Update: Odinson by EPT is ceasing operations as of 30 June 2017.
Fitness fiends in the know may remember the opening of Sheung Wan boutique training and yoga studio Odinson last year: its light and sun-washed studio was a perfect sanctuary for yoga, while upstairs, the equally airy fitness floor was equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for strength and conditioning classes — incorporating both yin and yang under one roof.
The studio just relaunched this May as Odinson by EPT, and while not much has changed in the look of the studio, its offerings have. These days, Odinson is powered by one of the city’s best known and respected personal training studios, Elite Personal Training — based in Wong Chuk Hang. With its new moniker, the studio aims to build on offering a more holistic approach to fitness for clients, with classes designed with more specific functions in mind to suit each client’s lifestyle.
For instance, pairing a “Yoga Unplugged” class made for stiff desk workers with the “Iron Man” High Intensity Interval Training class — which promises to increase your post-workout metabolism for up to 72 hours — is ideal for those looking to lose that last bit of pudge before junk season, and want to also unwind from everyday sedentary stresses. Alternatively, a “YOHIIT” class combines the best of yoga and HIIT to help blast fat, but also build flexibility and endurance.
I recently got to try both the yoga and the fitness group class at Odinson.
“Hoop Yoga” was unlike the Aerial Hoop classes one might imagine just by hearing the name. Instead, I was guided through sun salutations and simple and strong hatha flows before learning to balance and spin a hula hoop on my hand, which you are expected to keep turning while completing the same poses once again. The hoop tricks can be challenging — especially when you’re trying to say, maintain a squat at the same time — but this trick-based element helps distract you from how straining the poses can get, helping you stay in them longer. I walked out with my mind relaxed thanks to the strong meditative aspect of the class (those last moments in corpse pose were so soul-cleansing) and with the determination to focus and master what I learned even more.
“Midday Madness” was a group HIIT class timed for just 45 minutes, with exercises meticulously planned out for either minute or second durations. I was guided through sprints, squat presses, bear crawls, planks, bicycle abs, burpees, and plenty more sweat-inducing conditioning exercises. I was out of breath for a lot of it, but not painfully so, with adequate rest time in-between which made it more bearable. It was still a tough workout overall — it gave me jelly legs walking down to the changing rooms after class, and made me sore for three days after. While the class was probably tailored to our group size of two, it was hard to imagine a larger class completing the same on the 12th floor: with a cafe bar right in the centre, it may feel slightly too crowded with more than four students. I guess you could say that’s the point, to emphasise the personalised training by keeping much smaller classes.
With such an inviting space — including the incorporation of mural art painted by Hong Kong street artists Used Pencil and Wais One on the walls — Odinson can quickly feel like a second home, which makes it all that much easier to want to hit your fitness goals. Currently the studio is partnering with Biorna Quantics to round out every aspect of health and fitness: the company offers scientific and DNA testing, supplements and meal delivery, as well as functional medicine to optimise your wellbeing. It also means you can directly go to Odinson for precise nutritional coaching, while later on the studio is also expected to launch its own physiotherapy or kinesiology treatments.
The aim is to help members consider overall health and wellness, rather than focusing only on the way you look. At the moment, an unlimited group class package will only set you back HK$2,000 a month, so if you haven’t already, it’s the perfect time to try the studio out.
Odinson by EPT, 11-12/F, The Pemberton, 22 Bonham Strand East, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 3955 2206