Equinox classes turn interval training into group workouts

Lauren Glassberg Image
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
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Lauren Glassberg checks it out!

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Running and cycling tend to be pretty individual experiences, but two new classes bring community into those workouts in a way that can help you get fit faster.

Jump onto a bike for The Pursuit by Equinox, and you're in for a whole new indoor cycling experience.

It's 45 minutes of super intense intervals, all of which you can measure both on your bike and on the wall. Spinning circles represent riders, and you want your circle to burn brightest.

It's encouraging when you do well, and sometimes you're partnered with other riders. One person works while the other cheers, and the person cheering gets to recover in preparation for their next interval.

Participants say the visuals and games take your mind off the fact that you're exercising, and that's ultimately what's behind The Pursuit.

"What we do are really short bursts of really hard anaerobic breathless-type intervals for very short chunks of time," instructor Danielle Hopkins said. "And the reason why we like that as professionals is they're really great at getting you that metabolic rev."

It's also the premise behind Precision Running at Equinox.

"Precision running is based on the BITE method, which stands for balanced interval training experience," instructor John said. "We're going to be manipulating four different variables, speed, duration, incline and recovery."

You run hard, then add in incline. The recovery is bliss, but then it's right back to a hard run and then an even harder run. But there's something about doing it in a group that empowers you to move quicker and set a better personal record each time.

In both classes, you can store your metrics. But perhaps the best part is what happens after all that interval training.

"When you leave class and you're not on the bike, your body still thinks you're working out because it's working harder to recoup," Hopkins said. "So in terms of weight loss or getting fitter, it's got a bigger return than those long steady workouts."

And isn't that worth sweating for?