HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT) 20 minutes 

WHERE: Ritual, #03-01 11 North Canal Road, tel: 6536-7291, www.ritual.sg

WHAT: Ritual specialises in HIIT classes that are designed to improve endurance and strength. Its circuit-style workouts – with three levels of intensity – comprise various bodyweight exercises and resistance training moves.

THE EXPERIENCE: “In. Train. Shower. Refuel. Out.” reads Ritual’s tagline – and that’s exactly what we did. After changing into our workout gear, we went through a quick fitness assessment, then dived into the workout: burpees (lots of them) alternated with push-ups, TRX rows, squats and kettlebell deadlifts. Before we knew it, the short, albeit intense, session was over, and we hit o the showers with relief. Afterwards, we treated ourselves to a delicious protein shake at the in-house bar.

Ritual is all about making exercising convenient – classes are conducted every half-hour,with a maximum of 10 participants a session. Plus, exercise clothes and toiletries are provided, so there’s really no excuse not to work out.

HOW MUCH: $50 for a seven-day trial pass. Thereafter, it’s $369 per month for a one-year membership.


SPINNING 50 minutes

WHERE: CruCycle, 68 Duxton Road, tel: 6509-8880, www.crucycle.com

WHAT: CruCycle’s signature 50-minute indoor spinning class, The Pack Ride, incorporates light weights and core exercises for a full-body, calorie-torching workout. It’s suitable for riders of all levels.

THE EXPERIENCE: Loud music pulsated through the room, which was filled with 38 sleek stationary bikes. After warming up, we were put through our paces with a series of exercises. For instance, we alternated between sitting and standing in the saddle while riding at different resistance levels, and also performed upper-body exercises – like bicep curls and tricep extensions with light dumb-bells – while pedalling. 

CruCycle advocates a “wolf pack” mentality, so we were all encouraged to ride in sync – with the music, and with our fellow riders. The workout was by no means easy, but we found ourselves invigorated by the camaraderie we experienced.

HOW MUCH: $50 a session, but first-timers pay that sum for two sessions. You can also sign up for a package – it’s $1,250 for 25 classes, with two free sessions.

XTEND BARRE 45 minutes

WHERE: Upside Motion, #04-05 Orchard Shopping Centre, 321 Orchard Road, tel: 6737-2979, www.upsidemotion.com

WHAT: Xtend Barre is a fast-paced workout that fuses both ballet and Pilates – expect cardio routines, light weight-training and dance sequences. It targets the small muscles in your body, such as your abs, thighs and glutes, so you can achieve a dancer’s lithe silhouette without bulking up.

THE EXPERIENCE: We began with ballet-style warm-ups and stretches before transiting into arm exercises like bicep curls and tricep kickbacks using small dumb-bells. Next, we headed to the barre (a stationary handrail) for a series of lower-body moves like leg lifts and arabesques. We finished with several core- and glute-strengthening exercises on the mat.

Xtend Barre focuses on moves with high repetitions and plenty of pulsing motions – agonising, but great for toning and building muscular endurance. Don’t be afraid if you have two left feet (like us) – the energetic sequences might seem confusing at first, but you’ll eventually get the hang of it. Plus, the workout improves your posture – you might find yourself walking away from the barre with the poise of a ballerina.

HOW MUCH: $49 for a 3-Class Experience Pass. Subsequently, a single class costs $40, while a package of 10 classes costs $345.

ELECTRO MUSCULAR STIMULATION 20 minutes

WHERE: Bodytec, #01-01 6 Stanley Street, tel: 6423-1306, www.bodytec.com.sg

WHAT: Bodytec is the first fitness studio here to specialise in Electro Muscular Stimulation (EMS), a training system that delivers electrical impulse currents through your body to stimulate your muscles while you perform basic exercises. These muscle contractions are purportedly 18 times more effective than those derived from conventional strength training, and are supposed to sculpt your entire body.

THE EXPERIENCE: On paper, the workout sounded deceptively easy. However, we soon discovered that we were sorely mistaken (pun intended). We were first suited up in a vest that was dampened (water conducts electricity) and then plugged into an EMS machine. Next, we did a series of bodyweight exercises – squats, planks, leg raises and more. The electrical currents, which stimulated involuntary muscle contractions, felt prickly, but were never painful. They also added resistance to our workout – a simple squat required about five times more effort than usual. We were sweating copiously by the end of the session!

EMS training is great for the time-starved as it packs a punch in a relatively short time. Plus, you won’t have to carry any workout gear as everything, from disposable undies and clothes to toiletries, is provided.

HOW MUCH: Your first trial costs $30, while each subsequent personal training session starts from $50.

This article was originally published in Simply Her April 2015.