Ready to feel the burn? A new group-workout program at a gym chain across the Southeast Valley is gaining popularity, just in time for those who’ve made improved fitness a new year’s resolution.
High Intensity Interval Training by LA Fitness is set to be introduced in the chain’s newest club in Mesa early in January. It will be incorporated into some of the chain’s other clubs in the region over time, as well.
“HIIT by LA Fitness is a fun, effective, 50-minute workout that is interactive with our amazing technology,” said Barbie Spark, the regional coordinator of aerobics for LA Fitness and lead of the program in Arizona. “Really, in 50 minutes you are getting a complete workout from head to toe.”
Introducing HIIT by LAF at certain gyms is part of LA Fitness’ $13.6 million worth of renovations at 26 gyms in Arizona, including eight in the Southeast Valley that are receiving updated equipment, appearance and, in some places, layout.
Each HIIT by LAF session is directed by an instructor and focuses on strength, endurance and definition. Results vary by person, but it’s common to burn as many as 1,000 calories during and after each workout, she said.
The club’s first HIIT by LA Fitness studio in Arizona opened in November in north Phoenix. It features a station for cardio and strength training. Treadmills, rowers and bikes make up the cardio side of the room, while dumbbells, resistance bands and other equipment can be used on the other side for strength training.
LA Fitness’ new gym near Higley and Southern roads in Mesa is the next to incorporate the program. HIIT by LA Fitness memberships are separate from regular memberships at the gym.
Each participant is equipped with a heart-rate monitor before taking the class. With the use of monitors in the studio, the instructor and participants can identify their heart-rate in real time.
The real-time updates and color-coded figures help the instructor identify short time intervals for which each participant is at maximum effort.
“We try to guide them through a workout but ultimately, they will do whatever they want with their bodies,” Sparks said. “It’s meant for everyone to come in and meet their own fitness goals.”
Each class has 10 to 15 participants. After being equipped with the heart-rate monitor, the instructor has all of them exit the studio. As the class is set to begin, the instructor explains what the goal is for the day.
A pump-up session followed by high-fives, music and red lights get the workout going.
“I want people to give me their full effort and have a good time,” said Viki Gamble, HIIT by LA Fitness instructor at the north Phoenix location. “This is for people to have a good workout and get closer to their goals. I just want them to give me their all.”
The smiles and laughter on the participants’ faces quickly turn to grimaces about halfway through the class. That’s also the point that most have already hit their designated two to five minutes of maximum effort. A cool-down period followed by stretching ends the class, with just about every participant exiting drenched in sweat.
Sparks envisions more HIIT by LAF studios to open the East Valley and Scottsdale.
“This program is going to continue to grow,” Sparks said. “We don’t have the specifics as to where, but we are definitely not done growing.”
For more information on HIIT by LA Fitness and to book a complimentary free workout, visit welcome.lafitness.com/hiit-by-laf/.