Bootcamp. The word alone is enough to strike fear into those of us who prefer working out on the dancefloor after a few G&Ts rather than outdoors in 30-degree heat. But bootcamps are currently all the rage and supposedly beneficial for mind, body and soul. Mozzie spray at the ready, we get stuck in and put them to the test…
Good for: city slickers seeking a convenient workout
Centered around two 25-minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) sessions, C25 bootcamps target all areas of the body – including muscles you didn’t even realise you had. We join the class at 7.30pm in Victoria Park with a group of five likeminded fitness fanatics. To begin, we do a series of short sprints up stairs, with lunges in between, followed by push-ups backwards up the stairs. And that’s just the warm up. Afterwards, dividing up into pairs, we get stuck into the real hard work – circuit training. The gruelling routine involves donkey kicks, squats, further sprints and more besides. Though a lot of the exercises are new to us, the trainer is always on hand to make sure that we’re doing them in the safest possible way. Classes start from $100; circuit25.com.
Good for: those who like to get down and dirty while meeting new people
If you’re a true urbanite and adverse to a little dirt, then this bootcamp may not be the one for you. For those not afraid to get stuck in the muck, sign right up! We drop in on a class held in Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, which presents us with a number of challenges in the form of muddy puddles, courtesy of the downpour the night before. Our 15 bootcampers, of a variety of different ages, are encouraged to introduce themselves through a number of different exercises, including a one-on-one tug of war. The team spirit carries through to a number of fun activities, making us forget that we’re even working out. At least until the morning after, when we struggle to move. Classes start from $100; ape.fit.
Good for: dedicated ladies with a determined fitness goal
This may be a women-only bootcamp but it’s the furthest thing from girly. This group of around 25 ladies battle it out six-days-a-week across a range of different bootcamps that target separate areas of the body.
We try out both a core day and a weights day in Hong Kong Park. Kicking off with core, we get stuck in with several gut busting reps of planks, bicycle kicks, mountain climbers and more, followed by sprints. Weights day presents other challenges, with 50 reps of seven different activities, including kettle bell swings and battle rope waves. Along with the intensive bootcamps, Bikini Fit’s packages offer consultations and workshops with top health professionals to help you reach your goals in the best possible way. $795 per week for each cycle; bikinifit.com.hk.
Good for: those looking for a well-rounded workout on Lantau
Taking place over in Tung Chung, this evening workout squeezes some of the toughest exercises imaginable into one gruelling hour. Think bear crawls followed by pull-ups followed by burpees for what feels like an age. That’s only the start of things, too. Splitting into two groups of 10, a couple of dedicated trainers lead us through two circuits, which incorporate body weight exercises as well as reps with TRX equipment, free weights and skipping. The session culminates in several abdominal exercises and some stretches. While not quite as incapacitating as Ape Fit, we still walk around stiff as a surfboard the next day. Classes start from $100; perunfitness.com.
Good for: fitness junkies who enjoy a mix of cardio and weight training
Beginning in the beautifully air conditioned gymnasium at the Ladies Recreation Club in Mid-Levels with a number of stretches, this workout starts like a walk in the park. Things quickly turn hardcore, however. Post warm-up, our group of seven is tasked with a jog down the nearby tennis courts for a series of cardio-based activities, including sprints and side shuffles. The cardio continues with an uphill jog to a park where we get stuck into some circuit training, including sit-ups, squats and a whole lot more. Like we hadn’t done enough cardio, the session ends with a jog, interspersed with lunges, before heading back to the gymnasium. The session proves super tough, although super varied, and leaves us pretty sore. Classes start from $220; treecesports.com.