HIIP it… into shape

Toning up with High Intensity Interval Pilates

It wasn’t all that long ago that free weights and Pilates reformer machines were co-existing peacefully at opposite ends of the gym, as were the people using them. But then the experts started extolling the benefits of throwing a few deadlifts in with your downward dog and up sprung a whole host of hybrid workouts aimed at giving you the best of both worlds, like this latest High Intensity Interval Pilates offering from Bootcamp Pilates.

What is it?
Aimed at the time-poor Pilates lover who wants their conditioning with a side of sweat, Bootcamp Pilates’ HIIP30 class squeezes a full body cardio and toning work out into half an hour by alternating exercises on the reformer machine with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercises like burpees and box jumps.

How does it work?
Fast. Not a second is unaccounted for as instructors lead you through four pairs of moves, one on the machine, one off.
A leg press on the reformer is given a little extra resistance to increase the burn, then it’s straight into a set of box jumps with hand weights to get your blood pumping. Pant and repeat. Next up is an arm extension and crunch combination on the reformer, followed by press ups on the box. Pant and repeat.

There’s a quick turnaround between exercises that probably won’t suit those unfamiliar with a reformer machine, but you are in and out in 30 minutes – just enough time to mop the brow and grab a well-earned lunch. Expect plenty of sweat and some muscle soreness the next day.

Why all the fuss?
Bootcamp launched the class in response to clients at their City and West End studios struggling to squeeze a 55-minute reformer class into their busy schedules, and when you think about it, it’s a match made in heaven. Adding calorie burning HIIT to body sculpting Pilates burns fat as it tones, while the HIIT concept of short bursts of high impact cardio followed by recovery benefits from Pilates as an ‘active rest’, lengthening and toning the muscles while you get your breath back.

How much?
Single passes are £25, so an unlimited monthly membership at £140 is worth considering if you’re planning on going more than once a week.

Where can I try it?
Bootcamp Pilates run HIIP classes at their Shoreditch and Strand studios.
Shoreditch, 63 Princelet Street E1 5LP, Strand, Durham House Street WC2N 5LR