Want to know how it feels like to train at an altitude as high as 5,000 ft above sea level? Kick it up a notch and put your fitness level at full throttle in the country’s top tourist destination!
HOW TO GET THERE – the gym is located at 2F Cooyesan Hotel Plaza, Naguilian Road corner Asin Road, Baguio, Benguet. Shape Up Boxing Gym is just a couple of kilometers away from Burnham Park or the central district. (I suggest you find a place near Burnham Park when staying in Baguio.)
You have 2 modes of transportation in order to reach the place: taxi and your feet. And it all depends on the time and day you wish to train. Although Baguio’s traffic condition is 1000x less worse than Manila’s, the city roads can get congested, too. When it does, it gets a lot harder to find unoccupied cabs. Hint: 5 pm onwards.
Shape-Up is a HUGE fitness facility with a boxing gym. This is where the likes of Mark Striegl, Eduard Folayang, Nonito Donaire, and Manny Pacquiao (you still need a link?) have trained some time during their careers. When I say huge, I mean it is unbelievably enormous! As you enter the place, you’ll see two separate areas for weight and cardio training on your left-hand side. Think of the facility as another Fitness First branch (but more awesome).
They have 10 or more treadmills and other cardio devices combined, a good amount of heavy weights for your body-flexing needs, among other weight-training equipment. On your right side is the boxing gym, which we’ll cover in this gym review.
Upon entering the boxing area, you would see two boxing rings. There’s a massive space where you can shadow-box, do some circuit training exercise or even hop around. They have monkey and pull up bars, a TRX Suspension training station, a few heavy bags, and so many other fitness equipment.
The place is stunningly clean and very tourist-friendly. They also have sauna rooms for the ladies and gents (can you believe that?) and big shower rooms.
PRICE AND PROMOS
The only values you should look at are these:
1 month = 2800/30 (30 days in a month = 93.33/day
3 months = 4875/90 = 54.17/day
6 months = 7620/180 = 42.33/day
1 yr = 13320/365 = 36.49/day
Note that the price above does not include a personal trainer (in which you’ll need when training boxing).
So add 250 PHP/session.
Everything else, you are free to use.
***Also note that the estimated value per day is based on a 30 days/month premise (wherein you train every day). A more realistic assumption, in my opinion, would be a 16 days/month, wherein you train 4 days a week. So tweak the values and adjust as you see fit.
As I arrived, the attendant greeted me with a smile. He was a pleasant, young gentleman. He explained everything to me clearly and even asked how my vacation was. Then he accompanied me inside and showed me their facilities. After which he introduced me to my instructor.
The coach that was assigned to me was an active boxer. He told me that all of the trainers are actively fighting. Awesome! Normally, there would be 6 trainers available. Unfortunately, 4 of his co-trainers were in Japan at the time to compete.
I had no problem with it since there were only a few of us in the gym. The first thing he made me do was warm up. And this isn’t your usual warm up jogging routines, he taught me the warm up routine fighters in Japan do.
It consisted mostly of ladder workout and dynamic jumping and stretching exercises.
The routine lasted for 7 minutes.
Afterwards, we did static stretching, then I was allowed a quick rest. A few seconds after, he accompanied me to the boxing ring to watch me shadow-box for 1 round. Without much speaking, he put on his mitts and we did 5 rounds of action-packed boxing training. Strangely, I got tired easily than I used to (could it be the altitude?). Luckily, they provided free water.
After a 3-minute rest, I was tasked to practice my footwork on a tire. Before I could finish the round, my legs gave up on me! I took a few seconds of rest then went back at it. Real men should finish their workout, shouldn’t they?
After a mind-blowing mitts training, my eyes were fixed on what seems to be a bulldozer tire. It had to be a tire of a heavy construction machinery! My trainer saw my interest so he made a program for me. Yay! It consisted of kettlebell lift, (big) medicine ball throw, sledgehammer workout, and rope climb. Boy, it was hella fun!
My trainer was very humble and soft-spoken. There was not a round where he did not give me some technical pointers. Most of the time he tried to correct my right straight (sorry, coach). He emphasized the importance of returning to guard position when throwing that punch (by hitting me as if he were my opponent).
Honestly, I’ve learned a lot in this session. You’ll understand that the more you practice the sport, the more you forget some things and the techniques you were taught can only stay in your brain for so long. You have to practice as much as you can so you can be better than you were yesterday.
Aside from the grueling workout, I felt I didn’t have enough on my gas tank. I think I needed a couple more weeks of getting used to in this place. I must say, altitude training as real as it gets! (The idea: the higher the location, the lower the oxygen level concentration in the air.)
Well, well, well. Let’s see…
Yep, the place was spectacular all right! People are genuinely nice, the staff are accommodating, and the trainers are superb. Overall, the experience was nothing short of splendid.
You bet I will not hesitate to pay Shape-Up Boxing Gym a visit again on my next vacation in Baguio!
Thanks for reading this review and I hope to see you again next time.
(Disclaimer: I was not paid in cash or any kind by Shape Up Boxing Gym management or its affiliates to make this review.)