It’s a truth universally acknowledged throughout Hong Kong that we like to work hard and play hard. So for all the nights spent out eating and drinking, there are just as many spent in gyms, yoga studios and pounding our hiking trails trying to atone for our sins!
When I moved to Hong Kong, I was distraught as my tried and tested fitness classes simply didn’t exist here. I tried to replicate them with moderate success through reformer Pilates and TRX sessions but was over-the-moon ecstatic when we received a press release saying a new studio H-Kore was opening in Central, introducing the exact classes I was missing.
H-Kore, like the studio I attended in London, uses the Lagree Fitness technique. On a bespoke and specially designed machine (resembling a high tech sci-fi reformer) created by technique founder Sebastien Lagree, you take an intense 40-minute class. The class has foundations in reformer Pilates but takes it so much further. The workout is continuous and fast-paced with no gaps between exercises. All exercises try and use as many muscles as possible and are performed slowly to ensure muscle toning and lengthening. However, the pace of the class and nature of the exercises means that the class isn’t just toning, but also cardio and core building.
In summary, in the space of 40 minutes, you push your muscles to their limits, tone and elongate, get a cardio workout and burn up to 800 calories. Sounds easy? Well, in all honesty, it isn’t! It’s a tough class and meant to push you hard. The reformer style machine is misleading. This class is nothing like Pilates as you know it. Instead, you will work up a sweat, find muscles you never knew you had and most definitely experience some aches and pains the next day, in a good way of course!
To soften the intensity of the classes, the studio is an impressively designed space with an industrial feel of exposed bricks and quirky touches. The changing rooms are super trendy, with all toiletries and towels provided, and the chalkboard walls, motivational statements and floor-to-ceiling mirrors give it a funky vibe. Loud motivational music is pumped out during the class, which has a maximum of ten attendees. This keeps the atmosphere fun and communal but allows the instructor enough time to ensure everyone is OK and doing the exercises properly. The adjustable spring resistance allows the exercises to be tailored to different strengths, so don’t worry about being weaker than others!
I implore you, as a complete Lagree Fitness addict, to give these classes a try. They are an incredible way of toning, working out and building strength. Sebastien Lagree trained all the instructors here himself (he led my trial class and boy, does he know how to work you out hard!) and H-Kore has the license for this method in HK, meaning you wont be able to try it anywhere else.
H-Kore is expensive but if you do a trial class and like it, then their packages make it more affordable. And, in truth, the thoroughness of the workout means it would replace rather than supplement your existing routine, softening the financial blow. What’s more, they are sensitive to us working girls and will be bucking the trend of tai-tai timed classes – instead holding classes early in the morning before work, potentially from 6.30am onwards.
I recently organised a trial class for my friends and almost all of them ached the next day… But they also unanimously loved it, feeling it was one of the best and most effective workouts they’d done in a long while. Here’s hoping you’ll feel the same!
SASSY GIVEAWAY: H-Kore are giving away a one-on-one introductory session to the technique and a package of 25 classes worth over $8,000 – and everyone who enters will automatically receive a coupon for 20% off a package of 6 classes too. *This giveaway is now closed*
A single class at H-Kore costs $350, with discounts for packages of multiple sessions.
H-Kore, 3/F Wincome Centre, 39 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2441 9000