ChampagneDreamsFitness: Saddle Row, Yoga+, 360 Fitness, Plana Forma

Hello, hello! How are you all? I'm typing this on a long holiday here in Manila, for Labor Day and the ASEAN Summit. For me though, that's days spent catching up on sleep {wink, wink} + working out at spots I can't go to on a regular working day. We also took out Butters for a lot of walks and playtime with big dogs in Makati yesterday while we stayed under the sun and sipped drinks.

For the most part, my calendar is full of fitness activities. If I'm not at a studio or gym, I'm at home doing Kayla Itsines BBG workout, FitStar's guided workouts or just good old reliable YouTube tutorials on how to burn 1,000 calories. 

For today, let me give you a brief review of the studios I've been working out in this past week. Did I tell you I'm on a 10-day consecutive streak? Yeah. It's not the easiest thing to do especially when it's been quite stressful at work --- but I realize that's more important than any other time. Stress ups the cortisol in the body and that hinders the burning of fat. It kinda puts the body in panic mode, hence the body kind of hoards fat for future use in any case starvation happens. 

First up: Saddle Row. I was not planning to go to SR that night but I was checking my Guava Pass and I saw an opening so I immediately booked a rowing class. Been meaning to go to my first ever rowing class as I found out that my upper body skills can use some improvement. The Rowing studio is not in the main Saddle Row one in Serendra. It's farther down the hall. It's a little bit cozy and there are only 10 rowers, hence it's always booked out. They also play a variety of hip music, and it was in fact Rowchella that time I rowed. I was in a Crew class, which means 90% of the time is rowing. I had to spend a couple of minutes learning the coordination of rowing: legs arms, arms legs. The exercises had regular rowing and a variable of power strokes which give you the distance to your goal but will also kill you {haha just kidding}. 
PROS: Maybe because I had weak upper body, but I ended up burning 300 calories from it and I was sweating like crazy, too. It could also strain breathing so it's important to keep breathing while rowing. I ended up rowing 4,000 meters that night, too.
CONS: If you're using GP, rowing is hard to come by and sometimes, the timing will be off for office folks like me. Otherwise, if you're a regular member, it is fun and a full body workout, too.

Yoga+, BGC. This is not my first time at Yoga+ and I'd been going there for months and years even. Yoga+ have been a default yoga place for me: clean, functional, pristine, calm and inviting. Prices are reasonable too if you end up subscribing to their classes, and they have promos for BPI cardholders and Globe employees so that makes me happy. For my yoga / LISS days, I go to Yoga+!
PROS: Has branches in Makati, Ortigas, BGC! WOOT! Classes are abound so yoga all day, any day!
CONS: Can't think of any gross negative at all!
SWIMMING IN SWEAT FACTOR: Depending on the class you're going to, it can get get pretty sweaty if it's a HOT class like what I always go to. So 5 out of 5.

360 Fitness, BGC. I've gone to 360 Fitness some years ago when Circuit Training was new and back then, I died from circuit training, and got dizzy. Happy to report that I survived the HIIT class and I didn't tire as much that I now regret doing just 30 mins. It's like the usual circuit and crossfit gym, which is more like a box where you find everything and just do your thing.
PROS: Simple and functional and perfect if you just want to lift stuff, go through pull ups and all that gym-ish stuff. 
CONS: However, for me, I am a very structured workout person and I tend to get shy when I have to work out on my own so I kinda shy away from these places unless it's a class.
SWIMMING IN SWEAT FACTOR: 3 out of 5. It really depends on your performance.
SHOWER/FACILITIES: Pretty simple but available and private, though you need to bring your own padlock and toiletries if you're showering.

Plana Forma, Legaspi Village, Makati. I also used to go to Plana Forma back at the time it was still in Jeco Prime Bldg. Now that it's only in Makati, I only go there when I can like this long weekend. The class I originally signed up cancelled so I immediately looked for a replacement and found Plana Forma's PILOXING. It's a combination of Pilates and Boxing and knowing Plana Forma, it can be pretty intense. I was right.
PROS: Plana Forma is pretty, clean, and has ample space for everyone. I love that it was a dance-y workout, when all you do are burpees and squat jumps, you can sometimes miss feeling like a woman. So PF made me feel like a woman again and that was a great session.
CONS: No BGC nor any other location, HUHU.
SWIMMING IN SWEAT FACTOR: Damn, yes, 4 out 5.
SHOWER/FACILITIES: Available and private and most of the attendees are women anyway so most stuff appeal to the fairer sex.

So far, I'm loving all of the above, and I do look for them whenever I book my classes on GP. :D Stay tuned for more gym reviews!


Fit Girl Life: Reviews Pt. 1: Guava Pass, Flyweight & LiFE Yoga

If we're friends, officemates or even acquaintances in real life, you'd know by now that I'd been on a fitness obsession these days. By that, I mean all that I'm watching on YouTube are digestion and metabolism videos, I have worked out for 6 days straight and I've been on a strict no sugar, minimal carb and juicing diet. Actually, no it's not that strict cos I did have rice today when I had lunch with my team so yeah. But I've done a complete 180 degrees shift of my lifestyle.

No thanks to endless fitness Instagram accounts on my feed, I've become quite obsessed about how to get abs and be the thinnest I can get my body to be. As you might know from my Clean Eating post, I am trying better in this fitness life. I've been dilly dallying on what gym to get and I've soft started on the Kayla Itsines workout but I haven't really fully committed to it until last week.

  • Guava Pass MNL. I started on Guava Pass because a friend inspired me to get one, and also because when I started, there was a one month free when you sign up for 3 months. I've always known about Guava Pass but they used to have unknown studios. Now that they have studios near me like Flyweight, Saddle Row, Life Yoga and Yoga+, I can wind up a week with a variation of those. Since I also live in Ortigas, there's a bunch of classes I can rotate working out after work and before heading home.
    PROS: Reasonable price of PHP 3,000/month, great studios in roster if you're always in main CBDs like BGC, Makati, Ortigas. There are studios in QC and Las Pinas and Pasig so that's alright. Some studios allow you to book up to an hour before the class and I'm glad to have tried it cos I am discovering new studios I may not have bothered trying out. I love it that it answers my problem of not having to stick to a gym because the idea of just gym is boring me out. I also need an external motivator and I am not self motivated at the gym so yes, super perfect!
    CONS: Each billing cycle allows a user to book per studio up to three times. This ensures that a GP user rotates through studios.
  • Flyweight. Flyweight is located at 2F Forbestown in Burgos Circle. It's the area where I work so it's walking distance and the classes are timed well, meaning there are classes at 9, after lunch and the one I go to at 7PM. I've always wanted to go there except that I couldn't live off the first timer pass of PHP 1,500/5 classes and I am not willing to pay the PHP 1,000/walk in pass. I'd describe it as "girly boxing," like you know when want to punch stuff like crazy but you also don't want to end up {dirty like me and on the floor at Elorde}, Flyweight is your go-to. They have clean wraps and clean boxing gloves. I cannot reiterate this enough that clean workout gear is a must. You also get to box to club / HIIT music and during my session, the trainer {Vince} played RHCP so super, super cool.
    PROS: Located at Burgos Circle, easy to find, cool and approachable staff, they put on your wraps on you so yay for that! I also like that the crowd it attracts are crop top wearing ladies so instant fitspo, too!
    CONS: If you get addicted to this, workouts are PHP 1K a pop, not super affordable but nobody said fun and glam fitness was never affordable.
    SWIMMING IN SWEAT FACTOR: 5 out of 5. Sometimes I wonder how I am able to get out alive.
    SHOWER/FACILITIES: Not bad but there's only two and the space is pretty tight.
  • LiFE Yoga, Burgos Circle, BGC. I've heard about LiFE Yoga from a colleague who's super fit, so yeah, I was like, "Why not?" I treat yoga as one of my more passive exercises that I do when I am not in the mood for HIIT. I skipped the yoga stuff and gunned for HIIT Pilates and boy was I gasping for air, HAHA. So basically, their HIIT Pilates class, led by Asha, was a series of planks, squat jumps and core exercises. They were also done in 1-minute intervals and the pace is rather fast, hence the HIIT bit. I couldn't go on full jumping jacks since I injured my left food about two weeks ago and was on a modified scheme. Nonetheless, my session at LiFE Yoga was one of the most profound ones I've done. In front of me was a woman, maybe in her 50s who was very muscular and didn't have as much trouble getting into the exercises. Meanwhile, behind me was a group of girls in their early 20s and kept fumbling all over themselves. I realized that in this fitness journey, age is just a number that one can optimize.
  • PROS: LiFE Yoga is also in the same area as Flyweight, so yay for us BGC-working girls! They mostly offer yoga class with enhancements like Feel Good Flow, Rock and Flow etc but I especially love HIIT Pilates. It was exactly what I needed and my core hurt the next day so I am feeling like I'm losing tummy weight HAHA. I also love the whole authentic vibe of the place, they have a cafe, and they have these LiFE Jams, and a music community. I love its natural vibe amidst all this city shindig.
    CONS: I am not sure how much their LiFE yoga class cards are but my friend said it was around 750 or something. I can't remember. 
    SWIMMING IN SWEAT FACTOR: 3 out of 5. It really depends on your performance.
    SHOWER/FACILITIES: A bit dark inside but clean enough though I'm not a huge fan of the industrial look, it's alright :)

Overall: I'm very happy with my Guava Pass because it gets me access to the studios I want to go to and it offers a wide variety of workouts! I wish I could book up to 5 per studio though next time but 3 ain't so bad. Stay tuned for my next reviews!

Links: Guava Pass | Flyweight | LiFE Yoga

Things I Love Sundays: Clean Eating

Somewhere between the late nights of TV, chips and whiskey and a morning run to the gym, I decided I want to eat cleaner. And basically be healthier. Maybe it was because of experiments I've done to test the way I feel about drinking juices and making smoothies in the middle of the night when I realized I could do it. I really can. 

At this point of writing, I've actually been on 4 weeks already of eating clean and regular exercise, I've also cleansed myself of indigestion / undigested food and I've never felt so healthy! Before I completely forget about blogging {been out of circulation for almost a month!}, here are what I've been learning from this clean eating journey:

  1. You only need little to start. The first time I tried to live clean was when I had this inkling to make some melon smoothies in our kitchen. As I enjoyed the pure taste of melons and ice, I realized I liked the light feeling I was getting so decided to do it again and again.
  2. The next few days made me obsessed. All I watched on YouTube were meal prep YouTube videos, natural, non processed food recipes, Trader Joe's hauls {my team saw this and it was so funny}, smoothie recipes, juicing and all that. I was a woman possessed! In the process, I also learned about the golden triumvirate of healthy and fit living: A Good Diet, Moderate to Optimal Exercise and a Well Oiled and Highly Functioning Metabolism.
  3. This, of course, translated to a different supermarket experience. I have to admit that shopping for vegetables, fruits and natural food tend to be more frequent and in the Philippines at least, more expensive. Kale, a well known superfood is about PHP 250 a pack at Rustans, 2 pieces of big carrots is PHP 56 and cucumbers about PHP 45. Of course that's just about 1 1/2 cups of juice. Not to mention, a juicer is not cheap but to me, my health and overall means a lot so I'm happy to spend reasonably on things.
  4. You will need support. If you live with another human being whom you share meals with like I do, you will need the support of that other human being. The only way to go through a change and improvement in diet is to have your close friends or partner and families on board. I'm really glad that Mike just eats whatever I give him {like spinach and beets with ginger juice} and actually supports my "simple fish with capers and lemon" craving. He still cooks steak a lot but the choice of meat and the way it's cooked has little to no processing needed and we balance our meals with French beans, spinach and more greens. He also has a penchant for making fresh chicken, beef and vegetable stock so that's good for me. Outside of Mike, I'm glad to have had a Clean Eating MNL Support Group here {click to join!}, a Newfound Fitness Friend in the form of Tina Medrano, whom I talk to a lot about fitness and clean and healthy eating!
  5. You will need exercise. So healthy eating will definitely remove some unwanted pounds that come from processed food that the tummy cannot process and digest. As I've learned, exercise helps {and we should know!} burn the calories and helps us tone up. On top of that, exercise makes our organs work and keep running. Imagine a car that's always parked -- and that car will break down soon enough.

That's it so far for what I've learned and what I'm loving about this Clean Eating Journey. Stay tuned for more! :)

Review: Bobbi Brown Remedies

This is not your average skincare. If it's not yet obvious, I am a marketer in real life --- in my daily life, and I think I've been quite experienced in identifying which products should go where, marketed to whom and how. To this I say that Bobbi Brown Remedies, a hyper targeted skincare solution is for the women out there who know what their skin problem is.

  • Pores & Blemishes - Skin Clarifier No. 75
  • Dull & Tired Skin - Skin Reviver No. 91
  • Dry Parched Skin - Skin Moisture Solution No. 86
  • Loss of Elasticity - Skin Fortifier No. 93
  • Redness & Irritation - Skin Relief No. 80
  • Chapped, Cracked Skin - Skin Salve No. 57

Skin Reviver No. 91: I first read this from a Refinery29 article which called it Brussels sprouts for the face. I was extra excited to use it especially I've been on a healthy kick lately. I've been cooking healthy stuff at home, making fruit juices and smoothies and going on detoxes so this was just right up my alley.

The Verdict: It may take some time before one gets / feels some form of effect, especially if one needs exfoliation, like me on some days. I felt like my skin was so dull so I complimented this with some essences {CosRX AHA!}, and I've seen  how it just amplifies the effects of the other skincare I'm using. I'm happy to note that Skin Reviver 91 is just what I've always been looking for: the right essence I want to pat on my face in the middle of the day when my skin has been parched by the office airconditioning and the sun, when I go on my trips outside during lunch time.

Skin Moisture Solution No. 86: This was something I switched up with my current nighttime skincare and it was something different, first time I've ever experienced. It has that oily feel when you drop it into your fingers and applied but once it dries up in the morning, it's rather matte {a little sticky} but nonetheless dry. 

The Verdict: This may very well replace my current nighttime oils {currently using Bio Oil from Mercury Drug} and alternately, Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Oil. This is not too heavy for summertime which is right now and just right!

Both Bobbi Brown Skin Remedies are available at Bobbi Brown Boutiques, my favorite one at SM Megamall.

Things I Love Sundays: Proximity

We've all heard about the saying, "You are the average of the people you spend time with." I used to worry sometimes that I either spend most times alone, I also tend to spend long hours with people I didn't care about. I didn't realize it has improved since and that I'm actually happier now with the company I keep both in personal and my professional life. Perhaps it's also because I was offered much more choices and I grew up to finally use that choice wisely and proactively.

I'm happy to be surrounded by people who are idealistic, those who burn through a million of wonderful possibilities, pore through details to solve a problem, analytical but intellectually humble. I may not be in the best shape of all my life {currently worrying myself to sleep because I've grown to a size 4 and some clothes don't fit} but this is the most glorious of times: I get to learn everyday like crazy. And I mean that even at home, learning is inevitable.

Above is the current spread of products I'm using --- amazeballs that they all rounded up to be that perfect shade of pink, too. L-R: Dove Powder Soft, The Body Shop Vitamin E Emulsion, Origins Renewal Serum with Willowherb {most loved serum of late!}, Catrice Prime & Fine Primer, Biore Perfect Bright Milk SPF 50, and Jordana Sweet Cream Matte in Creme Brulee.

You May Want to Marry My Husband. *sob*

"The more anxious and neurotic the owner, the researchers discovered, the more likely the dog was to share those same traits. On the flip side, chiller dogs were more likely to belong to more relaxed owners." I love this article on how dog owners and their dogs are very similar. Yup. That's me and half of Butters. I think half of his psychosis come from his dad :P

Instagram, RedesignedAlso, I've been learning User Experience Design and it's awesome!

I've also been trying to learn SQL because I discovered that I actually like data. *surprise*

But I'm happy, I'm glad to be in a very good place, to be in very good company. I'm grateful. I'm about to bake cupcakes in a bit, just waiting for Mike to come back with my unsalted butter and yogurt. For now, leaving you with these photos from my week:

Have an amazing week, you guys.