In addition to yoga, I love a tough, sweaty workout as much as the next gym rat. My first introduction to exercise was not as a means of preventing weight gain or heart disease, but as a way to get better at sports, as a way to make my body work more efficiently. I still love to push myself to new heights; I love the feeling of getting stronger and faster. So, for all the hurt-so-good quality in a HIIT workout, I love it, too.
HIIT (high-intensity interval training) has had a long day in the sun over the last couple of years. Studies like this one have shown that it’s possible to get an effective workout in less time with HIIT; benefits of HIIT include what you might expect from a good workout program: increased cardiovascular health, aerobic, and anaerobic fitness, improved insulin sensitivity, improved cholesterol, and weight control.
It’s intense, and like anything else it’s not for everyone, but it’s more accessible than you might think. The great thing about it is that what’s challenging for you might not be challenging for me, but we can both do the same exercise, working at the level that feels challenging for us, and still benefit from the format. You might do more reps in the same amount of time, or I might use a heavier weight, and we can still exercise side-by-side. In that way, it is good for a beginner as long as you’re making the necessary modifications and listening to your body.
So why all this about HIIT right now? I’m back in it in a big way with a team called F45 Training.
F45 is just a few years old. (My particular studio just celebrated its two-year anniversary.) It started in Australia and it’s growing very quickly, with good reason: the workouts are different every day, the small-group training format is intimate and supportive, the exercises are functional as well as challenging, and each class is just 45 minutes long (with a couple of special formats lasting an hour). Believe me, 45 minutes feels like plenty!
One of the workouts I did there this week included the rowing machine, BOSU, box jumps, the sled, battle ropes, exercise balls, and some body weight challenges. In the few weeks I’ve been working out there, I’ve done exercises I’ve never done before, which is kind of wild considering how long I’ve been doing this fitness thing. Some of the exercises are fun, too, so even though you’re tired, you want to power through another rep. Yesterday’s frog hops over the soft box were like that for me!
I started leading classes there this week, and I love the opportunity to motivate people through these functional high-intensity circuits.
If you live in Las Vegas, I hope you’ll consider joining me for a class! Leave a comment for me here or send me an email (email@example.com) if you’d like to try it…I’ve got the hook up. 🙂 I’d love to see you in class.