I have this great holiday tradition for the past few years where I join my mom at her gym for high impact cardio workouts.
Several years ago, my mom got really into the Les Mills classes such as BodyAttack, BodyCombat, Step, and BodyPump. She lost tons of weight (30 pounds or so) and gained tons of energy from these high impact workouts.
In past years, I was in poor shape from irregular exercise and an extra 20 pounds of weight on my frame so when I went to visit her, I couldn’t keep up. But last year and this, my cardio has been pretty good from running so I could finally keep up with my mom! I noticed this year that my knees ached after a class of jumping around. Mom said lots of calcium helps her joints (sounds like another blog post to me). I’ve been so focused on low impact workouts such as running and yoga that my body isn’t accustomed to tuck jump burpees and round house kicks, but my mom has it down.
Back to my mom, when people ask her for her secret she always says to do lots of high intensity cardio.
“I found the fastest way to burn fat was to do something that really got my heart rate up.”
– Lisa Jacobsen (aka. Mom)
The biggest benefit from these types of workouts is weight loss. High intensity training burns more fat than slow and steady training. Instead of 60 minutes on the elliptical do 30 minutes of sprints on the treadmill.
Doing an hour long HIIT class is a great way to improve your cardiovascular system. The stronger you make your heart, the better!
Anything But Boring
You know how you can get bored doing that 60 minutes on the elliptical? Gyms have those cardio theatres now where people get on a machine and mindlessly move while watching a movie. There is NO spacing out in a HIIT class. You are 100% focused on what you are doing and the pace is fast.
My mom is 56 and does tuck jump burpees- it’s legit insane. This type of training is great to improve your agility and flexibility. I know for me, the striding motion of running doesn’t stretch out my legs enough and I get tight in the hips. These classes were a great way to stretch out my lower body.
Go into this type of training carefully. Like I said, my knees ached from these classes because of the jumping around. My body just wasn’t used to this type of activity. It would be smart to find a gym that offers group classes like Les Mills and talk to your instructors. It’s cute, because my mom knows all her instructors by name and they chat before and after class. They are always willing to answer questions and offer suggestions.
I’m planning to incorporate two HIIT workouts a week into my routine, particularly to improve my agility.
This isn’t a sponsored post or anything- I’m promoting Les Mills classes because those are what have helped my mom achieve success.