Bring circuit training up a notch

One way to get a great workout is by going to an exercise class. Having a set class to go to regularly gives you less excuse to skip. Having a group of people doing it along with you gives motivation. A good fitness instructor pushes you to work harder.

I spoke with Sarah F., a certified fitness instructor for LA Fitness, about a specific type of fitness class called “high intensity interval circuit training.”

What is high intensity interval circuit training?

It combines aerobics and weight training into one class. It’s all mixed up together and not blocked into segments.

What makes high intensity interval circuit training better than a normal aerobics class?

It’s one of best options if you’re crunched on time. The cardiovascular part is extremely important for most health issues, but you also get weight training, which helps prevent osteoporosis. Weight training also speeds up your metabolism and supports and protects your bones and joints. Plus, it helps you look better, because, well, everyone looks better with muscles.

What is an example of this?

One of the classes I teach is called Club Box, which gives you a lot of muscle endurance and muscle definition. It combines boxing and athletic training drills. One lady in my class had a calorie counter, and during one of my not-as-intense classes, she burned 500 calories.

What makes it so hard?

It’s really intense because there’s so much emphasis on cardio, so even a regular pushup is difficult in the middle of a really intense boxing session. And if you travel the pushups, it makes it so much harder than what you’d expect a normal pushup to be. Putting it in the middle of such high-intensity cardio intervals actually makes the weight training a lot harder to do. You get a lot more benefits from it, even though they’re simple basic moves like squats and pushups.

What areas of your body does the workout focus on?

Things like squats and lunges are mostly for the lower body, but if you add in the boxing and pushups, it really works your upper body. This includes your back, biceps, chest and shoulders. It benefits your core too, and it will help your balance. It’s pretty much an all-inclusive workout.

What would you tell someone who wants to try a high-intensity interval circuit training class?

If you’re just starting out, definitely start at your own pace. You have to get rid of your ego, because it WILL kick your butt. I kind of had an ego when I took my first Club Box class. At the end of it I realized, “I can’t even walk!” It’s definitely something to build up to. Some people do a lot of modified moves, and some people come in and add power moves to everything I do. Everyone gets a great workout at their own level.

For more information, you can find a complete list of LA Fitness classes on the LA Fitness Web site.

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