It took me 27 years to realise that fit is better than thin and strong is better than skinny. A side effect of falling in love with fitness has been an accumulation of gym memberships, similar to a shopaholic’s shoe collection. I basically stopped boozing and smoking and put the money I saved towards memberships to fitness studios and gyms in Hong Kong just so I couldn’t revert to my old ways. I use all of them, but the one place that I can’t get enough of is Epic MMA because of the variety of classes and top-notch instructors.
I can use the gym equipment, take a class or have a PT session on different days depending on my mood in a fun and friendly environment. The gym is clean, the staff is exceptional and the music is really good. But what really sets Epic MMA apart is the trainers. They’re highly qualified, many of them are champions in their field and they make training fun, challenging and efficient.
The mixed martial arts gym covers 15,000 square feet and is conveniently located right beside Central MTR station on Queen’s Road Central, so you can get there by foot or train wherever you live… no excuses! They offer a number of different subscriptions including class packages, gym equipment membership, personal training packages and a combination of all three. The ratio of women to men is 50/50 and everyone is nice, friendly and professional. For more info on all of the instructors’ qualifications click here. They only hire the best – check out our full review here.
I’ve tried CrossFit, Muay Thai, Boxing, Yoga, AntiGravity Aerial Yoga, Aerial Pilates, Strongman Training, Strength and Movement and Circuits, and love them all. The only thing I haven’t tried is BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) but I’m building up my confidence to try it… fancy a grapple anyone?! Sassy is all about tried and tested recommendations so without further ado here’s some info on my favourite classes that I think other Sassy Girls will enjoy!
Yoga with Dee
Dee teaches yoga three times a week and you won’t want to miss her classes that leave you feeling energised and stress-free. Her practical teaching method makes yoga accessible to all students whether you’re just learning downward dog for the first time or are an expert at eagle. Her morning classes are my favourite!
Muay Thai with Mostafa, Ton and Tum
Referred to as the ‘Art of Eight Limbs’ this class incorporates punches, kicks and elbow and knee strikes to knock your punching bag into kingdom come. Don’t worry if you don’t know your right hook from your left elbow. I punch like a 100 year old granny and kick like a one-legged ostrich and have zero co-ordination and I adore this class. The sixty minutes go by in mere moments thanks to a fun combination of circuits including working with partners, punching bags and doing core exercises. Mostafa (or Mosi for short) has the patience of a saint despite being an IFMA World Muay Thai Champion. The class is easy to follow, lots of fun and suitable for all levels… including granny punchers and ostrich kickers! All equipment is provided for you including sterilised gloves.
Strength and Movement with Darrel
Capetown-native Darrel is a certified strength coach, Agatsu kettlebell coach and a personal trainer. He’s also a holistic lifestyle coach and yoga teacher, which gives him a depth of understanding that I haven’t experienced before. If you’ve always wanted to do the splits or a handstand then this is the class for you. Darrel focuses on strength training, posture, flexibility and technique in this class that will leave you feeling toned and strong. I noticed a difference after four sessions. His attention to detail, yoga knowledge and patience are extremely motivating and it’s easy to improve with his useful advice. Don’t worry if you’ve never lifted a weight or done strength training in your life. I was the ultimate weakling and couldn’t complete a set during my first session and now love it.
CrossFit with Alberto
CrossFit incorporates high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics and body-weight exercises and promises fast results. The focus is on correct technique and Alberto constantly reminds me to engage my core and to stop cheating on wall climbs… which I do a lot! There’s always a fun group in the class and the CrossFit traditions of high-fiving and group hugs is evident but not in a cheesy way which I personally prefer. This class is great if you get bored easily because it’s constantly varied. As well as being a qualified CrossFit instructor, Albert has a black belt and has one multiple BJJ and Judo championships. Expect box jumps, deadlifts, burpees, squats, weights and a pretty sore body the morning after.
Boxing with Mostafa, Ton and Tum
Tum is one of the most decorated martial artists at Epic MMA and Ton has more than 100 professional fights under his belt. As I mentioned before, my punches don’t pack… well anything really… and Mosi, Tum and Ton are constantly improving my technique. They’re talented at training newbies and pros together in one class to such an extent that sparring in pairs is exciting and not scary. This is a fantastic way to banish any bingo wings or spare tires and I love the upper body workout it provides. Sixty minutes flies by and this is my favourite way to sweat it out at Epic.
Epic Circuits with Saso
Slovenian Saso is a kickboxing and taekwondo champion as well as a CrossFit trainer and personal trainer. His circuit classes feature constantly varied conditioning exercises that develop strength, endurance, flexibility and coordination. You don’t get much rest between each set and be prepared for some high-intensity cardio and weight lifting for a full body workout.
AntiGravity Aerial Yoga with Tamer
You may have gathered that I’m not very coordinated so when I went to my first AntiGravity Aerial Yoga I was worried I might end up stuck in the shape of a pretzel. Suspended in the swing it took me about twenty minutes to find my feet or lack thereof. Thankfully Tamer is a Master Instructor and this class is wonderful for both body and mind. For my first class I was a little bit distracted by making sure I didn’t fall out of the harness but after that it was smooth sailing. You can check out the full review of the class on Sassy here. Every class starts with a levitating meditation and ends with a floating sivasana and is perfect for strength training.
Personal Training Sessions
One-on-one training sessions are available for an additional cost and are worth it if you’re looking to get results fast. All of the trainers offer independent classes and are a lot of fun! If you want a very thorough ass-kicking complete with kettle-bells, squats, deadlifts, glute-bridge raises and lunges try a 60-minute session with Darrel. Your butt and your body will thank you when it’s time for bikini season. I see Darrel twice a week and look forward to every session in a terrifying way. I’ve also seen the other trainers in action and they definitely give you your money’s worth!
SPECIAL SASSY OFFER
If you like the sound of the classes at Epic MMA and want to try them out for yourself then take advantage of this special sassy offer. Sassy Girls who email [email protected] and quote Sassy in their email will get a complimentary one-week trial. Promotion expires on 20 April 2015 and is only available for first time customers, personal training sessions are not included in the free trial promotion.
Epic MMA, Hong Kong1/F China Building, 29 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, 2525 2833, www.epicmma.com