“Strong is not the new skinny! You don’t get strong because you’re lean or it’s sexy, or because it’s the new cool thing.. You get strong because you strive hard to get strong. And strong is awesome. Strong needs no further justification!”
This may well be the same conviction that these celebrities believed in and it showed during the highlights of the Under Armour Store opening at SM Megamall recently when celebrities from showbiz and sports pitted strength and endurance against each other in a friendly competition dubbed the UA Assault Crossfit Challenge!
The Celebrities, all wearing the latest of the Under Armour gear were:
Men: John Hall, Eric “Eruption” Tai, JC Tiuseco, Will Devaughn, Luke Jicain, Carlos Agassi, Gerard Pizzaras, Ervic Vijande, Luis Alandy, Paolo Paraiso, Ernie Lopez, Armand Del Rosario
Women: LJ Reyes, Roxanne Barcelo, Bubbles Paraiso, Issa Litton, Maria Persson.
Many of them will look familiar to you, specially if you watch soaps on television and they’re not just your ordinary heartthrobs with killer smiles and sexy bodies, but they’re regular habitues of Crossfit, a cross-training workout that emphasizes bursts of high-intensity exercises. This work-out incorporates plyometrics, weight lifting, cardio, kettle bell exercises and interval running, among others. The gains here are tremendous strength and stamina and the results are fast!
It was no surprise then to see them carry heavy loads, twice or thrice their body weights, do multiple sit-up and squats with weights over their bodies performing at levels you wouldn’t think are possible, specially for the ladies who sometimes outdid the men in some floor exercises! By their sheer body strengths, you know that crossfit isn’t new to them, that they may have been into it for many years prior to this event.
I love how excruciating all the challenges were, you can just see their faces grimacing and screaming out loud, all in terms of difficulty, strength and styles. The challenges included multiple burpees, bear crawls, dumbell split lifts, ball sit-ups, box jumps, dumbbell thrusters, heavy bag drills and many more!
I had a front seat, a few feet to where these gladiators were doing their thing and here are the moments that had me on my feet:
One of the heart-pumping challenges that got spectators to its toes was this 50+lbs heavy bag drill which you carry on both arms, thrust it up into your chest, then lowering it down quickly without touching the floor then repeat the process on a 5-minute time limit. How difficult would that be? It was a lung-busting work-out, very exciting to watch as these athletes would nearly not be able to thrust the bag up and seem to fall off the floor to a deafening wild roar of “go! go! go!” from the crowd!
My hats off to these warriors—these are some bunch of celebrities who are probably the strongest, most determined and most conditioned people in show business. They did things you never thought they could as they pushed, lifted, ran, bended, twisted, burpeed in ways like there was no tomorrow!
Indeed, they set out to prove that they were ambassadors of fitness, nothing less like the brand of gear all were wearing and the strength they exhibited, it needs no further justification!
(Thanks to Rico, Blas, Lestsky and Franc for some of the pictures)