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Fitness Class Review: High Intensity Training (HIIT)

18 Oct

ABOUT

Interval training is all the rage now, and for good reason! It helps you burn more calories in less time (love this), helps improve your speed and endurance and recent studies have shown it can actually reduce belly fat (double love this!). High Intensity Interval Training (or HITT as it’s sometimes called) is a full body cardio workout and involves alternating short bursts of super intense work with a low intensity recovery. These intervals are usually performed in a 2:1 ratio so for example,  20 seconds of work followed by 40 seconds of rest and repeated for 9-20 minutes. However,  you can take these intervals up to about one minute long just make sure the work interval is very hard since one thing that sets HIIT apart from other interval training programs is the short duration and  high intensity of the intervals.

WORKOUT

I’ve taken several HIIT classes and I also happen to teach one. One of my student’s favorite classes involves a 5-10 minute warm up (since the intervals are so intense I like to make sure everyone is totally warmed-up for the class) followed by 4 / one minute intervals with 90 second recoveries using jumprope, burpee, alternating front kicks and shuffle intervals. Then we move onto 4 /:45 second intervals with one minute recoveries using mountain climbers, high knees, flying lunges and squat jumps and finally 4/ :30 second intervals with :30 second recoveries using wide knee run, air jacks, hitch kicks left leg and hitch kicks right leg. If the class really wants to turn it up I’ll add 30 second relay sprints between the interval groups. This workout usually burns 550 calories in about 40 minutes.  

I’ve taken HIIT classes that alternate one minute of intense cardio like sprints on the bike or jump squats with one minute of full body strength training like pushups or squat presses. The class lasts anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and makes a nap afterwards absolutely necessary.

TONE ZONE

  • HIIT training is so demanding and intense that it’s proven to change your body and lower your body fat composition. You become a fat burning machine and if that’s not reason enough to try it then I don’t know what is!
  • Flat abs and a strong core
  • Plyometrics like jump squats will tone your legs and literally lift your butt inches higher
  • If you incorporate pushups and burpees get ready for ripped arms and sculpted shoulders

WHAT I LOVE

  • This workout is short and flies by which I love since I’d rather be catching up on my Bravo TV than spending all day in the gym.
  • The intensity means you get an after-burn so you’ll burn and extra 100 calories trying to decide if you’re on team Teresa or team Caroline and wondering what happened with Dina…?
  • Pushing yourself past your comfort zone is always a rewarding experience. You’ll feel tough and like you can overcome anything after one of these classes or workouts.
  • Get out the skinny jeans because 2-3 of these workout per week will have you tight and toned in no time!

CROWD CONTROL

Every celeb does this kind of training…Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Jessica Biel, Giuliana Rancic, every Victorias Secret model, Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna and Beyonce to name a few. If you see someone who has a lean toned body I bet they do interval training!

THAT’S WHERE IT’S AT

My HIIT class is at the University of Washington Intramural Activity Center so (bummer) you have to be  UW student or staff to take it…but if you live in Seattle I’d give these a try…

Club Zum in downtown Seattle: The class is called Hard Core

David Barton Gym in Bellevue: The class is called Melt

Elite Fitness Bellevue: Drop in Bootcamp Class on Sunday mornings at 9am or Wednesdays at 1pm.

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Class Review: Lab5 Fitness – TRX class

6 Oct

ABOUT

The TRX suspension trainer is a completely portable, packable, take anywhere full gym…and it weighs less than two pounds.  It’s a set  of straps anchored to any high location or door jam and from there you can do thousands of body weight strength training exercises that tone muscles and melt body fat. It was developed by a former Navy Seal so you know it works!

WORKOUT

The Lab5 Fitness TRX class was held in it’s beautiful back studio with full length mirrors, wood floors, large windows and great lighting. The TRXs were anchored from the ceiling (perfect for getting the most out of each exercise) and the class size was limited to 12 people. After the warm-up our instructor Ron started the workout with pushups and core work, then we moved into a hard-core lower body section. We did fast squats and lunges with the back foot elevated for 2 minutes followed by  tabata cardio intervals with jump squats. Next we moved into alternating upper body exercises like pushups and rows and lower body exercises using the same tabata protocal (20 seconds on/10 seconds off). We finished with killer planks and mountain climbers with our feet suspended in the TRX handles. The workout lasted for a total of 50 intense minutes and I left sweaty as can be with a full body workout…Toning, check. Cardio, check. Happy hour justification…Double Check!

TONE ZONE

  • EVERY LAST INCH OF YOUR BODY!!!!
  • TRX’s design makes you focus on your core with every move. It’s similar to Pilates or  yoga in that way but waaay more intense.
  • You can get very deep in your squats and lunges to really target the area I affectionately call the “thut” (it’s where your thigh and butt meet)

WHAT I LOVE

  • I was actually excited to try on my skinny jeans after the workout…your body feels so tight and toned it’s like your thighs, triceps and abs have been sucked in. Plus you’ll be sore for about three days…which I totally LOVE!
  • The TRX uses multiple muscle groups at once for more toning and calorie burning in less time plus helps to raise your metabolism
  • The workout increases your flexibility
  • It’s actually very good for newbies or anyone recovering from an injury since you can easily adjust the intensity of each exercise
  • There are so many exercises to choose from you never get bored
  • It’s easy to use, and easy to bring with you anywhere so no more excuses…I’m talking to you frequent travelers.

CROWD CONTROL

  • Celebs like Jennifer Lopez, Gisele Bundchen, Scarlett Johansson
    Mary J. Blige, Ellen Pompeo and Jamie Pressly owe their killer curves to TRX workouts
  • Plenty of pro-athletes including Superbowl MVP Drew Brees and triathletes love the functional training aspects of the TRX
  • My class had frequent TRXers but that’s not always the case. I really recmommend this workout to everyone from beginners to the hard cores. Just make sure you get someone to show you the ropes so you make sure you’re doing it right.

THAT’S WHERE IT’S AT

Lab5 Fitness offers Ballet Barre, Pilates, Yoga, Reformer and Aerial Conditioning classes. The studio, trainers and customer service  are all outstanding I will definitely be going back and I recommend you give it a try if you live in the Seattle area. (First class is free…yay!)

lab5fitness.com

Lab5 Fitness Studio
606 Broadway East Studio A
Seattle Washington 98102

206.325.0662

Check out some TRX workouts on the official TRX youtube page here.

You can buy your own TRX at http://www.trxtraining.com/

Class Review: The Bar Method

28 Sep

ABOUT

I absolutely love the Physique 57 DVD’s so I was super excited to try the new Bar Method class, after all who wouldn’t want to have the long lean body of a dancer? Both Bar Method and Physique 57 are ballet based workouts that use light weights and dance inspired movements to sculpt long lean muscles while increasing flexibility. Plus the new studio in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle is gorgeous! Lots of turquoise and white, locker room with showers and I loved this…hair ties in case you forget yours!

WORKOUT

We started with arm work including pushups, bicep curls and tricep extensions using light weights. This is a pretty big change for me since I usually lift pretty heavy so two to three pound dumbells seemed, well unintimidating. I was wrong! The teeny tiny one inch movements were killer and I was oh so happy to only be lifting something comparable in weight to an iPad. We them moved onto super small range of motion plies and squats and followed with left lifts lifting up and down only an inch. Oh my goodness where my muscles shaking uncontrollably! I was sweating bullets and I am not ashamed to say I had to stop and rest a few times. We concluded the class with more pushups, killer core work and some great stretches. Even days later I can still feel my biceps and triceps and yes, I wince just a little when I walk by a two pound dumbbell.

TONE ZONE

  • Tight lean biceps and triceps
  • Sculpted shoulders
  • Super flat tight abs (seriously just looking at some of the instructors is inspiration enough)
  • Long, lean thighs and high tight bootys

WHAT I LOVE

I adore doing something different and something that challenges me. I was not good at this class, like at all. Everyone else kicked my butt and I kinda love that. It means I really need to work on this kind of core strength and flexibility. The teachers were fantastic and even though it was my first time they knew my name and were very supportive and gentle in their corrections as they walked around the room. The music was good (pop, my fave) and the class seemed to fly by even during the crazy core work we did neat the end. Plus I’m a sucker for any workout that I can feel days later.

CROWD CONTROL

  • FYI dress to impress at these classes…the girls turn it out! The class was filled with Lululemon‘s fall collection and most girls were in their late 20s to 30s. That might just be this location because I have seen men and women in their 40s and 50s at bar classes.
  • This is a great workout for anyone starting out or looking to do something lower impact and lower intensity. (It’s not going to be high intensity like say, a cardio bootcamp) You can make it your own and  I didn’t really feel like I had to keep up with anyone…a very pleasant surprise.
  • Bar classes are sooo hot with celebs right now. Kelly Ripa, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, Drew Barrymore, Lisa Rinna, Anna Paquin, Denise Richards and Jacqueline Laurita to name a few

THAT’S WHERE IT’S AT

www.seattle-eastside.barmethod.com

REDMOND: The Bar Method Eastside Redmond Town Center 7551 166th Avenue NE, #D240 Redmond, WA 98052 425.556.5163 seattle-eastside@barmethod.com

SEATTLE: The Bar Method Seattle South Lake Union 124 Westlake Ave North Seattle, WA 98109 206.467.5249 seattle-eastside@barmethod.com.

Go online to reserve your spot now!

WORKOUT REVIEW: Beachbody’s Insanity: The Asylum

15 Sep

 

ABOUT

So after you go “INSANE” well then you have to go to the “ASYLUM”, right?…Well, that’s exactly where Beachbody’s follow-up to the super popular “Insanity” workout will take you. This new set of DVDs from the makers of P90X takes the hardcore cardio from “Insanity” and adds some strength training moves and pull-ups from P90X for a killer total body workout system.

COMING SOON… SPECIFIC REVIEWS OF EACH DVD WORKOUT!

WORKOUT

Insanity: Asylum is SUPER INTENSE and includes 6 DVDs total with 3 cardio workouts, 1 strength workout and 1 stretching/recovery workout. The system comes with an agility ladder ( like the ones used for NFL drills) and a jump rope and you just need to add dumbbells, resistance bands and a pull up bar. ( Don’t worry, there are optional exercises is you don’t have a pull up bar).

The workouts use lots of one-minute long intervals, super intense plyometric drills, jump roping and lots of compound upper and lower body strength moves. Oh yeah, and hardly any recovery. All the DVDs have both cardio and strength elements so you always get a full workout in about 45 minutes.

TONE ZONE

  • Triceps, shoulders and especially your back… this workout will shred your upper body
  • While there aren’t any isolated abdominal workouts the plyos and sports drills will really work your core and totally tone your abs
  •  The plyos shape and tone your legs and give your booty a nice boost
  • Check out YouTube for Asylum results videos

WHAT I LOVE

  • The workouts are short (LOVE THIS) but also super intense so you burn tons of calories in a short amount of time
  • These are some of the most intense at home workouts on DVD
  • The DVD set comes with hybrid calendars if you want to combine Asylum with Insanity or P90X
  • Asylum is really fun, challenging and the exercises are new and different so you never get bored
  • You are bound to lose inches and get totally toned
  • Insanity was heavy cardio and P90X was heavy weights…Asylum is a really nice combo of both cardio and weights
  • I used this workout before my wedding and LOVED my toned arms and smaller waistline!

CROWD CONTROL

Asylum is definitely for advanced exercises, no doubt. If you’ve ever turned your nose up at at-home workouts you have to try these DVDs…they will kick your butt! The workout also is perfect to follow-up to P90X or Insanity.  It’s great for anyone short on time, who wants to workout at home and who doesn’t want to  compromise on intensity.

THAT’S WHERE IT’S AT

The DVDs set will run you about $120 with shipping about you can get there here….http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/insanity-next-level-asylum-workout.do

What’s “SUP” with Paddleboarding?

9 Sep

ABOUT

You may have seen people on the lake and along the shore who look  like their walking on water. No cause for alarm…all those people are probably just paddleboarding (or they’re miracle workers, you decide:) Paddleboarding or SUPping (Stand Up Paddleboarding) involves standing on a large board that looks like a surfboard and using a tall paddle to glide through the surface of the water. It’s actually easier than it looks and don’t worry if you fall off… I had a totally ungraceful fall my first time out and it was super easy to get back up on the board. No injuries, just a little hurt pride:)

WORKOUT

Paddleboarding is one of those “you get out what you put in” workouts. You can leisurely travel about for a mild workout and some sightseeing or get into a semi-squat position and start some hard core paddling.If you want to make it harder try racing a friend or try paddleing against the current. FYI waves on the water make for a totally killer workout!

TONE ZONE

  • Sculpts serious shoulders, back and bicep muscles
  • Targets the obiques
  • Carves your calves

CROWD CONTROL

While this may have started as a surfer’s sport you don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy paddleboarding, in fact it’s great for workout newbies.  You’ll  see all ages from kids to teens to parents and even grandparents..oh yeah you might see a few dogs along for the ride. Celebs with killer bods like Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz  love to SUP as welll.

THAT’S WHERE IT’S AT

Grab a board at any of these locations…

Greenlake http://www.greenlakeboatrentals.net/

Lake Union http://www.nwoc.com/ (call for reservations)

West Seattle/ Alki  http://kayakalki.com/