The Fitness Trail: Fused Fitness Class Formats
Ryan Summerlin March 22, 2013
What is a fused fitness class format? It is taking a foundational class format, such as dance, step, cycling or kickboxing and fusing segments of different class or exercise program formats into that specific foundational class format. For example, you may combine a kickboxing class format, performing three “rounds” of intense kickboxing intervals with three weight training circuit interval segments, creating a fantastic fused class format (i.e. Kickboxing Circuit).
Why fuse formats? It is time efficient, when properly designed, provides natural cross training benefits and it is fun! There are, however, a few fundamentals that need to be present in order to create a smooth, safe and solid fused fitness class format. So this week, we will feature those fundamentals enabling you to implement this concept into your exercise program repertoire. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Fused Fitness Class Format Fundamentals
-Fusing does not imply that you are weight training while you are cycling. Therefore, do not attempt to economize your time by performing one segment with another. Keep your segments separate and pure. Performing weight training with resistive tubing, dumbbells, or kettlebells, while you are cycling, stepping, dancing or kickboxing is counterproductive. Your cycling and weight training performance will suffer due to distraction from the central purpose. Overall successful outcomes are achieved with excellent program design and client performance.
-However, combining formats into interval segments works very well as long as the intervals are clear, concise, that equipment is easily accessible (i.e. not in the way during the foundational format of the class/workout), and that you understand completely what is expected during each interval.
-Additionally, if choosing a dance, kickboxing or step foundational class format, you will want to keep the choreography simple enough so that it may be learned in a short period of time, mastered and then performed effectively. If the movements are too complex, the intensity may decrease and the effectiveness of the class format will diminish.
-Moving seamlessly from one segment to the next to sustain the intensity level for that specific segment is essential. For example, in a step interval class format, the step/cardio intervals may be 3-5 minutes in duration, followed immediately by 1-2 minute weight training intervals with the equipment easily accessible and the weight training exercises achievable within the 1-2 minute intervals. Then, you are back on the step for the next step/cardio interval.
-A well-designed fused fitness class format interval program may include all five components of physical fitness (i.e. cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength/endurance, flexibility and body composition). You may take 45-50 minutes of a 75-minute class format and dedicate it to cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength/endurance work followed by more muscular strength work (i.e. often what was not practical during the main segment), then your flexibility segment.
-Another option, of dozens, is to design larger interval blocks such as five-six minute high intensity intervals on the bike followed by 15-minute weight training intervals off the bike, repeating this sequence three-four times. The weight training intervals might include core and pushup stations as well as compound exercises, including the upper/lower body working simultaneously and perhaps a weight bearing cardio station that focuses upon aerobic skills/drills improving agility, coordination, timing and fun.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net, her blog at www.skyhidailynews.com and her Facebook Page at Never Summer Fitness.