11 December 2014


Whilst in London recently not only did I try out Barrecore but I also got the chance to try out a class at Fitness First. Anyone can sign up for a complimentary class so it's definitely worth checking them out to see if there is one near you! The class I tried, is currently only held at the Beat Charing Cross Branch. I headed down for a 6:45am H.I.T.T 90% class with Charlie and prepared myself for an early morning workout.

The class only lasts 30 minutes making it perfect for a great early workout session before heading off to work. It's split into four workout areas which they vary from class to class. The aim of this H.I.T.T 90% workout is to get your heart rate up to 90% of it's maximum, once you've reached that you then aim to keep working for the duration of the exercise above 85%. You each have a heart rate monitor which connects via bluetooth to an iPad. This provides a live feed to a screen showing everyone's heart rates and current levels. There are numerous screens placed around the workout area meaning you can always see what level you're working out.

Firstly, I never reached 90%. The closest I actually got was 89%. I think everyone else in the class reached it, including Charlie, but I could just never seem to get there. The only workout station Charlie hit it on, and I came close to, were the curved treadmills. Even though it was a really good class that challenged me, I just couldn't seem to reach that target. On the treadmill I really tried but my quads began to hurt quite badly so to avoid injury I decided to stop, do the press ups and then try again for as long as I could at a more comfortable pace.

Here's a quick run down of the exercises that we performed in our class. You spend 5 minutes on each activity before heading onto the next one - each time aiming to hit 90%.
- Squats and wall throws. This was performed with a large beach ball sized weight ball around 6.6lbs (I think). You perform a squat and then push the ball up high onto the wall. This is repeated 10 times. You then do 10 toe taps, before repeating.
- 10 press ups followed by sprinting on the curved treadmill until you hit 90% heart rate. Once that heart rate target was hit you repeated it all over again starting from the press ups.
- 10 side lunges with a Vipr bar, followed by 10 180 degree jumps over the bar.
- Finally we performed bear crawls whilst dragging a sand bag, sprinting back to pick up a soft, weighted disc bag before jump squatting it back to the sandbag. We repeated this for the 5 minutes.

Overall, I really liked this workout. It got my heart rate up and I definitely felt worked out by the end of it. I enjoyed this type of training, but it's not something I'd personally do on a regular basis as part of my current training. I liked the short length of the workout, it's really handy before heading to work and you want to fit in a good workout session in the morning. Because I'm performing for an endurance event I need to build my endurance, which this format of working out wouldn't really do for me.

It'd highly recommend giving this a go if you like the look of shorter workout classes, want a good workout and are aiming for a short term results but it's not something you want to be regularly doing if you're training for a marathon. It will help you strengthen and tone up, great if you've got an event you want to tone up for a couple of months down the line and improve you're overall short term fitness.

Check out the Fitness First website to see the sites available near you and also to try out a free class. Have you tried any classes by Fitness First before? And is this the sort of workouts you prefer? Let me or tweet me @afloralcrown.

I'm posting everyday as part of my 24 days of Christmas Fitness. Make sure to check back each day for a new post all the way up until Christmas Day!