Beyond Step Aerobics: 10 Must-Take Summer Fitness Classes

From aqua training to death-defying dives, SPOT.ph features 10 of the hottest gym classes in Manila that'll whip your body into shape this summer.

It's never too late to get that body in shape this beach season. SPOT.ph hit some of Manila's hippest gyms to try out some of their summer classes. With workouts ranging from yoga to fast-paced martial arts, and swimming to core board basics, we list down 10 of the hottest classes that   suit any discriminating gym buff and beginner.

  

1. Skydiving

For any fitness buff who doubles as a daredevil, this is one gym class you shouldn't miss. As part of Planet Infinity's Adventure Fitness division, this class provides both the adrenaline rush and balanced workout matched with skydiving know-how needed for the said feat. The classes are divided into eight sessions spread out in a one-month period. Four sessions are dedicated to physical conditioning which can be scheduled depending on preference, while the remaining four are solely for ground training and maneuver exercises that will be used for the actual dive.

At the end of the training period, students are taken to Clark, Pampanga where they'll get to experience an instructor assisted jump (IAJ). This means that students will jump solo and will be guided by their instructors via radio as they parachute down the target zone. The jump will be supervised by Jump Master Dionardo Carlos.

This class will only be offered until the end of May 2010 due to predicted air and weather changes. Classes and sign-ups are on-going.

Target body parts: Lower back (primary), arms and legs (secondary)
Difficulty level for beginners: Medium

Pro: With only five students per class, the sessions are focused.
Con: This might not be the best class for people who are afraid of heights.

Rate: P11,500.00 (inclusive of training, equipment, airlift, jump, and certificate)
Exclusivity: Offered to both members and non-members
Free trial class for non-members? No

CURRENTLY OFFERED IN:

Gym: Planet Infinity
Address: 4F, Crossroad 77, Mother Ignacia Ave. Cor. Sct. Reyes St., QC
Number: 376-6919


2. Filipino Martial Arts (FMA)

Planet Infinity offers the only integrated Filipino Martial Arts class modified to count as a serious workout regimen. Not only will the students get a full-body workout, they're also taught self-defense using their bare hands and Arnis sticks, plus the disciplines, culture and history, and principles that come with Filipino Martial Arts. There are two styles you can choose from: Lightning Scientific Arnis, a defensive style which uses a lot of outward movement, and Lapunti Arnis de Abanico, a snappier style with movements that are more intrusive and offensive.

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The two-hour sessions are concentrated, with one guru focused on a class of twenty or less. The workout is held at the gym's open grounds, a matted space where students have ample space to flex, perform a wide range of movements with their sticks, and spar.

The sessions are divided into three parts. The first is a warm up composed of several drills involving stretches and crunches to activate the muscles. The second is the lesson proper where the guru teaches the class a series of independent moves which can be performed in one fluid motion. By this time, the guru will correct form and explain the rationale behind the movements. The last part is one-on-one sparring, where students get to practice their moves against their fellow students or the guru himself. As intimidating and tiring as it may sound, the class is actually both informative and very enjoyable.

Filipino Martial Arts

Target body parts: Whole body
Difficulty level for beginners: Medium (depends on level of discipline)

Pro: If you have a special need or questions about a particular scenario (e.g. how to protect yourself from robbers), the guru can modify the class to accommodate your request.
Con: The official uniform will cost you an extra P1,200.00 (but it's good quality)

Rate: P1,500.00 per month (inclusive of 4 sessions and sticks)
Exclusivity: Offered to both members and non-members
Free trial class for non-members? Yes**

CURRENTLY OFFERED IN:

Gym: Planet Infinity
Address: 4F, Crossroad 77, Mother Ignacia Ave. Cor. Sct. Reyes St., QC
Number: 376-6919

  


3. Triathlon

This is the ultimate endurance and weight-training class for those serious enough to push themselves to the limit. The class provides the complete multi-discipline training for all three events in a triathlon: swimming, cycling, and biking. The 3-month program is divided into 2 to 3-hours regular sessions held at a minimum of 3 times per week.

The brunt of the classes is focused on weight-training, aimed to make the muscles and ligaments last longer in high-endurance situations. Strength and metabolic conditioning will be done inside the gym: swimming at the indoor lap pool, cycling at the spinning class studio, and running at the treadmills. During season phase of the training, classes will be held outdoors for actual practice.

Beginners don't need to worry since participants will be divided into beginner and advanced groups that will be given different regimens. With 6 to 15 students per class, sessions are more focused. Classes will be formally launched at the end of April.

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Target body parts: Core (primary), lower extremities (secondary), upper body (last)
Difficulty level for beginners: Difficult

Pro: The scheduled heavy training regimen is provides a balanced full-body workout.
Con: The intense workout regimen might cause much discomfort to beginners.

Rate: P8,500 per month (inclusive 1 month use of gym facilities, body composition assessment, technical skill development and nutritional programs, life coaching, and certificate)
Exclusivity: Offered to both members and non-members
Free trial class for non-members? No

CURRENTLY OFFERED IN:

Gym: Planet Infinity
Address: 4F, Crossroad 77, Mother Ignacia Ave. Cor. Sct. Reyes St., QC
Number: 376-6919


4. Adidas Running Drills

Adidas' adiNation together with Planet Infinity teamed up to design this class geared for the serious runner. Unlike other running classes offered elsewhere, this group exercise class is focused on the science behind the sport rather than endurance training. Surprisingly, there is no actual running involved in the one-hour sessions.

The class is separated into two major parts. Instead of the normal static stretching which tends to relax the muscles, the session starts off with intense activation drills which aim to jumpstart the muscles in preparation for the core running drills. The class was designed in such a way that the act of running is broken down into smaller segments so runners can specifically train the keys part of the legs and feet. These drills aim to improve running posture and balance for increased agility and injury-prevention.

Planet Infinity: Adidas Running Drills

Target body parts: Legs (primary focus on the muscles around the tibia)
Difficulty level for beginners: Medium

Pro: Hardcore runners can pick up vital techniques they can use in actual races.
Con: The studio tends to get cramped when there are more than ten students taking the class.

Special note: Members can sign up with adiNation to get discounts on selected Adidas items.

Rate: Included in membership package*
Exclusivity: Offered to Planet Infinity members only
Free trial class for non-members? Yes**

CURRENTLY OFFERED IN:

Gym: Planet Infinity
Address: 4F, Crossroad 77, Mother Ignacia Ave. Cor. Sct. Reyes St., QC
Number: 376-6919

  


5. Extreme Strength

As part of Gold's Gym's Extreme Series, Extreme Strength pushes its students to the limit as they get to discover their own strength with nothing but their own body weight and a mat in only 30 minutes. The class, usually comprised of 10-20 students, is made to perform dynamic movements which integrate both basic body weight exercises such as push ups, crunches, and lunges, with rotations. These exercises not only increase students' strength but also their range of mobility.

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Beginners will definitely feel sore after their first try, but they can inform their instructors in advance so that they can be given a lighter regimen. On the other hand, advanced students are constantly challenged by variations of steps and addition of equipment like core boards and fitness balls.

Gold's Gym: Extreme Strength

Target body parts: Whole body
Difficulty level for beginners:
Moderately difficult

Pro: The instructors modify the class to accommodate both beginners and advanced students simultaneously.
Con:
Beginners with very low endurance will struggle to complete the class at first.

Rate: Included in the membership package*
Exclusivity:
Offered to Gold's Gym members only
Free trial class for non-members? Yes**

CURRENTLY OFFERED IN:

Gym: Gold's Gym Alabang
Address: 3/F BMW Building, Commerce Ave., Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa
Number: 772-4986

Gym: Gold's Gym Wilson
Address: Wilson st., Greenhills, San Juan
Number: 386-6911

Gym: Gold's Gym Robinsons Galleria
Address: 2/F East Wing, Robinsons Galleria, EDSA cor. Ortigas Ave., Pasig
Number: 634-0908


6. Extreme on Core

The body's core (back, pelvis, hips, and abdominal muscles) is the primary focus of this 30-minute workout. Students use the Reebok Core Board, a lightweight tool which forces them to shift their weight for balance. The sessions are composed of a series of lunges and lifts both in standing and lying positions. These exercises help improve the body's functional strength and movement.

Gold's Gym: Extreme on Core

Target body parts: Core (primary), arms and legs (secondary)
Difficulty level for beginners: Moderately difficult

Pro: The core board provides a break from the typical mat class by introducing the element of stability.
Con: People with no sense of balance will have a tricky time adjusting to the core board.

Rate: Included in the membership package*
Exclusivity: Offered to Gold's Gym members only
Free trial class for non-members? Yes**

CURRENTLY OFFERED IN:

Gym: Gold's Gym Alabang
Address: 3/F BMW Building, Commerce Ave., Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa
Number: 772-4986

Gym: Gold's Gym Glorietta
Address: 2/F Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Makati
Number: 752-8081 to 82

Gym: Gold's Gym Robinsons Galleria
Address: 2/F East Wing, Robinsons Galleria, EDSA cor. Ortigas Ave., Pasig
Number: 634-0908



7. Extreme Soul

For yoga and Pilates buffs, Gold's Gym's Extreme Series offers Extreme Soul, a 30-minute class that fuses both disciplines with a little bit of Tai Chi. Sessions start off with some stretching and low impact yoga poses, followed by a non-stop hybrid routine designed to improve one's flexibility, strength and balance, as well as develop one's focus. Unlike strenuous cardio workouts, the class is less frantic, yet students will still be able to feel the force and stretch on their upper and lower body.

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Target body parts: Legs (primary), upper and lower body (secondary)
Difficulty level for beginners: Medium

Pro: Fans of yoga and Pilates will find this hybrid class a welcome change in their usual routine, with steps that are familiar and can easily be memorized.
Con: Beginners might find the yoga and Pilates poses complicated.

Rate: Included in the membership package*
Exclusivity: Offered to Gold's Gym members only
Free trial class for non-members? Yes**

CURRENTLY OFFERED IN:

Gym: Gold's Gym Wilson
Address: Wilson st., Greenhills, San Juan
Number: 386-6911

  

8. Definitions

If you're gunning for that chiseled physique, this might be the class for you. As its name overtly states, Definitions aims to define, tone, and sculpt the body in lieu of heavy gym machinery. It makes use of the basic stability ball, dumbbells, step, and sliding discs–all lightweight equipment perfect for high repetition routines.

The one-hour sessions start off with a warm-up followed by a succession of aerobic and resistance drills which are designed to define and contour the physique. By simultaneously doing multi-jointed movements such as bicep curls with knee lifts, the core is forced to stabilize and is thus strengthened.

Gold's Gym: Definitions

Target body parts: Core muscles
Difficulty level for beginners: Moderately difficult

Pro: You can always request a modification in the class to fit your level.
Con: Beginners with weak coordination skills might find the routines very challenging.

Rate: Included in the membership package*
Exclusivity: Offered to Gold's Gym members only
Free trial class for non-members? Yes**

CURRENTLY OFFERED IN:

Gym: Gold's Gym Glorietta
Address: 2/F Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Makati
Number: 752-8081 to 82



9. Body Vive

Stepping into a Body Vive class is like being at a party. In the middle of its "mix and match" season this summer, this one hour session injects fun into an all-out workout using the Vive ball and Vive tube. The ball is for core exercises that strengthens the torso while the multi-functional tube is used for resistance training that tones the muscles and improves posture and balance.

Classes start off with a simple-enough aerobic routine to pump up the heart and burn calories. This is followed by functional strength training using the tube, and then ended by a set of slow stretching and mobility exercises on the floor. Short breaks are sandwiched in between these segments where the instructor can insert a bit of light yoga and breathing.

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Fitness First: Body Vive

Target body parts: Whole body (core muscles, arms, legs, hips and buns)
Difficulty level for beginners: Medium

Pro: The lively atmosphere and hip music make it feel like a fun dance class.
Con: Beginners with slow coordination might find the routines a bit challenging to follow.

Rate: Included in the membership package*
Exclusivity: Offered to Fitness First members only
Free trial class for non-members? Yes**

CURRENTLY OFFERED IN:

Gym: Fitness First Fort Bonifacio
Address:
The Fort Strip, Katipunan Drive, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Number: 819-0000

Gym: Fitness First Mall of Asia
Address:
G/F One E-Com Center, Ocean Drive cor. Sunset Ave., SM Central Business Park, Pasay
Number:
556-8000

Gym: Fitness First Megamall
Address:
4/F Bldg. A, SM Megamall Edsa, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong
Number:
910-8000

Gym: Fitness First Platinum Club TriNoma
Address:
3/F TriNoma, EDSA cor. North Ave., QC
Number:
916-0000

Gym: Fitness First RCBC
Address:
3/F RCBC Plaza Tower 2, Ayala Ave cor Sen. Gil Puyat Ave, Makati
Number:
845-3480

Gym: Fitness First Southmall
Address:
3/F SM Southmall, Alabang Zapote Road, Las Pinas
Number:
848-0000

  

10. Aqua Aerobics

Being one of the very few gyms with an indoor swimming pool, Fitness First Platinum at the RCBC offers this thrice-weekly regimen which promises a low-impact yet high-energy workout. This means that the sessions give you the same results you'd get from a studio aerobics class minus the excessive pounding that can strain both the muscles and joints. The novelty of this class is that it makes use of the whole pool area giving its students a complete cardio and toning workout.

The classes are divided into three parts: warm-up, workout, and cool-down. The warm up starts with laps in the gym's 22 sqm pool. The depth is a level 4 feet to suit majority of the students. The students then follow drills which make use of dumbbells and foam noodles. The dumbbells serve as weight outside the pool while the noodles provide the much needed water resistance to exercise and tone all the angles of the body.

Target body parts: Whole body (with special focus on the abdominal muscles)
Difficulty level for beginners: Medium

Pro: The class is inclusive of amenities such as towels, soap, deodorant, powder, and hairspray.
Con: Those who aren't comfortable in a pool might find it a little difficult to move in the water.

Special Note: Pregnant women, people suffering from scoliosis, and those needing physical therapy can take a modified version of the class just as long as they inform the management of their condition beforehand.

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Rate: Included in the membership package*
Exclusivity: Offered to Fitness First Platinum members only
Free trial class for non-members? Yes**

CURRENTLY OFFERED IN:

Gym: Fitness First RCBC
Address: 3/F RCBC Plaza Tower 2, Ayala Ave cor Sen. Gil Puyat Ave, Makati
Number: 845-3480


*People can inquire about the different membership rates at the respective gyms.
**Non-members can schedule walk-ins and trials by calling the gyms in advance.

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