Fitness review: Pulse at Virgin Active
Strictly come dancing
The lowdown: The lights get low, the glow sticks get lit and in a corner, one of the trainers has just put on his Afro wig. Yes, your Pulse powered by Clubbercise class is about to start. One of the recent fitness trends to hit the UK last year, it's finally made its way to Singapore by way of Virgin Active, who employs three instructors per class to get you revved up. Each take their turn on a slightly raised stage to go through warm up, low and high impact and cool-down sequences. The playlist packs a punch with throwback pop, r&b and hiphop tunes such as House of Pain's Jump Around to get you moving.
The dance moves are pretty easy to follow — think: Lunges, fist pumps, squats, four-step footwork and booty and chest-popping. You get to dance like everybody's watching of course — in front of a mirror — but the low lights mean your self-consciousness can take a break. Our tip? Set your glow sticks to a static colour — the flashing lights can strain your eyes.
What I loved about the class: It doesn't feel like you're exercising. No, it's not to say that you don't feel the stretch or burn of your muscles (trust me, those repeated lunges and squats do add up), but you get to work up a sweat without even realising it. It's just so darned fun, and you experience heart-healthy benefits after one session. You're more relaxed and your flexibility, balance and stamina have improved. We already know that dancing's a great way to shed calories (about 500 per session depending on how hard you go), but dancing while waving your glow sticks about means your arms aren't neglected too.
It's great for: People who wish to switch up their resistance training. Give those exercise machines a rest, and get in touch with your inner free spirit. The class is also great for evenings after work, and that in-between slot between the office and the bar. Or nightclub — an instant mood-booster is just what you need prior to a night out. What's great about Virgin Active's facilities is that they've sorted all your post-workout woes: Their Relax and Recovery Zone is one of the finest in Singapore, with footbaths, ice and steam rooms, citrus-scented showers, a Himalayan Salt Inhalation room. They even have sleeping pods for some R&R.
Name of session: Pulse
Try it out here: Virgin Active
Duration of session: 45 minutes
What to expect: Low to medium impact hiphop, aerobics and disco dance sequences in a dark room, with each participant holding a glow stick in each hand