So you’ve decided to actually follow through on your New Year’s Resolution. This time, you’re going to get fit and stay that way. Great! So how do you get started? Well, how about signing up for a gym?
A quick Google search will tell you that there’s a myriad of gyms you can choose from. Naturally, this also means that their prices will vary a great deal. Your sometimes-friendly neighborhood bakal gym, for example, will probably cost you some spare change per session.
On the other end of this are the premium boutique gyms that have been popping up in droves as of late. These places usually offer some sort of unique class or workout service that you can’t get at a regular gym. And for that, you’ll be paying a bit more than your average gym membership.
What’s a premium gym?
This is by no means an exhaustive list. These are just a few of the more popular and pricey gyms around the metro. For comparison’s sake, take note that the cost of a membership at The Upper Deck in Ortigas is P2,000 a month. That includes use of the gym and some group classes. For a bit extra, you can even rent out one of the two basketball or seven badminton courts.
This high-energy, high-positivity fitness haven conducts indoor cycling classes set to different (but always uplifting) genres of music. In a single class, you’ll pedal, rock to-and-fro, and lift light dumbbells that get heavier with each aching rep.
Price: P1,000 per individual ride. Bulk packages are available that make the cost of each ride cheaper
Want to box but hate getting hit? Flyweight lets you belt away at a heavy bag without running the risk of pugilistic dementia. Classes are done in groups, and are a mix of boxing and plyometrics set to high-tempo music.
Price: P1,000 per class. Bulk packages are available that make the cost of each session cheaper
This gym’s slogan is “Train Like A Pro,” and that’s exactly what you get. Focus Athletics’ programs and one-on-one format are designed to get you better prepared as an athlete, or at the very least to train you like one.
Price: P10,400 for eight one-on-one sessions, along with other packages for more sessions and other programs. All packages include free use of the gym facilities
Why pay a premium?
Given that you need to work out more than just once a week to make any progress, you’d be looking at paying the monthly cost of a regular gym every week if you plan on going the premium gym route. So why, then, would you pay so much just to work up a sweat? We went directly to the source and asked people from these gyms for their thoughts. Here’s what we learned:
You become part of a community
For some, rocking up to the gym on their own is an absolute chore. What better way to get motivated than to meet new people who can spur you on? According to Electric Studio instructor Ericka Mejia, that’s a big bonus that these boutique gyms have to offer.
“We have riders from different backgrounds, same with the crew and the instructors. Through the years, [it’s become] a really supportive community,” Mejia explains. “The riders become your friends, then eventually they become like family...they all encourage you to be better at what you do.”
It’s a quicker way to work out
"I have no time to exercise" is an excuse as old as time. This might be true if you’re the type who takes forever to move from one exercise to the next. But according to Flyweight COO and co-founder Lorenzo Fernando, a boutique gym will get you sweating and out the door as quickly as possible.
“[Our workout] is designed to get you in and out in 45 minutes,” Fernando says. “It’s meant to be super-duper efficient, you’re moving from place to place, moving from muscle group to muscle group, and it doesn’t waste much of your time. It’s for people who need to come in, get a good sweat and burn 600 calories in 45 minutes, and be off on their merry way.”
There are services which you might not normally get
Most commercial gyms will offer things like personal training for an extra fee, but there’s more to being fit than just working out. At places like Focus Athletics, there’s a big emphasis placed on the recovery part of your fitness regime as well.
“The medical and sports rehabilitation side of our facility has always been inherent in our DNA,” says Focus’ Sales, Marketing and Innovation Officer Kristine Crouch. “We believe in the importance of the continuum: from consultation with our in-house doctor Enrique Pasion, to physiotherapy and to performance training.”
They’re cleaner than your average sweatbox
This isn’t an anecdote from one of our experts, just my personal experience. I’ve been around dingy boxing gyms my whole life, and the smell of sweat mixed with hot stale air has left a Pavlovian effect on my view of working out. I’ve taken a handful of rides at Electric Studio long before I wrote this story. Each time I went, I was amazed at just how pristine the place is. There’s no loose clothing strewn around the floor, or toilets with serious drainage issues, and definitely no boxing gym stench. What I found was a cool, clean place to work out and shower afterwards. For that level of comfort, I was happy to pay a little bit extra.