As we’re all stuck at home, people's creativity has started to blossom
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In the best of times, HIIT is hard.
As an instructor, I program my workouts to maximize work output, power, and your heart rate, while balancing it all with carefully-timed rest intervals.
When we couple HIIT with a pandemic, it gets even harder.
Instead of just showing up to class and hoping that there aren’t too many Burpees, factoring in the how, where, and when you take class becomes more labor-intensive.
It may feel overwhelming, so here’s a primer on how to find the right class, stay engaged, and get HIIT done.
One of the best parts of HIIT workouts is that they are infinitely flexible—and now with the increasing popularity and variety of online workouts, this flexibility is even greater.
I’ve programmed classes anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. During the COVID-19 era, this is an asset! You have the luxury of choice. Think about fitting in a 10-minute workout sesh between back-to-back Zooms, or blocking out time in your schedule for a full hour class at your favorite studio. No matter when you work out, or how long you sweat, your body and mind will thank you for giving it a calorie burn. (And don’t think a 10-minute interval workout will be easy—I’ve burned 200 calories during a short class before!)
This may seem like a tricky question, but the answer is simple: wherever you feel safe and comfortable. Like I said earlier, HIIT is endlessly flexible and can fit into your lifestyle as you see fit.. Personally, I’m striking a balance by teaching virtually and taking outdoor classes. It keeps me safe, while balancing my workout needs. (Plus, other people. IRL.)
If you’re still sheltering in place because you or a loved one is high-risk from COVID, look for a virtual option. If you don’t have equipment like weights, look for a bodyweight HIIT class that will challenge you, using only your body. (Keep in mind, that probably means a lot of Burpees. You’ve been warned.) And, if you’re an apartment dweller or injured, be sure to let your instructor know before class starts—they will always be able to make low-impact modifications if you can’t jump.
If you’re ready to venture back into in-person fitness, studios across the country are starting to get back indoors while others are making the most of good weather and teaching outside. If it’s been a while since you’ve taken a HIIT class, make sure you give yourself grace and don’t expect to come back at the same performance level as your last class in March. A lot has changed since then, including you!
Whatever you choose, make sure you’re finding a balance between challenging yourself and staying safe. If you want to keep doing virtual HIIT classes, go for it! Or, if you're ready for the IRL studio, and ready to follow all safety protocols, I say go ahead. As an instructor, it’s my job to keep you safe—I will always keep your comfort level in mind and will adjust your workout if you want to wear a face covering.
And—if you’re somewhere in the middle, there are some studios that are streaming in-person classes. While it’s a crazy experience for the instructor and feels a little bit like running a marathon while playing dodgeball, your experience will be as normal as fitness gets in 2020. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to see what’s happening in-studio before you go, which may ease your concerns about returning to in-person workouts.
I’m going to tell you a secret: I value the community aspect of HIIT more than anything else. There’s just something special about a class where everyone experiences the same thing, at the same time—and then get to rest and complain about what you just did. As an instructor, there’s no higher compliment than if someone looks at me during a break with a look that says, “How dare you!”
And that part of HIIT hasn’t changed with 2020, even if you’re taking your class virtually.
Here’s my challenge to you if you feel like something’s missing in virtual classes or feel yourself taking it easy:
• Stay present.
• Try to feel a different muscle engage.
• Breathe into the shaking.
•. Resist the urge to hide off-camera when the instructor calls for planks.
• Scroll through video of other attendees during rest breaks.
I promise you, you aren’t the only one suffering, and you can always unmute yourself and give props.
Finally, what do you do if you aren’t feeling engaged during classes, whether they are in-person or virtual? Just because you can’t give someone a high-five for nailing that last set doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate them. Give them a shout out or chat them up after class. Engaging with other people during and after workouts can help you stay motivated, as well as fulfilling that acute need for social connection we all have right now.
Regardless of where, when, or how you choose to work out, you can do it. I believe in you—so make like Tim Gunn and make HIIT work.
February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society. As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, we are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the Black community that shapes and grows wellness.
While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support.
Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.
The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.
At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads.
Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.
Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins.
Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days.
Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.
Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well!