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We tried these workouts so you don’t have to

By GIAN NICDAO Published Dec 25, 2019 6:00 am

The holidays mean two things: good ‘ol Christmas spreads and the not-so-good ‘ol tita saying you’ve put on some weight.

It’s that time of year that you’re out and about, having parties left and right — work, college barkada reunion, Mom’s side, Dad’s side — and it’s understandable that you might look a bit more fluffy. Nothing wrong with that, really. But if you really want to shock that not-so-good ‘ol tita with a body transformation, we’ve got you covered.

Throughout 2019, we got to try different workouts beyond the confines of a gym. There are now more options other than the reliable gym or indoor cycling ones, and since we know it’s a bit scary to check ’em out without knowing anything, we came up with a (mostly) candid guide about the workouts we tried.

These workouts are perfect too for fast calorie burning a.k.a. time crunch until it’s time for the family reunion with said tita. Seriously, one of these can burn 600-800 calories in just 30 minutes. 

Aerial silk

While aerial silk isn’t new per se, it’s not something you think of for workouts. In fact, I thought it looked too easy. A minute in, I knew I was deeply wrong. Fresh from a Polecats Manila pole class, we walked over to their aerial silk studio: high ceilings, full-length mirrors, and maybe around six suspended pieces of fabric.

“Will I be able to recreate ‘Rewrite the Stars’?” I asked our instructor. She was amused, I think.

The first step is to make a knot out of the fabric, which is where I’d be standing on while doing the routine — this took me a long time, as someone whose only knot knowledge is made up of shoelaces. Then came the whole balancing part: I stepped on the knot with both feet and held on to dear life and the fabric.

Balance is key here, and a bit of upper-body strength as you’d have to pull yourself up (and sometimes, into a half-somersault) to do the moves. But fear not: after I got used to balancing above the ground, it’s got pretty and pretty zen. I’m not one for cardio, but if all the cardio workouts were like this aerial silk class, I would never skip it.

Special thanks to Polecats Manila, located at 22/F Strata 100 Bldg. F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

Parkour, pare

If Ninja Academy sounds familiar to you, it’s because it’s the OG Manila parkour/ free-running facility. I cannot, for the life of me, do parkour. I still can’t, actually, but I almost did during this Intro to Parkour workout.

We started off with an intense warm-up (they called it dynamic warmups) that got our arm and leg coordination going, plus a lot of jumping. You can say those dynamic warmups were already enough, which I half-jokingly told our coach, but we were just getting started.

Then came the basics of parkour, starting with jumping (think standing long jumps, but you have to hit marks) and landing properly. We moved to forward rolls, and then vaulting: jumping over an obstacle. Not gonna lie, we felt pretty badass at this point. And then came the obstacle course.

The obstacle course is the combination of all the basics. We had to run, pull ourselves up to a wall, jump to another wall, do a roll, pull ourselves up to another, much higher wall, run a narrow wall, and then push ourselves down said wall.

If I lost you already, just imagine we were either training to be a stunt double or getting away from the cops a la the Derek Ramsay MTRCB kamatis ad. It’s not an easy workout, especially if you’re not really active, but it’s as fun as it looks — maybe even more.

Check out Ninja Academy at 2/F Industria Mall, Circulo Verde, Calle Industria, Bagumbayan, Quezon City. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates. 

Just dance

My dancing days are far behind me. I used to do it a lot, and now I only dance when I play Just Dance or Dance Central. So when they told me I had to take a dance class, I begged off — at least when it’s Dance Central, it’ll be in the safety of my house.

But as luck (or lack of it?) would have it, our former editor Maine decided to celebrate her birthday in a dance studio. The Facebook event invite read Save the Date: Maine’s Birthday Gilingan. We even had a dress code. Things just got Real™.

Maine booked Nude Floor, one of the new dance studios in Makati. They offer several dance classes, from dancehall to vogueing, and there are advanced and beginner classes. I think most of the class aren’t dancers, so it was a miracle we all said yes to this birthday ganap.

After a warm-up, we were set to dance Rihanna’s Rude Boy and we were taught the choreography by sets of eight counts. Thank God it was a private class and our choreographer had great patience and sense of humor: we were all messing around (per our defense mechanism) while trying very hard to keep up.

All classes end in a recital of sorts, the class is divided into smaller groups and each one will have to do the routine. And as a testament to our instructor’s prowess, we all actually did a pretty good job. SB19, watch out.

Find Nude Floor at 3/F Ayala Malls Circuit Makati. Check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

Rise and shine

Remember when I said one of these workouts could burn 600 to 800 calories in just 30 minutes? This is the one.

Before Rise Nation opened to the public, they were offering free community classes and that’s why it slowly made the rounds on Instagram, with the usual indoor cycling crowd trading their bikes under strobe lights for climbing machines under strobe lights. So it’s indoor cycling crowd-approved, Hollywood celebrities-approved, and even LeBron James swears by it. I ought to give it a shot. 

It was intense. First off, you can’t sit down in these things. You’re constantly moving your arms and legs up and down on this climbing machine, a never-ending ladder set to EDM beats, because this isn’t like a treadmill: it won’t move unless you do. And if you hate cardio like I do, this is definitely high-intensity cardio.

But after a while, you do get the hang of it. Once you get the arm-leg coordination down — and once you stop worrying you’re gonna fall off — the workout feels satisfying. You do lose yourself in the beats and lights combo of it all. While it’s more challenging than most workouts, I do think it’s one of the best ones.

An added bonus is that it’s only 30 minutes, so you can just head straight into the family reunion and show off your post-workout glow stat. 

Rise Nation is located at the 2nd floor of the High Street South Corporate Plaza. Check out on Facebook and Instagram.