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Natalie Tries: Hiitgirl
No, I’m not having a momentary spelling blip, that is definitely Hiit with two ‘I’s. Hiit actually stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and if you’ve seen Kick Ass you’ll certainly be feeling as hard-core as Chloe Moretz’s character of the same name after 30 minutes of this!
The studio, exclusively for women, is a vision in pink. Pink walls, pink exercise balls, pink mats – it’s a girly girl’s dream. But it doesn’t exactly scream intensity. I have to admit that I didn’t really think I’d break a sweat surrounded by all this pink. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
What’s HIIT all about?
High Intensity Interval Training is just that – an enhanced form of interval training. Alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with recovery periods. It’s a brilliant source of cardiovascular exercise that helps to provide improved athletic capacity, build fitness, condition your body and burn fat. And all of those benefits are squeezed into bite-sized 30-minute sessions.
There are two different levels of the 30-minute session. The ‘easier’ session encompasses 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. And this is repeated for the entire 30 minutes. The ‘harder’ session is 40 seconds of work with 20 seconds of rest. I made the mistake of mentioning that I play a lot of netball, so it was deemed that my taster session should be the harder version. I can’t believe how short the 20 seconds rest became after about 15 minutes of working!
The exercises are simple but incredibly effective. Our bubbly instructor made sure to work every area of our bodies. We were doing a variety of different core movements, using exercise balls coupled with crunches and a variety of planks. Just when I thought my stomach couldn’t take any more punishment, we moved on to the legs. And that’s how the entire session went – you really felt as though every inch of your body had been worked to its limit.
With only 40 seconds of each exercise, you have to work hard and maintain your focus because everything moves so quickly. But as the session is only 30 minutes, it flies by and it’s easy to keep yourself in the zone. With the clock constantly ticking down it’s easy to push yourself knowing that there’s never too long to go.
The atmosphere in the class was great as well. It was a really positive environment with everyone encouraging each other and pushing each other to keep going – which, as a team sport lover, I live for! The music is loud and bouncy giving you a real push and energising you even if it’s after a long day in the office and you’re drained.
At the end of the class I was dripping with sweat and felt a real burn in my thighs and glutes, which I always see as a good sign. To be that sweaty after just 30 minutes is quite a feat! I felt as though I’d achieved much more in this 30 minutes than I would if I went to the gym on my own and half-heartedly hit the treadmill for an hour.
– It’s women only. No need to worry about whether your shorts hide your cellulite or grapple with testosterone-filled egotism in the weights section. Here you can be yourself and feel comfortable and confidant.
– Time-management. If you’re like us then you’re balancing a million things and don’t have two-hours a day to devote to fitness. With Hiit Girl you can get great results in a fraction of the time.
– Sporty benefits. The exercises are incredibly varied and will feed into whatever else you’re into. Not only will you build up your core, which is vital for all sports, but you will also do a lot of lateral movement which opens up your movements and mimics a lot of different sports.
You can buy 12 sessions for £144, but first timers get 50 per cent off their first purchase. You can even book a free taster session at their studios in London or Harrogate. For more information head to www.hiitgirl.com.