Aqua boxing at STILL: All you need to know about Singapore’s latest sweat party at Downtown Gallery's GuavaLabs
Punch it out
There's a revolutionary new fitness class in Singapore, and it's called aqua boxing. The sport is as you might envision — punching aqua bags in dim lighting conditions to strobe lights and lively music. Available at STILL, Asia's first aqua bag boxing studio at Downtown Gallery's GuavaLabs, an aqua boxing class is essentially a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class packing in a complete body workout with exhilarating vibes.
The best part of it all? The experiential events, called "The Gallery Experience", that Downtown Gallery organises regularly to engage us. We recently held our first Buro Sweat Party in collaboration with STILL, and we had a ball of a time. If you're looking for a fun after-work activity with your best mates, while burning calories, this is it. You might even have extra calories for your cheeseburger after.
Have more burning questions about aqua boxing? Emma Harris, vice-president of product marketing and strategy at GuavaPass, chats us through the concept of aqua boxing and the workout that's infiltrated New York and now, our little island-state of Singapore.
What exactly is aqua boxing and where does this fitness trend hail from?
At STILL, we teach aqua boxing, which is primarily high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and there's five parts to it. The beginning segment is the Stretch, where you're starting to warm up your body. Then you do Shadow Boxing, where you're learning the techniques without actually punching on the bags. Following that, you go into Strike, which is actual boxing on the bags, and then Strength, the HIIT component of the class with a lot of weights, squats, burpees and jump squats. Finally, there's Still, which comes at a point where you're so tired that you're literally still — almost like a Shavasana, where you're on the floor, cooling down, and bringing your heart rate down.
We noticed the trend really early on in New York. They have a studio there called Rumble, which Justin Bieber has invested in and that's given it a nice name. The Big Apple has fallen in love with it, and there's a lot of potential for it here in Singapore and across Asia.
Are people catching on to aqua boxing in Singapore?
Definitely. Boxing has been wildly popular since we started. Almost all of our classes are full with waitlists, so we've had the opportunity to add on more classes. We started to do lunch classes a couple of weeks ago, and we're going to start morning classes as well. With the demand, our focus right now is teacher training — we're looking for amazing teachers who can come in, incorporate the energy and have the ability to make people feel awesome with a great workout full of light and music.
"We noticed the [aqua boxing] trend really early on in New York. They have a studio there called Rumble, which Justin Bieber has invested in and that's given it a nice name. The Big Apple has fallen in love with it, and there's a lot of potential for it here in Singapore and across Asia."
What's the difference between the aqua bag and a sand bag?
The punches are actually better for you using an aqua bag because it's less of a hard punch. People have also said that it feels more like a human punch, like you're actually punching a person.
Is this class for everyone? If one hasn't exercised for a long time and looking to get back into it, can they still take part?
I'm not going to lie — the class is hard. I work out five days a week and I always have a tough time. I constantly feel challenged in the class. But the teachers are trained in such a way that you never push someone beyond their limits. You push someone to feel like they can always push themselves harder, but if someone's completely exhausted, you can stop. You can take breaks, like in a cycling class where one else really knows what your dial's on. You can be punching but no one knows if you're going your full effort. We're there to motivate you, but it's up to you how hard you're actually going.
We don't recommend the class to pregnant women in their second or third trimester, because of its intensity and involvement of exercises such as burpees and jump squats.
How many times a week should one attend an aqua boxing class? Are there other workouts we can complement with aqua boxing?
It's super fun, so try aqua boxing at least two to three times a week. I practise yoga on days that I'm not boxing — it's all you need to complement the high-intensity training.
How many calories can we burn from one class?
I don't have the exact figure and it's hard to say because everyone is different. But it'll be above 200 calories for sure!
Are group fitness classes going to continue to be an upward trend?
I believe so. First of all, personal training is expensive so only a small percentage of the population can actually afford to have a personal trainer, although it's very effective if you can. With group classes, it's great because you can be inspired by your peers and we see people all the time booking classes with their friends and coming to work out together. There's a reason why working out at home is hard for most people — motivating yourself is challenging.
Interested in trying a class at STILL? Your journey begins here.
STILL is located at Downtown Gallery, #B1-04/05/06