Work Out in the Dark with Glow Sticks and Pop Music with Pulse @ Virgin Active

The lights were turned out. Then, bright fluorescent light from the luminous glow sticks filled the room.

This was followed by loud and upbeat music, ranging from ‘90s classics to current chart-toppers, which blasted throughout the room, setting up the mood ahead.

Pulse class in action. [Photo courtesy of Virgin Active]

Pulse class in action @ Virgin Active.
[Photo courtesy of Virgin Active]

Indeed, the party mood was clearly in the air. We were all dancing away enthusiastically – punching the air with whoops of delight and getting “high” at the same time.

Party at a gym

But the setting wasn’t a night club though. Rather, it was at a gym – the Virgin Active gym at Raffles Place.

This is the scene for the latest dance fitness workout to hit Singapore. Called Pulse, this new and engaging workout involves movements that mimic highly energetic dance moves that are commonly seen on the dance floor at clubs. Each session is estimated to burn about 500 calories each time.

And to further up the party vibe, glow sticks are incorporated into the workouts.

[Photo courtesy of Virgin Active]

The use of glow sticks in the class! [Photo courtesy of Virgin Active]

Powered by Clubbercise® the Pulse workout actually has its origins in the United Kingdom and Ireland and is currently the fastest-growing fitness brand there and set to become the next big dance workout.

Gives people feeling of liberation 

Said Rue She, 38, Group Fitness Trainer at Virgin Active who had been conducting the class, “There are so many dance programmes out there, but this one uses the glow sticks to give people the feeling of liberation – the glow sticks in the dark are just so pretty, and when you actually give them to someone, they become very creative and get the courage to do things that they may not do, if the lights had been turned on.”

She added, “Actually, if you think about it, there are a lot of rave parties out there at the beach in many countries around the world, where such glow sticks are commonplace. What we are doing, is offering an innovative dance programme where you feel like you are partying – but it’s a healthy form of partying because you are doing it in the gym and you don’t drink; you just let go and dance away. So it really helps to encourage a healthy lifestyle.”

[Photo courtesy of Virgin Active]

The use of glow sticks helps participants to have fun! [Photo courtesy of Virgin Active]

The Pulse class is intense

I had been invited to Virgin Active gym to participate in one of their first few newly-launched Pulse class, earlier this week. It had been very different from many other gym classes. Before we stepped into the class, we were each given a pair of colourful glow sticks and were instructed to turn these on when the lights went out.

The 45-minute workout itself was intense, and by the end of the session, I was panting and sweating quite a fair bit! The high-energy dance moves and the constant jumping and swinging around, really do ensure that you are moving all the time, but at the same time, they make you feel “high” from all of the adrenaline being produced. Due to the constant swinging of the glow sticks, my arms were also feeling tired during the session. It was really a full body workout indeed. And in short, it certainly does feels more like a party at a club, rather than working out in the gym, and a unique workout for those who like to dance.

The class was very intense, but fun at the same time, for me.

The class was very intense, but fun at the same time, for me.

And although occasionally, I had some slight difficulties following the instructor during the session, it was also perfectly okay, according to Rue.

Good for people who lack coordination

She said, “The great thing about this class is that for people who feel they lack coordination, being in a darkened room gives them more confidence to just walk into the class and have fun, since nobody can see them doing the wrong moves, anyway. They can always reset and get back to it eventually. The main thing is that we just want you to keep on moving and burning calories in this class!”

Added Rue, “No matter what your background is, and whether you are a beginner or an experienced dancer, this session is very community-based, where everyone comes together to simply mingle and enjoy themselves.”

And, gym goers have been very receptive towards the Pulse classes so far, according to Rue. She said, “Everyone is really receptive because the class is fresh and so different, with the glow sticks. It’s something Singaporeans are very unused to.”

Let go of your stress and be yourself

So what tips does Rue have, to enjoy yourself to the fullest during the Pulse sessions?

[Photo courtesy of Virgin Active]

Just enjoy yourself to the fullest during the session. [Photo courtesy of Virgin Active]

She said, “Just let go of your stress and be yourself! Do not worry about getting lost – go in and have fun. It is very powerful when you have the intention to go in and have fun, but if you have so many expectations and keep worrying about everything, then you will not have so much fun.”

Added Rue, “As the instructors, it is our job to make sure that you have fun – I love seeing everyone happy and at ease, and to be able to really enjoy the music. That is also why we make a lot of whooping sounds during the session – that really helps people to relax, and express who they really are. In today’s stressful world, we do not relax very much these days. But just come in, have a great time and laugh at yourself! Whether you have two left feet or two left hands, that does not matter! There is nobody to judge you if you are making mistakes!”

Feel the Pulse for yourself

While the gym compounds are only open to members at Virgin Active, you can still attend the Pulse sessions, if you are not a member of the gym.

Feel the Pulse for yourself with Virgin Active.

Feel the Pulse for yourself with Virgin Active.

This is because every alternate Tuesday, Virgin Active, together with Under Armour, are currently holding free 45-minute Pulse classes at Fullerton Bay and these are open to the public.

Said Rue, “These classes will be open to anyone who wants to try Pulse, regardless of whether they are Virgin Active gym members or not.”

The next Pulse session for the public will take place at 7.30pm on the 19th of April.

For registration and more information on this, check out

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  • Lori McConaghy, Dan McConaghy, Sandra Smith, Anne Lowrie says:

    We would like to reserve a spot for 4 of us for the 5 pm class for the opening of the lulu lemon store on Duxton on Friday the 15th. Can you please confirm.
    Thank you

    • Priscilla says:

      I wrote an article on this for my blog. But I do not have any involvement in the classes.
      If you want to join Pulse, head to Fullerton Bay on alternate Tuesdays.
      Thank you.

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