What is HIIT? Does it work? Is it Stylish?

A lot changes as you get older. But mostly, you become a creature of habit. You get comfortable doing the same things because you've had good results from them in the past. Ha! Old people are craaaaaazy! It's OK, I can say that because according to most 20-year olds I am ancient.

And frankly, I don't care how old you are but we need to put an end to this antiquated way of thinking. Let's take ME for example (it is my website afterall). I am in my 30's and my complacency usally results in one of two things: 1) tubby or 2) chubby. Last summer I had a 4-pack (abs not beer). A year later I have a no-pack. WTF!

Okay...so maybe my bewilderment isn't 100% genuine. I just came down with a case of "old-person" thinking. I got too comfortable with my barre, yoga and running routine. I needed something different to spike my results. My no-pack is no-sexy.

Enter Focus Integrated Fitness and their transformative class called PT6. It was exactly what I needed to introduce some change into my routine. I'm telling you, even the most active and physically fit people in the world plateau and normalize. We all (as in you, me and top athletes) have to continously sniff out new ways to exercise for transformation to be ongoing. For me, change IS COMING (I'm still on the journey), through HIIT.

So, what is HIIT? HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. It's an approach to fitness that involves alternating periods of short intense heart-raising movements with less-intense recovery periods. Essentially it's cardiovascular exercise with speed, fatigue and burn-out being part of the equation. You get to take a breath, a sip of water and towel off between intervals...so you're not exactly dying. But sometimes the intervals are so intense that you feel like you might die.

Does it work? Yes, indeed. Especially if your goal is weight-loss and muscle toning (my exact goals). As long as you do it regularly (i.e. 2x a week), HIIT workouts will get you in shape quickly and change everything about your workout routine. They'll improve your glucose metabolism and fat burning rates. You'll even notice a change in your overall energy and sleep cycle. I get more sleep because high intensity workouts knock me out by midnight. If you think that's late, welcome to my life as an insomniac.

HIIT training has no specific formula so many trainers and studios will approach it differently...but for the most part you should be out out of breath during intense intervals and exhausted by the end of your workout.

Oh, I should probably mention the SLED. Because it's one of the terrible tools that may be used in a HIIT class you take somewhere. It's not pretty and it makes no sense at all, but ruthless moves like sled pushing will condition nearly every part of your body. Click on the image below (here too) to watch me suffer. You will see me collapse towards the end. Ready to sign up for PT6?

Is HIIT stylish? I think it depends on where you go...but don't expect the equipment to be stylish! The sled I had to push was anything but posh. But that's the vibe of HIIT--it's sweaty, rough 'n tough and meant to raise your heart rate. You can definitely bring your own style to class though! Personally I love this jewelry line called TrainHard Designs which I'm currently wearing to bring sass 'n style to my "sled runs". It's inspired by tough workouts like HIIT but brings femininity to your look so you can strike a balance between your inner jock and fashionista.

WIN THE KETTLEBLING NECKLACE BY LEAVING A COMMENT ON THIS POST. I'll pick a winner on June 1st. One day, I'm sure, Swarovski Crystal covered sleds will saturate the marketplace. Until then, I just plan on showing up in my best fitness fashion and choosing HIIT studios by performance and instruction. 'Cause you won't find polished floors or frills at these studios--just things that thump, clink and generally hurt to move. Lol!

I'm a regular at Focus Integrated Fitness in NYC because...their classes cater to small groups of 12 people only, the studio space is clean and exceptionally organized, rotations are smooth, classes run on time and go by fast, and there are mini-monitors at every station that show you how to do each move in case you weren't paying attention to the instructor. FYI, Kate is my favorite instructor. She's also the voice you hear as I push that f*$%ing sled.

But that's not all they do! In case you're an aspiring trainer or a military veteran looking to work in fitness, Focus Integrated Fitness runs a personal training school (Focus Personal Training Institute). Their certificate program provides technical knowledge and hands-on practical skills ranging from exercise physiology and injury prevention to nutrition and business management. The school also assists graduates in securing employment. The exciting news for eligible veterans is that FPTI was just approved to accept military veterans under the GI Bill to allow up to 100% of tuition to be covered.

Have you tried HIIT? What's your take on it? Leave a comment below or share a style tip (with or without Swarovski crystals) to win the Kettlebling necklace by TrainHard Designs.


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