5 Homegrown SA Workouts That Will Score You Amazing Results

by | Sep 24, 2018 | Fitness

You know you’re a workout nerd when…you go on an overseas trip and, instead of googling local bars and restaurants, you’re checking out what exotic fitness classes you can squeeze into your itinerary. That was me on my most recent trip to New York City. Alongside NYC classics like SoulCycle (amazing, FYI – even if you’re not into cycling) and Barry’s Bootcamp, my search turned up Switch Playground – the very same Switch I knew from home. Turns out the underground-club-inspired fitness class, with its thumping beats, lights and smoke machines is taking the Big Apple by storm. Proud much? Here are more innovative workouts, born right here in SA.

Adventure Boot Camp

ABC is the original fitness hipster – taking women’s functional fitness al fresco long before it was cool. Thirteen years since their first camp in Cape Town, they now run camps in more than 60 locations across the country. The combination of fresh air, playful workouts and general gees has been the secret to many a woman’s weight-loss transformation. Want to give it a try? You can do a free trial class at your closest camp location. Or start your post-winter fitness journey by signing up for their 12-week Journey To Summer challenge by 24 September.

It’s so much better when you’re all in it together…


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We are Women – We are ABC Women??? #WomensMonth #Fitladies #Fitlife #exercisemotivation #community

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S.W.E.A.T. 1000

I never thought running on a treadmill could be fun until I experienced running to the beats of a live DJ on a disco-lit mill while someone shouted into a microphone: “If it doesn’t challeeeeenge yooou, it won’t chaaaange yoooou!” (It sounds a lot scarier than it is IRL.) There’s something about the enormously uplifting music, positive energy and high-intensity intervals that creates the perfect endorphin rush, while the welcoming trainers and community make you feel like part of the family. And then there’s the format…just when you think you can’t run for one more second, you’re off the treadmill and doing strength work on the floor. Then, just as you start to feel like you can’t do one more push-up, you’re back on the belt, the exercise you hated mere minutes ago suddenly feeling like a break. No surprises, then, that S.W.E.A.T. 1000 has gone international – the party is now also in Houston, Texas, getting Americans in shape, SA style. Try one class and you’ll be knackered but smiling. Go a few times and you just might be hooked!

Sunrise classes at S.W.E.A.T. 1000 Sea Point studio are something special…


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There are some women who love nothing more than a good, sweaty workout. Others need to be tricked into getting their sweat on. And this workout, by the queen of sass, Takkies, does just that. It’s an hour of strutting, booty-popping and hip rolling to the soundtrack of banging tunes and body-positivity affirmations. And yes, you do it all in your fave pair of heels. What you don’t notice – until the next day, that is! – is how hard your bum, thighs, calves and abs are working while you’re shakin’ what your momma gave ya. Working out was never so sexy.

Working out and learning how to shake your booty in one? Sold.

Gumboot Dancing

You don’t get more South African than Mpho Kunene‘s gumboot-dancing classes. It starts off easy enough: Clap. Clap-clap. Stomp-stomp. But by the end, you’re clapping, stomping, stepping and twirling in an intricate rhythmical sequence. Or, if you’re me, tripping over your feet in the wrong direction. Either way, it’s enormous fun and full of feel-good SA pride, as Mpho tells the dance’s origin story. As for the workout part – you’ve never done so many squats in your life. Hello, booty of steel!

Switch Playground

The antithesis of the long, repetitive workout, this 60-min class starts with a chilled, yoga-inspired warm-up…and then the lights go on, the DJ gets going and the gym transforms into a nightclub. You train in pairs – great reason to take a workout buddy along – moving quickly around a circuit that comprises 21 stations. It’s all based on AMRAP training – as many reps as possible at each station in two minutes, then you switch (get it?). The circuits are designed to give you a full-body workout that combines strength training and cardio and uses a wide range of equipment, from stair-climbing machines to battle ropes. Multiple instructors on the floor are there to help with form, while loud music and flashing lights pump you up. A gym that feels like a nightclub? No wonder New Yorkers are loving it.

Check out this video for a glimpse of what goes down at Switch…


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