I did HIIT and survived
I’d been stalking the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) phenomenon on Instagram for quite some time. As I admired the toned physiques that seemed to sashay effortlessly through a series of intense circuit moves, the likes of which have sculpted the guns of Jarryd Hayne, Ricky Martin, Joel Madden, Nicole Ritchie and Lauren Eagle, I began to develop a slight case of fitness envy. I became somewhat obsessed, at times looking at so much #fitspo, I’d trick myself into believing I had actually completed a workout!
What’s all the fuss about?
My stalking/research tells me that a huge part of the HIIT appeal is the time-savvy convenience, which delivers epic results through functional training in a short amount of time. HIIT obsessed peeps treat their bodacious bods to a unique combo of strength and conditioning, with high intensity workouts that are never repeated twice.
On the flip side, I’ve always fancied the “long walk on the beach, while I contemplate my existence” type of workout
I pepper this with a few yoga classes. However, not the fancy Instagram “oops, I’m in a bikini tying myself in a knot” yoga, just your regular old fully clothed, “I’ll skip the headstand” type yoga. Of course, I favour a daily bounce on my rebounder (I mean, who doesn’t?).
It would seem I’ve been in search of the kind of exercise that feels like it’s giving me a reassuring cuddle, while lifting and toning my butt and thighs. My sister, on the other hand, who loves nothing more than a hard and fast circuit sesh, convinced me to finally stop HIIT stalking, and actually attend a class in the flesh.
HIIT Day 1: and I think I might be a HIIT goddess
Session one and my sis can’t make it, so I pluck up the courage to go it alone at a studio in Balmain. I feel like it’s my first day at a new school. I’m the first one there, and the instructor hands me a foam roller to loosen up pre-class. Ummm I’m loving this already, any class that kicks off with a relaxing roll gets a thumbs up from me. The class begins, and I begin fulfilling my long-awaited dream of being a seasoned HIIT babe.
It’s a resistance training class and if I do say so myself, I actually handle it quite well. I don’t know why I waited so long to give it a go, I’m killin’ this! Maybe I should look into opening up my own HIIT studio…
HIIT Day 2: I get stuck in the rowing machine and fly off the ball thingy trying to do a sit up
All within the first two minutes of the class. Once again, lil sis has cancelled, so I can’t even pretend to play the “Ha ha this is so funny” card. It would appear that my first session gave me a false sense of security, as it was missing the cardio component that this session definitely didn’t skimp on – I may need to be carried out on a stretcher.
As I lay flat on my back and stare up at the petrified instructor, I contemplate just running out. I mean, I don’t know anyone here, I could just change my name – pretend this whole thing never happened and get on with my life… right? Is there such a thing as an HIIT fitness protection program?
Instructor: “Are you ok?”
B: “Oh yeah ha ha” (cue the worst fake laugh of all time).
He then begins to demonstrate how to do a sit up. Yup, the simplest move in workout history, and I need a one-on-one demo to avoid injuring myself. My circuit buddy gives me a reassuring “We all saw it and it’s totes cool!” kind of look. I suck it up and finish the class without putting myself (or anyone else for that matter) in hospital.
Aside from my minor hiccup, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment upon finishing the class, as does every inch of my body!
Even though after today’s events, I may have to postpone my career as a personal trainer, I feel like such an exercising gangsta that I don’t want to give up on my HIIT quest. I also decide it’s in the best interests of everyone involved to flee the scene of the crime, and try a new studio. It’s been real Balmain!
HIIT Day 3: this time, I’m determined to make HIIT my b**tch (too much?)
Ok, so this is actually a few months down the track. My ego was a tad bruised after I went flying, so I needed to do some soul-searching to recombobulate my HIIT fire.
I find myself at a Leichhardt studio, where to my dismay; they have a shop front window allowing passers-by to potentially witness another HIIT fatality. I feel some solace that I brought backup, and by backup, I mean my friend from work who I can casually joke with if I accidentally decide to channel Superwoman again.
Moving along, I spot the offending Pilates ball that was at the centre of my unfortunate mishap; however, I ignore my violent flashbacks and decide to funk some HIIT up (not sure why I’m now a potty mouth gangsta?).
We’re paired with the poster couple for Sports Illustrated
Feeling a tad less gangsta looking at his supernaturally-sculpted biceps (complete with tats of course), and her ability to lift at least three times more than me at each station – I keep my head up as I lunge using a 4kg hand weight.
I realise I’m going to have to make some minor tweaks to the exercises, if I’m going to cross the finish line in one piece (and do Maverick and Goose proud!).
Chin-ups = I pull down on the stirrups with my feet flat on the floor: let’s call it a triceps pull-down (your guess is as good as mine).
Push-ups = I opt for the respected knee stance: let’s call it the Pilates version.
Reverse knee-ups on the rowing machine = no idea what this was, I dived in backwards, ass-up, and spent this exercise in a fit of laughter: also known as an unintentional abs workout.
Am I now the holiness of HIIT?
While I wouldn’t go that far, I can proudly say I finished the class (safely), broke a sweat and even had some fun. The instructor was super supportive and helped me with my exercise alternatives when needed, and the general vibe of the class was positive and happy, like one big HIIT fam bam.
If you like a sense of community and enjoy a challenge, are partial to circuit-type training and love to mix up your workouts – I can safely say that HIIT will be your thang!
Disclaimer: in the interest of safety, if you spot me in a class it’s probably best you keep your distance!
- Check out HIIT with Bodypass
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