HIIT may no longer be just for folks looking to burn fat, but also get ripped- which is why it might be worth checking out Triplefit’s 20/40/20 gym class– a high-intensity training workout consisting of exercises done in a circuit, combining 20 sets of 40 seconds work followed by 20 seconds rest to improve endurance and strength.
Some background on why HIIT does double duty in the gym: the short bouts of maximal intensity lead to a serious fat burn, and give people who hate the slog of jogging or other steady state activities a quick, exciting way to push their cardio limits. If new research is accurate, however, HIIT can be used to help you make serious gains in the weight room, too — in half the time it takes you to finish a traditional strength training workout.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) sponsored a study to test the effectiveness of a HIIT protocol for resistance training, and came up with some interesting results. Not only did the HIIT program lead to just as much strength gain as a more traditional — and much more time-intensive — lifting program, but in some cases, there were even greater improvements in strength.
Check out how our experience of a HIIT class that builds muscle went, and what kind of exercises ensued here.
If you’re looking for more interval training classes, check these gyms out as well. You can also head down to Triplefit for their 20/40/20 class here: #02-63 Millenia Walk (6255-5064)
This Australian gym concept focuses on functional training movements such as lifting, squatting, pulling and pushing to sculpt lean muscles. Each class takes 45 minutes, and combines interval, cardio and strength training to leave you sore and breathless. The exercise plans are never repeated, so each workout is a surprise. Besides the instructor, video demonstrations of the exercises are shown on screen to help you along. The high energy and positive vibes will make you forget how hard you’re working. Visit www.f45training.sg.
More than 15 studios islandwide
True to its name, its equipment is orange, and so are the lights. Orange light has been found to boost alertness and brain function, so you’ll be especially awake in this gym despite the dimness. As the workouts here are heart rate-based, you’ll need to wear a heart rate monitor around your chest throughout. In 60 minutes, you’ll do a mix of exercises that focus on endurance, strength and power to activate different muscle groups. The aim is to send your heart rate into the “orange zone” (84 to 91 per cent of your maximum heart rate) for up to 20 minutes to trigger the afterburn effect. This gym offers treadmills, rowing machines, suspension training systems, free weights and benches that cater to up to 24 people at one go, and exercise demos are shown to guide newcomers. Visit www.orangetheoryfitness.com.
#02-01 Robertson Quay (6266-1715) and #01-58 Icon Village (6224-4288)
If HIIT classes are stressful, you’ll find a good balance in this one. Still 30/30 comprises 30 minutes of HIIT, followed by 30 minutes of gentle yoga to let you cool down and stretch out sore muscles. The HIIT exercises involve various equipment, like kettlebells, TRX, battle ropes and ViPR, to keep you engaged. On weekday lunchtimes, the class is shortened to 50 minutes. Visit www.still-group.com.
#B1-04/05/06 OUE Downtown Gallery (6800-5355)
Many time-strapped office workers rely on this high-intensity interval training class to stay in shape. The workouts are done in 20 minutes, and held every half-hourly. The class size is capped at 10, which means you get plenty of attention from the instructor who goes around checking your form. Don’t worry about not being able to keep up. The exercises come with four progression levels – there’s bound to be one that suits your needs. We love that workout tops and bottoms are provided, and the class is done barefoot on a shock-absorbent floor (no shoes!), so all you need to bring is your sports bra. There’s also a fuel bar selling post-workout smoothies if you need a quick replenishment. Visit www.ritualgym.com.
#03-01 Raffles Place (6536-7291), 17b Lorong Liput, #02-01 (6463-4690), and 140 Robinson Road, #03-01 (6584-9469)
By Kelvin Tan, Editor for Men’s Health Singapore