overseeing the beverage program across four venues under The Dandy Partnership – Neon Pigeon, Summerlong, Fat Prince, and The Ottoman Room.
Did you face any challenges establishing yourself as a bartender in Singapore?
People are more accepting of female bartenders now because of the increasing number of female bartenders in the industry, and also, many female bartenders are winning important competitions that are recognised globally. In general, the topic of gender equality is becoming more important in the bartending world, and more male bartenders have been showing their support to their female counterparts.
Another challenge for most bartenders is that we have to work physically hard over long hours, and with little sleep. I’m trying to improve getting enough quality rest with my Fitbit Alta HR’s sleep functions, which not only tells me how much sleep I get each night and how well I’ve slept, but also helps me to plan my sleep schedule with bedtime reminders and targets.
What’s a typical workday like for you?
Depending on my workout schedule, my day starts before 8.30am, as I’ll attend fitness classes in the morning before heading to work. My first meeting usually begins at 11am and they’ll end at 9pm or 10pm where during the course of the day, I’ll be running between two outlets. For instance, I’ll be at Neon Pigeon and Summerlong to ensure that my bar teams, programs and operations are on track. If I have bar duties, then my meetings will end at 5pm – I’ll be busy with preparations for the night and working the bar until closing time. The calendar reminders on my Fitbit help remind me of my workout plans ahead of schedule, which keeps the hectic nature of my job from getting in the way of my routine.
It seems like you lead a pretty active lifestyle. Can you tell us more about your fitness routine?
My routine involves doing cardio exercises and Crossfit, and I also join bootcamp and yoga classes twice a week. I love combining Crossfit with weight training as it energises me and helps my body build muscles. To improve my progress, I use the Fitstar Personal Trainer app that gives me unlimited access to personalised video workouts. It also features customisable training programs with workouts that I try to fit in when I have some free time.
How do you make time for exercise while juggling an erratic schedule?
There are no shortcuts if you want results and I make no excuses for skipping my workouts. If I have to, I’ll wake up early to exercise. Afterall, it’s only an hour of your day!
Lastly, do you have any advice for those who find it hard to maintain an active lifestyle because of work?
You might try exercising once or twice a week first, then increasing the frequency of your workouts once you’re used to your new routine. If you find it hard to maintain that motivation, then try finding a suitable fitness partner or join a group for an added push.
Reach your personal goals and milestones with the stylish Fitbit Alta HR, designed to inspire and motivate you towards a healthier lifestyle. Aside from keeping tabs on your schedule with calendar reminders, it also automatically monitors your sleep and sleep quality throughout the night with the sleep tracking function. Fitbit’s Fitstar Personal Trainer app lets you have complete access to personalised video workouts, with expert tips and training programs that you can customise according to your needs. Find out more at www.fitbit.com/sg/altahr.
This article is sponsored by Fitbit