Great fundamentals at the USPC Sports Performance Centre

I’ve honestly been hard-pressed to write about the USPC Sports Performance Centre, simply because there are too many good things to say about the facility that I didn’t know where to start. But I’ve procrastinated for far too long, and finally it’s time to tell you all about this awesome gym.

What is USPC?

USPC simply stands for Ultra Sports Performance Centre. So, as you can derive from the name, USPC isn’t about making you look jacked or cut, it’s about boosting your sports performance, which is achieved through better movements and improved physical fitness.

USPC is a brand-new facility that opened earlier this year and is led by trainers Nico D’Haenan and Paolo Luis Encarnacion, who are the people behind the Philippine Kettlebell Club. The gym is also the official training grounds of ASEAN Basketball League team, the San Miguel Beermen.

The Facility

USPC is like a playground for fitness buffs. It has all these neat “toys” like sleds, kettbells, bumbbells, Olympic bars, cages, sandbags, agility ladders, hurdles, battling ropes, foam rollers, and more. The highlight of this facility, however, would have to be its artificial turf, which spans a whopping 15 x 40 square meters. This area is used for a number of fun and effective exercises—my favorite would have to be the weighted sled pushes, which you’ll see in the video below.

What this facility really boasts is its spaciousness, which is hard to come by at gyms nowadays, as well as its state-of-the-art training equipment.

The Program

There are four types of classes that you can choose from at USPC: Movement, Strength, Kettlebell, and Conditioning. For the Movement class, you’ll focus on performing fundamental movements that would improve joint mobility and balance. For Strength training, you’ll be doing a bit more heavy lifting, but the weights you’ll be using will always be appropriate to your capabilities. Kettlebell classes focus on the various kettlebell exercises, and Conditioning sessions work on improving your cardiovascular endurance.

Here’s an example of the typical training session I’d do back when I began training at USPC.

The Strength program consisted of a 15-minute warm up, a 30-minute workout, and a 15-minute cool down. The warm up was always thorough and was never rushed. We did dynamic stretches that really worked muscles and joints that are often neglected in warm ups but are detrimental to physical performance. And for the actual workout, we’d start with three sets of a squat-based exercise, followed by three super sets of pulling and pushing exercises, followed by three super sets of lunge and core exercises, finished off by an intense 5 rounds of sled pushes/ sandbag slams/ battling ropes, etc. And finally, in the cool down stage of the program, we’d get to use—my personal favorite—the foam rollers. By using the foam rollers, you’re able to iron out any tight muscles or trigger points and really loosen them up. Doing so can boost both flexibility and muscle recovery, making sure you’re free from DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) after your workout.

The Approach

I love the mentality that’s fostered at USPC. Its trainers believe in training smart in a way that optimizes results without putting you at risk of injury. The trainers always emphasize the importance of proper form, posture, and breathing. Nothing is ever forced and every repetition (rep) must be a quality rep, with your last rep being the best one of them all.

In addition to that, exercises are rep based rather than time based, and they are never rushed. After all, why sprint through 12 reps of squats when the haste prevents you from doing half of the reps properly? There are no herky-jerky movements and everything is controlled when you’re training at USPC, ensuring that you build strong fundamentals without risking injury.  And while a controlled, rep-based workout may not sound that tiring, let me be the first to tell you that it’s as challenging as they come.

The Effects

I trained at USPC for a full month, going almost every day, and the training clearly had a positive effect on me. I noticed that it significantly improved my posture while either sitting down or standing up. I felt that I walked taller and stronger. When it came to seemingly trivial activities like carrying the groceries or picking up my kid, I felt stronger, more stable, and more balanced. My USPC training helped me strengthen my weak points, and I never felt at risk of injury, even on days when I’d train martial arts or play football. Foam rolling helped me alleviate some aches and pains in my muscles, and the mobility exercises tremendously improved my shoulder flexibility and range of motion. And as a major plus, I learned how to use kettlebells under the best in the business, so what’s not to love about that?

I’m very happy with my training at USPC. Plus, the training there isn’t the type that you’ll take only once in a while because you’ll need time off to recover; it’s the type of training that you can do every day. And because of that, because you can make USPC training a part of your lifestyle and daily habit, you’ll be able to do it more often and see better results.

Who should train here?

Everybody—basketball players, MMA enthusiasts, runners, couch potatoes–can benefit from training at USPC. And you don’t have to be a competitive athlete to enjoy elite training; you can be lacing up them rubber shoes for the first time and still do great at this gym. I’ve even seen Coach Nico’s 4-year-old son doing sled pushes, and if a 4-year-old can do it, then so can you!

Address: 6-B Felipe Pike Street, Brgy. Bagong Ilog, 1600 Pasig
Contact No.: 0906 474 6124

Gab Pangalangan

Gab Pangalangan is a former collegiate national Judo champ and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of You can find his other works in the Philippines' leading magazines and websites.
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