There is no shortage of outdoor bootcamp-type workouts in Hong Kong — Original Bootcamp (review here), Bootcamp, Circuit 25 and BikiniFit, just to name a few — but one of the newer ones is ApeFit, which is run by ex-Circuit 25 trainer Linds Russell.
I first met Linds at a Vibram FiveFingers event (for which she is a brand ambassador for) and she invited me to try out their first class at Victoria Park way back in June. The evening session was led by Michael Berwick and we were a group of four.
After meeting at the water fountain opposite Park Lane, we jogged over to the model boat pool and started with some stretches (shoulders, legs, etc.) A few minutes later, we jogged briskly after Michael into the park and found a path going uphill to do some Tabata sprints (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off). We were to do eight of them, however, due to the confusion with the up and downhill segments, we ran to a straight away path instead (near the tennis courts).
There, we completed eight grueling Tabata sprints while Michael shouted the times for us to start and stop, all the while dodging in between the meandering crowds of Victoria Park. After that, we retreated into a more secluded area of the park to do some strength training, still with Tabata timing (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off eight times).
They included squats, lunges, lower ab rolls, tricep dips, crunches and other rather predictable and basic moves. Before we knew it, the hour-long session was over, and most of us were drenched in sweat (partly due to the high humidity that night).
Honestly speaking, there wasn’t anything unique about ApeFit that would make me choose it over any other outdoor workout program in Hong Kong. Of course, I haven’t tried any other ApeFit sessions so it’s hard to say, but I’m told that they are much more fun and diverse (using animalistic movements like spidermans, worm crawls, etc).
As with any outdoor workout, it was nice working out in a group (for social reasons) and having someone to tell us what to do (and push us along the way). But when it comes to the actual workout — nothing special that we couldn’t have done on our own.
ApeFit classes are priced at HK$150 to start and get cheaper as you buy more classes. There are currently classes at Victoria Park, Brewin Park (Central), Botanical Gardens (Central), Repulse Bay Beach, Clear Water Bay and Pok Fu Lam, and there’s even ApeYoga now.
Worth a try at least, since the first class is free!