In this series, HealthLoco tries the quirkiest new workouts available in Singapore. We give our honest review and an outline of what the activity offers so that you can decide for yourself whether it is for you.
HealthLoco tried Surfset fitness and survived (barely) to tell the tale.
As the name suggests, Surfset is a total-body fitness workout modeled after the act of a surfing on water. But instead of having to ride the waves under the hot sun, Surfset classes are conducted in a cosy, air-conditioned studio along Joo Chiat Road. Reap the physical benefits and body conditioning offered by riding the waves! All without getting wet or having to slap on a ton of sunblock at the beach! It sounded exciting. We were hooked.
Stepping into the studio, our attention was drawn immediately to the mock surfboards spaced out upon the studio floor. These creations are quite the technological marvel, designed to imitate the instability of a surfboard on water, allowing users to work balance skills and core muscles. We couldn’t wait to get on.
“It’s a beginner Balance class. Can’t be that bad,” my colleague J said cheerfully as we changed into our active wear. I nodded my head in assent. Oh, if only we knew what we were in for…
We hopped onto our surfboards enthusiastically – and from that moment onwards, there was not a single moment of stillness. With all the wobbling we did, we could have given roly-poly toys a run for their money. Butt cheeks clenched and abs tight, we tried our best to follow the class, wobbling precariously along.
Trust us. It’s difficult.
“That’s the last set for the warm-ups!” Shu Yi calls out. That was just the warm up? My colleague and I exchanged nervous glances.
Shu Yi took us through a series of sequences that incorporated a mix of surf-inspired moves, yoga, and core strength moves. We paddled, popped-up, did squats and push-ups.
At one point, I fell off the board. No one blinked an eye – everyone was focused on executing the moves, being in good form, and of course, staying perched on their own boards.
It was then that I decided to move faster, extend my limbs further, and ultimately extract more from each move. Falling wasn’t all that bad, especially with foam mats all around to provide some cushioning.
Find yourself challenged every time you’re there.
The instability of the board meant a constant need to engage the core and stabilizing muscles so as to compensate for any movements. Because of the unstable surface, even the most basic plank position was made more difficult to pull off, not to mention movements such as sit-ups, lunges, and leg raises. Muscle groups were forced to work harder than ever, challenging the body in new ways.
By the end of the 45 minute-long Balance class, we were perspiring profusely.
Remember what we said about not having to get wet? Yeah, we take it back. There may not be salty ocean water around, but the workout will have your backs drenched in sweat anyway.
With our fantastic Surfset instructor, Shu Yi!
As tough as the class was for us, we loved it. As we would come to find out the next day, our thighs and abs were thoroughly worked during the session. (“I feel like I did a hour’s worth of sit-ups,” J groaned first thing upon entering the office.)
Cardio, core, lean muscle-building benefits, all without the mind-numbing activities that some of us drag ourselves to, like jogging on a treadmill. HealthLoco definitely recommends Surfset for those bored with their same old gym routine and hoping to shake things up a little. Also give it a go if developing a lean surfer’s bod has always been a pipe dream of yours.
If the Balance class proves not intensive enough for you, there are the more intense and fast-paced options of Core and Sweat classes. Sweat classes are especially gruelling, incorporating high-intensity interval training into the training session.
“Not to be underestimated,” my colleague declared as we hobbled away from the studio. I smiled – it shore was one hell of a fun ride.
For more information, head to www.surfset.sg