SINGAPORE - In a class with 16 others, fresh graduate Malavika Hemanth was doing squats while carrying a wall ball at the 100Plus Promenade on Monday (March 4).
But instead of doing the exercise by herself, the 22-year-old had a partner standing in front of her cheering her on.
After completing her 20 squats, the roles were reversed and it was her turn to support her new friend.
This was mirrored by the other six groups at all five stations of the circuit in Sports Hub's newly launched Flex Fitness class.
The hour-long session combines high-intensity interval training and functional movements in a team-based setting where pairs and trios move around in a circuit.
Equipment such as battle ropes and kettlebells are also used while they do jumps and burpees.
While she goes to the gym twice a week, Malavika preferred the team-based training class.
"It's nice to get a team workout because you feel more motivated to do better.
"I don't know anyone here so it's about the camaraderie and encouraging each other," said Malavika, who made three new friends in class including her partner.
"But if you bring your friend and you're on the same level, you can challenge each other and push yourself more."
Sports Hub's senior manager of programming and partnerships Melvin Koh said the programme aims to help young adults exercise effectively while making friends.
"The team-based setting facilitates people getting to know each other and complements the workout.
"It becomes a fun challenge like seeing who can do more reps. It gives you extra motivation to push yourself a bit further because if you see your friend working hard, you also want to try harder.
"There's also a bigger sense of achievement when you guys push each other... because you feel like you accomplished it as a team.
"We want to grow this into a community where people feel that when they come, they have buddies to embark on this fitness journey together with."
Koh also highlighted the role of the instructors, who can each take up to 12 students in a class. Each class can take a maximum of 30 students, with three instructors.
"For participants to get the most out of the class, instructors need to be able to give sufficient time to each person because these exercises are a bit challenging and we want to make sure they are effective, so using the correct technique is critical."
Instructor Ng Eng Chuan added that another benefit of the team-based setting was sharing the workout load so participants do not get tired so quickly.
"If I asked athletes to do the circuit by themselves, they will get tired by the third station.
"But when you have a teammate, you can take turns and get equal rest time which helps a lot in keeping them going."
Cheang Jian Ming found it easier to keep up with the class when he relied on his teammates.
"It's more intense than I thought it would be but intensity is good because when you're tired, that's when you tend to rely on other people and make a lot of new friends," said Cheang, who exercises four times a week.
"When you're exercising by yourself you follow your own tempo. This class encourages you to push yourself more because you have to keep up with the pace."
Flex Fitness costs from $12 per class and is one of three classes under Sports Hub's new Flex Revolution programme. The other two are Flex Pulse, where participants will learn the fundamentals of dragon-boating in three weeks, and Flex Altitude, where participants will learn rock climbing.
Flex Pulse will run from March 17 to May 20 and costs $28 to $38 for three sessions. Flex Altitude begins in April and costs $58 to $78 for two sessions. More information can be found at sportshub.com.sg/flexrev