“This New Year, I will lose weight and get fit.” Everyone always makes this New Year resolution first. Well, everyone but me. I don’t bother making it anymore since I know it’ll be the first one I break.
The only running and jumping I ever do consistently are when I play Assassins’ Creed. But there is a way to rely on more than just my pathetic excuse for willpower to shed those excess kilos. And that’s to sign up for an activity that will keep me fit and help me to learn something new and fun.
Here are 6 activities that you can do in 2015 to build up your fitness level.
1. Pole Dancing
Forget the weak gyrating and grinding that you find in sleazy bars in Patpong. Real pole dancing is sexy, no doubt. But getting on a pole and staying on it is a true test of one’s fitness and flexibility. The demands of the pole on your core, upper and lower body cannot be understated. Because you’re using your own body as resistance, there’s even more reason to want to lose weight and be lighter! Trust me, your arms and legs (and the pole!) are going to thank you every time you lose a kilo.
Pole dancing classes in Singapore are definitely gaining popularity, based on the crowds that gathered at this year’s Singapore Night Festival to catch a short demonstration of the skill by professional instructors. Currently there are many schools in Singapore that offer pole dancing classes, but only one can claim to be the first pole dancing school in Singapore. Bobbi’s Pole Studio in Queen Street offers beginner lessons at $260 for 8 hour-long sessions. They accept payment by cash, NETS or credit card, so be sure to find the best credit card to pay for your newfound lifestyle choices.
2. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Forget what you think you know about martial arts. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the few techniques where size and strength don’t matter as much as leverage and grip. It’s primarily based on grappling and ground fighting, which means the skills you learn involve taking your opponent down and keeping them there. Needless to say, it has very real-life or self defence applications too. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu helps you to improve mental focus, and builds up endurance, balance, flexibility, strength, and coordination.
Evolve MMA has one of the largest and most accomplished Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team of instructors in the region, and they have classes for beginners all the way to competition level. A class can start from as low as $249 per month depending on the level and outlet, but it’ll be best to contact them to customise your membership fee.
3. Krav Maga
If you find yourself in physical confrontations often, there are three things you should do. First, stop hanging out with gangs. Second, leave that abusive relationship. Third, go pick up Krav Maga. Krav Maga is the self defence technique that makes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu look like the Great Singapore Workout. Krav Maga is designed to finish a fight as soon as it starts.
Regardless of your fitness level, learning Krav Maga develops you both physically and mentally. The key to the technique is adapting your instinctive response to conflict first by preventing and avoiding it, and then by defending yourself efficiently should it happen. But don’t take my word for it, Krav Maga was developed for the Israeli military, and they’ve been handling one conflict after another for a long, long time. Protect-SG offers Krav Maga classes at about $30 per hour-long session.
4. Aerial Dance
This is pole dancing taken to another level. Literally. The draw of aerial performance is the extra dimension that working with silks and hoops brings. If you’re a fan of Cirque du Soleil and their acrobatic acts, a class in aerial dance is where you build the foundational skills for such gravity-defying acts.
As you can imagine, aerial dance uses different equipment suspended from the ceiling to build your strength and flexibility. You have the option of “hoop”, a circular steel apparatus, or “silk”, which involves two (or more!) streams of fabric. Using these, you develop a spatial awareness as well as the ability express yourself elegantly and gracefully.
Acro Polates is the first school in Singapore to offer aerial dance classes. They have beginner classes for hoop and silk, and more advanced classes including double trapeze. Just in case you have concerns, they offer free trial classes. So test the waters before deciding to take flight! Each course is 8 weeks long and costs $200.
Parkour or free running is one of those activities that have been around for years and you’ve seen in movies, advertisements and music videos. Basically, nothing is an obstacle. You scale walls, duck under parked vehicles, leap off low-rise roofs. Learning the skills will improve your agility, your speed and your flexibility. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to be able to recreate Assassin’s Creed in real life. If you’re anything like me, however, you’re probably worried that in the process of learning the skills, you’ll end up with bruises, broken bones and an early life insurance payout.
Did you know you can now learn parkour in a safe environment? Singapore now has a school that teaches it. It’s called GymKraft and it is a relatively new gymnastics school that opened in 2012 and boasts Singapore’s first parkour training facility. Classes start at $320 for 8 weeks, with each session an hour long.
6. Professional Wrestling
It’s no secret that professional wrestling is “fake”. The results of the match are determined even before it begins. You try to pull your punches as much as possible, and your opponent is trying to make each punch hurt like a ton of bricks. The best part about professional wrestling? Even though the two people in the ring are supposed to hate each other, they are actually helping each other with their moves.
But what’s not fake about professional wrestling is the hard work that each person puts in before every match. The stunts are still dangerous to an untrained person, and when accidents happen, and they do happen, the injuries are very, very real. So a lot of conditioning, strength training and endurance building happen when learning professional wrestling. What sets it apart from a regular gym is the opportunity to put on a show, to entertain and hype up a crowd. Those are skills you’ll never learn just lifting weights alone.
Singapore Pro Wrestling School is the first wrestling school in Singapore and South-East Asia. Do well, and you could find yourself soon performing in front of a live audience! They train up to 4 times a week, and you pay a flat membership rate of $160 a month, regardless of how often you train.
What skills are you intending to pick up in 2015? Share your fitness plans with us!