I have found my new favorite exercise class.
What is it?
GRIT is a 30 minute HIIT (high-intensity interval) workout. It's a Les Mills class that just released at my local 24 Hour Fitness a few weeks ago. It has been around in other countries for a few years now, but just started rolling out in the United States last year. GRIT is unlike any other Les Mills class. Body Combat and Body Pump require you to follow choreography that matches up with the music, whereas GRIT is purely athletic drills done at your own pace. The catch? Your own pace should be all out.
There are three versions: Strength, Cardio and Plyo. Here's a little about my experience with each:
Strength is definitely my favorite. It's a CrossFit-style workout. You're encouraged to go heavy with your weights (they suggest using the weight you use for back exercises like clean/presses and rows). Most of the tracks we did were doing as many reps as possible (AMRAP) intervals of sets of exercises. An example of this would be doing as many rounds as you can of 10 clean and presses, 10 front squats, and 10 push presses with your barbell in 1 minute, resting for 20 seconds, and repeating the 1 minute on/20 second off intervals three more times.
Cardio is non-stop movement for half an hour. Never did I think I could get such a great workout with no equipment. This class was a bit of a blur since I was so tired just 10 minutes in. We did burpees, speed skaters, shuffling, sprints and pushups, among other hellish exercises I can't remember. There were a lot of across-the-floor moves. Again, most of the exercises were AMRAP. At one point the coach divided the room in half and had one half of the class compete against the other. I love a good competition. The only bummer with this class was my gym hasn't started making people sign up for GRIT, and there were way too many people in the tiny Group X room for a lot of the across-the-floor moves. Half the battle with this class was trying not to trip over people doing pushups and avoiding head-on collisions while sprinting back and forth.
Plyo is short for plyometrics, which is exercise speak for jump. A lot. Until you puke. For Plyo we used a step bench and a 5 to 10 lb weight. Most of the exercises involved jumping on and off the bench and/or doing squats. My legs were so sore the few days after. We also did a lot of travelling pushups using the bench. The weight was used for doing push presses and different weighted squat exercises. The coach for this class also divided us up and had half the class compete against the other half. The coach was great at motivating everyone and did a wonderful job of checking form in this class.
GRIT Pros: Good music that keeps you motivated, coaches are supposed to actually coach instead of doing the workout with you, easy to follow moves, no stretching at the end (I would rather get more workout in and stretch on my own), short class but GREAT workout
GRIT Cons: Higher chance of getting injured than other Les Mills classes, no coaching on form for beginners, no clear indication that it isn't a beginner class
GRIT rules. If you're a seasoned group exercise class attendee and like HIIT workouts that are fast and effective, I definitely recommend looking for a GRIT class near you.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Les Mills or 24 Hour Fitness. All opinions are my own.