PUBLISHED December 4th, 2019 06:00 am | UPDATED May 18th, 2020 07:24 pm
So you’ve planked, curled, and bicycle-kicked your way to a hotter bod. But your joints still ache after standing through a train ride, and you kind of twisted your back lifting groceries the other day. If this rings a painful bell, there’s a new gym in town which aims to help you move through the world better.
Dubbing itself a holistic approach to HIIT, GRITYARD is the brainchild of three retired Team Singapore athletes – former sprinter Lim Yao Peng, along with ex-water polo players Lim Yao Xiang and Teh Chong Nyen. Setting itself apart from mainstream isolation exercises – which target spots like abs or arms – this Outram Park studio offers a highly dynamic style of functional workouts for your whole body.
Functional approaches to HIIT are nothing new here – a handful of gyms, notably F45, have been designing such workouts in the last few years. Nevertheless, they remain a bit of a rarity in a world of fat-burning, abs-sculpting #goals. Getting stronger in your everyday movement sounds way less sexy – but it’s potentially more life-changing.
“We want people to start thinking more about being able to move better, becoming stronger for your everyday tasks, improving your immune system, and slowing down the ageing process – instead of just coming in to burn off the supper you ate the night before.” – Yao Peng, co-founder of GRITYARD
So what does a holistic approach to HIIT look like? GRITYARD currently offers five programmes, each crafted around a mix of five basic pillars – strength, power, agility, core, and endurance. Each small-group workout is a quickfire 30 to 45 minutes-long, kicking off with a warmup and some high-octane tunes that got our adrenaline flowing right away.
A blow of the whistle, and we were off on our circuit of the day – Hell Fire, a strength workout designed to get your core feeling that sweet, sweet burn. From squat jacks fused with dumbbell pullovers, to alternate sprints and hops against a resistance band, to lunges while throwing a weighted ball, each exercise was fluid and got a whole array of muscle groups in our bodies working at once. The sets given, moreover, change from class to class, ensuring your muscles can never get too comfy in the same groove. Neither can your brain, incidentally – these compound movements prove quite the mental workout as well.
Sweaty but still game for more, we had a taste of power training with Reignman – a plyometric drill which tests your fast-twitch muscles. Inspired by basketball great Shawn Kemp, this workout saw us doing intense combos of bench hops and high knees, push-ups and kick-throughs. As we panted from station to station, the friendly trainers made the rounds to correct our forms and call out encouragement.
GRITYARD might be run by an intimidating-sounding team of ex-national stars, but it’s not just for the super fit. We definitely liked the easy, intimate vibe of this studio, not to mention the trainers’ patience with our rookie questions. Since all classes are mixed-level, they’re designed to give you freedom on how hard you want to push yourself – gym newbies can focus on form and technique, tackling more advanced variations as you level up into a fitness fiend.
If you’re planning to kickstart your #fitlife, GRITYARD offers a one-week unlimited trial of S$35. Subsequently, weekly and monthly unlimited passes are priced at S$85 and S$290 respectively. For those who can’t commit too much time per week, 10-session and 20-session packs go at S$250 and S$400 respectively.
GRITYARD is located at Medical Alumni Association, Level 2, 2 College Rd, Singapore 169850, p. +65 9112 6768. Open Mon 6am–9.30pm, Tues-Thurs 10am–9.30pm, Fri 6am–8.30pm, Sat 8–11am, Sun 9am–12pm.