So, it’s a new year and you’ve decided that 2017 is THE year that you show your metabolism and your body who’s boss. I’m right there with you! Of course, picking the fitness regime that’s right for you (and isn’t completely boring) can be hard, so allow me to help. I started a new fitness journey in the second half of last year and have found that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a surefire way to get great results in a short amount of time. If you’re new to HIIT and know there’s a good chance you’ll give up in a matter of seconds trying it alone at home or at the gym then I’d recommend giving ARENA Wellness a try. Their trainer-led HIIT classes are loads of fun and will whip your butt and kick your metabolism into gear in one hour flat!
But, before you start let’s get real. HIIT is no joke – you will work harder than you’ve probably every worked in your life and you will question your sanity a number of times during your first, second, and third classes. But, it’s totally worth it when you feel your body getting stronger and your waistline getting smaller in just a few short weeks (provided you don’t forget to adjust your diet and eat healthy too!). The best thing about high-intensity interval training is that, in a relatively short amount of time, it allows you to burn calories more efficiently than you would running on a treadmill for hours. Which means it’s a great choice for busy people who struggle to find the time to hit the gym often. HIIT is also a great way to ensure that you lose fat, not muscle because this unique form of exercise combines both cardio and functional weight training in one session, helping you preserve muscle mass.
And, the great thing about ARENA is that it takes HIIT to a whole new level with expert trainers, specialised equipment, and a super fun environment. The athletic based studio offers classes that focus on core, strength, agility, movement, speed and endurance will leave you feeling a total rockstar when it’s all over. I also love that you’ll never get bored at Arena; the 1-hour long classes are always different and you won’t know what you’re doing during that class until you arrive to find a TRX hanging from the ceiling or a trampoline next to your exercise mat. Classes are split between walking, running, or sprinting on the treadmill for 3-minutes at a time and three minutes of functional weight training on the floor. The hour is spent dashing between the floor and treadmills and is led by a trainer who encourages you to keep going and work harder.
I went to a class at their Morningside studio and couldn’t believe how much fun it was. Sure, I was sweating like a pig and my legs were screaming at me to “please make it stop” but the infectious mixture of high-energy music, fun disco lighting, and a super enthusiastic trainer helped me to forget that every muscle in my body was about to surrender. By the end of the class I felt like I’d accomplished something epic. I also found the trainer to be especially helpful during the class, she spent the hour walking around the class correcting posture and helping out those who didn’t quite get the exercise the first time around. Instructions for floor work are pretty easy to follow and the trainer spends the first 4 or 5 repetitions demonstrating the exercise before walking around and helping out where needed.
If you’re new to ARENA I’d recommend chatting to the trainer before the class starts to ask them to explain the ins-and-outs of the class to you. I’d also recommend pacing yourself during your first class or you’ll burn out before the hour is over. Even if you think you’re a relatively fit person start out your first class on the walking speed on the treadmills. Trust me, after the first 3-minutes you won’t be walking anymore and halfway through the class, when your lungs feel like they want to collapse, you’ll wish you hadn’t chosen to be a hero when you started out. An hour is a long time to be working at such a fast and intense pace and you don’t want to injure yourself or have to give up half way because you got too excited in the first 10-minutes.
I found that doing a HIIT class once a week for the first month is the smartest way to get into this intensive type of training. Once your body is over the shock you can upgrade to twice a week to see even more impressive results. A single ARENA class will set you back R165 while students get a special rate of R100 a class. There are also no joining fees and if you’d like to attend regular classes there are a wide range of package options to choose from including a 10 class package at R1500 and a monthly unlimited classes package for R1600. They only have one studio in Morningside, Johannesburg for now but here’s hoping they will open more studios around Joburg soon!
For more information on ARENA Wellness visit their website here. Find Arena Wellness at Morningside Shopping Centre, Morningside, Johannesburg.
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