This Singapore-Born Gym Will Give You An MMA Pro-Approved Workout in Under 30 Minutes

Ritual Gym has opened its first U.S. sweat sanctuary in Santa Monica.

If you find that squeezing in a workout in your busy schedule is a struggle — how about setting aside just 20 minutes of your time? That's the idea behind international sweat sanctuary Ritual Gym, which has opened its first U.S. location in Santa Monica.

Co-founded by professional mixed martial arts athlete Brad Robinson and internationally-certified fitness coach Ian Tan, the fitness studio was born in 2012 in Singapore after Tan led Robinson on an intense 20-minute workout that left the MMA pro laying exhausted on the floor. In 2013, they opened the first of three Ritual Gym locations in Singapore, and now have additional locations in Spain, South Africa, and Brazil.

Ritual Gym fitness area in Santa Monica

The state-of-the-art workout haven features shock-absorbent floors for exercising barefoot, while individual stations are equipped with kettlebells, dumbbells, medicine balls, a suspension trainer, and pull-up rings. Once you're done with your sweat session, you'll find spa-like shower and locker rooms that fully stocked with comfy towels, grooming products, and more.

The routine itself focuses on free weights and bodyweight movements, which build strength with respect to the way the body is designed to move. Workouts vary daily in terms of work-to-rest ratios, the order in which exercises are performed, and overall intensity required. This variety keeps the body guessing and prevents progress from stagnating.

A workout in progress at Ritual Gym in Santa Monica.

The entire process of warm-up, workout, and cool down is only a 30-minute commitment, and the private, half-hour sessions are limited to 10 people, ensuring each client has the privacy and personal attention they need to truly feel they are making the most of their workout. The studio offers four distinct levels of progression, allowing anyone from an elite athlete to a complete beginner to feel challenged, and coaches adjust their daily programs according to the specific needs of each member.

"High-Intensity Interval Training is one of the most heavily-studied fields in all of sports science," says Tan. "All the research points to one key takeaway — it's less about the number of hours you spend at the gym each week, and more about the quality of the training stimulus that you get. HIIT is far more effective than an hour on a bike or treadmill."

The high-end bathrooms at Ritual Gym in Santa Monica.

"What people want is personalization," Robinson says. "Rather than going to a big gym in one of those chains where you're just one of 6,000 members and no one knows who you are, we try and stand out by making sure our service levels are exceptional and personalized. Sometimes all you need is just 15 or 20 minutes a day, and it can do wonders for your body."

Membership packages are priced for peak vs off-peak hours and start at $350 for a ten-class pack, $800 for a 25-class package, and $1,500 for 50 classes. First-timers can try a one-week unlimited package for $70 and two-week unlimited package for $100 (all hours).

Into it? Learn more and book your next workout here.

Ritual Gym, 315 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 90401; (310) 260-0001

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