Top 10 Ways Fitness Instructors can Teach HIIT Classes

Fitness Instructors

Are you looking to spice up your fitness classes?

With exercise fads constantly changing, fitness instructors often struggle to stay abreast of the latest gym trends. With aqua aerobics, Tae Bo, and aerial yoga coming and going, HIIT is here to stay.

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and consists of short burst exercise at maximum effort with recovery periods in between.

This fast-paced, fat-burning workout style is a firm favourite, and the best thing about it is that fitness instructors can adapt it to a whole range of styles. In this article, we’ll tell you the ten best ways to teach HIIT classes!

1. Tabata

Tabata is one of the shortest types of HIIT workouts there is, but it’s also the most popular. This is because it gives excellent results in a short amount of time.

It consists of eight twenty-second rounds of high-intensity work, each with a 10-second rest in between. This format can be used with any type of exercise, whether it’s cardio, weightlifting or bodyweight movements, as long as they’re performed at maximum exertion.

2. Power Intervals

This method is longer than Tabata, with ninety-second rounds alternated with thirty-second rounds. There are no breaks in this one. Instead, participants work as hard as they can in the longer sets, then cut back to 50% effort in the other sets.

It’s best-suited to cardio exercises. This makes it great for teaching killer spinning classes, which are known to be especially taxing on the cardiovascular system.

3. Turbulence Training

Turbulence training is a mixture of weight training and cardio.

The format is eight reps of weight lifting followed by 1-2 minutes of cardio at maximum effort, repeated anywhere up to 45 minutes in total.

Examples of this kind of workout include:

  • 8 deadlifts, 2 minutes of burpees
  • 8 overhead presses, 2 minutes of jumping lunges
  • 8 barbell squats, 1 minute of sprinting

4. Boxercise

Boxing workouts make people feel empowered, allowing them to let out some aggression. They also provide a way of teaching some self-defense techniques.

A lot of people who would normally feel intimidated walking into a boxing gym as a beginner feel much more comfortable in boxercise classes with fitness instructors. You can use some of the same principles that real boxers use to give your members a knock-out session.

Alternate rounds of continuous punches with short bursts of shuttle runs, tuck jumps or burpees. Of course, add some skipping, too!

You don’t need to have pads or punching bags. It could be done entirely as shadow boxing.

5. HIIT Yoga

HIIT yoga may sound like an oxymoron, but it really works.

Lots of people love the idea of the benefits yoga provides, but find it hard to stay focused or stimulated with slow-moving routines. Teaching it in a HIIT format lets them have the best of both worlds.

In between periods of holding challenging poses, set high-intensity tasks like box jumps, burpees, sprints, or squats. Whether you want to measure these by reps or by time is entirely up to you.

If you’re not particularly experienced in teaching yoga, see our tips for new yoga fitness instructors.

6. Kettlebell Cardio

Kettlebells are great tools for strengthening muscle, stripping fat and building balance.

They’re much more versatile than traditional free weights or barbells because they can be gripped, lifted, and swung in so many different ways. Even with just one kettlebell per person, you could create a full-body HIIT class.

A great example of one of these classes is to put participants in pairs and have one person hold a plank while the other performs a set amount of kettlebell swings. The plank can’t be dropped until all the swings are done. Then, they switch.

7. Plyometrics

Plyometric workouts involve lots of jumping exercises, which make them perfect for HIIT classes.

There’s a huge range of movements that can be used, including squat jumps, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, and squat thrusters. For advanced members, add clapping push-ups to the mix.

When people start to get fatigued, some plyometric exercises can be dangerous. Box jumps are especially well-known for causing injuries. Always provide scaled-down options for members to take if they need to.

Also, be sure to teach proper landing technique to reduce the risk of injury.

8. TRX HIIT Workout

TRX is loved by NFL players, supermodels, and soldiers, as well as general fitness enthusiasts. That’s because it’s a simple tool that can be set up just about anywhere, providing an endless amount of exercises.

With TRX, everything is suspension-based. Chest presses, bicep curls, rows, and lunges can all be done with body parts suspended.

You can set up full-body blast sessions by doing thirty-second rounds of each exercise. You could even make it into a competition by getting members to record how many they can do in each round.

9. Rowing

If you’re in a gym that has several rowing machines, put them to use in a HIIT class. Rowing is a good alternative to running for those who aren’t into it. It also provides the same metabolism boost as sprinting.

Adjust the difficulty to one of the highest settings and give members either a time limit or distance criteria. For example, they could either go as hard and fast as they can for two minutes or try to get their fastest possible time on a 500-metre row.

10. Bosu Ball Blast

Use bosu balls to create a HIIT workout that challenges balance as well as strength and cardio.

It’s an underused piece of equipment, but if you know what to do with it, you can turn any bodyweight exercise into an ab-sculpting core routine. Lay it on the floor for planks and push-ups, turn it upside down for balance squats, and pick it up for bosu burpees and presses.

Fitness Instructors Get Pumped with Workout Music

Every HIIT class needs great music to get people motivated. In fact, music has been proven to boost motivation and even make strenuous workouts less painful.

Music is a big part of the atmosphere in a fitness class and if yours is on point, it will make people want to come back for more.

To get specially-made workout playlists for your classes, join our exclusive fitness instructors club.

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