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We review 7 HIIT classes you should be doing

Is the same old fitness routine, week after week, getting you down? Why not level-up your fitness and try out a few different HIIT classes!

Review By Logan Leigh Rix

I love my gym routine, don’t get me wrong, but a girl needs a little flair in her life from time to time. With the rise in popular HIIT facilities and endless options of workouts to try, I took it upon myself to review and share my finding of some of the top spots in Jozi.

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Joining a HIIT class can feel pretty daunting, especially if you’re concerned about your own fitness levels. Things you see on the Gram make trainers (and clients) look super fit – ready and able to bust out 50 non-stop burpees under a minute. And that’s what I thought, too. I was super intimidated to try them. 

This past month I did 7 HIIT classes at well-known and established fitness chains to help you pick the next class you’ll get sweaty in.

Each class was done with a different partner, who are all at different fitness levels (rated 1 to 5). We then rated the class on a scale of 1-10 based on different metrics.

Here’s how we rated the HIIT Classes

  • Perceived effort for cardio: How difficult the cardio aspect was.
  • Perceived effort for resistance training: How difficult the resistance training was.
  • Difficulty: Overall class difficulty. 
  • Enjoyment: Was it fun – would we consider coming back?
  • Music: Was the workout well integrated with the music? 
  • Atmosphere: Was there a vibe?
  • Exercise variety: Was there a good variety of exercises, stations, cardio and resistance moves?
  • Overall rating out of 10. 

Overall thoughts

Group training was never something I saw myself doing. I always thought I’d embarrass myself, or that I wouldn’t be able to do most of the moves or that I’d be the unfit one not able to keep up. I was so wrong, though! There is something empowering about working out in a group.

It’s empowering when you’re given a challenging workout that you don’t think you’re  capable of doing, but then end up completing it because everyone around you is doing it. You draw strength from those around you and from the instructor.

It’s not about being the fittest person in the class, it’s about pushing yourself to your limits and completing the class to the best of your abilities. I can definitely say that the experience has changed my mind about group workouts and I’ll definitely incorporate these classes into my weekly workouts at least twice a week!

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Sweat 1000 

I’ve known about Sweat 1000 forever, and have always wanted to give the class a go to see how many cals I burn during a session. I did this class with Tertia, a Biogen Face Of Fitness 2020 finalist, who is relatively fit (she rates herself a ⅘). We both felt that this class had more cardio than resistance training, although the few floor exercises we did left our abs and legs BURNING. The cardio aspect was pretty straightforward with limited variety as it was mostly on the treadmill. I burnt around 425 calories in the 45-minute session and my average HR was around 141bpm. 

Our instructor, Lance, was hardcore, fun, and attentive. He made sure everyone in the class knew what was up next. Overall, the class was straightforward and easy to follow. Some floor moves might be a little tricky for first-timers, but it was pretty easy to catch on.  If you’d like to book a Sweat 1000 class, click here. Click here to go to their IG page.

SWEAT stands for Specialized Weight Endurance Athletic Training with the 1000 representing calories burned in a groundbreaking 1-hour workout. However, due to COVID, the class has been shortened to a 45-min session. Integrating the components of interval training, functional training, core stability work, athletic training, and agility training takes everything that offers the highest level of physical training and combines it into a 1-hour dynamic, action-packed class that is different every time. Always changing the dynamics of the class alleviates the boredom factor, and never allows people to know what they are going to get.


Core 

I gym at Moove Sunninghill and always see people coming in and out of CORE during my sessions. I’m so glad I got the oppotunity to try out this class, it was such a goodie! I did CORE with Max, a friend and wedding photographer who is averagely fit (she rates herself a 3/5). We found the class enjoyable and vibey, yet still challenging. I definitely felt that the class was inclusive of all fitness levels as you’re given 3 choices of intensity when on the treadmill. You can also perform the floor work exercises at your own pace. I burnt around 487 calories and my average HR was 141bpm. 

Our instructor, Jaco, was brilliant. He took the time to explain the workout to us beforehand. He was observant but gave you space, so it didn’t feel overwhelming. CORE was challenging, motivating, and a great way to get a quick and effective workout. I’ll definitely hit it up on the reg! If you’d like to book a CORE class click here or click here for their IG page. 

CORE stands for Conditioning, Oriented, Revolutionary, Exerciser. Core is suitable for any fitness level, from your beginner to your advanced up to your pro athletes. Classes are based on your basic principles of HIIT training, but with a very fun and interesting twist. It makes use of the most advanced cardio equipment and technology, with serious sound and specialised lighting systems.


Switch 

I did a few Switch classes back in the day but never at the new Sandton Switch. The new facilities were clean and spacious, which meant I never felt cramped or like my partner was on top of me. Abby, a friend and a teacher, was my partner for the Switch class (she rates her fitness level a ⅘). We both loved working out together as we were able to motivate each other to push harder. Sam, the lead instructor, was brilliant! Even though the class was bigger, she went around to every station to check form and to motivate. There were 3 other instructors in the class who showed each of us how to perform the exercises at new stations. Due to the nature of the class, there was a great balance between resistance training, bodyweight exercises, and cardio. 

I burnt around 403 calories with my average HR sitting at 135 bpm. The facility was big and spacious, the vibe was energetic and, overall, the class was fun yet still challenging. I’d definitely recommend this class for beginners. If you’re nervous about going by yourself, bring your best mate and sweat it out together! If you’d like to book a Switch class click here or click here for their IG page.

SWITCH is a partner-based group HIIT class. Each signature class starts with a yoga-inspired warmup. You and a partner make your way through a 60-minute HIIT class together. Celebrity trainer Steve Uria designs new programs every day so you never repeat a workout! It’s a one-of-a-kind total-body workout that can burn up to 1000 calories per class!


HIIT House 

This was the one class I was EXTREMELY nervous for. I’d never done any form of kickboxing, Muay Thai, or boxing in my life! But once the class started and Devon, our instructor, explained how it all worked, I relaxed and ended up having so much fun!

I did  HIIT House with Tertia, and boy did we end up getting a FIRE workout. As a Muay Thai-based class, the upper body component is challenging. Add in the HIIT rounds and it really helps to get the heart rate up and target the muscle groups that punching doesn’t. It’s a very well balanced class that leaves you feeling like a real badass! 

I burnt around 569 calories with an average HR of 138bpm. Devon was attentive and motivating, yet still gave us space, which made it feel less overwhelming. This ended up being one of my favourite classes! If you’d like to book a HIIT House class click here or click here for their IG page.

HIIT House is a Muay Thai-inspired class fused with functional HIIT movement patterns. The class is focused on elements of Muay Thai strikes on a globally-patented Bishop bag where impact is minimal. Explosive movements and structured rounds are the fundamentals of this class. A level of self defence is also taught, which is an added benefit of this amazing workout.

HIIT House delivers Mauy Kickboxing combined with functional movement patterns for all levels in a group class setting with luxurious studio amenities.


F45

I’ve seen F45 on my IG for a while now and have been meaning to give it a bash. I tackled the class with Max, and to be honest, we both found this class to be very humbling. I consider myself to be pretty fit person as I do HIIT-style training almost every day, but I found F45 to be next-level challenging. There are different stations that have different levels of difficulty. Next time, I’ll choose one slightly less difficult to ensure that I can complete the moves properly and effectively rather than rush through the workout. 

The F45 facility was light and well ventilated and the instructors, Thane, Bev, and Ayanda, were friendly, motivating, and helped with correct form when needed. I burnt around 427 calories and my average HR was around 134bpm. Overall, the class was challenging and motivating! If you’d like to book a F45 class click here or click here to visit their IG page.

The F stands for functional training, a mix of circuit and HIIT-style workouts geared towards everyday movements. 45 is the total amount of time for sweat-dripping, heart pumping fun. 


FitBlock 

I was super keen to try FitBlock because it’s still relatively new in Jozi! Vicky, personal trainer and excercise specialist, joined me for this class (she’s super-fit 5/5) and we found the class to be innovative, fun, and all in all a great workout. The class is a good mixture of resistance training and cardio and Dan, our instructor, was fun and added in some cool new exercises. 

I burnt around 318 calories with my average heart rate at 130bpm. I’d recommend this class to people of all fitness levels. If you’d like to book a Fit Block class click here or click here for their IG page.

FitBlock brings you a revolutionary, full-body workout and approach to fitness, focused on HIIT that drives weight loss, fitness and toning all in one.

Classes focus on block workout stations that target every muscle group in one class. Every workout is expertly guided by qualified trainers who are there to motivate and assist you at every step of the way. In addition, class energy is fuelled with current upbeat music and special lighting to keep you motivated throughout the session. This ensures that you have fun while working out! Every class begins with a yoga warm-up and ends with a stretching cool-down session.


Smiths Boxing

This was definitely the class I was MOST nervous about as I had never done boxing before! Online coach Veronique joined me for this one (she’s quite fit – a 4/5) and we had an INTENSE session. Sean Smith (our instructor) took us through the basic punches before gearing us up in our boxing gloves. The class started out with a warm-up. We then moved to boxing, then to a well designed HIIT circuit, and finished off with some abs. Needless to say, Vee and I were absoltely exhausted!

I burnt around 550 calories and my average heart rate was around 145bpm. Overall, I’m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone with this class as it was fun, challenging, and a really great workout! If you’d like to book you Smith’s boxing class click here or click here to visit their IG page.

The “Smith’s” name is synonymous with boxing because of former three-time SA light heavyweight champion and World Boxing Association contender Kosie “KO” Smith.

Smiths Gym’s knowledge of the industry extends to their clients who range from those looking for a superior workout and a new way of conditioning their body to the beginner looking for a fun way to exercise.

Smith’s BOXING and MOOVE
This section within MOOVE is equipped with 2 sparring rings, over 20 boxing bags, and a huge range of HIIT equipment to help your workout pack a punch. From beginners to the trained athlete, these classes will have you punching your way to a fit, fierce, healthy life.

Author: Logan Leigh Rix

Logan blends her passion and profession by working as a digital and social media marketer and content creator in the fitness, health and wellness industry. She’s also a personal trainer, former Face of Fitness finalist and Fitness Magazine featured athlete.

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