I wipe my sweat off my forehead, my breathing quick and shortened; the burning feeling on my cheeks scream to me that my face is all flushed and red from going over and over a series of lunges, jogging, trampoline jumps, free weights, and all the exercise my body could take. 'When will it end?!' my muscles cry out to me -- but I pushed myself more, knowing that it will be over soon.
"Okay, last station!"
Coach Charmie instructs me to lie down on the mat for the last 30 seconds of the workout. I pushed myself more, doing the hip thrusts to the beat of the music as if my life depended on it. Then 3, 2, 1... and my thirty minutes are over. I stand up and shake myself about, walking around the fitness center, knees wobbly, arms and legs sore. Then comes the realization that I survived my first time of circuit training, and even notched it up to Level 2. I gave myself a pat in the back -- well what do you know, I completed the circuit!
360° Fitness Club: Your Circuit to Fitness
I'm a certified lazybones when it comes to exercising, but when I feel my body crying out for some form of workout (thanks to eating), I don't ignore this plea and seek some sort of physical activity to make myself feel less heavy and more energized. Walking, jogging and dancing help, but it takes up more time to do so in order for me to feel more 'fit.' Enter 360° Fitness Club, a new circuit training center in Ortigas promising customers a fun, quick and efficient way to tone up. A full body workout in just 30 minutes at a facility nearby my house? I'm in.
Inside 360° Fitness Club, located at the 13th floor of Strata 100
A quickie workout plan strengthens and tones your body in just thirty minutes -- sounds reasonable enough a time to spend exercising three times a week, especially for busy people (or those who always find an excuse not to exercise -- I'm one of those people). I visited 360° Fitness Club one morning for a free trial (you can, too! Just schedule one with them), but before I headed to Ortigas, I made sure I had a good breakfast and had enough time to digest my meal. Before my trial circuit training commenced, I was able to talk with two of their trainers. Coach Jose and Coach Charmie are both graduates of the Bachelor of Sports Science program from the U.P. College of Human Kinetics (it's nice to know my workout will be in good hands).
Circuit Training 101
Circuit Training is a calorie-blasting program that is scientifically proven. Google the two words and you will discover that the exercise program has been around for decades. This kind of total body workout is a combination of strength training and cardiovascular exercises, keeping heart rate up in a short period of time. Head Coach Chappy Callanta designed the fitness club's circuit. Inside 360˚, you will find 20 stations arranged in the mat area, with 10 active stations and 10 active rest stations. One is supposed to alternate active rest and active stations, 30 seconds per station, to keep the heart rate up. An example of an active rest station is to jog in place, or that one station that gives you a really quick water or Gatorade break.
Complete the circuit
The ideal circuit training regimen would be 30 x 3 -- that's 30 minutes, thrice a week, to achieve total body transformation. What makes this a plus for me is the fact that one can burn as much as 500 calories in one session! That's pretty much one meal of your day, and it's logical to say that if you keep up with the program and watch your food intake, weight loss will be achieved.
Some of the Stations at the fitness club
Another thing I noted is how attentive the coaches are during your workout session -- yup, you get a coach to pep you up and support you during your 30 minutes, no need to pay extra for a personal trainer of sorts. Coaches Charmie and Jose were very helpful, patient whenever we'd bombard them with questions ('Are you sure I won't faint? I don't exercise much. Will I survive? What, only 30 seconds for water break?! Do people quit after one round?').
Coach Charmie and Coach Jose demonstrate the use of the different exercise stations
Comparing to regular aerobics workout, this kind of fitness regimen is pretty intense, as even while you are resting, you are keeping your heart rate up. Each station is only 30 seconds long, so it felt like bam!-bam!-bam!, hustle mode. The first round wasn't so bad at Level 1 (you can reach up to Level 5), so we pushed even more and tried Level 2 for the last 2 rounds. Every 30 seconds, the workout music would beep and instruct us to move to the next station. As the time progressed, exercising became tougher, and I felt like a fat little hamster running on a wheel, then being flicked to and fro another (and a faster) wheel. Whoah! It was high impact, fast, and the workout music and encouraging coaches kept us up and running.
A little bit of rest after the workout, we decided to try out their TRX class. No, we weren't trying to overkill with the exercise, to my surprise I was all perky after the circuit training (must be all the endorphins). Aside from their main training program, 360° Fitness Club regularly holds group exercise programs. They have Cardio Striptease and Jazz, Hip Hop Dance Off, Latin Dance, Power Yoga, Kickboxing and Running. TRX suspension training was scheduled the afternoon of our morning workout, so we waited for the class to try it out. It's actually a lot of fun, I might've even enjoyed it more than the circuit training itself, since it's something new for me to do body weight exercises using ropes to suspend yourself. It's fun and it's hard work at the same time, especially when we had to suspend our legs on the ropes, challenging our body's core and sense of balance.
TRX Suspension Training
For someone who would rather sleep than exercise, I'd have to say that I'm surprised that I'm contemplating on a one year membership to 360° Fitness Club. I like workouts that are fun and quick, and the relaxed, non-intimidating ambiance of the center makes 360° makes it a good fitness center to be.
The club offers Annual Membership (P2,090/month) and Semi-Annual Membership (P2,490/month). Both memberships include trainers during your workout sessions, all group exercise classes (so attend all you can), and unlimited used of the circuit training facility (exercise all you can). They also have a 10-Day Pass (P2,990), offering 10 visits to the club within a 3-month period. If you visit in the morning and later at night, that counts as one day, so for a sort of trial membership, the 10-Day Pass is a good deal as well.
Call up the fitness club to know the current schedules of the group classes
I'm not going to lie that the next day after my workout was refreshing -- I had trouble climbing up and down the stairs and even sitting and stretching, thanks to all my suddenly overworked limbs. I felt like a little old lady needing to slow it down for a couple of days! But hey, as they always say: no pain, no gain.
360° Fitness Club is located at the 13th floor of Strata 100, F. Ortigas Jr. Road (Emerald Ave), Ortigas Center, Pasig. Call 577-7807, visit www.completethecircuit.com and Like them in Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/360FitnessClub).