Elizalde Berdon has a favorite word, and he isn’t ashamed to share it. “Yummy. As in, spinning makes your body healthy and yummy,” he laughs.
The word often comes up in the middle of one of his spin classes, where his upbeat energy never falters despite nearly an hour of furiously pedalling on a stationary bike. The statement is certainly true–Zink’s close-knit community of loyal patrons are visual proof of the benefits of spinning, and the enthusiastic atmosphere has visitors constantly coming back.
“When we conceptualized Zink, we always wanted to make it fun and take away the work in workout,” Zalde recalls, and he adds that the reason so many people enjoy this particular exercise is because it’s considerably inclusive. “It doesn’t require you to know how to dance, be strong enough to lift weights, or know how to box. You are just sitting on the bike, pedalling, and following the instructor’s cadence and resistance.”
Considering he has turned spinning into one of the hottest workouts in the city today, it’s surprising to learn that Zalde actually has a degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of San Carlos. “I started spinning five years ago,” he reveals. Before then, he had been working out regularly at a traditional gym. “It looked intimidating to me, but I was curious about the people shouting during the classes and how they were drenched in sweat whenever they left the cycling room.”
Soon, he developed a passion for it, but didn’t realize that was the beginning of something much bigger in his life. “I never imagined that I would become an instructor, but there was a scarcity of cycling instructors, so I trained and passed. I remember one of the reasons I did it was so I could work out for free, and not have to pay my monthly membership,” he adds with a laugh.
From there, Zalde continued his education, like training with Les Mills RPM for international certification. “I wanted to level up and equip myself to become a better instructor and a credible coach,” he shares. “I became an advocate of the program because it’s one of the most efficient group exercises. Can you imagine–riding on a stationary bike and being able to demolish 500 to 700 calories in around 40 minutes? The cardiovascular benefit is awesome, and you feel energized and happy after each workout.”
It’s no surprise, then, that people have integrated spinning into their fitness regimen, and Zink makes the experience even more fun with their neon lights and impressive sound system. Zalde shared that spinning has been a long time coming, but admits it took him a while to find the right timing and opportunities to do it. “Zink was not something I strongly wanted to do,” he admits, sharing that he knew it would be a challenge to find cycling instructors in Cebu. “It was only last year that I was approached by someone whom I had never met before, and he showed me the big picture. He pushed me to build our own brand, train the instructors and build it in Cebu, maybe expanding to key cities in the Philippines and even globally after. The magnitude and potential of his vision immediately swept me away.”
That vision is coming into fruition–Zalde now has a team of dedicated instructors who are as upbeat and passionate about spinning as he is. Zink also offers a variety of other programs, such as TRX and HIIT, and Zalde developed two fitness programs that already enjoy a good success rate. “One is called Body by Z. It’s a 40-minute group exercise that strengthens all body parts using kettle bells, dumbbells, TRX suspension training, medicine ball and stability ball. It’s a compounded routine that targets at least two body parts in a movement, which makes the workout more efficient,” he explains. “ZINK BODY BLAST is the newest program we just launched. It’s like circuit training, where all members attending the class do metabolic exercises together with very minimal recovery. The primary goal is weight loss, so it’s explosive and intense.”
It’s exciting to see that the landscape for fitness in Cebu has remarkably improved recently. “Gone are the days when our choices were limited to traditional gyms which have the equipment and a separate room for group exercise. Today, you have so many choices, from studios that specialize in functional training or Crossfit, and even the highly niched ones like aerial yoga, pole dancing, and the like,” Zalde says. “Instructors now also make the effort to be certified, and continuously take courses to update and upgrade.”
All this is good news for Cebuanos, who can now find the best exercise program to fit their lifestyle. For many, though, that program will have to be spinning at Zink. After all, who wouldn’t want a body that is, as Zalde puts it, yummy?