By Red Dimaandal (Ida, Lexie and Ally) and Mariel Abanes (Nica and Katz) / Photographs by Gio Vibar
There are different types of cliques, but today we put the spotlight on this group who's making a difference in the health and fitness world. More than just joiners of what they say, the "health bandwagon," these girls are making a difference On a new course. Meet the Ride Revolution instructors squad—five young, beautiful and strong ladies whose fitness goals are born not from the trend, but rooted in their very core. Ida Paras, Nica Banag, Lexie Gancayco, Katz Salao, and Ally Lim are total #Fitspo—learn from them as they share their wisdom and tips on truly living the healthy lifestyle.
[related: Fitspiration: These 'It' Girls Prove That Working Out Can Be One Big Party]
From left to right: Katz, Ida, Ally, Nica, and Lexie
Meet Ida Paras.
Becoming passionate about health and fitness put the rest of Ida's life into perspective, as she had caught the fitness bug early. Now a trainer, Origins Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt practitioner, and Ride Revolution instructor, she literally runs from another gym to another—so it's safe to say that she lives in the pursuit of a perfect fitness regimen. Take for instance, her indoor cycling classes: "After each class, there really comes some sort of high! It's very different because, imagine working out and being with your friends." This fitness fantastic's can-do attitude infects you to wear this kind of thinking (a scroll through her Instagram account is nothing short of gym inspiration—another reason to join the movement!). Pedal towards the healthy route and bear in mind that, "You have to stand your ground and believe because no one works for your body."
[related: The Six Fix: Sporty Women Words of Wisdom to Power You through Your Workouts and through Life]
More and more women are getting on the fitness bandwagon, what do you want to tell those who have yet to catch up? "Just jump in. There's no other way to get fit than to get started. Learn how to decide, start and just continue. That's what most people fail to do, they always fail to start 'cause they don't know when to start. You don't need to do indoor cycling, just do a simple exercise and enjoy it."
What is your fitness mantra? "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything, and it applies to life and fitness. You know, especially now that there are so many things on the internet, so many things in magazines that will tell you, go try this and you’ll lose weight. You have to stand your ground and believe. You have to have some kind of principle. If you don't believe in anything, you're just gonna go wherever time brings you, which, in life and in fitness, is one of the number one recipes for disaster."
What's the most empowering thing about being able to lead this riding revolution? "The most empowering part for me is being able to do what I love to do. I can tell people that I'm happy with my job and I'm contented and not complaining."
Meet Nica Banag.
As a former pre-school teacher, Nica is used to being in front of an audience and educating her students. The only difference now is she's dealing with fully-grown adults who, like her, wants to keep a fit body. She admits that her initial two-month training wasn't easy—but she took up for the challenge, anyway. And now she's set to be the "teacher" she's always been. "When people see you in front, then you have to be a role model; you have to show them how passionate you are with what you are doing. It's a place where you can inspire others to be the best version of themselves. You have to tell them to push beyond what they can do, like you can do better than that.”
What is your advice to those who haven't caught up with the fit and healthy way of life yet? "Just work out. There are lots of apps and videos on Youtube that can help you. Working out is about self-preservation."
Why is Ride Revolution a definite must try? "Because it is fun. It's like a party on a bike—there's a song, there are lights while working out."
What is your fitness philosophy? "Push yourself! I always remind my class that they have to do what makes them feel alive and embrace life. If working out makes them happy, then keep doing it!"
Meet Lexie Gancayco.
There are people who enjoy their workouts while there are others who enjoy helping and encouraging others to get and stay fit. If your passion is all out in this department, why not consider basing your career around it? Just like Lexie Gancayco, who truly believes in this venture, saying, "It's really for the experience; to experience something different and something heart-pleasing at the same time." She adds, "It's nice to know that you can change people’s lifestyles and knowing that we're helping people to become the better version of themselves."
What do you love most about being part of the Ride Rev squad? "I guess aside from the amazing people you meet and get to work with, it’s also the experience—and being able to spread that fitness does not have to be a tiring task because it really is something fun that you can do with your friends and new people."
What are the challenges that you've encountered? "You can’t please everyone. You're in a room with about 28 students, with different riders and they seek for different levels of fitness. Some people will tell you your rides are too much, some will tell you they enjoyed it, some will tell you kulang pa. So you really have to find the balance in between all those comments. But you just have to know that at the end of the day, you gave your best to give the whole class a good experience."
How important is looking good for you when working out? "I don't think its about looking good; its about feeling good."
Meet Katz Salao.
For someone who originally didn’t enjoy cardio, it’s surprising to hear her say, “Cool!” when approached to be an instructor for this indoor cycling hub. She eventually joined the team and added another title under her belt (she's also an athlete, DJ, and host). She loves that she's able to constantly remind her students that they are fine, they can, and they are strong—so adding classes to her schedule isn't her type of hassle. She finds it satisfying that she's able to empower women to push themselves to the limit. “It’s only fifty minutes on top of your bike, but you might change.”
How are you as an instructor? "I'm super positive. I'm gonna push you but I won't make you feel bad. As an instructor, I don't like being scary."
What is your favorite Ride Rev memory? "Sometime in May, after one of my classes. I was super feeling bad and then I was like, it's gonna be a bad class. But when I turned out the first song, I felt good. It changes your mood and I realized, that's our power to the riders—we can also change others' feelings in a day."
What are your tips for the first-timers? "Number one is listen to your body. And number two is don’t feel bad; forgive yourself if you are not amazing in the beginning. If you can't follow the instructions, that's not a sign of failure or weakness. And number three, think of yourself strong and everytime you go, you get stronger."
Meet Ally Lim.
Ally was also a student when she started, and like everyone else, just practically wanted to lose weight. "It actually didn't come so easy since I'm doing so many other things, too." Until she realized her desire to become really fit and inspire othes to do the same—and has since decided to join the group and served as proof that despite your other life commitments, the one with fitness should be one on top of your priorities. Now, as part of the fitness gamechangers of today, she makes sure she's all out giving her best to her students. "With every ride, you have to make sure you mirror yourself on the top of the game to be able to do the moves and do the workout with your students," Ally shares. Now, looks like we need to pump the break, focus, and learn to find you a game plan for a healthy work-life balance.
More and more women are getting on the fitness bandwagon, what do you want to tell those who have yet to catch up? "Fitness is a lifetime style. You should be fit and active if you wanna live a long, healthy, active life. You don't have to be crippled when you're old 'cause the moment you stop working out, the body stops to regenerate. So I would say, don't jump into the basic but actually start living the lifestyle. Do it properly. Just get moving, even 30 minutes of walking a day, thrice a week, will do."
Why is indoor cycling a definite must-try workout? "Because it’s different from your one-on-one training or just running and walking. It never gets boring; it’s always high energy. You have very positive instructors to motivate you. You always come out of the class feeling strong and good about yourself. And it’s a full body work out."
How important is looking good for you when working out? "Super important! Part of, like, you feeling good physically. But I'm not saying na if you don't have the latest tights, you can't work out. It just really adds to your confidence."
ALSO READ: The Six Fix: The Rewards You'll Reap If You Get A Workout Buddy
Ride Revolution is at 3/F Steps Dance Studio 8465 Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City. Visit www.riderevolution.ph for more info and to book classes.