HIIT // Con is a class of two halves. As you may have guessed, one half is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) while the other half is conditioning.
I’ll admit that high intensity cardio on the hottest day of the year didn’t sound entirely appealing, but the thought of a nice air-conditioned studio persuaded me through the door – and that was seriously appreciated in the end. Any class that includes burpees and mountain climbers in the warm up is a class that means business, and in HIIT // Con, once you’ve started, you don’t stop. This was quickly a class full of very red, very sweaty people.
We were split into two halves, with one side doing HIIT first and the other side taking on conditioning. Five rounds of 40 seconds work at 50% effort were followed by five rounds of 20 seconds work at full effort, each with 10 seconds rest. After that, there was one minute to switch sides and do the other half of your HIIT // Con - and then you repeat all that again.
The HIIT was mostly burpees, which my thighs and core were very well aware of for several days afterwards. If you’ve ever done a burpee, you know that they’re a fantastic workout, so you can imagine the awesome things this class does for your fitness. I couldn’t get the hang of 50% effort burpees so just went for it, which could explain why my last few sets were pitiful. I was basically crawling through them – in HIIT // Con, you know you’ve worked!
On the conditioning side, there was more variety and a little less sweating. The dumbbells were out for squats, lunges, single leg deadlifts and step ups, and being able to pick your weights and your pace meant that you could tailor the exercises to your own abilities.
I personally enjoyed this half of the class a bit more, knowing that there was going to be a change of exercise after each round, though if I’m being completely honest, also because I found it easier. My personal preference always leans towards weights over cardio, which is one of the reasons I really like the concept of this class - it’s a good way of making sure you’re embracing the types of exercise you don’t like (but know you should probably be doing) as much as those that you do. Also, mixing up HIIT and conditioning makes you feel like you’ve had a really good, full-body workout.
Sometimes simple concepts are the best ones, and in that respect, I think Gymbox are really onto something with this addition to the timetable. I might just be avoiding burpees for a little while.