14/08/2014 16:38 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

This Week You Should Try... A HiiT Workout Class

I'm at the gym most weeks and regularly attend yoga classes. I don't dread either and I'd even go as far to say I find both of them enjoyable.

But those exercise classes run by super keen fitness instructors who shouts motivationally at the front of the room? That's not for me. In fact - it's my worst nightmare.

Annoyingly, the latest fitness craze involves this kind of format. On the plus side, high intensity interval training or HiiT does wonders for the metabolism and the classes can be as short as 20 minutes.

I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. So I put my presumptions to one side and signed up for my first ever exercise class at Ten Pilates - a 45-minute HiiT session.


After an introduction with the instructor and the other girls in the class (there were only four of us who subjected ourselves to this on the first Monday in January), I was proved wrong. There was hardly any shouting and as it was the first time I'd ever done HiiT, I was gently told to take things slow, to work at my own pace.

The first half was taken up with two circuit sessions involving a minute of running followed by a minute of burpees (probably the worst exercise ever invented), then weights and step aerobics.

But what's the point? HiiT is all about working to your full capacity for a short burst of time and then rest before starting again. Our pause time in during the circuits wasn't even a minute long. They weren't lying about the intensity part.

Next came floor work - more burpees, something called mountain climbing, a few different weight exercises, press-ups, squats, even more burpees, more weights, you get the gist. There was a 10 second break between each one-minute workout but it was surprisingly doable.

After a warm-down session at the end, I felt energised and slightly smug I'd actually done some fairly hardcore exercise on the first Monday back at work after Christmas. I had overcome my fear of intense exercise classes.

On the down side, I could barely walk up steps without wincing the next day.

Would I do it again? Definitely. It makes you feel great and no matter how hard burpees are, jumping around with other people is way more fun than running on a treadmill in the gym.

Find out more about Ten Pilates classes and schedules.