In the Zone

Calling all adrenaline junkies! Check out these high-intensity workouts that will pump you up



Photographs: istockphoto.com

Workout wimps watch out. The No. 1 fitness trend for 2014, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), is high-intensity fitness training.

What’s made these calorie pulverizing workouts king? The ACSM credits the popularity of P90X videos and the proliferation of CrossFit gyms as trend influencers.

“I call them Red Bull workouts,” says Herman Walker, a trainer known for the sweat-drenched classes he leads at Intensity on the Westport/Norwalk line. “They really appeal to people who don’t have a lot of time to work out, but want results.”

And results are the sculpted word when you combine intense cardio drills with intervals that can include muscle-toning moves incorporating weights, planks, pull-ups and full-body weight training.

The good news is that this sort of training isn’t one-size-fits-all. Here in Fairfield County, savvy fitness studios are putting their own stamp on the trend; so there’s something to suit every fitness personality.  

Confuse your muscles: Trainer Anthony Briganti’s signature class, H.I.T & Run at Equinox in Greenwich, deftly alternates heavy weight work with high-intensity cardio drills; ultimately confusing muscles into responding for remarkable results.

A storm is brewing: Training for Warriors Class is the way students at Stamford’s Inspire Fitness make their workouts completely fierce. The classes combine everything from mixed-martial arts segments to alternating intense-cardio and strength-training drills for a fast-paced routine so intense its phases are described as category level hurricanes, says co-owner Wendi Hoak.

Pedal pushers: Tabata Ride at JoyRide in Darien and Westport “is an athletic, high-intensity, drill-based, miracle workout that melts calories and fat,” says Rhodie Lorenz, co-owner and lead instructor.

Fly away: Airborne is a mini-trampoline-based interval workout that personal trainer Herman Walker says is his “toughest workout yet.”

Take a hit: “The HIIT class cycles the work and recovery to make for the most efficient workout (45 minutes and your done) and best calorie burner and fat scorcher,” says Megan Hoffman, fitness director at New Canaan’s Oxygen Fitness.

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