Fitness Fad Fridays: Trampoline cardio at BounceLimit

In a never-ending quest to make us spend more money, the health and beauty industry comes up with creative ways to tell us we’re fat, and correspondingly creative ways to tell us how to lose it. Sometimes it seems that the city’s health-conscious residents are more susceptible to trying out the latest fitness fads than they are to catching SARS.

Coconuts Hong Kong’s associate editor Laurel Chor is going to save you the trouble by sweating her way through all the latest fads in this new five-part, biweekly series. We review anonymously and pay for ourselves.

Despite what many fitness-obsessed people will try to tell you, going to the gym just sucks sometimes. There’s something absurd about paying for and traveling to an enclosed space to join a bunch of strangers in lifting chunks of metal over and over, or running on fancy conveyor belts that go nowhere.

In an attempt to bring meaning to the never-ending quest for health and beauty, companies have tried to re-package working out into so-fun-you-don’t-realise-you’re-exercising concepts – like trampolining.

Trampolines, previously the domain of carefree childhoods and professional circus folk, have now entered the world of boutique gyms.

BounceLimit, “Asia’s first rebounding ftness studio”, is so sophisticated that they refuse to use the word trampoline, instead calling them rebounders. Fancy! 

I hesitantly book my first class (for a whopping HKD400), selecting “AirBounce – Level 1”, which the gym claims to be the “equivalent to a 45-minute uphill run”. They also claim that an hour of bouncing can burn 1,000 calories, compared to the 400 you’d burn spinning. Yeah, right. 

I arrive at their location in Sheung Wan, and buy a pair of mandatory non-slip toe socks (HKD110). Since July Fourth is coming up, I thought I’d select a fashionable pair featuring the Star-Spangled Banner. There is no turning back now. 

For whatever reason, they don’t have a water fountain and instead offer every client a free bottle of water with every class. When I asked the receptionist why, she just laughed. “Ha! Environment, schmenvironment,” I take that to mean. (To be fair, they do offer recycling bins.) 

I enter the alarmingly small classroom, which only has five trampo – um, sorry – rebounders, making for an oddly intimate setting.

The cheery Australian instructor walks in (the only dude I ever see in the vicinity of BounceLimit) and starts a playlist of cheesy 90s tunes  – later, I kid you not, we’d find ourselves working our glutes to the “Thong Song”.

Despite my scepticism, I find that jumping on a rebounder is such an inherently fun activity that you can’t help but smile. We’re bouncing, doing jumping jacks, criss-crossing our legs, doing push-ups and burpees like we’re as light as air. (Ladies, be warned: wear a good sports bra.) 

The instructor soon has us doing such ridiculous moves I’m half-convinced that I’m being pranked. There has to be a hidden camera capturing our completely GIF-able moments, as we hop around in circles while kicking our legs to the left and to the right, while simultaneously pumping our arms in between our legs like cowboys.  

Because of the small class size and the fact that you’re all staring each other in the face while bouncing up and down, a remarkable sense of camaraderie is built between you and your fellow bouncers. At one point the instructor even has us play a game akin to “Tag”, where we have to squat if we get tapped on the arm by another person. You’ve got to give credit to a workout class that gets you laughing with strangers!

I was breaking a sweat, but as a fairly fit person my heart rate wasn’t getting all that high – though I’d definitely have to come back a few times before I could do all the tricky moves properly because bouncing on your ass while rotating 360 degrees is simply not a movement humans were designed to perform. 

Is it fun? Yes. Is it a good workout? You’ll sweat, but you probably won’t be sore the next day (and you definitely will not burn 1,000 calories). Is it worth HKD400 per session? Not really (especially since the locker rooms are tiny and a little too cozy for comfort – think accidental bare butt bumps), but it might be fun to do it once or twice with friends.

What: Rebounding
Where: BounceLimit, The Pemberton, 13/F 22-26 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan (Google Maps)
Price: HKD350 – HKD400
Tel:  (+852) 2441-0021

Related stories:

Fitness Fad Fridays: Analysing body fat with scary precision using a DEXA scan

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