A fitness buff’s formula to build a six-pack

Movement coach Luigi Posadas’ Instagram account is summed up in two words: Chiseled abs.

It’s not just because he’s young at 25, when the metabolism is fast and there are lots of hormones to build the muscles.

“I gained strength and musicality when I took up Pop Pilates and got certified in 2020,” he explains. “It’s body weight Pilates vis-à-vis pop music to make it more fun.”

Pop Pilates is a 50-minute workout based on mat Pilates exercises choreographed to upbeat music. Asian American social media fitness entrepreneur, Cassey Ho, developed YouTube videos of her routines for her students to stay in shape as she moved from the West Coast to the East Coast in 2009. Today, her channel, Blogilates, has nine million subscribers.

In 2015, a friend sent Posadas a link of Blogilates. Though the workout looked easy, he found it difficult upon execution. Since he thrived on challenges, he continued with Pop Pilates. During the lockdown, aspirants from different parts of the world took the online teacher training course with Ho.

Pop Pilates has a template for the routines. | photographs courtesy of pop pilates

It takes nearly five months to complete the requirements for the teacher certification. Posadas had to study anatomy, the different schools of Pilates and various breathing techniques in coordination with the movements. The process involved a written exam on anatomy and principles and a practical exam which entailed a video sample class.

He started teaching in 2021 during the Covid-19 surges via IG. Last year, Posadas, as a freelance instructor, was tapped to teach Pop Pilates at Rockwell Atletica.

Pop Pilates has a template for the routines. Still, the instructors have the liberty to design their program based on her exercises. The class begins with standing warm-up exercises to promote blood circulation. Then, there are various music tracks for the upper body and for different parts of the abdominal muscles, such as the lower abs and the obliques, the legs, back, shoulders and arms. Boring, they are not. You have to follow the beat of songs by Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande, et al.

“Pop Pilates is the most popular among our classes. It’s always full. Luigi is very engaging. May hatak siya (He’s got pull). People follow him,” says Manol Ereñeta, sports and recreation manager of Rockwell Club and Rockwell’s other fitness facilities. Rockwell Atletica offers dance workout, yoga, pole dancing, pound and circuit training that are free to the members and open to the public for a fee. (Jiujitsu is a concessionaire).

The chiseled didn’t happen overnight. The busy lifestyle and patience got his ripped body in five years. Aside from Pop Pilates, he runs, does weight resistance and counts calories with an app. He gets his protein from organic chicken and fish and avoids pork or anything fatty.

“I have been going to the gym to gain muscle. I went on a diet to lose body fat. That’s when the muscles started showing,” he says.

Posadas is at Rockwell Atletica before 6 a.m. to pump iron before he goes to his day job for a telecom company.

“I love it there. Rockwell Atletica is clean. I love the crowd. Everybody has good gym etiquette. They are respectful. It’s not too crowded unlike other gyms. I’m at my best in the early morning. It’s my quiet time — no messages yet,” he says.

After work, Posadas teaches at Rockwell Atletica once a week and goes to other studios to teach boot camp classes as a certified personal trainer and to conduct indoor cycling.

Whenever he travels, the fitness buff runs 10 to 20 km to explore the city. “I ran in Japan, Hong Kong, Italy and Singapore. I track on how long it took me. I’m not trying to compete or be fast. I like being better,” Posadas concludes.

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