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Activ8 HIIT - Our New Pilates Based Circuits Class

Our new and exiting Pilates circuits classes are taking our corporate clients by storm. A top-to-toe intelligent workout comprised of metabolic conditioning, cardio blasting and flexibility enhancing moves, to challenge your body like never before.

The workout begins with "ACTIVATION"; a series of glute and core exercises to prepare the correct muscles to fire. This is followed by the main "HIIT" section; a circuit of 8 high intensity interval training stations based on Pilates and functional moves - 8 minutes of glorious intensive fat busting. Each session ends with a deep stretch and "SLOW DOWN" section incorporating foam rollers and relaxation techniques to fully release the muscle and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system; stimulating effective muscle recovery.

Here are a few pilates circuits you can try at home:


Bicycle Crunch

Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground (pull your abs down to also target your deep abs). Interlace your fingers, and put your hands behind your head. Bring your knees into table top position, and lift your shoulder blades off the ground. Extend your right leg and twist your right shoulder to the opposite knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows. Switch sides to complete 1 rep.


Squats Walks With Band

Begin standing with feet directly underneath your hips, abs and gluts engaged (the resistance band really helps you activate your glutes properly) and hands on your hips. Parallel squat and sidestep to the right as far as you can manage without collapsing the knees inward and keeping constant tension on the band. Concentrate on keeping your pelvis neutral and sturdy and and avoid rocking your body and pelvis as you walk.


Side Plank With Weights

There are heaps of variations on this, start with a strong, long sideplank making a concious effort to squeeze the shoulder blades together and engage the lats, keeping shoulder heads away from the ears, and ribs pulled in. Pick up a dunbell off the floor and sweep it straight up and then overhead withough allowing the ribs to flare or pelvis to move out of allignment - starightening the arm as much as possible and gripping the wight tightly. Plank is a great compound exercise and activates a whole bunch of muscle groups at once, and it's so easy to practice we can do it anywhere!


  • The effects of Activ8 HIIT go beyond the studio - the post workout benefits are huge unleashing a cocktail of hormones in the blood notably HGH (a hormone responsible for youthful skin, muscle tone and the rate at which we burn fat) stimulated by breaching the anaerobic threshold.
  • Not only do you burn more calories during Activ8 HIIT, but the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body's repair cycle into hyperdrive. That means you burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after the workout than you do after, say, a steady-pace run.
  • Whilst steady cardio seems to encourage both fat and muscle loss, HIIT and weight training is a great way to preserve muscle mass whilst shedding fat stores.
  • You can do it anywhere! You can do it in a boat, you can do it with a goat. You can do it here or there, you can do it anywhere! Dr. Seuss would have loved Activ8 HIIT. Since it's such a simple concept you can adapt it to whatever time and space constraints you have.
  • According to a 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training. One study found that after 8 weeks of doing HIIT workouts, subjects could bicycle twice as long as they could before the study, while maintaining the same pace.
Laura Pearce