Friday, June 08, 2018

Reformer HIIT

The gym printed class descriptions into a brochure.

The gym re-branded its reformer classes from Starter, Classical, Flex and Athletic into Refomer Beginner, Intermediate and HIIT. Nothing mentioned about scheduling Classical classes for now, but as with gyms, schedules fluctuate according to demand. I was really curious about the HIIT style (High-intensity interval training), of which Australian pilates studios do very well, as do a number in the US. These are styles that pilates studios don't seem to do here. Merrily went for the first few sessions of Reformer HIIT.

I do hope that people taking the class would understand what scooping truly is in order to work the core properly and use it to aid them. Even at my fitness level, I can still get DOMS from a supposedly ‘easy’ 45-minute reformer session when I focus on scooping and activating my glutes to isolate whichever muscle groups I’m working on. Many days, speed gives me an extra calorie burn. On other days, by deliberately doing slow reps, the muscles work doubly hard instead.

The gym’s Reformer HIIT class utilizes sandbells and power reels. Tabata-style sets. Yay. One could definitely increase the heart rate and work up a sweat doing squats and lunges with those accessories. Along with fairly inventive planks on and off the reformer, you get a great workout. This class is not for newbies or people recovering from injuries and nursing continuous medically-untreated pain.

I enjoyed HIIT elements at reformer classes in Brisbane, Australia, mostly because I was on vacation and didn’t have time to do other forms of cardio. I was happy that reformer classes sorted that out. While I’m glad that gym's group classes do them now, I haven’t decided if I like Reformer HIIT as a regular class. The cardio and weights portions within are what I get from other classes at the gym, say LES MILLS GRIT™Strength. I still favor the traditional elements of pilates and its movement in group reformer classes.

I recognize that the gym simply wants to give its members more options, especially when everyone’s stretched for time and can’t ideally squeeze in different workouts weekly. If for any reason I miss out on my usual weights and cardio classes, then going to a Reformer HIIT class would be better than not attending any classes at all.

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