Confession: I find interval training super tough. The steady pace of a half-marathon or the power of a power yoga class is way easier in my books, both mentally and physically. Which is exactly why I decided to jump out of my comfort zone and into a Tabata class at Mountainside Fitness, a surprisingly unchainy gym chain that prides itself on its unique class offerings (think Ballet Fit, Tire Toss, TRX Suspension Training, Kettlebell Training).
Tabata is the ultimate anti-jiggle workout. It combines compound movements like squats, lunges, power jumps and burpees that utilize multiple muscles. And here’s the kicker: you do 20 seconds on (all out), 10 seconds off intervals repeated 8 times for 40 minutes. In other words it’s like interval training on crack (although newbies can dial it down to fit their fitness level). No wonder it’s proven to increase endurance, strengthen muscles and burn more fat than a 60-minute aerobic workout.
The Mountainside class is designed to challenge people with minimal equipment, and inspire them to change their body in ways they never thought possible. Just since it launched in January, devotees¾and there are plenty of them¾ have gotten noticeably fitter, faster and stronger. Sounded good to me!
So here’s how the 40-minute class went down: We cycled through eight butt-blasting, leg quaking, core-building moves that had me twisting, lunging, hopping and power jumping. Anytime I wanted to quit (and there were plenty), Randy, our Tabata leader, came through with a “Come on, you can do this!” mantra that managed to fire me up and get my head back in the game. The other thing on my side was the time. You only ever have to push through for 20 seconds ¾ 20 measly seconds ¾ and then you get a break. Still, that didn’t stop me from feeling like I’d accomplished a ton by the end of class. Yes, there was all the calorie- and fat-burning, but even more so I felt a major “I DID IT!” sense of accomplishment. High five to me!
Have you tried Tabata? I’d love to know what you thought…
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