What happens when you cross the training method du jour with a dance-inspired fitness routine?
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – essentially a series of very short, super-intense, cardio-strength intervals interspersed with short recovery periods – has been enjoying its time in the fitness limelight for a while now. Barre workouts, which feature ‘sculpting and toning’ moves to create long, lean muscles, have also been gaining legions of grippy sock devotees. It was only a matter of time before the two collided to create a workout combining the best of both worlds.
Recent studies have shown that short HIIT sessions can be more effective at improving heart health, building muscle and assisting fat loss than longer moderate-intensity workouts. According to Aaron Smith, founder and CEO of the KX Group, it’s drawing people because it’s efficient and effective; ‘One short HIIT session will torch fat, build long, lean muscle, and boost your metabolism more than any other workout.’
So how does this intense style of training fit in with what could be viewed as a more genteel form of exercise, with its roots in ballet training?
Smith, together with the KX team, developed Barre HIIT by fusing ballet barre exercises, functional Pilates training and cardio fitness – and then adding a high intensity twist.
Barre training addresses the three components of functional fitness – balance, coordination and endurance. Using the barre and bodyweight to perform functional activities (pushing, pulling, squatting), barre exercises are performed in a variety of functional positions, from standing and sitting, to kneeling and single leg balance. When combined with the high octane nature of HIIT, the body uses fat and carbohydrates as its primary sources of fuel throughout both aerobic (cardio) and anaerobic (strength) training.
So what does a KX Barre HIIT session look like? The intensity of the 50-minute class, which combines high performance dynamic Pilates, ballet barre exercises and weights and bodyweight strength exercises, is increased by recruiting more muscle fibres in a short amount of time, and having shorter downtime between sets. In a nutshell, it targets the whole body through continuous, precise, controlled movements and functional exercises.
Currently located in studios across Melbourne, it may not be long before KX Barre HIIT goes national.
To experience KX Barre HIIT or for information on franchising opportunities visit kxbarre.com.au