One month was all it took to change our perception of strength training

By Jacqueline Benita Paul


Do the following describe you or someone you know?

“I am not fit enough for strength training” “I feel demotivated and self-conscious when working out in a group setting” “I am easily bored when it comes to working out” If the three points above resonate with you, don’t worry, we’re on the same boat. Which is why my colleague, Hiran was surprised when I signed us up for a one-month pass at Playground Boutique Fitness Personal Training Studio. However, we decided as the year-end festivities are closing in, we would swallow our fears and start our strength training journey with open minds.


Truth be told, when I booked our first class, Power Play 40 on the Mindbody application, I wasn’t sure what to expect but as our coach (Kylee) started to list out the two circuits with four workouts and three repetitions on the white board, I feared Hiran might kill me if the workout didn’t. We calmed down when Kylee began the session by addressing us by our names (as listed on the board) and asked around if anyone had injuries. It was evident a great deal of care and consideration is given to Playground’s group classes.

Warm-ups were a countdown from 10-60 repetitions of varied full body strength exercises to engage and awaken the muscles. To paint a vivid picture of the circuit we feared, here is the breakdown.

40-minutes / 20 seconds rest

Circuit A – 3 Rounds

A1 – Burden Run & 3 Squats A2 – Kettle Bell Reverse Lunges A3 – Uneven Push Ups

A4 – Reverse Plank Hold

Circuit B – 3 Rounds B1 – Plate Squat Hold

B2 – Alternate Leg Split Squats B3 – Dumbbell Alternate Arm Renegade Row

B4 – VIPR Push Press

However, as exhausting as it was, it was thrilling to know that we survived one of the most intense classes on their roster.

There are two things you won’t find at Playground, one is a treadmill (or cardio exercises) and stretching exercises right after the workout. Replacing the post-workout stretch is deep-breathing exercise focused on slowing down your breath. According to Playground, the optimal time to stretch is several hours after the workout to give your muscles time to lengthen.

Classes attended: Power Play 40 and 4Play (twice)


Our first 4Play class made us regulars. We received a training log where we would be required to keep track of our progress. This is an ingenious idea to empower us to be mindful of our progress and reduce the likeliness of plateauing. The structure of the class is similar to Power Play 40 but significantly less intense and best suited for beginners like us. We also attended the Bee Sting class that equipped us with the technical know-hows of American boxing. We highly recommend this class for stress relief.

Classes attended: Bee Sting and 4Play


Coming into the third week, we felt stronger in both body and mind. The friendly and supportive community at Playground made us keep wanting to return. To take our workout to the next level, we took the movement screening test with Dennis. After going through a comprehensive lifestyle questionnaire, we were asked to complete a series of mobility exercise to identify any problem areas. It wasn’t surprising to hear that our sedentary lifestyle had caused

our tight hamstrings. However, Dennis identified the cause of my lower back issue, which was caused from the muscle tightness in my legs.

Classes attended: Bee Sting and 4Play


The classes were never repetitive or boring. Our charismatic coaches always had a smile and energy we couldn’t get enough off. More importantly, we were consistent and that was because we enjoyed ourselves and could see our progress weekly. It was more obvious when we attended the personal training session with Dennis. From the workout structure he had prepared, it was obvious that he meticulously analysed the results of our movement screening. The personal training session came with consultation on dietary recommendations. Overall, we found that strength training has just as much to do with your attitude and discipline as it does with your physical abilities. The community at Playground is unlike anywhere else we’ve been, where people stop to talk to one another and encourage each other in their fitness journeys.

Classes attended: 4Play, Personal Training with Dennis Phang


Address: The Playground Boutique Fitness Personal Training Studio
                 Nadi Bangsar Retail Level 2, 6, Jalan Tandok,
                 59100 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel:          03-2715 9295


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