In recent years, most fitness "fads" and crazes have been variations on themes we've already seen before: new exercises based in the pool, the latest type of dance fitness, or some kind ofspin on yoga. While not every fitness fad is truly good for your approach to wellness, they can be a valuable tool in the fight against boredom, the biggest enemy for any fitness-minded individual. As we progress into 2018, the latest innovations gaining in popularity have become clearer and easier to spot. One of those is a fitness experience called Prama, not so much a class as it is an exercise experience.

At first glance, with the brightly painted squares of numbers on a Prama room's walls and floors and the prominent black light usage, it looks more like a scene out of TRON than it does a room in a gym. Watch people dashing back and forth around the room for a few minutes, though, and the strenuous workout it is becomesapparent in no time. Is this something you should consider taking part in yourself? What should you expect to encounter if you do decide to sign up — and where would you even go to do that? Let's answer those and other questions to give you a look into the exciting new world of Prama.

Prama explained: what is this and how does it work?

Entering a Prama room might feel like stepping onto the Holodeck from Star Trek, but luckily you won't be transported to a strange virtual universe. Instead, you'll confront a room that has several light-up panels built into both the wall and the floor, often labelledwith a series of numbers. Other areas feature circles of varying sizes with several symbols,and hopscotch-like cross-hatching on the floor. If it all looks confusing when you first walk in, don't worry: you'll get a crash course in how it works soon enough. Sometimes, the instruction is automatic and supplied by video through the equipment in the room; other times, you may receive assistance from an instructor.

Prama uses this setup in a manner similar tostation-based training. A wide variety of activities are possible in a Prama room, and it allows for almost endless variations. From doing push-ups to practisingquick footwork and even doing strength training, there is plenty to experience here. It isn't like a dance fitness class where you do the same set of moves every visit, or yoga, which is all about repetitive movements. Prama keeps you on your feet, moving, and sweating with music, lights, and a fast-paced environment.

Where can you experience Prama? Who created it?

Since working out in a Prama class requires special equipment, you'll need to locate a gym nearby that has chosen to partner with the creators of Prama, a company called Pavigym. Founder Macros Requena wanted to create an approach to active, high-intensityfitness that dispensed with much of the cumbersome equipment common to many other classes. That includes rowing machines and treadmills. In fact, you won't find much additional equipment in a Prama workout at all, save for perhaps some hand weights or medicine balls to add more resistance to your efforts. 

The good news is that Prama's growing popularity means it will become easier to locate local gyms that host this impressive display of technologically powered exercise. Unfortunately, you may not be able to find a source for it within a close distance. If that's the case, you could always consider asking the manager at your gym of choice to consider adding it to the roster. If you can show them a high level of interest from other gymgoers, you might get them to become a partner. It's tough to replicate the same experience you get from an official Prama court, so hit your favouritesearch engine and scour your local area for a spot where you can give it a try.

Why Prama can be excellent for your health

Okay, so what makes this activity so popular aside from the simple fact that it's different from other exercise classes? It's not hard to understand: a Prama session can be extremely strenuous, quickly elevating your heart rate into the target zone for burning calories. Its versatility means that different sessions can help to target different areas of your fitness, which isn't something most other classes can say. For example, you can use Prama in a basketball training program which helps to develop coordination and agility — perfect for the average individual and the dedicated player alike. Prama Strength offers the chance to develop power using weights. As most other activities primarily focus on cardio, this is definitely a unique feature.

The result is the potential for a very well-balanced workout. The challenges inherent in the workout, and the way it can easily change from session to sessionmeans it can form an important part of your fitness routine if you so choose. There is even a special version of Prama meant specifically for senior citizens. This low-impact form of exercise might not be as gentle as exercising in a pool, but it's still an ideal way to maintain lifelong wellness.

Advantages over other forms of exercise

It wouldn't be correct to say that Prama participation could replace all your other efforts at exercise, but it can be a very helpful supplement. The primary perk you'll experience is a high level of engagement with each session. When you head to a gym by yourself and look at the spin machine or the treadmill, the idea of tackling your workout for the day can seem like the last thing you want. When you're going to engage in a high-energy activity with others who are similarly motivated, though, you'll find that boredom stays far away, and you focus intensely on following the motions and chasing the lights.

The versatility mentioned earlier is also an advantage you'd be wise to exploit. Creating a structured workout plan that covers all the necessary requirementsis tough. Not all of us have the time each week to think about the precise types of exercises we should intend to do with each visit. Prama, by virtue ofworking out your whole body and offering strength sessions, means you don't have to do any planning. 

Making Prama a part of your fitness routine

As with any fitness class, though, it is possible to overdo things. Don't burn yourself out when you could instead use Prama to reignite your motivation and inspire you to push harder in other areas. For example, do you run? Are you a cyclist or a swimmer? Incorporating one or two Prama sessions into your weekly routine can have big potential benefits for your performance in those sports. Think about it: many of Prama's movements involve explosive power while also requiring you to maintain a high level of endurance over the workout session. That's a useful skill to have in any sport.

If you aren't seriously pursuing an athletic activity outside of efforts to improve your general health, you could include an extra session or two a week. Identify weaknesses or deficiencies in your abilities and afterward head to the equipment that can help you improve in those areas. Mixing up different cardio and strength exercises with Prama in the mix can stave off boredom, engage you in your progress, and help you break free from plateaus. When you want to dig deep and find the next opportunity for physical gains, this could be the right choice.

Will this be the future of fitness for you?

It's important to remember that as with any fitness class or activity, there are drawbacks to consider, too. It isn't perfect for everyone, especially those who struggle with chronic joint pain, and a weekly Prama session shouldn't be a total replacement for other forms of exercise or a good diet. With that said, everyone deserves to have fun while they work out, and the group environment you'll encounter with Prama can be highly motivational. Prefer to work through a session on your own? That's entirely possible, too. The versatility is what makes Prama so exciting, and it accomplishes it all without the equipment you've come to know. Leave your spin machine behind and turn the treadmill off — jump into the arena and see what you can accomplish.

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