Looking for your best HIIT workout yet? First, ask yourself this question: what does lounging poolside have in common with Beast Fitness Evolved’s “Unleash” class?
Answer: You’re gonna need a towel for both.
Summer Fridays are meant for skipping work, not your workouts. And at the same time, who can fault you for refusing to stay inside and bench press when you can take an outdoor run along the waterfront or head to your local track for a few rounds of sprints or go find a tree and swing from a suspension trainer? But then, what’s the point of a good workout if no one can see your results?
At Park Slope’s Beast Fitness Evolved, which opened in late 2017, the heat kicks in where with a group of like-minded fitness freaks battling for the same fitness goals as you – in one cool, techno-vibed studio. And right now Beast is offering a buy-1, get-1 starter pack for new clients to get their feet wet in a rapidly growing group sweat studio market.
“The community aspect is really key to a good workout,” says instructor Margie Welch, ASFA, NCCPT, “Working outside by yourself definitely has its pleasure points, but everybody working together for a common fitness goal, this was why I got into teaching.”
What’s cool about Beast (and group fitness)?
Anyone at any fitness level – from elite athletes to first timers trying to get into shape – can learn, try and excel in a group class. No two workouts are alike: From kettlebells, to dumbbells, battle ropes, sandbags, suspension trainers, each class is different, and you can go at your own pace in each one. And while instructors will emphasize perfect form on exercises, they will also allow you to improvise exercises to maximize your results for your skill level.
“The one thing that’s cool about this type of group atmosphere is that anybody can do it, and anything here can be modified to fit your fitness levels,” Welch says. “We can take out kettlebells and do dumbbells. We can swap dumbbells or all weights for that matter and do everything with just your body weight.”
What should first timers to expect at Beast?
Expect to sweat. (Really, what were you expecting?)
Again, don’t forget a towel, Welch says, although Beast provides them at their Park Slope studio. “You’re gonna sweat, Welch emphasizes. But most important for those new to high-intensity interval training, or HIIT workout, learn how to pace yourself, Welch advises. Go too slow and methodical and you won’t maximize the benefits of HIIT – besides burning calories and fat, the Academy of Sports Medicine includes lowering cholesterol and improving blood pressure to lowering body fat and maintaining muscle mass as the benefits of a HIIT workout). Start off too aggressively and you more than likely will never make it to the end of the session.
“Coming into a class thinking you’re gonna go balls to the wall, you’re setting yourself for possible failure. Just stick your toes in the water at first before you go all in.
A Beast Unleashed class break down like into three parts:a 10 minute “Awaken,” consisting of stretches, jumping jacks and other quick calisthenics designed to get the heart rate up and body warmed up.
Then it gets fun. The 40-minute “unleash” begins: a 30-seconds of all-out effort followed by 90 seconds of active rest (translation, you’re still working, but less than 100 percent effort). A combination of kettlebells, battle ropes, dumbbells, sandbags, suspension trainers could be utilized in your Unleash session.
If you made it through the Unleash, the class concludes with a 10 minute “Tame,” consisting of stretches as a cooldown. If you’ve made it this far, you’re officially a Beast.
However. if you can’t make it to 458 5th Avenue in Brooklyn, or you just want a taste of Beast before your first class, Welch suggests trying the following sample workout to get into BEAST MODE.
THE 'BEAST' WORKOUT
WARMUP (3 rounds): To mobilize and bring up the heart rate
10 jumping jacks
8 lateral/side lunges (4 on each leg)
8 butterfly situps (soles of feet touching)
5 push-ups (you can modify with hand-release push-up or drop-to-knees push-ups)
TRY HIIT WORKOUT (3-4 rounds, 12 reps each)
(working from a plank position to standing) Shoulder taps (hand to opposite shoulder, 12 each side)
Twisting mountain climbers (knee to opposite armpit)
“Suicides” (stay in low squat, drop each knee to the floor, then bring each back to return to squat position)
Burpees! (Modify with a step-back and step-up if necessary)
(To lower intensity, keep a modified pace! To increase, go for speed and add a 5th round!)
ADDED bonus! (Lucky you) Finish with one minute of V-ups (or modify to knees to chest or scissor kicks)