New Playlist Alert: “Push It”

Can I just say, I love Spotify? It is my constant companion during my workout and training sessions these days. Songs playing in my ears (thanks to my Under Armour JBL Bluetooth earphones) help me either tune out the boredom or focus on pushing harder.

While I have my own go-to custom playlists depending on what kind of training session I’m doing, it’s always refreshing to come up with a new mix. This latest one I’ve created on Spotify is called “Push It” and is one of my most eclectic playlists to date. Continue reading “New Playlist Alert: “Push It””

Plana FORMA Core Class

I’ve only gone to a Plana Forma class once before. I took a beginner class that introduced my body to the isometric movements and shapes of this workout that combines principles of yoga, ballet, and Pilates to sculpt and tone the body and make you stronger.

Four years later during this current lull in my running and tri training, I pounced on the opportunity to attend another class at the opening of the new Plana FORMA branch in Il Terrazzo on Tomas Morato Street in Quezon City.Β  Continue reading “Plana FORMA Core Class”

Podcast #6: Hot Primary at Beyond Yoga

Many of you know that yoga plays a big part in my athletic conditioning. So when Beyond Yoga partner and ambassador Bianca King invited me to try out their Hot Primary yoga class at the Rockwell branch, of course I said yes!

Beyond Yoga Hot Primary class
with Bianca King and Al Galang

2011 was the last time I took a Bikram hot yoga class (you can read about that experience here). Even further back in 2008, before I started running, I encountered yogi Al Galang when he had just set up a Bikram yoga studio in Greenhills.

Funny how some things come full circle. I dropped out of the hot yoga scene, Al sold his yoga studio, and we both went into different ventures for the next few years. Yet there I was last Friday at Beyond Yoga Rockwell taking a Hot Primary class under his direction.

Conducted in a heated studio, Hot Primary is a non-vinyasa (flow) yoga with a 40-posture set sequence. (Basically this means you get into the pose, then you get out of the pose and then get into another pose.) It comes from the 84-posture sequence taught by Bishnu Ghosh, who then passed them down to his students, namely Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram Yoga.

“Hot Primary is something we’ve introduced this year. It’s a culmination of my years of experience in Bikram yoga but also a culmination of years receiving feedback from myself and thousands of students in what they want, what could keep them going and challenge them and still work,” Al told me when I sat down with him in the studio after the class.

You can listen to my interview with him here or on iTunes:


Also available on iTunes. Continue reading “Podcast #6: Hot Primary at Beyond Yoga”

Kikay Went Boxing at Elorde Marcos Highway

The last quarter of the year is offseason for most athletes. For me it’s traditionally been the time I’ve tried different workouts to give myself a break from my usual training. Not only is it a physical shake-up due to new movement patterns, but it’s also mentally refreshing to think about something other than running.

Elorde Marcos Highway
Knocking myself out

Last week, after Christmas, I went to check out the Elorde Boxing Gym on Marcos Highway in Marikina. (NOT Baguio, as some people on my Facebook wall wondered. Hahaha!) It’s owned by my friend Chris Tan, who I met four years ago shooting a web series called Weekend Warriors. That was shortly before I started running, and you know the story from there…

Chris got into boxing a while back and then invested in the Elorde boxing gym on Julia Vargas in Ortigas. Now they’ve opened a new branch and he wanted me to try a boxing lesson or two.

Elorde Marcos Highway
Elorde Marcos Highway
Elorde Marcos Highway

Elorde is one of the established boxing gyms in the Philippines and their trainers actually do compete in professional matches, so I was assured the training and coaching would be excellent.

I knew my fitness was great, but my technique was non-existent. How would I fare?

Continue reading “Kikay Went Boxing at Elorde Marcos Highway”

Trying Out Plana FORMA


I learned about Plana FORMA two years ago when a friend asked if I taught it. I heard that KC Concepcion credited her toned physique to the classes she took at their Fort Bonifacio branch, and a couple of other friends forsook their regular exercise routine for this fusion workout created by co-founder and director of training Julie Alagde-Carretas. Now, Plana FORMA has expanded northward with a branch in Quezon City to serve its avid “thigh warriors”.

Plana FORMA tones your thighs, lifts your butt, tones your arms and strengthens your abdominals using isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches adapted from Physique 57, based on the Lotte Berk Method, which was a movement technique created by dancer Lotte Berk as she was recuperating from injury. Julie used her training in Physique 57, combined with her expertise in dance, yoga, Pilates and sports to create Plana FORMA.

Last February, I tried out a beginner class taught by Mae Evangelista at their Fort branch. Continue reading “Trying Out Plana FORMA”

CrossFit: Not Your Ordinary Gym Workout

I’ve been hearing a whole lot about this “CrossFit” from Mr. F, who’s always on the lookout for a new fitness fix — as if routinely running sub-50 minute 10Ks weren’t enough of a challenge for him.

Crossfit: Rovilson
a CrossFit disciple

CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning workout that aims to build your overall fitness and your capacity to move large loads over long distances quickly. So it’s always highly varied, intense, but the workouts (the Workout Of the Day or WOD) can be scaled to almost any level of fitness. Supposedly, elderly people and MMA cage fighters can do the same WOD — just with different loads and intensities.

Many months ago I received an invitation to try CrossFit out when The Box (what they call their workout space) opened in Magnitude Bldg., Libis. Continue reading “CrossFit: Not Your Ordinary Gym Workout”

Cross-training with Bikram Yoga

Even though I swim, bike, and run throughout the week, as part of my cross-training routine I also do strength and stretching work at the gym. This conditions other muscles not used in my primary sports and allows me some recovery from regular training, preventing boredom and burn-out. Stretching also maintains and improves range of movement, preventing injury to muscles and joints due to loss of mobility.

Three weeks ago upon the invitation of a former yoga classmate, Dax, I dropped in at Bikram Yoga Greenhills for a change.

Bikram Yoga: forward fold
not as easy as it looks

Continue reading “Cross-training with Bikram Yoga”