This Pilates gal explains her newfound love of HIIT
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Are you trying figure out what to do with all that pent up, can’t-get-out-of-the-house energy? This at-home workout just might ‘HIIT the spot.’ HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is a workout that pairs up quick bursts of intense activity with shorter spurts of recovery. It’s that that full-body bootcamp burn.The method combines amped-up cardio with body weight exercises targeting both strength andincreased heart rate. Within the first few minutes your body will be firing on all cylinders and feeling the heat.
You’ve probably seen studios, like F45 Training, who pride themselves on super-popular HIIT classes(one of our own became a member after her first workout!). And while HIIT can be intimidating—I mean it literally has the word ‘intense’ in its name—there’s no reason to let this fitness type scare you off. So,if you’re ready to give this full-body workout a go, we’re answering all your lingering questions to prep you for your first (virtual) class.
Each strength training exercise in a HIIT circuit can be conducted for merely seconds or up to a fewminutes, which can turn up the sweat factor, fast. Sumo squats, anyone? Research shows that 15-30 minutes of interval training can burn more calories than a steady paced run. Try tacking a quick HIIT circuit onto your at-home yoga class or that long walk with the dog. It’s easy to squeeze a session into your lunch break or before virtual happy hour. Your booty will be feeling peach perfect in no time at all.
Return to the tried-and-true high school gym class favorites—jumping jacks, high knees, push-ups, crunches, burpees. HIIT targets every major muscle group. Cardio-intense bursts trigger the anaerobic system with explosive short-term energy. You know that feeling when your heart might literally jump out of your chest? Thank HIIT for a newfound stamina that can help you improve performance in other athletic hobbies you might have. You’ll show up stronger in cycling and more determined in dance class, making it the perfect complementary workout to your existing wellness routine.
Whether you’re a marathon runner or just jumping back into fitness, you can alter your workout to ‘HIIT’on the right intensity level for you. Modify your jump squats by taking out the hop, add (or subtract) a pushup from your burpee, or try planks from both your elbows and hands. Interval training burns body fat while retaining all your hard-earned muscle mass, helping you to lengthen and strengthen.
Don’t have any fitness equipment on-hand at home? No weights, no problem. All you need is your what your mama gave you. You can do a HIIT workout anywhere, anytime. If you live in a second-story apartment, go with low-impact exercises—like squats, leg lifts, shadow boxing—so you can still reap all the benefits without irritating your neighbors. If your flooring isn’t conducive to doing, let’s say push-ups from your knees, use your yoga mat for some joint padding. Your body will thank you.
It’s easy to stream a HIIT workout, wherever you are from the comfort of your home. Social distancing is the new fitness norm. From LA to London, you can search for virtual interval and circuit training on Mindbody.io and the Mindbody app. Plus, there’s no need to travel across the country and leave your living room to try out that instructor that comes highly recommended by your friend on the oppositecoast. If you need a little *extra* motivation because you miss that in-person social workout experience, find a HIIT class that works for your crew and get them to book (virtually) and feel the burn!
HIIT is one of the best ways to challenge your body and boost your confidence. Yes, trying a new type of workout can be intimidating. But guess what? You’re at home and it’s OK to make mistakes, to be sore, to take a breather—no one is judging you. You’re in your safe space, so take your time and work out on your terms. You took a break from your WFH routine to break a sweat, and that’s a win for your well-being!
That’s something I never expected to hear. Think about it: we join gyms and studios because of their equipment, instructors, space, community (and AC, of course). But who’s to say we can’t get all that—or at least most of it—with virtual and online classes, too? In this new wave of wellness, we’re all switching up our fitness routines as we switch up our everyday schedules and habits. It’s not just in-studio or at-home anymore. It’s in-studio, at-home, at the park, beach, parking lot, rooftop...virtual, hybrid, Instagram Live, online, on-demand, and so much more. As we’re adapting, adjusting, finding our groove, etc., online gym memberships enter the fray. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
There are tons of benefits to an online gym membership, especially right now.
Let’s break this down:
1. Scheduling convenience
A virtual/online gym fitness membership is a monthly subscription that gives you access to tons of live stream fitness classes you can take anywhere, from studios across the globe. These fitness studios offer tons of at-home workouts, group exercise, and one-on-one training sessions to choose from, no matter your exercise program or fitness level. With so many options, it’s easy to find one that fits your schedule. Whether you want to fit in a morning flow before work, combat that afternoon slump with some cardio, squeeze in some strength training before dinner, or wind down with an evening barre class, you can pick and choose classes to fit your fitness routine.
2. Minimizing exposure to COVID-19
And because they’re online, you can take these classes from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are), thus minimizing your exposure to COVID-19 and eliminating your commute to the gym or studio. By now, many of us have our designated “workout spot,” whether it’s an actual weight room, a quick scooch of the coffee table, or a grassy area in the backyard. Maybe you’re comfortable here... maybe you’ve even learned to love it.
With an online gym membership, you can stay in your safe space/comfy workout spot. Or, you can go somewhere new (local park, beach spot, a different area of the house, you know). You can access these virtual, live stream fitness classes from any device, so you can prop up your phone, laptop, or tablet wherever you want to go, or roll out your mat in front of the big screen TV in your living room.
We all have our favorite, go-to workouts. But sometimes, it feels good to switch it up (especially right now). Working from home all day, many of us are craving some variety and excitement, and an online gym membership can definitely help with that. According to our recent poll about COVID’s effect on our fitness routines, 64% of you have tried new online workouts since the start of the pandemic—I know I have. Maybe it’s because trying new things is easier in the comfort of our homes, maybe we’re finally able to try some classes we normally can’t find locally, or maybe we’re all just bored out of our minds...I don’t know. But I’m excited about it.
With an online gym membership, you can get that spice you’re looking for easily. Start out your Monday by hitting some HIIT, ease your sore muscles with some Restorative Yoga, and end the week with some dance cardio to pretend you’re at the club. The world is yours.
4. Working out without a commute
My favorite part? No commute. There are literally no more excuses when it comes to skipping workouts. No traffic, no schedule conflicts, no fear of returning to the studio. You don’t even have to worry about packing a gym bag with a change of clothes and shower supplies or prepping a snack or protein shake to bring to work. Just shut your computer, throw on some leggings, and get to work.
Community—the element of online fitness memberships we don’t often think of. When we go into studios, we understand the beauty of a fitness community. We’re greeted by our instructors, we chat with others in the class, and we all sweat together and encourage each other throughout. But working out at home is different... or is it?
We can do workouts on our own at home all we want, but we’re definitely going to miss out on the community aspect we all know and love. But, with live stream classes, we can create a different kind of community. The beauty of it? It’s not just your neighbors anymore. Anyone with an online fitness membership can join these classes, regardless of where they’re located in relation to the studio, so you can be working out alongside people from all over the world—now that’s something I can get behind.