Ultimate Performance (aka. UP) is known for their no-excuse, no-BS approach to personal training, and they’re big on 3-month transformations with proof in the form of before-and-after photos. Founded by Nick Mitchell in the UK, they now have locations all over the world including Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Dubai and London.
In Hong Kong there are two locations: one in Central and the other in CWB. Besides personal training, which is quite an investment (that many are willing to pay for, I might add), they also offer group training with class sizes kept to a maximum of 8.
I tried the group training class and here’s what it was like:
Located on the 11th floor of Midtown Plaza in Causeway Bay (near Times Square), Ultimate Performance Causeway Bay is a relatively small gym with mirrors across one side and floor-to-ceiling windows on the other.
Check-in takes place right when you exit the lifts at the reception area, and the change rooms are towards the back of the gym on the right-hand side.
The place is full of weights equipment (with only 1-2 cardio equipment) so it’s clear that muscle-building is the main goal here.
The class was circuit-training style and designed with about eight different stations to cycle through 3x. Exercises included hamstring curls (on the machine), prowler pushing, tricep dips (off a bench), squats, lat pulldowns, push-ups, etc. and time passed by pretty quickly.
It was different to other circuit classes I’ve tried that had more cardio components, such as box jumps, burpees, rowing machines or even jump squats and lunges. This one was purely weights, except for the prowler which was a bit of strength+cardio.
After the class, we were offered a complimentary smoothie of our choice from the reception area.
Overall, I found that Ultimate Performance’s group training class was just OK. Don’t get me wrong — the trainers and people in the class were really nice and very professional, but I felt that I had more fun in other circuit training classes in Hong Kong, where there was more variety in the exercises.
It might just be that I’m a fan of cardio too (yes, I know that building muscle is important), but a mix of the two would have been nice. Thing is, there doesn’t seem to be much space in the gym to have people doing box jumps or burpees, really, since most of the gym space is taken up by machines except for a small strip for the prowler.
I’ve only tried UP once so far, but I’d recommend it for people who are looking to transform themselves dramatically (and has the money to afford PT).
Many people I know have taken the plunge and done the 3-month PT package, and you can really see the results (eating clean is a must). Moreover, I would say UP is more of a ‘guy’s gym’ because of the clientele they attract, but that is really just my personal opinion as a woman. In fact, there are plenty of women who work out there.
Just doing the group fitness classes won’t get you the same results as the PT package, but they have this awesome deal where you can buy a package of 20 group classes and that comes with a meal plan to help you transform within 6-8 weeks.
There’s also an unlimited time option for the same 20 classes, but it’ll be harder to see results if you space them out too far between each other.
UP also offers meal plans to help their clients with the diet side of things, and you can find out more about that here: EAT UP Hong Kong.