Mar 15, 2012|
Those of you who know me will find this hard to believe, but last week I went to—and survived—my first-ever CrossFit class. I was actually a little nervous, seeing as my only impression of CrossFit was that it was some kind of terrifyingly hardcore workout that left its victims practitioners lying half-dead on the gym floor. But following an invitation from the very lovely Alix and Ashley of Crossfit Asphodel, currently the city’s only CrossFit gym, I felt that it was my duty as a columnist to go. The classes work like this: CFers start the hour with mobility work and a dynamic workout, followed by either power- or Olympic-lifting for strength training, or the introduction of a new workout skill. Most classes also include a conditioning circuit, where you have to complete a set of exercises within a certain time. Trainers are on hand to offer encouragement and make sure that you’re doing all the exercises safely and correctly, and an atmosphere of friendly and supportive competition is encouraged. Your results are tallied on a big whiteboard and are also published online so you can track your progress and compare yourself to your classmates. In the class I took (which I suspect they made extra gentle for my benefit), I had to complete 60 push-ups and 30 front-squats using the heaviest weights I could comfortably manage. With Alix’s help, I did five sets, each comprised of five squats followed by 12 push-ups—with as many breaks as I needed. Between sets, Alix explained that people of any fitness level can start CrossFit, and that the focus is on doing exercises safely and correctly to improve the all-around quality of your fitness regime and maximize your results. Before joining the gym, Alix and Ashley make all newcomers take a four-hour “On-Ramp” course to assess their fitness levels and explain how to use all the equipment. One-off classes are $200, but there are several monthly packages available that make them cheaper. There are also regular free trials that you can sign up for—check their website for a timetable.
Unit 11C, Wah Ha Factory Building, 8 Shipyard Lane, Quarry Bay, 3568-7719, www.crossfitasphodel.com.
There’s nothing I hate more than writing about perfume. When you think about it, reading about fragrances is such an absurd way to experience them. Here’s a novel idea: go to Lane Crawford, smell a few bottles and pick your favorite—it’s that simple. With that said, I am going to make an exception this week for DKNY’s new fragrance: pureDNKY—A Drop of Verbena. Here’s why: the brand has partnered up with CARE’s Access Africa program—which aims to help poverty-stricken communities become self-sustaining though a variety of initiatives—to source its verbena, a fragrant herb used often used in fragrance and skincare, from local farms in Togo. It offers the farmers a fair wage for their produce, thus bolstering the local economy and ensuring the long-term survival of small farms in the region. And, as if you needed any more eco-credentials, the bottle is made of recycled glass and aluminum, and all the additional packaging is sustainably sourced, too. As for the fragrance itself (for whatever my description may be worth), it’s gently lemony with a hint of basil—not too sweet and ideal for summer. The fragrance is $520 for 50ml, or $720 for 100ml.
Available from various outlets, including 1/F, Sogo, 555 Hennessey Rd., Causeway Bay, 2831-4639.
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