It’s how you start and how you finish it. Not even a thunderstorm could drive away scores of participants from showing up for the third leg of the Earn Your Armour Challenge which took place last August 21, at Glorietta Activity Center. Challengers put their speed, endurance, agility, and power to the limit with a battery of exercises.

Coaches Mike Zarate and Aries Fonacier, along with yoga instructor and fitness trainer Elle Adda, led the charge for participants to earn their armour.

Coach Mike Zarate is the founder of the “SEAL 80/20” program, a holistic regimen that factors in the physical training, nutrition, sleep, recovery, and motivation to excel as an athlete even for those with limited training time. Coach Mike believes that “ time-crunched individuals spending just 20% of their daily time in the gym can get optimal results for the rest of the day”.

Coach Aries Fonacier, on the other hand, is the founder of Fortrock Fitness, a comprehensive functional fitness training center that focuses on strength and conditioning work for endurance and power-based sports such as running, triathlon, basketball, and rowing, to name a few. Coach Aries’ grueling circuit workouts can take up to three hours as it involves a battery of upper body, lower body, and core exercises combined with high intensity interval training.

DSC_5405Finally, Under Armour Philippines athlete Elle Adda is a French-Filipina fitness trainer from the US. She is also a performing artist, actress, model, dancer, and fitness enthusiast. Aside from leading the workouts, Elle also taught the skills of recovery to EYA participants by demonstrating specific stretching movements and yoga poses.

The Earn Your Armour fitness challenge incorporated a grueling number of cardio, free weight, and body weight exercises done in a circuit, against the clock, and using a buddy system. Challengers were tasked to complete a certain number of sets and repetitions, with the fastest time being declared the winner.

After dozens and dozens of box jumps, burpees, tire slams, monkey bars, tire throws, sprints, and other exercises, the team of Drago Pilipinas with Elle Adda proved their superior fitness, earning their Armour and bringing home a full complement of apparel.


Drago Pilipinas is the most successful dragon boat team in the Philippines, having won both locally and internationally in the men’s, women’s, and mixed boat categories for the past three decades, including the world championships.

The team is composed of former collegiate athletes who are now executives, professionals, and businessmen who share the same passion for sport, and they are now branching out into various adventure sports such as triathlon, mountain biking, ultra marathon, and adventure/obstacle course racing.

Drago Pilipinas Fort Rock OCR (Obstacle Course Race)  is composed of:

(1) Japa Gavino – Financial Consultant

(2) James Bungubung – Investment Capitalist & Entrepreneur

(3) Harold Pacana – IT Engineer & Entrepreneur

(4) Alexis Atutubo – IT Entrepreneur

(5) Raven Quan – Musician / Sales Director

(6) Joseph Reverente – Fitness Consultant

(7) Ria Sangel – Professor

(8) Patricia Castillo -Entrepreneur

(9) Rina Balgan – University President

(10) Gidget Alikpala – Entrepreneur

(11) Grace Quan – Entrepreneur

(12) Elle Ada – International Singer / UA Athlete & Affiliate Coach

For the other participants, just having the chance to compete alongside elite-level athletes was already a treat in itself as it’s not everyday that you could bust through an extreme obstacle challenge inside a mall.

The Earn Your Armour series is perfect preparation for the team as they are slated to join Spartan races in Malaysia and Singapore this October and November.

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Second Opinion

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