When it comes to fitness trends 2014, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is growing ever more popular.
Explosive, calorie-burning and packed full of moves that everyone can do, HIIT is designed for the generation of busy individuals who want to make a difference without having to put in hours at the gym. And the added bonus of HIIT? Well, according to research after one session, (ranges from 15-30 minutes depending on what class you do), it increases your metabolic rate for up to 24 hours. Translated: you continue to burn calories faster for up to a day after each session.
For cardio-junkies who thrive on fast-paced activity, HIIT is the ultimate action-packed class. But there is a downside. While they’re focused on pushing harder, stronger, fitter and all the rest of it, they often forget one vital element – to stretch. Yep, we’ve all been there. Knocked out a killer 10k no problem but can we really say we put the same effort post-cardio action e.g. lengthening out those muscles? You tell me.
How about the yogis out there. Yoga can be intense, especially those deep lunges that awaken the muscles but when it comes down to it, does it really get your heart pumping like a set of burpees?
Enter Hiitgirl’s latest class Yogabomb or what I like to call the answer to all these fitness conundrums. In short, it’s perfect for those who short-cut their stretches (me) or never pump up the pace. Here’s why:
What’s the deal?
Aimed at time-poor women who want to get fit, healthy, sweat and essentially feel better about themselves, Hiitgirl combines easy-to-follow heart-pumping movements, such as lunges, burpees, twists and planks, with a we’re-in-it-together atmosphere.
The brainchild of Susan and Stuart Dyson, every group class (see the Hiitgirl timetable here) is pretty small and all the women work together to encourage each other. The instructor (in my case Susan, who know her stuff) also comes around to check that you’re doing the moves correctly and also give you a motivational nudge in the right direction.
And the best bit of all (besides the calorie-burning and post-workout calorie-burning), no class lasts longer than 30 minutes. It only takes 30 minutes of these high-intensity metamoves, each one lasting 40 seconds with a 20 second break, to burn up to 500 calories.
Yogabomb splits the 30-minute class into two sections: one focused on the high-intensity moves, while the other is dedicated to yoga. You may compromise slightly on the calorie burn but boy, it’s worth it for the stretch.
You betcha. Even the studio, hidden away in Crouch End, London, looks impressive. When you enter, you’re instantly hit by the gorgeous smell of scented candles, the wooden panelling everywhere and a screen that links up to an iPad, which tells you exactly how much time of Hiitgirl you have left.
There’s a wall where you can write little messages to keep you motivated and even cubby holes to place your stuff, so the whole place looks tidy before you begin.
As for the class, it’s pretty tough stuff. You may not think that 40 seconds is a long time but I guarantee you’ll change your mind after doing a rep of burpees, lunges, jumping jacks or (my least favourite) press-ups. If you’re not a yogi or used to stretching, then the last 15-minutes is a double-whammy on the scale of difficulty as you try and stretch out those super-tight hamstrings.
The Yogabomb boost
It may be a challenging throughout the session but post-yoga and the little lay down on the mat at the end, you feel utterly revived. Maybe it’s the low-lighting in the room or the mix of HIIT with yoga. Whatever it is, let’s just say that I’d had a pretty tiring day before the evening class that I attended and when I came out of the session 30 minutes later I felt relaxed and rejuvenated.
What does it cost?
At £72 for 4 sessions (not just Yogabomb but you can also try the other classes too), Hiitgirl does not come cheap. There’s no joining fees and once you drill down into the numbers though, you can find a deal to work for you. A 25 session carnet costs £250 or £10 a session and lasts for three months. If you go twice a week, then this will last around three months. One class, £10, twice a week – it doesn’t sound too steep now, especially when you reap the rewards.
See the price list here
Overall “Yogabomb is da bomb”
As a self-confessed cardio junkie, I thought Hiitgirl’s Yogabomb was the perfect balance for me. It gave me the Hiit(girl) of heart-pumping action with the much-needed stretch afterwards. There’s also a fab community vibe going on and motivational plans such as 30girl, which keeps you on the straight and narrow for 30 days.
For girls on the go who want a fitness quickie and stretch that works, try Hiitgirl.
Find our more about Hiitgirl here
I was invited along to a Hiitgirl Yogabomb class, all opinions here are my own.