Plana Forma Day 1

As part of my resolutions, I have decided to take up Chuvaness’ advice:  take up Plana Forma.  Actually, it was more like an indirect advice, because she just shared the reflections of the person who did try it, and to be honest, well… it got me curious.  I’ve been meaning to try it for some time, but never really had the courage to.  So when I felt like calling their studio to book a schedule, I didn’t resist the urge.

I was scheduled for an intro class on Monday evening, 5:30 to 6:30 PM.  I was adviced to come in earlier than usual because I still have to go through the registration process (aka fill out a two paged form).  The first challenge was the location.  It’s at 20th Drive, McKinley Hill.  When I looked it up Google Maps, it showed that 20th Drive is along 5th Avenue, the long stretch along Global City.  Then I realized, this is not an easy commute.  I mean, are you kidding me?  The fact that it is located in a place so averse to public transportation already makes it hard.  How hard  can this get?

So I took the cab at first to get there.  The driver isn’t familiar with the street so I had to call their studio as I go.  Too bad, the receptionists can’t seem to have any other landmarks but Libingan ng mga Bayani and Esensa Condos.  I think they’re not used to clients that do not own cars.  They can use some work on their direction giving skills, or better yet, explore commute options to their studio.

When I got there, they were right:  the building where the studio is located is still under construction.  However, it is impossible to miss.  It is the only building with green glass panels.  When you see it, do not fear, you are not lost, just walk in and get on the elevator to the 6th floor (yes, this is what I said to myself as I was walking the grassy way to Jecoprime Building).

Everyone appeared to be expecting me, prolly because I looked so new.  I filled out the forms and they casually offered me their bottled water for P30.  I was surprised to see Nature’s Spring as their bottled water supplier (it looks really cool, by the way).  They offered me a locker, which I happily availed. 

Then… silence.  I had to ask them where to go next.  They then led me to their locker room which was very relaxing.  One cube was for doing yer business and three others as the shower.  Face and bath towels were cleanly stacked and lockers, that sadly have a high face-hitting-the-door risk, smell very nice.  For a newbie, it was a very good indication that I will get my money’s worth.  They asked me politely if I want to settle the bill now or after the class. 

Then I changed.  Everyone seems to know someone taking this class and I can see even if it’s just the soft opening, it has attracted a particular niche of goers.  I wanted to hangout at the locker more, but then I heard a voice and when I went out, the class was already starting, about three minutes in.  I wish they announced that it’s about to start.

Now, the hard work begins.  The intro class felt really good to start.  We started with floor exercises.  A lot of the movements target the thighs, and Dyan Castillejo was not kidding when she said you can feel the burn.  It started out good pain, and then the struggle pain came in when we went to the bar.

The bar reminds me very much of the exercises we used to do when I was a kid and I was studying ballet.  I admit I was losing focus, mainly because I couldn’t find my center.  Standing on the balls of the feet, our instructor Vinia had us doing pulses by making our ankles touch our ass (or as close as we can get it to). 

OH.  MY.  GEHD.  The pain quickly set in and I am reminded of how little exercise I get (or give) to my thighs.  Hamstrings, glutes, everything was stretching and everything was painful.  The brief 30- to 45-second stretches were like heaven.  Then we had to do the other leg.  OH.  MY.  GEHD.

Matt exercises kicked our core.  It was very ab-centric, and that is the one region I’ve always been lazy to focus on.  I paid the price alright.  There was a part when you had to “swim” and all of your weight is on the abdominals and hips, all limbs elevated imitating a swimming style. 

After the 55-minute class, we had to put everything back in order:  the mats, the ball, the straps, the weights, everything is provided for.  I wanted to run because I can feel the throbbing in my legs.  It felt like the devil decided to live in my thigh and redecorated it. 

The hard part is the going home part.  It was so hard to get out of that place.  You have to walk to 5th Avenue and wait for a jeepney to Guadalupe station or a cab to anywhere.  And by waiting I mean really waiting.  It took me roughly 45 minutes to get to the train.

All in all, it was a FANTASTIC workout.  I love the pain I’m feeling in the morning because I know I did it right.  The instructors are very concerned with your form, that’s why they’re constantly monitoring it.  Also, everyone in the studio is so chipper; it’s hard to snap at them even when you want to break their neck after what they did to you.  They have everything for sale:  shirts, leggings, training bras, towels, non-skid socks, water, power bars, EVERYTHING.  The studio itself is a one-stop shop to prep you for your Plana Forma session.

I strongly recommend this exercise because the way I sweated it out yesterday… well, let’s just say I just might be able to reach that goal weight by May.  Yes.  I seriously feel it’s THAT good.

I just wish they’ll be more accessible.

Plana Forma Day 2 will be on Friday.  Another intro class for me.  I think I’ll get three or four intro classes before I go to the beginner ones.  My muscles need a lot of breaking in to.

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