A couple of months back, Fitology invited me in to try out their brand of an exercise regime. It's something I was extremely intrigued by because the concept behind their fitness is so different from your run-of-the-mill gym. Instead of a mass hub of writhing gym bunnies, what we have here is a boutique gym which tailors your exercise to your specific needs. Yes, personal training is involved, but it goes beyond this. This is holistic in a completely different manner. You have places like Fitness First Platinum that provide a snack corner, but it's all generic, and not particularly healthy. Here, they ensure your goals are met every step of the way.
I'm usually quite unimpressed by gyms, but this is something so unique, and so logically sound that I was suitably impressed.
Nestled in a quiet little corner of Bangsar (yes, there IS still such a thing!), situated above a martial arts gym, you will find Fitology - Truly a gem in a bustling, overcrowded satellite town.
[All in One!]
Your journey starts with your parked car. It feels so very exclusive to have to buzz them to let you in. We all know that this is a necessity in Bangsar, but it gives it a nice touch of homeliness. It's also perfectly viable because your sessions are appointment based. Once you're buzzed in, you get to traipse up a couple flights of stairs, before removing your "outside shoes". I am definitely a fan of this form of cleanliness!
The gym itself is amazing. It's not overcrowded; but instead an open, welcoming space which is filled with sunlight during the day.
Don't you love the stability ball that replaces the traditional chair at the reception?
[Practicing What They Preach!]
When you enter, you're given a room to yourself where you can place your belongings.Your first step once you're changed and raring to go is to pop on a heart rate monitor around your chest (ideally around the middle of your ribs, or if you're female, just below your boobies), to get the best reading on your heart rate. This is monitored by the watch you strap onto your wrist. The dual device is brilliant and ensures accuracy because you enter your height and weight so that you can monitor your heart rate and get a proper reading on how many calories you burn. While many exercise watches offer heart rate monitors, they will never be as effective as combining it with a chest strap.
Naturally, your height and weight is taken as well, along with the composition of your body (fat content, etc.). This is so that they can track your progress over time.
Now, let's talk a little about why this differs so much from the norm. It's a 3 or 4 part fitness event, depending on which package you're enrolled in. For the regular 3-part programme, you go through 30 minutes of personal training, followed by 30 minutes of FIR Infrared Therapy Sauna. And to reward you for your hour of dedication, you're loaded up with nutrition through a delicious smoothie tailored to your goals. It's brilliant, don't you think? Short, sweet, and to the point!
The fitness area isn't overrun by an infinite array of machines. Instead, there is a mix of equipment for body weight training, as well as machine-based workout options. You will have a personal trainer who ensures that you are doing the exercises you need to in precisely the right manner. I know lots of people think that technique isn't an important aspect of exercise, but improper technique is the mother of all failures. Not only does it make your exercise less efficient, but it also has the potential to cause injury. That right there is disaster waiting to happen!
My trainer was wonderful! I'm completely out of shape at present and he was extremely nice and patient with my distinct inability to do very much, very well. So he worked on my technique and my basics. He went according to my pace, while ensuring that my heart rate was suitably elevated. There are also glass bottles of water with glasses by the side to ensure that you stay hydrated throughout your exercise period.
[Yes, that's me! Hello!]
This lovely, happy lady popped in after my training session was over and she seemed to be enjoying herself! She was lovely enough to let me take her picture just to show you that this is suited, and has been proven effective for people of all ages and fitness levels.
My training started with the elliptical machine, followed by the rowing machine, and then some body weight training. This included squats, sit-ups, crunches and push-ups. Needless to say, my technique is horrifying, but by the end of the session, it had gotten better and I could feel the burn in all the right places. I do appreciate that he took the time to explain what was wrong with my technique very patiently, and what effect it would end up having. Rationalizing the situation with your brain tends to help it to focus on the problem and keep it in check.
Following body weight training, my final exercise was with the rope climbing machine. It's a machine I've never seen before and it was rather interesting, and quite fun! All in all, the half hour passed like a breeze.
Once the session was over, I was taken back to my room and the procedure of the FIR machine was explained to me.
Your timer is set on the door, and you can enter at your leisure. You're meant to leave your heart rate monitor and watch on because it keeps tabs on your calorie-burning activities.
So, you're meant to spend 30 minutes in there, and the sauna aids in removal of toxins, heavy metal and stress. It's supposed to harness an energy similar to the Sun's (sans UV rays) which help to improve skin tone, promote the production of new cells, clear clogged pores, fortify the immune system, and improve blood flow and oxygen circulation.
You're also meant to remove unessential clothing so that you can actively wipe off the sweat the forms as it contains toxins, and will prevent re-absorption.
Of course, you're encouraged to drink as much water as possible while in there so that you don't get overly dehydrated.
I tend to get very claustrophobic and overheated in anything of this sort, so I like that I was informed that I could leave the door open should this be the case, and it wouldn't have a diminishing effect on what the FIR Sauna is meant to do.
[Hydration, Hydration, Hydration!]
Music is also piped into the box. I'm not sure if you can put your own music in, but that would be a plus if you could because I wasn't a fan of what was playing at all.
[Music to keep you entertained]
Nevertheless, there's an array of magazines to help pass the time as well.
[Magazines to pass the time]
You could just as easily close your eyes and relax as the heat loosens your muscles.
You're encouraged not to shower for half an hour after the session so that your body can continue to remove toxins and burn fat, but there are extremely clean bathrooms in each room for those of you who have plans after your session.
Once your hour of fitness is done with, it's time for a bit of a treat: A smoothie!
What your given depends on your fitness goals, and because I'm a bit of a fatty these days, I picked weight loss as my goal. I was given a lovely strawberry, banana, apple cider vinegar, chia seed concoction (which I have attempted replicating at home). It was delicious and extremely refreshing after the heat of the sauna.
[Weight Loss Smoothie]
Other options for smoothies include:
Pick Me Up Chuck - Orange, Banana, Lemon
Antioxidator - Pineapple, Grape, Orange
Super Vanilla Muscle Builder - Orange, Strawberry, Banana
Don't they all sound incredibly good?!
I was also given a breakdown of what I managed to do (pithy, really!), my heart rate, as well as the number of calories burned: A whopping 700+ in an hour! That's pretty much an hour and a half of full on kickboxing right there!
[Breakdown of my Hour]
As I mentioned above, they also have a 4-pronged option for fitness, and that includes an hour long massage. Doesn't that sound heavenly? I didn't get to experience it, but if the rest of my day there was anything to go by, you're going to want to!
In line with the holistic approach, Fitology offers yoga classes as well.
[Yoga Studio - That's my purple mat! (Evidence that I went)]
I popped in a few days later for a yoga class in the evening.
I was blown away by the class. A lot of the time I don't enjoy yoga classes because I don't actually understand why my positioning is wrong, and why it's such a problem. This was the antidote to all your overly hippie-esque yoga instructors who act holier-than-thou. Instead, the instructor was so incredibly nice and patient. She did a spectacular job of pinpointing and expanding on the reason why the slight changes in how your hold a pose could have drastically different effects on how the pose affects the rest of your body.
The explanations were exceptional, and I was fascinated by her explanation of the parity of different poses in different positions. For example, the tree pose is mirrored by the tucked stretch on the floor! It would never have occurred to me!
Honestly, if you're someone who doesn't enjoy yoga classes for any number of reasons, this might be the place to try out. They definitely picked well in terms of instructors!
[The True Meaning of Zen?]
On the whole, this was an eye opening experience. It's so different from the norm that it's worth trying out for the novelty, but you will likely stay because it goes beyond that. If you are serious about getting fit, but haven't managed to achieve your goals, or you lack the requisite motivation, or have even had bad experiences with terrible personal trainers who don't actually know what they're doing (I've met a few who know less about fitness than I do even though it doesn't show on me!), then you should pay Fitology a visit.
They do offer other group exercise classes as well such as Zumba and Cardio Dance, but neither of those are really my thing, so I didn't try them out. If they're anything like yoga, however, they would be worth a shot!
The only conceivable drawback to this programme is the cost. You have the following options:
1 Month: RM350 - 3 Fitology Express Sessions + 2 Group Classes per month
6 Months: RM310/month - 3 Fitology Express Sessions + 4 Group Classes per month + Fitology T-Shirt
12 Months: RM280/month - 3 Fitology Express Sessions + 8 Group Classes per month + Fitology T-Shirt + Sign-up Bonus of a Polar Watch worth RM429.
For those of you who want to experience it before committing, you can experience a session of Fitology Express at the member's rate of RM80.
For more information on pricing, see here.
For more information on Fitology, refer to the following pages: