Girl-working-out-222x300We know you love it when we Shock Your Body–and we love it so much that we’re constantly researching the newest and most effective trends in the fitness world to do just that. With all of our recent class additions, its important to us that you guys–our amazing Fusionistas–know exactly what we’re up to, and why we are continually evolving to regularly add workshops and new classes.

Something we’ve been working with for a while and incorporating into all of our instructor trainings is known in the fitness world as HIIT–High Intensity Interval Training. Add an ‘S’ to the beginning, and “oh ya, that’s what I’m thinking in my head during all those sneaker classes.” If you know us well, you know we like to make you cuss and grunt and sweat because we know just how to push you to your max, giving your bodies and minds the biggest challenge, release, and bang for your buck.

What is HIIT?

There are all sorts of names you may have heard–tabatas, fartleks, tempo runs, intervals–but they are all forms of High Intensity Interval Training–meaning alternating between high and low intensity intervals for the duration of your workout. Research has shown this is the most effective way to burn calories, increase stamina, and see improvements of less fat and more lean muscle. This style of training is particularly popular with athletes because it increases VO2 max–the measure of the maximum capacity of an individual’s body to transport and use oxygen during incremental exercise. Although we aren’t training for the Olympics (although we do train Olympians), we still benefit from improving our VO2 max because we are teaching our bodies to use and transport oxygen quickly and efficiently.

When doing a HIIT workout, the high intensity bursts are performed at 80% and above of your max heart rate–basically pushing as hard as you possibly can–for an interval of 10 seconds or more, and then alternating with lower intensity moves for 20 seconds or more. This up and down keeps your body wondering what’s coming next, and allows you to work both the anaerobic and aerobic systems–burning more calories and both glucose and fat. You also continue to burn calories hours after your workout due to an after-burn process known as EPOC, or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption.


HIIT workouts burn more total body fat while simultaneously sparing more lean muscle.

EPOC is important to you because it means that the harder you go in your HIIT workout, the more calories you will burn throughout the rest of the day. The benefits are obvious, but its also important to vary your workouts so you aren’t HIIT-ing it too hard. Here at Fusion you can alternate the higher intensity cardio classes with lower intensity toning classes to create that long and lean, womanly strengthened body we all love.

How Do I Burn More Calories with HIIT?

Traditional thought has been working at a low intensity for a longer amount of time–say, going on a brisk walk for an hour at a pace where you can hold a conversation–burns the most fat. However, HIIT research has proven that although the hour-long walk does burn fat, a half hour of HIIT training can burn the same amount of fat and increase your metabolism for hours after the workout, burning even more fat in the long run. Elite Impact Labs explains, “when you train at a high level of intensity, you create an oxygen deficit within your body. The body is then forced to burn additional calories for several hours afterwards in order to correct the deficit.” (EPOC.)

Another great benefit of HIIT, and another reason it continuously shocks your body, is that when you keep your body guessing what’s next, it can’t adapt to do the exercises more efficiently. It sounds like something you’d want your body to do for you, but adapting to a workout means your body learns how to do it in a way to use less energy and ‘outsmart’ the burn. On, its explained that once your body figures out how to “use its fuel more efficiently, you will reach a fat loss plateau more quickly.” And that’s something we try to avoid, because who wants to sweat their ass off for an hour without some serious calorie burn?

shutterstock-fitness-womanWhere can I do HIIT at Fusion?

Four of our classes our based on HIIT:

TABATA & TONING–named after the person who created them, tabatas are a form of HIIT that burn major calories and are even sort of fun. In our T&T class we alternate tabatas with toning exercises, giving you the best of both worlds and breaking up the cardio bursts. Each tabata is 20 second high intensity bursts with 10 second low intensity rests alternated six times–so 3 minutes of being a cardio queen. Then we alternate each tabata with 7 minutes of toning–creating an hour-long workout that leaves you drenched in sweat and feeling amazing. For more info on tabatas check our our post, You Gotta Tabata.

T&T is offered:

  • Mondays w/Francie-6pm @ Mission Farms
  • Tuesdays w/Darby-9:40am @ Mission Farms
  • Tuesdays w/Erica-4pm @ Mission Farms
  • Wednesdays w/Erica-8:30am @ Overland Park
  • Fridays w/Jacqui-5:30am @ Mission Farms
  • Sundays w/Erica-11am @ Mission Farms

SWITCH UP–this hour-long sweat fest uses HIIT because it’s divided into 1 minute, 30 second, and 15 second intervals. You never know what you’re going to get here, but we guarantee you are working your hardest for each cardio interval. We ‘switch up’ what you’re doing the entire hour so you can come prepared for anything.

Switch Up is offered:

  • Wednesdays w/Jacqui-6:40pm @ Overland Park

MILF–we brought back an original this month–all you seasoned Fusionsitas may remember MILF–and it’s back with a bang. We’ve updated the already efficient class to alternate between 1 minute of max cardio training and 1 minute of strength training. You are constantly working it because as you lower your heart rate from the cardio burst you are also doing toning, and right when your heart rate returns to normal we spike it back up with another burst. You’ll leave this class feeling like a real, ahem, MILF.

MILF is offered:

  • Fridays w/Pam-8:30am @ Mission Farms
  • Fridays w/Darby-9:40am @ Overland Park

inTENse–our newest class is based on longer intervals with low impact cardio. I said low impact, not low intensity, so keep your sweat towel for this class–its divided into 10 minute intervals: cardio, toning, and abs, repeated twice to create 60 minutes of major burn. Low impact cardio is great for those of you who want a “break” from all the jumping we normally do, but it’s just as high of intensity. Think gliders, mountain climbers, squats. We have all sorts of ways to get that heart beating.

Intense is offered:

  • Wednesdays w/Sadie-9:40am @ Overland Park

If you are in the same routine of coming to the same classes, give one of our HIIT classes a try. Remember that during the high intensity bursts you are supposed to burn baby burn–push harder than you think you can, because the next interval is the low intensity rest and you can build up your energy to go hard again. You can do anything for a minute.

You will feel and see the results if you commit to giving it your absolute all and HIIT-ing it hard. That’s what you come here to do!



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