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Sunday, January 20th  9:00am - 8:00pm

Jeff May

10 Things You Didn’t Know About HIIT

If you are into fitness--a regular at the gym, reading health magazines, researching new workouts online--then you are probably familiar with HIIT, one of the more popular workouts in recent years.  But if the gym is new to you, you might see “HIIT” on the schedule and think, what the heck is that? Even though it is pronounced “hit,” HIIT has nothing to do with boxing and everything to do with an intense cardio workout.   Whether you are new to the gym or a fitness junkie, here are ten things you didn’t know about HIIT.

What You Might Not Know About Your HIIT Workout

1. It stands for High-Intensity Interval Training.  HIIT is a type of cardiovascular interval training made up of bursts of activity separated by periods of low-intensity exercise or even complete rest.  For example, you might follow one full minute of sprints with 30 seconds of walking, then repeat that sequence four times before a complete rest break of one minute.  

2. There is no one set HIIT workout.  Your instructor will probably vary the workout from week to week, so you don’t need to worry about getting bored.  One week might feature old-school moves like football drills and jumping jacks, and the next might involve kettlebells and burpees.  The premise stays the same but the moves change, keeping you on your toes and in your best shape.

3. You don’t need a gym for HIIT.  While many people like the motivation that an instructor-led class provides, it is not a requirement.  If you are on vacation or just can’t get to the gym, you can improvise your own HIIT cardio workout. Think wind sprints, jumping jacks, burpees, and mountain climbers--all you need is a stopwatch and yourself.

4. You don’t need a lot of time.  Interval training packs a big punch into a small timespan, so you can build muscle and burn calories even if you are tight on time.  Some research even suggests that 15 minutes of HIIT three times a week can be as effective as running on the treadmill for an hour. So when you are swamped with work and family obligations, HIIT is a great choice so that you get the most bang for your buck.

5. You’ll improve your aerobic capacity.  HIIT workouts improve heart function and endurance.  For example, one study demonstrated that after 8 weeks of HIIT training subjects could bicycle for twice as long as before.

6. It’s fat burning.  HIIT is great for losing fat while building muscle for overall weight loss and improved tone.

7. It boosts your metabolism.  Even a quick HIIT session puts your body into calorie burning mode for another 24 hours.

8. It’s one-size-fits-all.  There are always modifications to any routine, so you can customize HIIT to your own abilities.  Bad knees? When everyone else jumps, walk in place. You can move at your own pace even in a class of mixed skill sets.

9. It can cure disease.  Well, “cure” might be a strong word, but studies have found that HIIT helps people with chronic cardiovascular or metabolic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart failure, obesity, coronary artery disease, or metabolic syndrome.

10. It’s hard, and that’s what makes it awesome.  Even workout junkies will find HIIT challenging.  The intensity of the intervals provides a challenge for everyone, so you will never get sick of HIIT.

HIIT Cardio + HIIT Training 

No matter the movements, HIIT provides an intense cardio workout in a short period of time.  It builds endurance and muscle while burning fat, and offers enough flexibility to offer something for everyone.  If that appeals to you, try out a HIIT workout at the Fitness Loft of Columbus.

Jeff May

What Is Corporate Wellness?


Workers today tend to be more transient than they were in decades past.  Employees used to stay with the same outfit for an entire career, but that is becoming increasingly uncommon.  Many employers are looking for ways to attract and retain the best employees and keep them as productive as possible.  Because happy and healthy people tend to be the most productive, many employers look for ways to keep their employees as healthy as possible, both mentally and physically.  Traditionally this may have included a generous compensation package that provides vacation time, sick time, and comprehensive health insurance.

Currently, employers are increasingly providing corporate wellness programs to improve the holistic health of their employees.  The Fitness Loft of Columbus works with many employers to offer corporate health and fitness programs specifically geared to the needs of their workers.


Corporate wellness describes a variety of programs aimed at improving the holistic health of the employees of a business.  Corporate wellness programs are generally aimed at reducing stress, improving overall health, and preventing disease and chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.  Such programs may include screenings, health education, and fitness training opportunities. At the Fitness Loft of Columbus, we can tailor our offerings to the needs of your particular organization.  Specific programs we offer include:

Nutritional education and coaching: Our staff includes a registered dietitian who can teach nutritional seminars or provide individual counseling.

Group fitness classes: We offer over 40 classes each week, at a variety of times.  The key to success is finding a workout you enjoy, and with this variety, there is something for everyone!

Equipment: For those who are not interested in group classes, our facility utilizes state-of-the-art equipment from Technogym.  Users can choose from a variety of choices such as the treadmill or elliptical trainer. All of our equipment works with our wireless software application, The Wellness System, to track each individual’s progress over time.

Personal training: Our staff includes several personal trainers ready to help individuals to set and achieve realistic fitness goals.  The accountability of a personal trainer is a great incentive to stick with a fitness regimen. Our trainers assess each person so that the routine and goals are appropriate and achievable.
Personal health coaching: Our Precision Nutrition Certified Health Coach is available to work one-on-one with clients to go beyond nutritional education.  A health coach can help with emotional eating, fitness goals, and other stepping stones on the path to overall wellness.

How Can Corporate Wellness Benefit Your Business?

A corporate wellness program is one way to help your business attract and retain the best employees.  It is an added perk that makes your organization stand out as one that cares about its workers. In addition, corporate wellness programs to increase overall productivity and reduce total healthcare costs.  Healthy and happy employees tend to take less time off, both because they have better physical health and because they avoid psychological burnout. Corporate wellness programs are truly a win-win for both the employer and the employee.  


If your organization is thinking about integrating corporate wellness into its employee benefits package, consider utilizing the Fitness Loft of Columbus as your corporate wellness provider.  We already partner with more than 25 local business and look forward to making an even greater impact in the Columbus area.  Our mission is to be so much more than a gym. We want to help people to integrate the mind, body, and community to improve holistic health.  Reach out to us today. Working together, we can create a corporate wellness program customized for your business.

Jeff May

Holiday Zumba: Combining Exercise With Holiday Cheer

Tis the season to put on the pounds--or is it?  Holiday weight gain may feel inevitable, but it does not have to be.  The holiday season presents so many opportunities to overeat. Between bake sales, office holiday parties, celebrations with friends and family, and the actual holiday feasts, we are constantly presented with delicious and decadent food during the holidays.  While it’s easy to throw in the towel and indulge until the New Year, adding in a few extra workouts is one way to enjoy yourself while avoiding holiday weight gain. In fact, the holiday season can be a great time to try out a new workout. You may have some time off anyway, and many gyms offer special holiday-themed classes that can be that much more fun.  If you have been curious to try out Zumba, holiday Zumba classes might be a great trial run. If you are Zumba regular, holiday Zumba is a fun twist on your typical workout.


What Is Zumba?

Chances are you have heard about Zumba, but you may not be exactly sure what it is.  Zumba has taken off in popularity in recent years, so you have probably seen a sign for it somewhere or know someone who swears by Zumba as their workout of choice.  Zumba is a fun, dance-based workout that provides cardiovascular training in addition to muscle toning. Zumba has its roots in Latin dances such as the Merengue, Salsa, Reggaeton, Mumbo, Flamenco, and Rumba.  Zumba instructors design fun, upbeat dances that will have you burning calories while having a blast. The dance moves get your heart rate up for a great cardio workout. Your instructor may add in free weights, lunges, or other toning exercises designed to spot tone your muscles.  In general, the instructors will use visual cues to indicate the dance routine, but don’t be afraid to ask a question. The staff want you to get the most out of your workout, every time.


What Is Holiday Zumba?

Holiday Zumba is just what it sounds like: a Zumba class with a holiday theme!  Just a little twist to add some flavor to an already fun workout. Holiday Zumba classes right now might have a Christmas theme or a New Year’s Theme--think Christmas songs and holiday attire!  Your Zumba instructors will definitely come decked out in flashy leggings and Santa hats for Christmas, or maybe a gold and white Champagne theme for New Year’s. Feel free to wear your own holiday workout gear.  Holiday Zumba has a light and festive mood that is welcoming for newcomers and regulars alike.


Benefits of Zumba

Zumba is a truly all-encompassing workout.  Benefits include cardiovascular fitness, muscle toning, strength training, and improved balance and flexibility.  Zumba is a great workout no matter what your current fitness level is. You can take it slow if it’s been a while since you hit the gym or you can push yourself for a more demanding workout.  Zuma is as challenging as you want it to be.


If you’ve been searching for “Zumba classes near me,” look no further than Holiday Zumba at the Fitness Loft of Columbus.  Our instructors will have on their flashiest leggings and their brightest smiles, and would love for you to join them! So whether you are a Zumba junkie or new to Zumba, swing by the Fitness Loft for a fun but challenging class to keep those holiday pounds at bay.

Jeff May

How Can You Benefit from Plyometrics?

In recent years, plyometrics have become popular among professional athletes, long jumpers, high jumpers, basketballers, and the likes. These exercises are a fun alternative to everyday strength-training workouts and boosts muscle power, agility, balance, and strength. Although they are popular among sports professionals, they can benefit virtually anyone who wishes to build explosive power. Here are incredible benefits of a plyometric workout.

Minimal Equipment     

One of the biggest turnoffs for anyone looking to get in shape is the amount of equipment needed. Not only are the machines expensive to acquire, but require a lot of learning to use them optimally. That is much enough to keep a less-motivated beginner trainee from achieving their fitness goals. Luckily, plyometrics is bodyweight-oriented. They require no weight or equipment, making them suitable for home, office or while on the move.

Burns Calories

Sure, running and other aerobic exercises will burn calories, but, the process will speed up as your strength and endurance increase. That’s why plyometrics is an excellent workout program that anyone can use to incinerate fat fast. The best thing is that you not only burn calories within a short period but also get your body in shape from head to toe. Due to their intensity, plyometric exercises have a relatively higher potential for injury. That means plyos may not be your best option especially if you’re a beginner or seriously overweight. That’s why you need to first build a proper foundation before jumping into a plyometric routine. Tuck jumps are some of the highest calorie burning plyo exercises.

Increased Power Endurance

There is no refuting that plyometric exercises are best for improving muscle power. Perhaps this is because they combine the recovery time between the high-intensity workouts. Scientifically, combining rest periods helps you to push yourself to the maximum while, psychologically, it compels you to push harder knowing that you’ll get a rest. As a result, the body gets used to producing maximum force while spending less energy in the smallest time possible; this helps to increase the longevity of quality performance. Forward two-foot box jumps, speed-skater ladders, and battle ropes are some of the plyometrics routines for increasing power endurance.

Build Stronger Bones

Most people don’t prioritize bone health. Unfortunately, osteoporosis is a serious health concern that affects more than 200 million people around the world, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Good news is that resistance training can help prevent loss of bone mineral density.  Plyo exercises such as skipping and hopping on alternate legs do a better job boosting bone density compared to walking. Better still, jumping backward, forward or side to side can do magic – bones love to be surprised.

Enhanced Strength and Speed

Want more sprint speed, better rotational power, more hang time and greater stopping ability? No worries, the plyometric workout is all you need. Unlike other dynamic effort methods, plyometrics put more emphasis on the stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) at the start of each rep. That means your muscles can stretch and contract rapidly, and even contract faster when enough force is applied to the stretching function. That way, they teach your muscles and tendons to act to act as springs, giving you more swiftness. Hops, jumps, throws, bounds, and clapping push-ups are some of the most effective plyo workouts to add some “go” to your “show.”

Book Plyometric Classes at Fitness Loft

Whether you’re are a sports professional looking to increase muscle, speed, endurance or just want to add plyometrics to your training, Fitness Loft is your place. Our experienced coaches have the expertise to help you accomplish you’re your fitness goals.

Abel Koury

Virtual Reality Fitness is for LOSERS (of fat, that is)

If you ever wanted to try VR Fitness, this is the perfect time. I lost body fat, gained stamina, and got out of my fitness funk. Don't take my word for it--give it a shot! Read More

Jeff May

RPM vs Spinning Classes: What You Need to Know

Les Mills RPM is a high intensity cardio cycling workout and experience. RPM classes offered through the Fitness Loft Columbus. Read More

Jeff May

Can Yoga be a Cardio Workout?

While cardio is more aerobic, deep release yoga is all about stretching and strengthing. Workouts vary but they can be incorporated with cardio as a warm up or cool down addition to yoga. Read More

Jeff May

Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training


Has this situation ever happened to you? You sit down at your office desk ready to knock out some work when you keep getting distracted by other people. You answer question after question until you are blue in the face. You go to start your work, and you see that a couple of hours have passed. This situation has probably happened to you at some point. You finally get in the zone, ready to knock out some projects. In just an hour, you’ve accomplished what would usually take you a whole day. When you focus on a task and minimize distractions, you get into a state of flow. This is exactly what a high-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT workout is all about. Focus on a task, remove distractions, do your absolute best at it and see amazing results in no time. This article will explore some critical benefits of high-intensity interval training, what workout equipment you need, and how you can get started.


Benefits of High-intensity Interval Training


Perhaps the most significant benefit of high-intensity interval training is how quickly you can burn off calories in just a small amount of time. You may find yourself running on a treadmill, and continually checking the machine to see how many calories you burned. It’s kind of sad how long it takes to burn off 200 calories on a treadmill when you compare it to how quickly you can consume 200 calories worth of cookies in just a few minutes. The calorie burning benefits are what makes a high-intensity interval training more beneficial than other types of workouts. Studies have shown that a HIIT workout on average burns about 30% more calories than other forms of exercise such as running on a treadmill.


Another benefit of high-intensity interval training is that you burn calories even AFTER your workout is finished. Your metabolism is the process in which your body burns calories into energy and as a result, you burn off fat. Your metabolic rate is how many calories you burn off in a certain amount of time. Studies have shown that your metabolic rate is much higher after a HIIT worker than other types of workouts.


One of the more surprising benefits of high-intensity interval training is that you can build muscle. As a result of the calorie and fat burning aspects of the HIIT workouts, whichever muscles are used the most in the exercise will slowly build up over time and become more substantial. Although it isn’t as effective as traditional weight training, those who are new to working out will see some added muscle mass.  


What Workout Equipment do I Need?


There are many different variations of a high-intensity interval training workout, and each requires a particular type of equipment or sometimes none at all. Some common types of machines needed are the stationary bike, jump rope, a box for a box jump, as well as a few other pieces of equipment that can aid your HIIT workout. For other exercises such as jogging or sprints, no machinery is needed unless you prefer to run on a treadmill.


How do I Get Started?


Instead of figuring out how to build a weekly workout plan yourself, you can take a class at Fitness Loft Columbus or partner with a personal trainer here. Figuring out which equipment to use and how to use it properly to stay on track is time-consuming. Fitness experts at Fitness Loft Columbus do all of that work for you, so you can focus on getting in an excellent high-intensity interval training workout and get the results you are wanting.

Jeff May

Do Cardio and Strength Training Actually Compliment Each Other?

Working out can be intimidating, stressful and possibly confusing. At the same time, working out can be rewarding, inspiring, and get you the results you are looking for in your body and mind. Results depend on how you perform during a workout and if the exercises are optimized towards your goals. Whether you’re new to working out, or having been working out for a while and not getting the results you want, there is a training program out there for everyone.



What is Cardio?


Some people have a perception that cardio consists of only running or jogging, this is not correct. Cardio is any exercise or activity that increases your heart rate. Just like your biceps, your heart is a muscle, and it gets stronger the more it gets worked. Some examples of cardio exercises are walking, the elliptical machine, stair climber, jump rope, running, swimming and many others. When engaging in a cardio workout, it is important to keep your heart rate up to receive all of the calorie burning benefits. Everyone’s target heart rate is different because it depends on factors such as weight and height. There are ways that you can calculate what your target heart rate is online.


What is Strength Training?


Just like with cardio, some people have a skewed perception of what strength training is. Some people think strength training is working to get huge muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger or any other person with huge muscles you see at the gym. This is not the case. Strength training is at the center of any great fitness routine. Strength is the ability to exert force. By lifting weights, you are improving how much force you can exert over time. Without strong muscles, our bodies rely on our skeletal system to do the lifting which can be damaging. Strength training builds and teaches the body to get its strength from your muscles and not on your skeletal system. Strength training can help develop big muscles if you want, but it's mainly for getting toned.


Do Cardio and Strength Training Actually Compliment Each Other?


Some people that are looking to lose weight and focus entirely on cardio exercises think that strength training is counter-intuitive to losing weight. Similarly, some people that want to gain muscle mass believe that devoting time on cardio won’t help them reach their goals. Believe it or not, cardio and strength training can complement each other. Cardio will help you build up your heart rate, making it stronger to withstand a more heavy workout. Also, strength training helps you burn calories and keeps the weight off.


FAQ With The Fitness Loft Trainers: Cardio vs Strength

Our trainers answers some questions about strength and cardio workouts: 


1. What is the best balance of strength to cardio?


This depends fitness level, etc. Weight training can be more than enough to make up for skipping traditional cardio. It can maintain and, in some cases, increase V02 (maximal volume of oxygen that the body can deliver to the working muscles per minute). It also increases metabolism for longer than cardio. There really is no need to do tons of long duration cardio, if it isn’t directly tied into your performance goal.


Another option is 3-5 days a week of moderate intensity(40% to 60% of Heart Rate Reserve) for cardio. For strength, the American College of Sports Medicine [ACSM] wants 2-3 days of strength training doing 8-10 major muscle group exercises each time at 60-80% of their 1RM (repetition maximum).


2. Do you have a preferred method regarding this? 


Weight train 3-4 times a week, while trying to keep a steady heart rate throughout the session. For cardio, it’s pretty much high intensity intervals and then one, long recovery interval during the week.


Another one of our trainers prefers breaking it up and doing two different workouts. One workout is cardio and the other is strength. This gives time for the body and the brain to recover. They will do 4 days a week of 2 workouts and then take 3 days off. If there isn’t time to do both, do the one that has the greatest priority. For example, if you are training for a race then prioritize cardio. 


3. Is there a such thing as too much cardio?


There can be if it’s contradictory to your goal. If you want to lose fat and add some muscle, you will have a hard time doing that if you’re still doing a ton of traditional cardio. Otherwise, it’s not that it can be too much cardio, but too much of the wrong cardio. Vary the intensities and durations of your cardio, otherwise you could be heading down a path to perceived failure or injury.


Another one of our trainers says: Yes! If you start to notice things like injuries arise, feeling too tired throughout the day, no longer seeing progress, trouble sleeping, or getting sick more often. Rest days are just as important as training days. 


4. Anything else you want to add? 


Cardio is not the only way to lose weight. It’s a part of it, but that part depends on your fitness level, experience, goals. Cardio shouldn’t be a straight line, it should be varied in both duration and intensity. 


If you do do cardio, try to make your cardio sessions fun like participating in a recreational sport.


Mixing Cardio and Strength Training Workouts


Your workout and other fitness related goals will shape how you mix cardio and strength training into your workout. Everyone’s goals are different and how much or how little strength training or cardio depends on that goal. If your goal is to gain muscle your workout routine will look different than that of somebody else whose goal is to lose weight. Define your goals and be specific about what you want.


A typical workout schedule for someone that wants to build muscle is lifting at least three times a week, with two cardio workouts on your rest day. You don’t want to overwork yourself, so it's best to have cardio and strength training on separate days. A typical workout schedule for someone that wants to lose weight is doing a cardio workout three times a week and two strength training workouts on your off days. These workouts can be personalized to your individual goals and are just an example of what is possible.



Jeff May

BodyPump 101: Shaping, Toning & Strength Training

What is Bodypump? Bodypump is a new type of workout class that produces stunning results, making muscles in your body lean and athletic looking. This result is achievable through methods such as shaping, toning and strength training. Read More