If you’ve been following me on my Facebook and Instagram, you’ve probably figured out I’m a fitness enthusiast. So when Under Armour Malaysia (under the UA Sports Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.) decided to organise their “Armour @ the Park” on Saturday, 21st May 2016 at the Old Courthouse, Kuching, it was an easy decision for me to join!
The hard decision was actually what to wear for this special occasion. I may be visiting the gym on an almost daily basis, and yes I am fitter than where I was 8 years ago…but my body is still more of “skinny fat” than “model on Men’s Health magazine”. I blame genetics.
So wearing my only UA gear, a 6-year-old, almost completely peeled off UA logo, white semi-transparent compression shirt that does show my areola to the public…with no six-pack abs to make it up, the idea of hot chicks looking at my nipples first really made me feeling self-conscious. “Man up la and don’t be a pussy!” you’ll scream. “First impressions count!” I retort. And it’s not like I want to clearly wear a rival sports apparel brand to a UA event…at least on the first session of this bi-weekly activity.
I found a solution nonetheless. A black no-logo tank top to cover my moobs, and black shorts with a not-so-obvious logo of a competitor brand and a pair of knee support sleeves to complete 70% of my workout attire. I can’t do any covering on the non-UA logos for the socks and shoes though. “Big deal”, I hear you whisper!
(WTF…Three paragraphs just on my outfit of the day?)
Anyway, I got there 20 minutes before the event starts, thinking that’s more than enough time for me to register and enjoy the view. I totally forgot Kuching people can be quite “kiasu” (grasping).
This is where I start queuing up:
Honestly I wasn’t expecting that many people. Like more than 160 participants!
So while waiting I managed to meet my gym buddies from Level Up Fitness. Fitness junkies la we all. But I am disappointed with some other gym buddies that never showed up despite saying “Yes, I’ll see you there!” Why give me such promises then?
In addition, the event did not start at 7.30am as per schedule due to the registration. And there’s no area to keep your bag safe and secure. I wasn’t pleased with the idea of waiting and having to bring my fanny pack full of life’s important items (car keys, smartphone and wallet) during a workout.
But when it began at around 8am-ish, all negative thoughts were off and I set my mind to follow whatever the instructors from Gym Box told us to do.
The Warm Up:
Running almost a full length of the Kuching waterfont, while doing push-ups, mountain climbers and squat and twist exercises every quarter of the way.
That took about 10-20 minutes. It took a bit of my energy, but I knew I was doing better than some 10% of the participants. Bring on the next challenge!
The Workout #1: Functional Training
10 types of exercises, one minute for each type, and only 5 seconds rest in between. I can’t recall the specific exercises in order, but there were jumping jacks, squats, lunges, planks, push-ups, planks/push-ups with a partner, and of course the burpees. You can hear some groans while instructor Faiz (who I knew from school days…he was an obese back then!) called for the most challenging and popular body weight exercise. But I expected it. And I scored a pathetic 14 burpees per minute.
5 minutes rest before the next workout. I was drenched with sweat by then, breathing like I was having a buffet on eating air. No thoughts on giving up though. And my old UA compression shirt could still do its magic of wicking sweat away from my body. Unlike my newer compression shirt from a brand that once sponsored the Bolton Wanderers’ stadium.
The Workout #2: Martial Arts Fitness.
Lots of side movements, quick 1-2 punches to a push-up, kicks, knees…whatever one can expect from a Muay Thai session (except grappling). In fact, the instructor for this round, Stephen, was my classmate in one of the special weekend Muay Thai sessions 4 years ago. He was smaller then haha.
Half way through the workout my left knee started to give in to the stress, as well as the lactic acid in my legs. Not a nice feeling, and I’ve slowed down a lot as such. But still I wasn’t tempted to quit like some of the participants. I was in fact angry at myself for slowing down. I was passionate to go on. I was determined to live up to Under Armour’s slogan, “I Will.”
Imagine my euphoria when this session was over! But the event hasn’t ended yet…
The Workout #3: Core and Abs Workout.
Sit-ups, planks, side planks…these are some of the exercises to bring the pain for the abs! I do not know instructor Yanti in this final round of workout, but she’s good. It’s safe to say Gym Box has some fantastic group of instructors. Challenging workout as expected, but at least my legs are fine! Cool down at the end of this session.
Like most events nowadays, one must have a group photo!
In The End
I like what Under Armour Malaysia is doing for the community here in Kuching. While its rivals were always doing their own events only in West Malaysia, Under Armour Malaysia didn’t forget about Sarawak. I like that they got Sarawak to be the first state outside of KL and Selangor to have UA’s presence, and I like them even more since they’re giving out free workout sessions like “Armour @ the Park” in Kuching. 7 more sessions by Gym Box before Phoenix Gym takes over for the remaining 8 sessions. In other words, say goodbye to Friday nightlife every bi-weekly, wake up early on a Saturday morning and let’s be fit together!
The next one is on 4th June 2016 at the same venue, so see you there!