Feeling the Burn 2

Four sizzling workouts to liven up your exercise grind

If your workout routine is becoming, well, routine, perhaps it’s time to breathe new life into what makes you sweat. And, there’s no shortage of hot exercises that are sure to get your heart pumping, muscles burning and mind racing—all in a good way.

Kick off the New Year with one of the new fitness trends that’s inspiring both veteran and rookie exercisers to hit the studio. Here are four that pledge to make getting fit, fun. 

HIIT

What it is:

Short for High Intensity Interval Training, HIIT is pretty much any workout that alternates intense bursts of activity with brief periods of low-intensity or total rest. One example is Tabata, which Fit Society owner MJ Reavley describes as 20 seconds of all-out-max of any exercise—burpees, for example—followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat this eight times. “You can get results in four minutes just as much as you would in a 30-minute traditional exercise session,” Reavley says.

Why it works:

The versatility with regard to time and type of exercise makes it easy to implement into other workouts like, for example, Fit Society’s Women’s Only Bootcamp that utilizes kettle bells and intuitive movements. The high-intensity bursts and rests are ideal for fat burning. “One variable that dictates results more than any other is intensity—how hard and how fast you go,” Reavley says.

Why it’s hot:

It’s one of the few workouts used by elite athletes, workaholic moms and stay-at-home dads who haven’t hit the gym in years. “Both a beginner and super advanced exerciser can benefit and enjoy HIIT training,” Reavley says. Challenge yourself at FitSocietyAZ.com


The Bungee Workout

{POSSIBLE PULL QUOTE} “You can’t compare it to anything. A squat doesn’t feel like squat. A lunge doesn’t feel like a lunge.”

What it is:

A range of different exercises are done while harnessed to a bungee cord suspended from the ceiling that constantly tries to pull you upward. Your job is to keep it—and your body—nice and low, explains Amanda Paige, owner of Tough Lotus. A professional dancer, Paige received her master training and certification in Thailand, where the workout originated, and is the only instructor in the U.S. licensed to train those wanting to get certified. “You can’t compare it to anything. A squat doesn’t feel like squat. A lunge doesn’t feel like a lunge,” Paige says.

Why it works:

The resistance inflicted by the cord means your core and quads get pushed to their limits in addition to generating a grueling cardio workout. So, you’re guaranteed to feel the impact after a 75-minute class.

Why it’s hot:

The high-intensity cardio with low impact on the joints is a winning combo. Its originality and creativity add to the appeal. Paige sends videos to class participants so they can see exactly what they’ve done to make themselves incredibly sweaty and, sometimes, incredibly sore. “Everything you have in your head about exercise, you have to throw it out the door,” Paige says. Give it a try at ToughLotus.com

Yoga + Cycle Fusion

What it is:

FLO’s yoga and cycling fusion classes combine two exercises that put the body through its paces, yet are gentler than jarring running or jumping workouts. “Cycling and yoga are low impact. It’s a smoother movement for the joints without the impact,” says Debbie Davis, who owns FLO Yoga & Cycle with her husband, Eddie. A fusion class is comprised of 30 minutes of cycling followed by 30 minutes of yoga, like active flow yoga or calming yin yoga that focuses on deep stretching.

Why it works:

The mash-up means the body doesn’t have time to figure out how to go through the routine with as little exertion as possible. This, Eddie explains, is the key to progress. “If you do the same things day in and day out, your body won’t allow itself to get faster or more flexible. The variety at FLO ensures your body is not going to plateau and because you’re always making gains, you want to come back to the workout,” Eddie says. 

Why it’s hot:

Results without pain. A 15-year veteran of the Canadian Football League, Eddie values tough workouts that aren’t punishing. Mixing it up also keeps it fresh. “We are creatures of habit,” he says. “People will tend to do the exact same workout day in and day out, and it’s monotonous. Here at FLO, it’s never the same.” Get in the FLO at FloYogaCycle.com

Boxing

{POSSIBLE PULL QUOTE} “We throw over 1,000 punches per class and burn anywhere from 600 to 1,000 calories.”

What it is:

Jabz is a 45-minute circuit-style workout designed specifically for women that incorporates boxing, cardio, strength training and core work that is both fun and effective. “Boxing training is guaranteed to work up a good sweat, burn calories and get the heart pumping,” explains Kimberlee White, who owns Jabz Boxing Fitness for Women with business partner Len Hayko. “You will be using every muscle every day while performing a variety of different exercises and having fun!”

Why it works:

Boxers are in the best shape of their lives, so why not train like a boxer? “We throw over 1,000 punches per class and burn anywhere from 600 to 1,000 calories in a single workout,” says White. A changing routine is also key, White says. “In order for your body to get stronger, it’s important that you constantly keep your body guessing.”

Why it’s hot:

It’s a kick-butt workout for truly every woman. All ages, sizes and skill levels are pushed to their limits and have fun doing it. “Our clients build friendships with one another and are constantly supporting each other,” White says. “We take the intimidation out of boxing and women feel good on the inside and outside by creating a welcoming environment for all.” Start training at JabzBoxing.com