Girls, summer is upon us and you know what that means… That’s right, a mad scramble to hit the gym, get over the mid-year slump and get the heart pumping again. With that in mind, we jumped at the chance to experience a week long trial of group classes at Ultimate Performance, and boy, did it kick our butts into gear!
The best part of the group classes at UP is that you don’t need to worry about having different ability levels. The class sizes are purposely kept small so that the trainers can give you the personal attention you need (and deserve!). The three of us come from very different fitness backgrounds, so all had quite different experiences – read on to find out what we loved best during the week…
Full disclosure – I’m not exactly unfamiliar with UP, as I’ve just started training there again with my awesome PT, Isabel. You’d think I wouldn’t be so nervous for the group classes… I mean, how bad could it be compared to the intense one-on-one sessions?
Before the workout we had a run down of the exercises we were doing and a demo on technique and scalable alternatives if we needed them (super important if you don’t want to hurt yourself). This isn’t one of those large group classes where you can get lost in the crowd and slack off. It’s small, intimate and the trainers have their eye on you at all times, so good luck trying to cheat your way out of burpees (I tried and failed). On the bright side, at least you’re not in it alone…
Seriously though, all the trainers were enthusiastic and encouraging. Even when I wanted give up, they were there pushing us to do that extra rep and to keep with it (especially when it came to that damned prowler!). It was probably one of the most intense group workouts I’ve ever done. It was a fast and high intensity workout where I just couldn’t seem to catch my breath – I definitely felt the burn (for about a week). It’s tough, but worth it if you’re goal is to get your sweat on and take the fat off! I must have liked it because I’ve already purchased a package… I can’t get enough apparently!
To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when I was asked to join the week long trial at UP. For someone who had basically no prior experience in any intensive fitness classes, I was quite curious to see what it was going to be like. I mistakenly assumed that it would be like it was in the Netherlands, where you can work out on your own but with some added supervision… but oh man, I was so wrong.
Initially, my body was in deep shock because I hadn’t worked out in a few months (I felt like I was dying after Monday’s session!) and I didn’t really want to go back… but don’t be discouraged, girls! My body slowly got used to the exercise and the next two sessions were much better. My favourite part was the emphasis on stretching and cooling down to soothe those aching muscles – it really saved my life! And while I had no idea what I was doing initially, our trainers showed me the correct form before we began and made sure to make adjustments. I’m especially glad I went with the girls since they were a huge support to me during the class – definitely one of the best parts of a group workout.
UP will push you to your limits (and beyond) and trust me, they don’t go easy on you, but I really appreciated how considerate our trainers were towards our fitness levels. They made the appropriate adjustements to ensure that we got the best out of every workout. You may be bruised, sore and more drenched in sweat than you’ve ever been, but it will all be totally worth it in the end!
I’ll confess, I’m a total fitness freak – I love trying any and all workouts, be it individual programmes like Couch 2 5K (make me a runner, please!) or big group classes. Thus, I can safely say that my experience at UP left me feeling the most satisfied I had felt with a small group class to date! I mean, I was hating myself the whole time I was doing burpees (also tried to fake my way out of it… didn’t work) or I was on the prowler – I can promise you we won’t be forgetting that track any time soon – but after every session when I sat down to enjoy my protein shake, I just felt so good!
One of the things I loved the most was the structure of the session – because we switched the exercises every 45 seconds, I never felt bored with the workout and it (quite literally) kept me on my toes. It was also more motivating for me to give it my all for 45 second bursts – it’s all about tricking the mind people! And on the motivation note, major props to all three of our awesome trainers for really pushing us (and I mean really) and making sure we didn’t slack off, which is my biggest problem when I work out.
The intensity level of all the sessions was pretty darn high, but definitely made me feel like I had achieved something great. That feeling was enough to keep me coming back for more. I absolutely loved all three sessions and hope to go back again soon!
So there you have it, three different people but one overall verdict – we loved it! Despite the sweat, the sore muscles and the internal cursing of the track, we pulled through the week with our heads held high. Sassy Girls are big fans of Ultimate Performance now and we’re just a little bit less afraid of intense group classes.
If you’re looking to dip your toes into the world of fitness, be sure to give the group classes at Ultimate Performance a try. And if you do, make sure you share the experience with us!
Ultimate Performance, 127 Des Voeux Rd Central, Central, Hong Kong, Tel: 2798 9000, www.upfitness.com.hk