My Experience with HIIT (as demonstrated by Ron Swanson gifs)
Yesterday, right on schedule, I hit up (HA. Get it?) the HIIT class at our local YMCA.
What is HIIT?
I’m glad you asked.
Before I took this class, I’d heard of HIIT—that is, High Intensity Interval Training. I’d seen it on blogs, and just figured it was basic interval training. You know—running REALLY hard on the treadmill for a minute, and then jogging for two—then back to the sprinting, etc, until you were nice and sweaty.
What’s the big deal? I wondered. It sounded a lot like just a regular workout, so when it came to HIIT workouts, my initial reaction was kind of:
But, when I saw the HIIT class on our YMCA group exercise schedule, my interest was peaked. I’d always thought of HIIT in terms of treadmill running—what would you do in a HIIT class? Color me intrigued.
So, yesterday, I ambled into class not really knowing what to expect. I saw rows of workout steps set up, plus some cones. We were all told to grab a set of weights and a mat as well, and the instructor informed us that we’d be doing “agility training.”
Agility training is not my forte. Basically, I suck at it. As the instructor explained the moves we were going to do (everything from sprints around the cones to jumping on and off the steps in a sort of figure-eight motion), I began to get more and more intimidated. I was pretty sure my experience with HIIT was going to look something like this:
I stuck it out, and actually—I really liked it. We mixed up short bursts of cardio (four sets of sprints around the cones, plus a bout of stair-climbing, for example) with lighter sets of strength training—typical moves, like lunges, bicep curls, etc.
The class was definitely challenging in a way that I wasn’t expecting. This is going to make me sound like a total moron, but the agility training kind of felt like brain training too—I had to really concentrate to make sure that I was doing each move right (and wasn’t going to fall on my ass). And the strength training, while basic, was nice because—well, I have trouble forcing myself to lift weights on my own, so anytime I do it, I see it as a win.
Did I finish the class in a state of drunk Ron Swanson ecstasy?
But I liked it. I’ll be back for more. And I finally understand that HIIT doesn’t just mean running treadmill intervals. So there’s that.
Off to yoga, and then…NASHVILLE.