The lowdown: Having a GuavaPass means that I get to choose from a buffet of classes offered at various gyms and studios across Singapore. This time around, I made my way to a little studio in the quaint neighbourhood of Bugis to check out another GuavaPass-partnered studio, Fitness Bravo.
Not knowing what to expect, I was greeted by a couple of impressively muscular guys who run the boutique studio for personal training and high intensity interval training (HIIT) group classes. HIIT has been a huge buzzword for the latest training method to burn more fat, improve endurance, and build strength. Research has shown that HIIT sessions burn adipose tissue more effectively than low-intensity exercise. It has also been shown to speed up your metabolism, which helps you burn more calories throughout the day.
What I loved about the class: The objective of the class is focused on the intensity and the intervals, so generally there won't be a vast array of exercises that one will do in the workout. There was only a handful of us in the HIIT class and we were separated into pairs. The hour was split into three major exercises with five-minute high intensity routines and 90-second rest periods between rounds. We went through three rounds of each exercise. The pressure of finishing each exercise and having enough time to rest meant this was already an uphill battle. The exercises we had to do that day included 50 reps of a flat-stomach starting position to an upright sitting position while throwing a medicine ball to your partner; 50 reps of 8kg kettle bell squats; and lastly, pushing a 30kg sled across 30 metres.
I felt like I was training for an MMA match. Even during the rest periods, I was fully aware of my rapidly palpitating heart. It was barely an hour but I had never felt more exhausted. A recovery drink was kindly provided by the studio after the session and my hands were visibly shaking while I tried to pour the contents into my glass. The session had turned my strong legs into the consistency of hospital jello. Needless to say, I finally made it down the Stairs of Death with moans that could rival a school of orca whales. The next morning, I could barely move. Each and every movement required just too much effort.
It's great for: Those who need a wake-up call to get off their butts and break a real sweat. The intensity of the class is a killer, but the results and the aches prove that it's effective. Sweating buckets and increasing your heart rate at intervals means you can get your pre-CNY body after all those damning containers of pineapple tarts you ate.
Anyone that is motivated by the guilt of their gluttony will also feel much better with this "I-almost-died-workout". Strangely enough, I'm itching to return for another session of torture. It's starting to feel like one of those abusive relationships, where you justify the pain for all the gain. But in this case, the pain is certainly worth it!
Name of session: HIIT Group Class
Try it out here: Fitness Bravo
Duration of session: 60 minutes
What to expect: A dynamic circuit of movements and weights that pushes your workout to the next level. Bring a towel, you're really going to sweat.
Difficulty: 3/5. The exercises are tailored to match your fitness level.
About Sarah Lian
Sarah Lian is a fitness enthusiast who works out as much as she can to compensate for her appetite during the durian harvest. During the 10 month off-season, she believes in releasing endorphins with an active lifestyle and inspires others to do the same with the help of a GuavaPass membership. You can follow her journey on her Instagram (@imSarahLian) and her other day job on www.sarahlian.com.