I’ve been in a rut with workouts lately. I ended 2018 with a motivation and beach vacations booked (plus, I had the cute workout clothes from H2W Apparel). But, that drive tapered off. Enter Crunch. The Omaha Crunch location has a new HIITZone training area. They asked me if I’d give an Advanced HIITZone class a try. It sounded like it just might be the kick in the butt I needed to get back into a gym. Some of you may be in the same boat as me–perhaps you’ve fallen off the New Year’s resolution bandwagon, too. If you need a kick in the butt, too, here’s a guide to The HIITZone at Crunch and what you can expect at your first class. I’ll explain what The HIITZone is, what equipment you’ll find there, and what a class is like. And I’ll try my best to assure you that you will not throw up or die during your first class.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Crunch. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.
What is The HIITZone
If you’re not familiar with Crunch, it’s a worldwide gym chain that believes in making fitness fun. They’re all about inclusivity and positivity. So, right away, I walked into the gym and felt welcomed. I wasn’t quite at ease, to be honest, since I knew I was in for a killer workout in a few minutes. But, I still felt comfortable.
I toured the gym and, like typical gyms, there were free weights and machines, cardio machines, and a group class room. It’s incredibly clean, and bright. But, what Crunch had that I’ve never seen before is The HIITZone.
The HIITZone is for group classes led by a trainer. It’s one-of-a-kind and designed just for Crunch. In the class, you do short intervals of exercises and then move to the next station. (FYI: HIIT stands for “high intensity interval training.”)
Here’s what you’ll find in The HIITZone:
• – 20 Yards of Functional Training Turf
• – Tire Flips
• – Battle Ropes
• – Marpo Rope Pulls
• – Agility Ladder
• – Power Rowers
• – Target Throws
• – Landmines
• – Plyo Boxes
• – Heavy Bags
• – Power Sleds
• – Kettle Bells
• – Free Weights
What HIITZone classes are like
There are three types of Advanced HIIT classes to attend in The HIITZone: PunchHIIT, AccelerateHIIT and StrongHIIT. There’s a fourth one at some locations called ExtremeHIIT, but I didn’t see it on the spring calendar at Deerfield.
I attended an AccelerateHIIT, which had 10 stations. Class is about 45 minutes long, and that includes warm-up, stations, turf work, ab work and cool down.
We had three reps at each station. The first rep was the longest, followed by a short rest, then the next rep began. You ended with a rep lasting 20 seconds where you do the station’s activity at as high intensity as you can manage…and then move to the next station.
Those more fit than me could, obviously, sustain high intensity for those three short bursts of time. Luckily, just when I was about to give up at a station, the timer was up and we moved on. The variety kept me motivated and time flew. I usually watch the clocks during a workout class (even my yoga class), and I didn’t do that here.
My stations involved the gamut of movements, from pulling rope and whipping rope (is that what you call it?), to rowing, jumping, high knees, and ladder lunges. It is tough, but only as tough as you want it to be.
Tip: It starts out feeling super easy, but don’t get overly confident and do too much too quickly. At my first station, I was all smiles and feeling like “Bring on the heavier weights.” By second station, I realized I needed to slow down.
You’d think class is over after doing 10 stations, but no. After the stations, we moved over to the turf area for some short obstacles and sprints. You’d think we’d be done after that, too, but no. Next, we had a few minutes of ab work to do.
Finally, we cooled down. The trainer high-fived everyone and the class was over.
Who attends The HIITZone classes
I was a little nervous going to my first class at Crunch. Who else feels worried walking into your first fitness class and wondering how you’d compare to everyone? Wondering if you’re too old, too out of shape, too weak, etc.?
Classes can be up to 16 people, and in my first class, there were 12 of us. What a relief to see there was every body type there and a wide age range. I fit right in. And, they were all friendly to me!
Before the workouts began, we were split into groups of four, so I had my tribe that night. They showed me where to go next and offered lighter weights when it looked like I needed them.
Since it was announced I was a first-timer, my group mates made sure I didn’t wander into a different station. And even though the trainer went through all the stations and explained the moves, my group mates were quick to remind me what to do at each station.
When class was over, several people told me I did a good job. And I believed them.
The gym seems to be pretty adamant about the place being a “no judgement zone” and I saw it in action that night.
Who teaches The HIITZone classes
The Crunch Omaha Deerfield location has a couple trainers leading Advanced HIIT classes. During class, the trainer wears a microphone so you can hear him/her no matter where you are in The HIITZone.
My class was led by Cristina and she was awesome. She had just the right amount of energy and was super friendly. She didn’t yell like a drill sergeant, nor was she a cheerleader. She was my kind of instructor.
Cristina offered modifications to those who needed them (like me). About midway through the stations, I was fading quickly and rather than let me half-ass it or rest, she suggested a different way of doing things to still get a good workout.
Memberships at Crunch
So, want to try Crunch? Membership comes in three levels:
Base: Includes access to the Workout Essentials (cardio machines, weights) and things like the Power Half Hour Circuit Training. It’s incredibly inexpensive. Advanced HIIT classes can be added on to this membership.
Peak: Includes all of the Base perks, plus things like group class access, use of the tanning beds, and, my favorite, use of the HydroMassage® chair (seriously, go check this thing out). It also allows you to use any of the 260+ gyms around the world. Advanced HIIT classes can be added on to this membership.
Peak Results: This one has all the perks of Peak with the addition of unlimited Advanced HIIT classes.
Monthly membership fees are $9.95, $21.95, and 29.95 respectively. If you enroll in May, the enrollment fee is only $10. I only shared just a few of the perks of membership, though, so you’ll want to do a little research before picking one.
If you want to go
Crunch Omaha Deerfield
Where: 5218 S. 136th St. (FYI: There are 260+ locations around the world)
Try it out an Advanced HIIT class for FREE! Visit crunch.com to get your pass.
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