Hi! Quinn here. I'm the executive administrator here at Madison Square Wellness, and this is me - tackling my New Years resolution [four months late].
I am a fairly active person, hitting to the gym two to three times per week and taking the stairs whenever I can. However, I rarely branch out - sticking to the same routine and machines I always use. This year I've decided to embark on a fitness journey that really pushes me, takes me out of my comfort zone, and gives me the opportunity to take advantage of all of the awesome fitness opportunities that the Flatiron neighborhood has to offer! Follow my progress on our blog, where I'll be posting about my experiences after each work out. Let us know if you have any helpful advice, tips, or know of a challenging class I should try!
The first class I took, accompanied by the fearless Dr. Laura Fiske, was HIIT IT! taught by the wonderful Daphnie Yang. HIIT IT! is a High Intensity Interval Training class that meets at CAP21 Studios and in Central Park [weather permitting]. HIIT is a form of interval training where you perform a physical activity as fast and hard as you can [while maintaining safe and proper form] for short periods of time, followed by [very!] short periods of rest. HIIT IT! also has an emphasis on Tabata Training, which is a popular form of high-intensity interval training that consists of eight rounds of an intense 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, and repeat. Daphnie's class does NOT disappoint.
This hour long class of tabatas and descending intervals starts off with a high energy dynamic warm up and moves quickly into working your biggest muscle groups first [my poor quads!] and then into core and upper body work. Daphnie sets the tone of the class with an upbeat approach, greeting everyone at the door with a hug and encouraging everyone to push on throughout the hour. With fast paced music and Daphnie's contagious energy, the class flies by - leaving you an exhausted, sweaty pile on the floor. At one point as I was catching my breath, unable to do another push-up, I looked over at Dr. Fiske and said "I think I might die...or throw up". When the hour was up, our legs shook and our hearts pounded but we were left with a sense of accomplishment and energy.
HIIT IT! has an incredibly positive, no judgement, everyone is welcome energy. The class included a mixture of longtime regulars and new comers, all varying in athletic ability. Everyone is encouraged to push their own personal limits, to stop and catch their breath when needed, and to achieve individual goals. I would 100% recommend this class to friends (and already have!) and I cannot wait to go back again!
My Skill Level:
What to bring:
- Comfortable gym clothes that let you move, similar to what you'd wear running, and good sneakers
- A small towel, some of the exercises involve laying on the floor and having somewhere to put you head
- Lots of water, you will definitely sweat during this class, making hydration incredibly important
- A post workout snack, make sure to replenish with a good dose of protein after class
What to expect:
To sweat... a lot. During the class Daphnie makes sure to keep your heart rate up. Each exercise is carefully planned to ensure maximum amount of muscles used and calories burned. By the end of the class I could hardly move my legs, and by the time I made it to the subway stairs each step was increasingly shaky. For about four days post class I could still feel soreness in my legs. Also, expect a whole lot of burpees.
HIIT IT! classes are $25 per class, $20 for first-time students. Daphnie is also a certified personal trainer, run coach, and nutritionist, and offers one-on-on or two-on-one sessions.
From the chiropractor:
HIIT style workouts are insanely effective, because they give you the best of both the cardio and strength training worlds [which equals a higher, longer metabolic burn]. Plus, I love them because they're low-tech [all you need is your body weight and enough space to do a jumping jack or burpee] and you're always pushing your personal limits, meaning you're in control of how hard you work, and that any fitness level is going to get a great workout.
This class specifically is awesome for three reasons:
1) Form/Modifications & A Judgement Free Zone
Daphnie asks each person if they have any injuries & provides modifications for every exercise she gives. Whether you're nursing a sprained ankle or looking to amp it up, she'll show you a variation that will make your workout safer or burn that much more. She continually scans the room, providing individual guidance to make sure you're executing each move safely and effectively - while making everyone feel comfortable and encouraged to meet their own personal goals [and no one else's].
2) Fitness Education
From the minute class begins ["Don't forget! we don't want to stretch cold muscles, we want to warm them up with dynamic moves!"] to the minute it ends ["Everyone rehydrate as you head home and try to get some protein in you within the next 30 minutes!"] and between every set, Daphnie explains why you're doing what you're doing, and how to do it well. This is quite the feat when she has you moving and switching it up constantly, but at the end of class, you'll know what a Tabata really is, why HIIT is so effective, and why she starts off with those quad burning squats.
3) A Preventative Mindset
A common misconception of HIIT style workouts is that they leave you susceptible to injury. However, Daphnie reminds us that exercising is about injury prevention, and, when done right, is rarely ever a source of injury causation. As someone who believes, teaches, and tries to live a healthy, preventative lifestyle - I love her awareness and dedication to getting people moving, and moving right.
Bottom Line: A great fit for just about everyone! I couldn't recommend HIIT IT! or Daphnie more.
To hear more of Daphnie's health and fitness tips, you can also check out her awesome podcast [and subscribe! I have!] by going to www.justonemorepodcast.com or listening to it on your favorite podcast app.