Rock climbing engages the majority of muscles in the upper body: deltoids, trapezes, latissimus dorsi, biceps, triceps, forearms, forearm extensors and phalanges, as well as the lower body: Quadriceps, gluteus and gastrocnemius. What does that mean for your average Joe? It’s one hell of a workout. That’s probably why Hollywood stars like Jason Momoa (a.k.a. Aquaman) and Zac Efron are big fans of this workout option, and the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that grip strength was predictive of increased strength in push-ups, leg extensions and leg press.
We headed to Virgin Active’s Ascent Hiit class, which promises to help: “bring your fitness to greater heights with interval based training while scaling the wall as fast as you can! Challenge your aerobic capacity as you climb the wall faster than Spiderman in a set time frame while hooked onto the auto-belay, and jump straight into interval-based training with movements such as burpees, mountain climbers, squat presses, medicine ball slams and more! Your only recovery, is when you’re at the top of Mount Marina One!”
Here’s how our experience went, and how many calories we burnt below.
If you’re looking for more interval training classes, check these gyms out as well. And if you’re keen to check out Virgin Active Marina One, here’s a quick round-up below.
This Australian gym concept focuses on functional training movements such as lifting, squatting, pulling and pushing to sculpt lean muscles. Each class takes 45 minutes, and combines interval, cardio and strength training to leave you sore and breathless. The exercise plans are never repeated, so each workout is a surprise. Besides the instructor, video demonstrations of the exercises are shown on screen to help you along. The high energy and positive vibes will make you forget how hard you’re working. Visit www.f45training.sg.
More than 15 studios islandwide
True to its name, its equipment is orange, and so are the lights. Orange light has been found to boost alertness and brain function, so you’ll be especially awake in this gym despite the dimness. As the workouts here are heart rate-based, you’ll need to wear a heart rate monitor around your chest throughout. In 60 minutes, you’ll do a mix of exercises that focus on endurance, strength and power to activate different muscle groups. The aim is to send your heart rate into the “orange zone” (84 to 91 per cent of your maximum heart rate) for up to 20 minutes to trigger the afterburn effect. This gym offers treadmills, rowing machines, suspension training systems, free weights and benches that cater to up to 24 people at one go, and exercise demos are shown to guide newcomers. Visit www.orangetheoryfitness.com.
#02-01 Robertson Quay (6266-1715) and #01-58 Icon Village (6224-4288)
If HIIT classes are stressful, you’ll find a good balance in this one. Still 30/30 comprises 30 minutes of HIIT, followed by 30 minutes of gentle yoga to let you cool down and stretch out sore muscles. The HIIT exercises involve various equipment, like kettlebells, TRX, battle ropes and ViPR, to keep you engaged. On weekday lunchtimes, the class is shortened to 50 minutes. Visit www.still-group.com.
#B1-04/05/06 OUE Downtown Gallery (6800-5355)
Many time-strapped office workers rely on this high-intensity interval training class to stay in shape. The workouts are done in 20 minutes, and held every half-hourly. The class size is capped at 10, which means you get plenty of attention from the instructor who goes around checking your form. Don’t worry about not being able to keep up. The exercises come with four progression levels – there’s bound to be one that suits your needs. We love that workout tops and bottoms are provided, and the class is done barefoot on a shock-absorbent floor (no shoes!), so all you need to bring is your sports bra. There’s also a fuel bar selling post-workout smoothies if you need a quick replenishment. Visit www.ritualgym.com.
#03-01 Raffles Place (6536-7291), 17b Lorong Liput, #02-01 (6463-4690), and 140 Robinson Road, #03-01 (6584-9469)
By Kelvin Tan, Editor for Men’s Health Singapore