Okay, so yesterday I mentioned how I did a new Les Mills class for the first time. I’m guessing if you haven’t heard about it you’re pretty interested in knowing what it’s all about, and if you’ve seen it at your gym you may be dying to know what it’s like OR if you’ve actually done it you probably want to know why it’s so good to do right? Surely you’ll fit into one of those options
Okay, here’s the lowdown: Grit Strength is a 30 minute high intensity interval training group fitness class. But it’s a group fitness class with a different feel. It’s more like a group personal training session, because the instructors are no longer ‘instructors’ and instead are referred to as ‘captains’ who join the participants on the ground. Similar to the athletic circuit track in Body Step, the captain gets in your face to challenge, motivate and push you beyond your limits. I actually enjoyed the interaction and in-your-face-ness I guess of the
From what I remember there were 5 or 6 tracks. Equipment includes bar and weights, free weights as well as a step and risers. The warm up used free weights straight away and featured squats, lunges and shoulder presses.The second track or the first working track we were told to grab a bar and put on the heaviest squat you do in Body Pump, or half of the weight you do when in the weights room doing your usual squat work (low reps, heavier weights). Then we completed (I think) 4 sets of squats. These squats were alternated with cardio bursts to get your heart rate up. This was done through side on step jumps and burpees using the step that finish with a squat on top. This track was intense but I enjoyed it.
The next track (3) featured chest presses and power presses (not sure of the right name) both of which we see in body pump. However, the weight for me was a lot heavier for my chest presses than I usually do- as it was the weight I typically use for the back and butt etc. Luckily though unlike Body Pump, Grit focuses on lower reps but heavier weights so I actually made it through the chest sections pretty well (surprisingly!).
The fourth track was biceps and triceps, and this is a killer- especially since these are smaller muscle groups and I generally suck at them This track (I THINK) involves tricep and chest push ups, as well as bicep curls using the bar. I’m not actually 100% sure on this track- maybe I should do it again? Haha.
Then we finished with some abs (5). The format we did today was only 5 tracks, but from what I know I think you can change it up and do either 5 or 6. Oh and did you notice the lack of stretching? Yup, so that was up to me to do after. Sorry this was so vague but I’m actually struggling to remember what it was that we did- for all I know I’ve just told you the wrong thing. Maybe the class was harder than I remembered and all my focus was on making it through? Haha. But don’t worry I’ll definitely be doing the class again sometime and I’ll be able to find out more about it for you.
Now you want to know why Grit Strength needs to be added to your training, right? By now we should know the benefits of HIIT. HIIT involves small bursts of intense exercise that is greater than the anaerobic threshold. This allows us to get fitter faster, push our limits and training zones which we wouldn’t typically do with steady state cardio and utilises ongoing movements. Anaerobic is an energy system that kicks in when the body moves from aerobic energy as the intensity increases. In our aerobic state the lower the intensity the more fat you use. As the intensity increases your main source of fuel changes to carbohydrates (to Anaerobic also).
So basically steady state cardio and sustained exercise utilises your aerobic energy system. Grit also kicks your metabolism up a notch after because it can continue to burn calories and fat up until 9 hours after your work out! This is referred to as after burn or excess post oxygen consumption. So don’t think you’re missing out on all the fat burning with HIIT and anaerobic systems, because this continues to kick in during the after burn! What many don’t realise is that HIIT and Grit classes require more energy and have a higher rate of energy consumption. This makes the total energy consumption higher than the steady state cardio done for the same amount of time. In normal language- it burns more calories!
We also have two types of muscle fibres. Aerobic states activate the slow twitch or type 1 muscles fibres, whereas fast twitch is used by anaerobic energy systems. Grit is said to use up to 40% more of your muscle fibres!
Okay so I think I’ve blabbed on enough- so who wants to do a Grit class now!?
Have you done a Grit Strength class? What did you think? Or would this be a class you’d like to try?
DAILY HEALTHY THOUGHT: I am the perfect me, and I love it.