I love a good gym class for forcing me to push myself during a workout, and nothing beats a personal training session to keep my form in check. Sports Club/LA's BLITZ class is a bit like having the best of both worlds — here's why I can't wait to sweat it out at another one.
BLITZ is a high-intensity conditioning class that promises to help you step up your goals and reach your next fitness level. Since each class is limited to just four or five students, it's an excellent option if you're looking to improve your fitness while staying safe. There's no back of the room here; your instructor sees all and will correct your form as necessary. Each hour-long class is structured similarly — the instructor writes the day's workout on a board in front of the class, and after completing the 15-minute warmup circuit, 30 minutes is put on the clock and the countdown begins. All the equipment you need is ready and waiting for you, from barbells to medicine balls to TRX straps. You goal is to complete as many sets of the circuit that your trainer recommends before the clock hits zero. Afterward, there's a 15-minute cooldown session that includes core exercises followed by stretches. Having the workout on the board in front of you means you can exercise at your own pace, but you can still use a little friendly competition to push yourself to keep up with your fellow students.
Each class has a specific goal based on what you are working on — either endurance, power, or strength — so your reps and sets will vary. Endurance classes, for example, are more like a traditional cardio workout so you do more reps with less recovery time, while strength classes feature exercises that aim to fatigue your muscles. Power classes focus on exercises that require a full range of motion to improve your body's agility, balance, and speed. In general, however, you can expect high-intensity exercises like walking dumbbell lunges, box jumps, deadlifts, TRX chest presses, sled pushes, ball smashes, and power snatches. Basically, you're sweating the whole way through.
Keep reading for more on why I love BLITZ and where to find the class.
The individualized attention and small group setup are what I love most about BLITZ classes. The atmosphere is relaxed but methodical; everyone is there to push themselves during the 30-minute countdown while still having a good time. After a class, I always walk out of the room very sweaty and feeling like I've gotten an extremely effective total-body workout in a short amount of time. I'm also sore for days after — a mark of a successful workout! I've also realized how beneficial even just a few classes a month can be to any workout regimen. Taking the endurance class while training for a marathon, for example, has given me ideas on how to complement my running workouts to become a better runner.
Of course, there's a cost to all this individualized attention — the class requires an extra fee on top of an already pricey gym membership at Sports Club/LA or Reebok Sports Club/NY. But if you are already a Sports Club member, paying on average $30-$40 per class (depending on location and package) is comparable to a semi-personal training session, and it feels like one too, since the classes are so small. BLITZ is currently offered at the San Francisco Sports Club/LA and the Reebok Sports Club/NY in Manhattan; it will be available at the Boston, Chestnut Hill, Miami, and Washington DC Sports Club locations this Summer. If signing up for a BLITZ class isn't in your future, however, check out our BLITZ-inspired printable workout that you can take with you to your own gym!