Fitness option is bursts of work with periods of rest

(WBIR-Fountain City) Emily Brewer started working out last April with a personal trainer but then she switched to high intensity interval training, or HIT.

"I like that it's really motivating to have a group around and see that everybody else is doing exactly what you're doing and I think the trainers are really knowledgeable so that helps too," she said.

Lee Sloan with National Fitness Center in Fountain City said, "Being in a group you're encouraged. You have that family atmosphere. One of those days when you don't want to come or you miss, there's one or two people asking about you, there's one or two people giving you a call to encourage you to get back in to the program."

He explained that HIT is a series of stations. Students work in intervals: 40 seconds of high intensity, 20 seconds to move to the next exercise.

The stations change week to week.

"I really like the jumping jack station and least favorite might be the ropes. I think they're really hard," Emily said.

Weights plus resistance plus cardio.

You're burning calories plus gaining strength," Instructor Julie Smith said. The training focuses on the core.

"It holds your stability. It's your balance, your flexibility, I mean it incorporates everything you do. You have to have a strong core to do any body weight exercises and that is what a lot of this is, it's performance training," she explained.

She demonstrates the moves then acts as coach and motivator during the class.

"Push them as far as they want to go. It's their work out," she said.

Screening tests assess students' fitness level to place them in the right class.

"You're not starting at ground zero and working out with people at level 10," Lee said.

A class called Afterburn is pretty intense. There's another class for people with a lower level of fitness where they can adapt the exercises.

Julie said, "There's modifications for everything. Everybody starts with baby steps like crawling then you walk then you're able to run. Same thing with working out so there is absolutely a level for everybody."

Lee said, "It's hard. It's fun. It's different. And it's different almost every week. I hate coming in to the gym and doing the same thing over and over and over. A bench press, the treadmill, the elliptical. but being able to come in and knowing each week I'm going to have a different program that's going to challenge me and motivate me? That excites me."

Emily has some advice for those who want to try high intensity interval training.

"I would say to prepare yourself. You'll be really tired afterwards."

National Fitness Center plans to offer high-intensity interval training at its new location off Walker-Springs Road. That facility opens next week.


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