Class Spotlight: VIDA Circuit
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best ways to build muscular endurance while getting an intense cardio workout at the same time. In VIDA Circuit, you’ll move quickly between a handful of different strength and cardio exercises using a variety of equipment that will have your heart pumping within the first few minutes.
Maria Bokulich, who teaches VIDA Circuit here at U Street, explains that the class incorporates a team mentality and involves strength, endurance and strategy from all team members.
“Members are usually put in pairs or teams to complete a task of exercises together. These team workouts vary greatly and employ active resting, allowing your body to recover from cardiovascular or strength exercises,” says Maria.
My favorite thing about this class is that the format changes every time. Each class is a completely different set-up with brand new exercises and stations, so it’s guaranteed that you won’t get bored from week to week.
In one class you might be divided into partners that you’ll alternate between a strength exercise and a cardiovascular exercise with. For instance, you’ll do squat jumps while your partner completes a round of twelve dead lifts, and then you’ll switch for the duration of 3-5 minutes.
Or, depending on the number of participants in class, each person will be assigned a station with a certain strength or cardio exercise. The strength portions range from basic motions like weighted squats/dead lifts, overhead presses, push-ups and abdominal exercises to kettle bell swings, battle ropes and pushing weights across the floor.
For the cardio side of things, come prepared for jumping jacks, high knees, squat jumps and all sorts of plyometrics. You’ll spend one minute doing your specified exercise at each station before moving straight to the next one with no breaks in between. Once you’ve completed the entire circuit, then everybody gets to rest!
While the format changes with each class, what stays the same is the constant alternation between a strength exercise and a cardiovascular exercise. The class is the perfect combination of the two, and tires you out in that awesome way where you know you just worked every muscle in your body.
Another aspect of this class I love is that it introduces you to so many new exercises. I had never tried battle ropes before, and probably wouldn’t have gotten the chance if not for VIDA Circuit. It also introduced me to new ways to do certain exercises I was already doing on my own with a different, more challenging spin on them.
Maria, who incorporates her own training from collegiate basketball, Olympic rowing and CrossFit into her classes, says VIDA Circuit is more than your average workout.
“It’s a great way to push your limits, learn good lifting technique, work as a team and make new friends!” she says.
This class is tough – but in such a good way! It’s usually a smaller group of people during the week, so you’ll make friends with the other people that are going through the same thing you are (and keep coming back for more!) Nothing brings you closer with another member as passing each other running up and down a stairwell! (In Maria’s class you will develop a newfound love/hatred for the stairwells by the Group Fitness Studio.)
VIDA Circuit is currently offered Tuesdays at noon with Maria, Fridays at 6pm with Sarah, and Saturdays at 9am with Gitanjali. If you’re looking for a quick in-and-out workout that kicks your butt in only 45 minutes, Circuit is definitely your class!