Surrender Your Diet
Put your food in the hands of Bangkok’s booming industry for diet home delivery services.
Absolute Fit Food
What: Various programs such as weight loss, healthy eating and anti-aging that go hand in hand with their Absolute You fitness empire.
How much: B2,500 for a five-day package of two meal boxes per day, or just B1,500 with their current promotion (through May 31).
Blockcalrie Clean Food
What: This delivery service’s preservative-free meals and snacks are packed with fresh veggies and always come labeled with nutritional information, including calories.
How much: From as little as B99 per dish.
Eat Clean BKK
What: Meals designed around optimum daily levels of carbohydrate, protein and fat.
How much: From as little as B100 per dish.
What: Healthy good-value meal plans delivered to your door with strict low calorie counts.
How much: B1,890 for five days of the Slim Box (three meals per day—900-1,200 calories).
What: Haoma’s chef Deepankar Khosla presides over fresh, organic meal delivery plans that are tailored towards different health and body goals, be it weight loss, muscle gain, keto or vegan dieting.
How much: B2,160 for the minimum three-day commitment, including breakfast, lunch and dinner.
What: Bangkok’s original paleo trailblazer, whose focus is on gluten-, preservative- and additive-free, organic and sustainable meals, with 24 new dishes to choose from each week. They also offer Primal Grocery, delivering healthy, organic and presevative-free groceries.
How much: From B299 per dish.
What: Mediterranean-influenced cuisine that sources its ingredients locally, offering healthy salads and high-protein dishes.
How much: Around B220-350.
Credit : www.pranaafood.com
What: If veganism is your prerogative, then this plant-based, whole food delivery service is for you, with its meat-, egg-, oil -and dairy-free menus.
How much: From B350 per day for one meal, to B550 for three meals, though order 10 days or more and you’ll get sliding discounts.
What: Though mainly for grocery delivery, this site takes a special focus on organic and healthy produce, allowing you to whip up nutritious organic meals at home.
How much: Varies.
New Gyms in Town
From 24-hour behemoth chains to adult playgrounds, here are Bangkok’s latest workout spots
Sathorn’s office workers can now squeeze in lunch break workouts at this Swedish chain’s latest opening. The 45-60-minute group training classes include yoga, body combat, Sh’bam, bootcamp, Bodypump and Thai boxing, while a 60-minute personal training session costs from B900. Membership costs B1,299/month, B7,999/six months and B14,999/12 months.
Sathorn Thani, 90 North Sathorn Rd., 092-485-6828. Open 24 hours
Combining sport science and entertainment, this workout studio aims to cure Asoke workers’ office syndrome with its lineup of high energy group classes, like body jam and body combat. Classes are priced at B800 each, B6,000 for a 10-class package, or B5,500 for one month of unlimited classes. Private personal training costs B1,500/session.
1624 New Petchaburi Rd., 093-530-4222. Open Mon-Fri 6-9am, 4-9:30pm; Sat-Sun 9am-9:30pm
Lift Strength and Conditioning
Former Aspire trainer Jamal Younis has opened his own gym designed to build strength for a lifetime. Here, you will find only barbells, racks and a rowing machine, with a focus on Olympic lifting—so if you hate cardio, this could be the gym for you. Group sessions (up to three people) are B1,400/person, personal training session starts from B2,500, or B2,200/session if you buy a 15-session package.
3/F, The Peninsula Plaza, 153 Ratchadamri Rd., 088-415-2814. Open Mon-Fri 10am-8pm; Sat 10am-5pm
Formerly of Bangna, this one’s basically an adult playground, full of obstacles for you to jump over, climb on and hang from. Classes are designed for three kinds of training: functional, parkour and Spartan. Memberships start at B150 for an hour of open gym, B550 for a class drop-in, or B2,500 for a package of five classes. Unlimited monthly membership starts at B4,400.
36/4 Sukhumvit Soi 69, 02-012-1557. Open daily 9am-8pm
The gym’s largest club yet boasts five workout studios including a boxing studio, a high-energy studio dedicated to sweat-inducing classes, and a mind and body studio offering yoga classes. It also features nine outdoor training facilities and playground zones that include a multi-purpose court equipped with LED lighting, a football pitch complete with artificial grass, an outdoor pool and an adjoining spa pool with panoramic views of the city skyline. One-year memberships start at B665/week.
8-9/F, 101 The Third Place, Piyabutr Soi 1, 02-017-9722. Open Mon-Fri 6am-10pm; Sat-Sun 8am-9pm
This “boutique” gym focuses on one-on-one training, nutritional advice, and high- tech fitness level assessments using a Fit3D body scanner. They will then create training programs tailored especially to meet your goals, using everything from boxing and bands to incline treadmills and sleds. A trial training session costs B2,000, after which private training sessions start from B2,850/session (with discounts for longer sign-ups). A 60-minute semi-private training session (max 3 people) starts from B3,500/session.
2/F, The Portico, Soi Langsuan, 082-161-1171. Open daily 6am-10pm
The Fun Factor
Hate kettlebells? These quirky classes could convince even the most unwilling couch potatoes to get moving.
If yoga is too mainstream for you, then why not check out its aerial sister? By striking a king pigeon pose while suspended from a hammock, you can build core strength and encourage full body relaxation.
Try it at: I’m Fly,
2/F, Int-Intersect, 982 Rama 3 Rd., 095-385-6924. B750/hour.
Star Pilates Bangkok
, Charn Issara Tower, 942/166 Rama 4 Rd., 02-266-9407. Currently offering 10 hours of classes for B5,085, or 20 hours for B7,380.
Pretend you’re flying with this unique low-impact, high-intensity workout. The dance and circus act-inspired choreography is designed to improve your balance, agility and core strength, providing a fair share of giggles along the way.
Channel your inner Zen with this dynamic mat-based mind and body workout to music, which will stretch and strengthen your muscles while relaxing your mind.
Try it at: BeatRoot,
1747/9 Chan Kao Rd., 02-287-3439. 10 classes/B3,999. New students can currently get three classes for B999.
Practising yoga in a room heated to 40 degrees might not seem like the most appealing thing with summer in full swing, but at least it will make the great outdoors feel that little bit more bearable! Not only that, hot yoga also works to increase your heart rate, blood flow and metabolism, meaning you burn more calories.
Try it at: Absolute You
, various branches: Amarin, Silom, Exchange Tower, Ladprao, Crystal Park, Jas Urban and On Nut. Try 19/F, Liberty Square Bldg., 287 Silom Rd., 02-631-1996. First timers can get 10 classes for B2,200.
Turn it out next time you’re on Havana’s dancefloor by brushing up on your salsa or cha cha skills. There’s no shortage of places to practice, either, with bars like Pura Vida hosting salsa night on Thursdays (B300/two-hour class) and Latin Thursdays at EmQuartier’s new club, Flamenco (free).
Try it at: BIDA (Bangkok International Dance Academy)
, 9/F, 42 Tower, 65 Sukhumvit Soi 42, 02-712-1238. B500/person for a group class, or B1,500 for a private lesson. This month, get 10 private classes for just B13,000.
Time has done nothing to dull the appeal of this sassy workout class, which strengthens and tones your body, while perhaps also taking your bedroom skills up a notch.
Try it at: Fly Me to the Moon
, 5/F, Baan Yoswadi, Phahon Yothin Soi 7, 091-756-4192. B700/class, though they’re currently offering your first class for B375 and a 15-class package for B5,200, which can also be used for their aerial hammock and aerial hoop sessions (available to book through May 31).Rumpuree
, 2/F, Jasmine City Bldg., Sukhumvit Soi 23, 092-204-9677. B400 for your first one-hour session, and B650/class thereafter, or B3,000 for a six-hour package.
Do you like music and hitting things? Then with a little stretch of the imagination, this could be your calling. Incorporating an intense, sweat-dripping drumming session using lightly weighted drumsticks designed specifically for exercising, this full-body workout combines cardio, conditioning, and strength training with yoga and Pilates-inspired movements.
Try it at: Virgin Active
, various branches: Empire Tower, EmQuartier, Siam Discovery, Central Westgate, Central Festival Eastville and Wireless Road. Membership at Virgin starts at B2,900/month (one-year contract).
Surfing in Bangkok? Well, kind of. A simulated surf center is the closest you’re going to get to catching some barrels here, but it’ll still help you get beach body ready while honing your strength and balance.
Try it at: Surfset
, 2/F, Flow House, 120/1 A Square, Sukhumvit Soi 26, 080-936-7738. B800/person for a group class.
Want to feel like a badass without spending years unpacking the mystique of martial arts? This self-defense and fighting system was developed for the military forces, which means it gets straight to the point by combining the most simple and practical techniques into a rapidly teachable repertoire.
Try it at: Krav Maga Bangkok, 11th Military Police Battalion, 1/1-5/80 Soi Yothi, Phaya Thai Rd., 081-458-5810. B500/90-minute class, or B4,500 for a 10-class package.
Siam Krav Maga
, 6/F, Alliance Française Bangkok, 179 Wireless Rd. www.siamkravmaga.com
. Your first 90-minute class will cost B500, or B900 thereafter. A 10-class package costs B7,000.
What questions do fitness trainers hate their clients asking?
“Will I lose weight if I do exercise?”
Nan Tohchoodee, Tribe
People have to understand that exercise is only part of the game, you need to change the rest of your habits too, like what you eat, how much you sleep, etc. I want people to exercise to feel stronger and empowered, losing weight is a bonus.
“Is this going to make me bulky?”
Jack Thomas, Base
Women often ask this but in fact it’s very hard for them to get big and bulky if they’re not bodybuilding, as women produce a lot less of the hormones needed for muscle growth. In fact, “good shape” comes from having muscle and increasing muscle mass is very important for a healthy body.
“How do I get a six-pack?”
Aurimas Juodka, Well With AJ
Nobody actually wants to put in the work that is involved in having a six pack—this shouldn’t be the end goal of fitness. Body fat percentage that is under 15% for women and 10% for men is not considered to be healthy, so unless you’re a bodybuilder, striving for a six-pack is not healthy—physically or mentally.
A trained eye
Workout fads from a trainer’s perspective, with founder and CEO of BASE, Jack Thomas
Do these fun workouts count as “real” exercise?
It’s certainly real exercise, but the focus with these workouts is more on having fun and getting moving rather than a well-designed program that has been designed for a certain goal.
Can these workouts be as effective as regular gym sessions?
For your average Joe or Jane who needs to be more active, these kind of sessions can get them moving and get some basic results. However, if you’re really looking for big or specific results then a proper program with exercises and workouts designed specifically for that goal will yield better results.
Do you have any fitness advice for people who don’t like exercise?
Find something that you enjoy doing, that isn’t a chore. This is crucial. Whether it’s sport, dancing, running or circuit training, you’re far more likely to stick with it and get long term results.
Diets and Wellness Experiences
Here’s what Doing Spartan Race Taught Me
Obstacle Course Races, or OCRs, are big business, promising urban professionals of varying fitness levels adventure, a sense of achievement, and endless social media posts of themselves caked in dirt. Among them, Spartan Race is probably the best known here in Thailand. Founded in the US and franchised to 30 countries, the race makes you carry boxes of stones, roll down cliffs and shift sandbags while running varying distances from 5-21 kilometers.
But here’s its USP: you don’t have to be a crazy fitness freak to join. While the website might show barrel-chested dudes jumping over fire pits, the truth is they cater to a lot of fitness levels. I’m into training, but I never saw myself being into something like this—until I saw the cut-off times. Even the 5km “sprint” gives you up to seven hours to finish. And how hard can it be to run 5km in seven hours?
I trained around four-to-five times a week, mostly doing CrossFit workouts that combine heavy weights and some cardio. I increased my cardio with a weekly 5km run on a treadmill, too. To top it off, I put myself on a keto diet—which seriously interfered with my job as nightlife writer—and did a healthy dose of 30-burpee stints while holding a seven-kilo dumbbell in each hand. (That’s the other thing about Spartan Race: for every obstacle you fail, you have to do 30 burpees.)
The race was in Hua Hin, and I spent the car ride there feeling sick to my stomach with nerves while simultaneously staying well hydrated with water. The first obstacle comes before you even reach the start line: a wooden wall that you have to climb—a task that gets repeated about 10 times throughout the race, I kid you not.
Generally, the obstacles were fun for me because I’m into lifting and CrossFit. It was the running part that bored me. I went at a comfortable pace, jogged a bit, walked a lot, and did a total of around 200 burpees—though the instructors allowed entrants to cheat by only doing half, I still attempted 30 each time.
I finished in two hours and 30-something seconds and the whole experience was actually not too bad. During the whole race, I felt like I had never been so focused in my life—I was just in the zone. I faced an obstacle, I overcame it. Simple. No distractions.
Spartan Race brands itself as a scary, challenging feat, which it can be. But it certainly doesn’t have to be. You could do it even if your have sub-average fitness. They haven’t announced when and where the next Thailand race is going to be yet, but they’ve had one here every year for the past two years, so you can count on it coming up shortly. When it does, I’ll be at the start line again. Choltanutkun Tun-atiruj
2 Months of Counting Macros—What it Did to My Body and Social Life
Ask anyone even remotely into fitness and they’ll preach the same mantra: You cannot out-train your diet. As someone who usually works out pretty hard four-to-five times per week, I can vouch for this. That’s why I joined an eight-week fat-loss challenge at my gym, Crossfit Ten500. They run these “fat-loss challenges” pretty regularly at a cost of B7,500 for non-members and B2,000 for members (monthly membership is B4,200).
Read that name correctly: “fat loss,” not “weight loss.” The course, said trainer Didac Cuevas, would be all about making sure I got the right daily nutrients to trim away the blubbery consequences of 12-course tasting menus while ensuring my strength and energy levels didn’t suffer. It’s called “macro counting” and it’s an alternative to calorie counting that gets espoused by people who look like race horses. Your body, they say, needs so many carbs, so much protein, and so much fat per day. Get the balance right and you’ll be a well-nourished ball of energy with the looks to show for it.
After the first session I came away knowing two things: 1) That 20 percent of me was fat (athletic looking guys usually have around 10-14 percent and women 16-19 percent); and 2) that I should eat 140 grams of protein, 175 grams of carbs and 80 grams of fat per day. In real terms, that meant five meals of what felt like an exorbitant amount of protein (chicken breast, egg white, a mix of chicken breast and egg white) and very little else. This is not a diet that will make you feel hungry. In fact I was regularly full. The sacrifice comes more in cravings for anything sweet or indulgent.
The other big sacrifice: social life. Doing this thing meant lunches became sad desk affairs and evenings out with friends were riddled with guilt and anxiety. After eight weeks I came away not only with the makings of a six pack (under the right lighting, at least), but also with the sense that such body obsession is, for me, not worth it. I looked better. I felt better. But I was bored. Now, five months later, that’s probably why I’m back where I started. Oliver Irvine