Class Spotlight: VIDA Xtreme
By: Elise Chretien
The first thing VIDA instructor Betsy Miller will tell you at the beginning of an Xtreme class is that she better not see anyone on the treadmill after class is over. As someone who doesn’t have to be told twice not to get on a treadmill, I was totally okay with this command. Xtreme uses High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) broken up into small segments to give you a full body workout in just 45 minutes. Due to the nature of HIIT, you’ll keep burning calories and maintain an elevated metabolism for a full 24 hours after the class is over. See, no need for the treadmill!
Xtreme, like most classes, starts off with a light cardio workout to get your heart rate up (think high knees, jumping jacks, running, shuffling, and things of that nature.) Then we move on to three main rounds of interval training with short breaks in between. The first round is usually 5 minutes, and the second two usually between 3-4 minutes. Each round consists of a certain number of reps of 3-4 different exercises that you repeat over and over until the minutes are up.
For example, round one could go something like this: 5 pushups, 10 tricep dips, 5 in & outs, and 10 high knees. Then repeat this sequence until the end of the round, not resting for more than a few seconds in between exercises. Other examples of exercises that can be thrown into the mix include mountain-climbers, barbell moves (dead lifts, squats, rows, etc.) and abdominal exercises, just to name a few. You can go at your own pace, so if it takes you a little longer to get through a certain part, that’s okay! It’s all about staying in motion through the entire round and not stopping until Betsy yells “time’s up.”
What’s great is that no matter how exhausted and out of breath you are at any given time, you know there’s always only a few minutes left until the break! Betsy explains that having a chance to catch your breath in between rounds is a key part of HIIT.
“The breaks are important because, well, you need to rest after working that hard! But also, this type of training is scientifically proven to burn more calories, boost your metabolism, and build strength and endurance faster than a steady-state workout on a treadmill or elliptical, or even in a cardio class. It’s also fun!” she says.
She’s right about the fun part – I’ve taken Xtreme with Betsy twice and though the energy level was just as high, the first class was nothing like the second.
“I change my class every week so participants always get to do something new,” says Betsy.
If you hated an exercise in one class, never fear, because you probably won’t be doing it next week. The format of Betsy’s Xtreme is perfect for someone with exercise ADD, such as me. If you get bored with the same repetitions over and over and like to conquer new challenges each week Xtreme is the perfect class for you. I’m also a huge fan of 45 minute classes that still pack a full-body workout, and the noon class makes it easy to fit it into your lunch break!