Every month the Young Professionals of Plano (YPP) through the Plano Chamber of Commerce get together for a unique evening of fun. This month, was set at a place of definite uncharted territory for the group.
Tywon Omega was recently named by Plano Chamber as the 2016 Chair for YPP. He has a strong background in health and fitness and envisions a more active and even more interactive YPP. In his eyes, UFC Gym was the perfect place to host this year’s first event. Although, I must be honest, the majority of YPP members seemed a bit hesitant.
“Am I really going to be sweating with fellow young professionals through this networking group I’m a part of?!” The answer was yes, and the end result was well worth taking a small step out of my comfort zone.
After getting over that, I moved to what UFC Gym would be like. Tough-looking men with gloves or tape on their hands, some kind of caged ring (as I’ve seen on T.V.), both small and big boxing bags everywhere.
My preconceptions were completely off! Starting with who worked out at the gym. Women, men, girls and boys from age 6 to 56 were there. Speaking about children in the gym, UFC Gym Plano General Manager Junior Acuna told Plano Profile, “Having an outlet for their energy and learning techniques and skills to boost their self-confidence is huge in their overall development.” It was great to hear how much the gym’s workers cared about the well-being of all.
I was also pleasantly shocked to find a much different environment than I had imagined, and much more than I had imagined. As soon as I stepped through the front door, I was hit with unexpectedness: The facility was large; to my right were stationary workout and cardio machines, including stairmasters; in the back was an open area for free weights, kettle bells, stretching or ab work; battle ropes, monkey bars and more were possible workout items. “You’re getting the gym experience, but with a twist. You don’t have to be into UFC to enjoy the workouts here. Even our moms love coming to the gym because they get to train different than their normal gym experience. Every person is an athlete and the gym is designed to bring the athlete out in everyone. If you were a previous athlete, you’ll love pushing the sled down the turf only to turn around and do tire flips,” Junior exclaimed.
What was most shocking was seeing a 20-person or so group class being taught in the middle of the gym. An instructor lead the class in a strength and cardio combo workout that was mixed with single-person, group competition and total group workouts. Everyone looked like they were getting their butt kicked, but they were happy about it, even cheering one another on from time to time.
To my left was what I was expecting to a certain degree. Bags on bags hung from a metal structure and a caged ring was up front. The students in the ring were all under the age of 10 years old and being instructed by Ryan Benoit, an American mixed martial artist who competes in the flyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
It was YPP’s turn to take on UFC Gym, and Edgardo Estigoy was our instructor. We started with a nice stretch and cardio routine that included the dreaded burpees. (How to burpee: begin in a standing position; drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground; kick your feet back, while keeping your arms extended; immediately return your feet to the squat position; jump up from the squat position.) Many of us thought we may be done, but nope. Next, we moved to free weights for a total body workout and finished with stretching. All of our workouts were done in sequences and was not complete until either the goal reps were achieved or the timer went off. They “went easy on us,” but it was a serious and awesome workout that left all of us in the group feeling great!
I was bummed I didn’t get to punch any bags or perform any high kicks, but I understand that it was an intro course and UFC Gym wanted to show everyone how much they could kick our butts in a single “regular” workout. I mean, what are gyms for if not to encourage and help members achieve the unthinkable when it comes to body health and image. I expect that if I were to join more group and boxing classes, that I would have the amazingly fit physique I saw most members had or were working toward. Don’t get me wrong though, all body types were represented that night. I spoke to some members of the gym that had goals of losing 80+ pounds.
At UFC Gym, they offer a ton of different options from group classes like Killer Cycle, Barre-less Barre and KickAss Kick to mixed martial arts like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga and Parkour to functional fitness like Fight Fit and TRX and more.
Bottom line: Try out UFC Gym and their wide-range of offerings and come join YPP as long as you’re between the ages of 25 and 40!
YPP’s next event is on Tuesday, February 2 where we’ll “Taco ‘Bout It” at Taco Diner at The Shops at Legacy.
YPP AT TACO DINER
When: Tuesday, February 2, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Where: Taco Diner, 7201 Bishop Rd., Suite E4, Plano, Texas 75024
Cost: Free for Plano Chamber members, $5 for prospective members. Register here.