Washing my hair hurts.
I’m going to go ahead and blame HEAT Studios for the fact that, three days after taking their signature full-body workout class, I am still unable to raise my arms to the level necessary to cleanse my filthy mane.
Sitting? Also hurts. My ass. It hurts.
Stairs? Forget about it.
Which is to say: the class was awesome.
My friend Caroline has been raving about HEAT for a while now. So on Friday evening, I finally decided to tag along with her and check it out for myself.
The hour-long class combines a body-pump-style full body strength workout with treadmill intervals and some plyos. The basic format: run balls-out for 3 minutes on the ‘mill, spend 3 minutes beating down a certain muscle group with weights on the floor. Repeat, repeat, repeat. There are no breaks.
An hour passes very quickly when spent in this manner.
What I liked about this class:
- Incredibly efficient full-body workout. (HEAT stands for “Highly Effective Athletic Training.” With this, I concur.)
- Our instructor, Brandon, was very high-energy and a bit of a hardass. Which I loved. I know everyone has a different take on this sort of thing, but I really don’t mind being chastised a bit when I’m supposed to be working hard. Bring it.
- The hour was broken up in to bite-sized chunks, which made it easy to focus on the present task and also made time fly. Three minutes? I can handle three minutes of anything. No time to think about it. On to the next chunk.
- I think I ran about 3.5 miles over the course of the class. And except for the first three-minute warm-up segment, every step was quality running. (In fact, I think I had that treadmill cranked faster than I’ve ever run on a treadmill.) So that’s 3+ miles of speed-work. Which is about what I’d normally do for a track workout. So this class crams two things I normally have to drag myself out of the house to do (speed session + strength session) into one intense hour. Lovely.
- The studio space was bright, clean, and pretty. With exposed brick walls, floor-to-ceiling windows and a loft-like atmosphere, HEAT’s space definitely has more character than your average group fitness room.
What I didn’t like:
- In order to keep the pace of the class moving, everyone leaves the treadmill belts running between sets. Um…I’d never jumped on or off a moving treadmill belt before, much less one moving at 10 MPH. By the end of the class, I was doing okay with it, but still – kinda scary!
- I wouldn’t say this is a class for beginners. I’m in pretty decent shape and this class humbled me. Most of the attendees were very fit twenty-somethings.
- The price. A monthly unlimited membership will set you back $185; a single class drop-in is $18. (Class packages are available that bring the per-class-cost down to $13-15.) HEAT markets itself as an alternative to having a personal trainer, and for many people it probably could be. But when, in Raleigh, you can get a membership to a nice gym with lots of classes for $50, it’s still kinda steep.
Bottom line: You hurt me, HEAT. But I’ll be back.
As soon as I’m able to wash my hair again. (Hey, at least I’m saving money on shampoo…)