Les Mills’ GRIT Will Teach You the Meaning of Strength and Plyometrics
I begin my new ‘plain to presentable’ mission with the ultimate kick-start. Les Mills’ GRIT is the latest high-intensity training programme that’s just launched. It’s designed to work all your muscles at a maximum level for the shortest time possible. I went along to Fitness First, where the class is being taught exclusively until January, to try it out.
As a busy person, I find that trying to fit exercise into my schedule is almost impossible. With 13 hour days, running a maga-blogo-zine and travelling up to 4 hours a day, I’m not only strapped for time, I’m exhausted. So what I want in an exercise routine is short, effective and energising. So when I was offered the chance to review Les Mills’ new GRIT system, I literally jumped at it. And jumping is something I ended up doing…repeatedly in the class.
The sessions are just 30 minutes long, which is perfect for my busy schedule. It also means you don’t feel fatigued from over-training so you don’t end up reaching for the junk food straight afterwards or writing the entire evening off in front of the TV.
The group was small, only 6 people were allowed to take part in the session I attended at Fitness First in Covent Garden. This meant that there’s nowhere to hide at the back and I found myself giving it 100%. It’s not really a group fitness class. Instead it’s more of an extension of personal training, the trainer was on hand to motivate you to work your hardest and spot where I was flagging, failing or where I could use an easier method… everyone was much better at all of the exercises than me.
The Les Mills GRIT Series comprises of two high-intensity interval training classes; Strength and Plyometrics. The series blends the two into a training routine that work in harmony to blast all of the major muscle groups. A select few of Fitness First trainers have been trained up into specialists and they are quite keen on making you work hard to achieve and maintain a powerful, toned and trimmed body. The strength part of the series is built by using dynamic weight workouts to increase power and tone. Plyometrics is a type of exercise designed to develop muscular performance and endurance through short and powerful movements. These include high intensity burpees, squat jumps and jacks.
The equipment we used for the session I attended were 5kg weights, step benches, and mats. It was all co-ordinated and timed to the second to run alongside the specially curated motivating track list so there was no lagging behind.
My verdict? An intense and motivating class perfect for those with busy schedules looking to tone up and get into shape. Felt more like a personal training session than a group fitness class but with the added benefit of having other people in the same situation as you. The exercises, although they had the ability to be changed for people of varying levels, were incredibly difficult, even at the easiest level. Probably more a class for those who consider themselves to be of a good overall fitness. I’ve no doubt that if I could keep this up until the end of the year, I’d have no need for a new year’s resolution.
Les Mills GRIT Series is currently available only at a select number of Fitness First gyms this September until December. For more information, check out the Fitness First website.
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