I might get a lot of stick for saying this because I sound like one of those annoying people who claim to love working out, but I really do thrive off an early morning HIIT (high-intensity interval training) class. Exercise has quickly become my way of unwinding, relaxing and reshifting my focus before work. It's also one of the only things that help me manage my anxiety, which is the reason I make it a priority every week.
My exercise of choice is generally HIIT. There's something about a fast-paced interval session that really resonates with me. Perhaps it has to do with my energetic nature—hence why I felt that Sweat It's new class, Guts and Glory, was calling my name when it launched.
Sweat It is a newly launched gym in central London that provides stripped-back, functional training with a varied lineup of classes focusing on a mix of strength, speed and endurance. While classes have a format, no session is ever exactly the same, so it's ideal if you get easily bored with the same workout.
I decided to check out the Guts and Glory class, as I'd seen—and heard—everyone raving about it on social media. If you're partial to Barry's Bootcamp, then this isn't too dissimilar. The premise of the class is that you spend 50% of your time on the treadmill, and 50% of your time on the "rig," which is essentially a mat. While spending 25 minutes running as fast as you can on a treadmill may sound sickening (especially to someone like me who loathes treadmills), the good thing is that the class is split into four sections that are around 12 minutes each.
So you start on the treadmill, switch to the mat, go back to the treadmill and then finish on the mat.
The other takeaway from the treadmill section is that you don't spend the entire time running. Part of it is sprinting for your life, yes, but the other part is pushing the specially designed treadmill manually at an incline. While from a breathing point of view it is less intense than sprinting, you can really feel the movement in your muscles. Plus, it gives you a moment to breathe before you move on to the rig.
The rig part focuses on body weight and weighted movements—ranging from compound moves like squats to sit-ups. I won't lie—it's tough, especially after you've exhausted yourself by pushing uphill on a treadmill.
My main takeaway from this workout? I've tried and tested other treadmill-based classes and immediately dismissed them, but this one is for me. Yes, I pushed myself and felt tired, but on reflection, I really relished those uphill incline moments. Plus, I left feeling absolutely incredible, and that high lasted pretty much all day (yet another bonus of a morning workout).
Now, if you're like me and think that getting a new gym kit makes working out that much easier, then you'll be happy to discover my new favourite workout pieces below.
What are your favourite gym classes? Come and tell us in The British Beauty Line.
Opening Image: Sweat It London