Want to get into pro-level basketball shape, or keep this year's resolutions of getting lean? Then these two year-long 45-day programs at Focus Athletics in Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati will kick-start you into becoming stronger.
Train Like a Pro
At Focus Athletics, do not be surprised if you often bump into college and pro athletes -- basketball players, golfers, football players, and other sports personalities visit the gym for one-on-one performance training and physiotherapy (rehabilitation); celebrities also choose this fitness center for their specially designed training to keep fit for their many projects. Focus Athletics stands out among many fitness centers in Manila as it is also a sports-specific training facility. This can be a bit intimidating, especially for a fitness novice or someone who doesn't consider himself 'sporty,' but their tagline of Train like a pro should be enough motivation to try the facilities and progams yourself. "That's the end goal, really," Founder and Managing Director Paolo Cabalfin, says, "to have you and a professional athlete training side by side on the same level, and there's no discrepancies in the actual training." Soon enough, if you stick your program, you'll be doing exactly the same program as the professionals do, at the same level.
To encourage even more first-timers and everyday people (read: not sporty and/or gym rats) to get into fitness the Focus way, they have rolled out two new training programs: Lean45 for women, and Hoop45 for men. Goal-specific, with quick sessions, and a cycle that allows you to workout thrice a week, these entry-level group classes are well curated, with trained coaches guiding you and your classmates thoughout each session. Lean45 and Hoop45 also are the only year-round performance training programs in the country. Both programs run for 18 sessions for 45 days, with a duration of 45 minutes per session. The programs (offered to clients ages 12 years old and above) run in blocks, with options of morning or evening sessions. They are offered year-long, with clients advancing into different levels after their first 18 sessions.
Lean45: Strong and Injury Free
"Lean45 is designed for three things: to drop body fat, drop body weight, and increase overall strength performance," explains Coach Paolo. "The program is designed to really be more entry-level, a bit more pedestrian. A lot of people were intimidated by the programs we had, so we wanted to show that, hey, anybody can do this. Anybody can come in, feel great, look great, perform well." He further explains that during research and development for this specific program, in only 45 days one can drop as much as 6% body fat and 12.6 overall inches.
Now that the metro is teeming with so many fitness centers and classes that have many kinds of exercise options, Focus Athletics has an edge by being the choice of actual pro athletes when it comes to training; this is because they focus on injury prevention, too. "The first thing that we always worry about here at Focus Athletics is injury prevention. So, re-educating our client on how to prevent injury, even when they're off-premise. So that's the whole thing; the more education, to teach them how to move, the better the program runs for you guys," Coach Paolo expounds.
Aside from safety with fitness programs, especially on handling equipment, weights, and performing exercises (I learned through the program that there is a proper, more efficient way to jump and stretch), most women worry that exercising--lifting weights, more specifically--will make them bulk up and be 'macho.' "That's a fallacy," the coach assures, "the program is really designed for you to lean out. Of course you'll build muscle, but it's just lean muscle. We want you to drop the body fat, we want you to drop that weight, and get that lean muscle." Our Lean45 coach, Mia, reassured us of that as well, and as we progressed through the program, we noticed that we were getting stonger, tiring less, and moving quicker.
"From watching you guys, and after about two and a half years of R&D, definitely, again, you definitely move a lot better. You'll look great, you'll drop that weight and body fat, overall inches." Coach Paolo shares. "Not only will you look great, you'll feel great also. A lot of people are talking about how they've never woken up early in the morning before, but now they're so used to it and the whole day is so productive. So that's the sort of environment that we want to provide for our clients for Lean45."
Hoop45: Own the Court
For those who want to get into pro-level basketball shape, Hoop45 is the only year round basketball and performance training program in the country. "It's a 45 day program that we've designed as a more pedestrian entry-level basketball program to cater to anybody out there who plays basketball on any level -- whether it be collegiate, high school, any level," says Coach Paolo. "The Hoop45 program is perfect because it really boosts your confidence. After you train like this, you feel like you can do anything out on the basketball court."
If for Lean45, the goal is to be stronger and lean out, dropping body fat and weight, with Hoop45, you will be able to jump higher (up to 8.5 inches gain on your vertical leap in the first 18 sessions), move better (huge gains in speed and mobility), and power up your strength. Translating all these into a basketball game, you will own the court.
Coach Paolo explains that Hoop45 is really inspired by the love of the game. "How the training really affects the people who are actually playing," he shares. He is also inspired by testimonials of people who come up to him and share how greatly they've progressed thanks to the program. "It's all these stories, these testimonials that really inspire us, the coaches here at Focus Athletics, to develop programs for you guys to really maximize your training."
What exactly is the logic behind 45? Backed up by two years of research and development, Focus Athletics discovered that 45 days is the basic minimum to master your body weight. Usually an athlete with a one-on-one training works with longer and slower modules, but at Hoop 45, they try to encompass everything into a condensed workout. For example, the first sessions were focused on loading on resistance, and avoiding energy leaks (wasted movement). This is so that when they actually go to the basketball court, the training is translated well, as movement will be quick and precise, all movements with purpose--this also leads to injury prevention.
The Hoop45 sessions coincide with the Lean45 ones, so while we women work on our exercises, we see on every visit how different (and intense) the men are working on strength training, cardio, and footwork. And like our sessions, every Hoop45 class is always different, waking up different muscles in the body. "The Hoop45 program is perfect because it really boosts your confidence," says Enzo Marcos, a commercial director who is part of BuhayBasket.com, an online community of Filipino artists and entrepreneurs who are passionate about basketball. It was also his first time to enroll in a basketball-specific performance training, and encourages all other basketball addicts to try it out. "After you train like this, you feel like you can do anything out on the basketball court," he shares.
With pro basketball players as ambassadors of Focus Athletics (some of which you will probably see working out when you visit the gym), it's assuring to know that you're being trained like a pro by coaches who really train pros. And eventually, become strong like one.
Lean45 and Hoop45 Training System are both priced at P10,000 for 18 sessions, at P555 per session. Both programs have classes at 7am and 7pm. The next cycle of Hoop45 and Lean45 begins at February 20, 2015. Both programs will run year-long.
Focus Athletics is located at 2259 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City. Call 817-4599 for inquiries and to schedule a free trial. Visit www.focusathletics.com.ph for more information, like them on Facebook (/FocusAthleticsPro), and Follow on Instagram (@focusathleticspro) and Twitter (@focusathletics8).
Additional images courtesy of PJ Esto.