If your typical workout consists of watching TV on a treadmill and taking some selfies then it’s time to mix things up and step out of your comfort zone.

Specialized fitness studios have taken over the worldwide fitness scene in the last 10 years. Trends usually start emerging in the West, but Bangkok is catching up fast with new fitness offerings popping up every month. You’re now spoilt for choice here with our city’s top studios rivaling those in any big international city.

 

HIIT

 

BASE

What? HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) involves short, intense bursts of exercise structured in a way that is great for burning fat and building fitness. HIIT is a big buzzword in the industry but if you’re wondering what it is, the clue is in the name—the intensity should be high. If you’re pushing hard, your heart rate is high and you’re breathing heavily you’re probably on the right path.

Where? For the city’s top HIIT offerings try Basecamp at BASE and H.I.I.T Out at New Moves.

 

BARRE

 

Physique 57
 

What? A typical barre class is made up of 95-100-percent women, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s an easy workout! Barre is inspired by ballet and dance training and the belief that these movements help build a strong, athletic and lean body. Add in a motivational coaching style, some pumping tunes and phrases such as “pulse” and “feel the burn” and you’ve got a fun and effective session.

Where? The New York-born Physique 57 is leading the way in Bangkok with three centrally located studios. Try the Fundamentals class to get started. Though specializing in indoor cycling, Tribe also has a strong barre offering in its training mix.

 

CROSSFIT

 

Thonglor Crossfit 
 

What? Crossfit has exploded worldwide over the last decade. It’s become so big that it’s now often (incorrectly) used as an allencompassing term for any kind of circuit training or fitness class. To be a true Crossfit studio (called a “box” in Crossfit talk) you need to be a registered affiliate, of which there are over 14,000 worldwide. Crossfit involves a vast range of training styles and tools but you can expect a mix of gymnastics, high-intensity cardio and heavy lifting, often done as fast as you can in competition with other athletes.

Where? Training Ground (training groundbkk.com) has a large, spacious facility with classes for beginners to advanced. Thonglor Crossfit is a fresh new facility with a popular “Crossfit for Ladies” class.

 

RHYTHM CYCLING

 

Absolute Cycle
 
What? Rhythm cycling is an experience that has to be tried to be fully understood. It’s not just riding a bike, it’s cycling and moving to the beat of the music guided by more of an MC/performer/DJ than a straight up exercise instructor. Expect high-energy, loud music and a lot of crowd participation. Be warned, the front row is reserved for highly-coordinated class leaders that set the pace. If you’re tone deaf and have two left feet, then maybe start at the back.

Where? Absolute Cycle offers a team of top international and local riders. Ryde is also leading the way in Thonglor.

 

FIGHT SPORTS

 

Bangkok Fight Lab
 

What? Ask a foreign friend what springs to mind when they hear Thailand, and they’ll probably say either pad Thai or muay Thai. Muay Thai is quite rightly a source of pride here but many other fight sport facilities have sprung up around the city, cementing its place as a leader in other disciplines such as MMA (mixed martial arts) and BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu).

Where? Try muay Thai at Yokkao Training Center or MMA and BJJ at Bangkok Fight Lab.

 

STRENGTH TRAINING

 

 

What? Being strong is not a trend, it’s a requirement for life. Over the last five or so years there’s been a worldwide movement to squat, deadlift and build muscle, resulting in a shift in mindset for many women to be strong over skinny. We think this is awesome and here to stay with a host of Bangkok heavy-lifting options.

Where? For top strength training classes check out Siam Warrior at Siam Strength and Base Strong at BASE (pre-book only). For training on your own, Muscle Factory leads the way.

Jack Thomas is the founder and CEO of BASE, voted Asia’s Gym of the Year in the Fitness Best Awards 2018.


CLASSES TO AVOID

 

 

CLASSES THAT OFFER SPOT REDUCTION

Do these exercises to burn belly fat, they scream. It would be great if it was true but unfortunately you cannot do an exercise to burn fat in a specific area such as your belly or butt. Get your nutrition and daily movement in order to burn fat and, frustratingly, where it comes off first depends largely on genetics.

 

 

CLASSES THAT DON’T CHECK FORM

It’s great to have an encouraging class trainer that pushes you hard, but if all you hear is “more, heavier, faster!” with zero advice on safe and effective posture, then it may be time to look elsewhere. Don’t let your back, knee or shoulder to give out before your abs pop out.


 

Kick Off Your Healthiest Year Ever

BK Magazine's Better You, your guide to Bangkok's hottest workout trends, best gyms, healthy-eating shops and restaurants, and coolest workout gear, as well as top wellness retreats and beauty clinics you can trust, is out now. Download your copy here.