If you haven’t been sticking to your resolution to shed a few kilos, it’s not too late to start anew. Read on for the hottest new workouts, the healthiest (and tastiest) post-exercise snacks and how to pick a personal trainer.
Need for Speed
Finding it tough to fit exercise into your hectic schedule? No sweat. These four gyms offer express workouts that will have you in and out of the door in an hour or less.
HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT) | 20 MINUTES
WHERE: Ritual, #03-01, 11 North Canal Road, tel: 6536-7291, www.ritual.sg
WHAT: Ritual specialises in HIIT classes that are designed to improve endurance and strength. Its circuit style workouts – with three levels of intensity – comprise various bodyweight exercises and resistance training moves.
THE EXPERIENCE: “In. Train. Shower. Refuel. Out.” Reads Ritual’s tagline – and that’s exactly what we did. We went through a quick fitness assessment, then dived into the workout: burpees alternated with push-ups, TRX rows, squats and kettlebell deadlifts. Before we knew it, the short, albeit intense, session was over, and we hit the showers with relief. Afterwards, we treated ourselves to a delicious protein shake at the in-house bar. Ritual is all about making exercising convenient – classes are conducted every half-hour, with a maximum of 10 participants a session. Even exercise clothes and toiletries are provided, so there’s really no excuse not to work out.
HOW MUCH: $50 for a seven-day trial pass. Thereafter, it’s $369 a month for a one-year membership.
SPINNING | 50 MINUTES
WHERE: Crucycle, 68 Duxton Road, tel: 6509-8880, www.crucycle.com
WHAT: Crucycle’s signature 50-minute indoor spinning class, The Pack Ride, incorporates light weights and core exercises for a full-body, calorie-torching workout. It’s suitable for riders of all levels.
THE EXPERIENCE: Loud music pulsated throughout the room, which was filled with 38 sleek stationary bikes. After warming up, we were put through our paces with a series of exercises. For instance, we alternated between sitting and standing while riding at different resistance levels, and also performed upper-body exercises – like bicep curls and tricep extensions with light dumb-bells – while pedalling. The workout was by no means easy, but everyone was encouraged to ride in sync, and we found ourselves invigorated by the camaraderie we experienced.
HOW MUCH: $50 a session, but first-timers pay that sum for two sessions. You can also sign up for a package – it’s $1,250 for 25 classes, with two free sessions.
XTEND BARRE | 45 MINUTES
WHERE: Upside Motion, #04-05 Orchard Shopping Centre, 321 Orchard Road, tel: 6737-2979, www.upsidemotion.com
WHAT: Xtend Barre is a fast-paced workout that fuses both ballet and Pilates – expect cardio routines, light weight-training and dance sequences. It targets the small muscles in your body, such as your abs, thighs and glutes, so you can achieve a dancer’s lithe silhouette without bulking up.
THE EXPERIENCE: We began with ballet-style warm-ups and stretches before doing arm exercises like bicep curls and tricep kickbacks using small dumb-bells. Next, we headed to the barre (a stationary handrail) for a series of lower-body moves like leg lifts and arabesques. We finished with core- and glute-strengthening exercises on the mat. Xtend Barre focuses on moves with high repetitions and plenty of pulsing motions – agonising, but great for toning and building muscular endurance. Don’t be afraid if you have two left feet (like us) – the energetic sequences might seem confusing at first, but you’ll eventually get the hang of it. Plus, the workout improves posture – you might find yourself walking away with the poise of a ballerina.
HOW MUCH: $49 for a 3-Class Experience Pass. Subsequently, a single class costs $40, while a package of 10 classes costs $345.
ELECTRO MUSCULAR STIMULATION | 20 MINUTES
WHERE: Bodytec, #01-01, 6 Stanley Street, tel: 6423-1306, www.bodytec.com.sg
WHAT: Bodytec is the first fitness studio here to specialise in Electro Muscular Stimulation (EMS), a training system that delivers electrical impulse currents through your body to stimulate your muscles while you perform basic exercises. These muscle contractions are purportedly 18 times more effective than those derived from conventional strength training, and are supposed to sculpt your entire body.
THE EXPERIENCE: On paper, the workout sounded deceptively easy. However, we soon discovered that we were sorely mistaken (pun intended). We were first suited up in a vest that was dampened (water conducts electricity) and then plugged into an EMS machine. Next, we did a series of bodyweight exercises – squats, planks, leg raises and more. The electrical currents, which stimulated involuntary muscle contractions, felt prickly, but were never painful. They also added resistance to our workout – a simple squat required about five times more effort than usual. We were sweating copiously by the end of the session! EMS training is great for the time-starved as it packs a punch in a relatively short time. Plus, you won’t have to carry workout gear as everything, from disposable undies and clothes to toiletries, is provided.
HOW MUCH: Your first trial costs $30, while each subsequent personal training session starts from $50.
Up in the Air
Having both feet on the ground can sometimes be boring. Learn cool tricks with these aerial workouts ‘up in the air’ style. You’ll get to tone up and build core strength while you’re at it.
WHERE: Simply Yoga, #03-23/24/25 Katong V, 30 East Coast Road, tel: 6348-6828, www.simplyyoga.sg
WHAT: Learn how to perform acrobatic tricks on the trapeze, lyra (hoop) and silks at Simply Yoga’s Aerial Foundation course for beginners. It’s an excellent workout that targets your core and upper body, and builds body coordination.
HOW MUCH: $220 for an eight-week course, comprising one 75-minute session each week.
WHERE: Pole Dance Academy Singapore, 5A/6A Craig Road, tel: 6225-8268, www.poledanceacademy.com.sg
WHAT: This body-toning, calorie-torching workout has been gaining traction of late. Pole Dance Academy Singapore offers a range of Pole Syllabus classes: Beginner, Elementary, Intermediate, High Intermediate and Pre-Advanced 1. Each level focuses on strength and flexibility conditioning, as well as climbing and spinning techniques. You can further hone your skills at non-level classes such as En Pointe and Sexy Hip Hop.
HOW MUCH: A drop-in Pole Syllabus class costs $30 while an eight-week course is priced at $230.
WHERE: Platinum Yoga, #13-09 Parkway Centre, 1 Marine Parade Central, tel: 6348-0809, www.platinumyoga.com
WHAT: Yoga moves are executed in midair with the help of hammocks – great for those with chronic back issues, as it aids in decompressing the spine. It is also a total-body workout that increases your strength and flexibility. Get your aerial fix at Platinum Yoga, which recently started offering various classes like PY Aerial Yoga Basic, PY Aerial Yoga Level 2, PY Aerial Meditation and PY Aerial Stretch.
HOW MUCH: Each drop-in class costs $35, while membership packages range from $96 to $146 a month. Prices stated are subject to GST.
WHERE: Virgin Active, Level 6 Tower 2 One Raffles Place, tel: 6908-7878, www.virginactive.com.sg
WHAT: Like aerial yoga, aerial Pilates is a form of suspension training that is carried out above ground with hammocks, thereby reducing joint compression. At Virgin Active’s new AGY-Pilates classes, you’ll get to try moves that you ordinarily wouldn’t be able to with standard Pilates equipment, and also hold challenging poses for longer periods of time.
HOW MUCH: $39.50 a week for a 12-month gym membership, with an additional $99 activation fee.
By Delle Chan, Simply Her, April 2015