February 7th, 2015

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Gym Review: Contours Express 29 Min Circuit Training

Hello people!

It's no secret that I enjoy visiting gyms and going for circuit training as well as conditioning classes. These trainings/classes have been beneficial to my health, fitness and physical appearance.

I know of some females who are hesitant to gym because 1) they say that they do not have time and 2) they feel that they are not fit and should not embarass themselves in front of fit gym-goers.

I understand this feeling because I started off having no motivation to gym and I was equally self-conscious of my fitness level. Years ago, I visited a popular gym full of good-looking fitness dudes working out in beast mode, felt outnumbered & out of place and I never returned.

My advice to ladies who are new to gyming is to try an all-ladies gym where you will feel more comfortable working out in the presence of other females, doing exercises that are more suitable and favoured by other ladies.

As far as I know, there are some all-ladies gyms out there, one of which is Contours Express, an international franchise gym exclusively for ladies.

Contours Express aims to help women realize their fitness goals through their 29 minute circuit training, which involves a good mix of strength training, cardio workouts and flexibility exercises. And yes, 29 minutes is all you need to work out so don't say that you do not have time!

In case you are unsure what's circuit training, it involves a series of stations, where each station differs in terms of the type of workout. At the first station, you may be lifting weights for a few minutes and after that, you will move on to the second station where you may be asked to do push-ups for the next few minutes. Essentially, you will move from station to station till you complete all workouts, thereby completing a 'circuit'.

Before I started my session, I honestly do not know what to expect. I've been to several gyms so far - some were fun and some were intense. Which category will this gym fall under? I won't know unless I try it.

After taking my height and weight + fill up a form on my exercise and health history, I officially began my 29 minute circuit training by cycling for a few minutes. That's the warm up and also the first station.

Subsequently, I had to alternate between machine and step board throughout the circuit training.

At the machines, I train arms, back and legs while at the step board, I had to do cardio or other physical exercises such as body combat moves, jumping jacks, lunges and squats.

Bicep curls and shoulder presses!

What I like about Contours Express is that its circuit training is done in personal training style, such that the workouts are catered to an individual's fitness level. At the machines, I have asked my trainer whether I could lift heavier weights as Level 1 and 2 weights were too light for me. Level 3 weights were just nice because they weren't crazily heavy but they still required a lot of effort and endurance on my part to handle them.

That said, If you are new to working out, don't worry about having to lift very heavy weights or do a crazy number of push-ups on your first session. You will definitely start off at a pace that is deemed most suitable for you.

However, do note that your workout needs to be adequately challenging because an easy workout will not work your muscles and core to its maximum and it will defeat the purpose of exercise.

Doing legs training! This machine helps to tone the legs so ladies who are worried about fat thighs, try this!

In my opinion, the cardio exercises done at the step boards were considered low in intensity for me so when I came to this station that had an elevated step board and 2 dumbbells, I was wondering what I was gonna do.

It turned out that I had to step up and down this board very quickly while holding dumbbells. This trains not only coordination but also stamina. I like this because it reminds me of Kybounder, a dance-aerobics class that makes use of this exact step board in Physical Abuse Gym.

After the circuit training, you will proceed to cool down by doing a series of stretching exercises. Apart from circuit training and cool down, I got to experience another set of physical training in which I was asked by the trainer to do 3 sets of burpees, squats and planks. By the time I got to the 3rd set, I was SO TIRED.

Final verdict?

Overall, I found the circuit training pretty effective, especially the stations that involved working out using the machines. I wished the cardio exercises could be more intense though and it would be great if there were more core exercises such as crunches incorporated. Nonetheless, I think the general intensity will be good for newbies, seniors or ladies who just want to get into the mode of exercise gradually (for e.g. post-pregnancy ladies or ladies who exercise infrequently).

29 minutes might sound short, but bear in mind that the most effective exercises are not the ones that stretch over a few hours. In order to make the most out of 29 minutes of exercise, it has to be done with adequate challenge and you've got to give it all at every station (this also means NO SLACKING). At Contours Express, your fitness progress will also be tracked to make sure you gain improvements over time.

Inspired to train already? Then let me share some good news!

If you would like to try Contours Express' 29 minute circuit training, you can redeem your free trial session here. Once you've redeemed your free trial session, you will be sent a voucher. You can then book your appointment by calling Contours Express at '1800-2668-687' and choose your preferred outlet.

Contours Express has outlets all over Singapore. For a list of the outlets, you can check it out on Contours Express webpage.

Do remember to bring along your voucher to the outlet on gyming day! Have a great workout, my friends!

Disclaimer: Reviews are based on personal experiences.