When I was a kid, my mom dragged me to her aerobics class. I sat on the side and stared at the women bounce around in funny outfits. There were a few of us sitting there, watching our mom’s move. We look at each other and shrug, get back to coloring while the woohoo’s abound.
My memory has faded with time but I’m fairly certain that my High Fitness experience was exactly the same as my mother’s aerobics. High Fitness is described as aerobic interval training choreographed with basic fitness moves.
I took my friend Sommer along with me because I’m mildly entrenched in the dance fitness world and I need First Take eyes. Sommer is skeptical about the High Fitness frenzy here in the Central Valley and I’m not sure she’s pumped for this. We try a class at V-Force Elite Gymnastics with about 10 women by instructor Amy Litman.
High Fitness has spread like wild fire across the Central Valley since Instructors Jen Stout and Janessa Parker taught the first High Fitness class here in 2016. The format was created by two fitness instructors out of Utah and Canada who wanted an intense, fun and easy to follow workout put to familiar music.
It is familiar music! I know every song and I want to dance to them all. Sommer was dancing too. This is a good sign.
“It took me four months to come. I wanted someone to go with me and sometimes I still stand in the back.” Said Desirae Prado. “But, I don’t sweat like this anywhere else… now I’ll be in the car dancing when the songs come on. The hubs is looking at me like ‘what’re you doing?’”
Every class follows a flow. We warmup, then build into higher intensity songs, sometimes giving our heart rate a break with toning squats or arm movements. The bell curve continues until we reach the “cardio push,” a set of high intensity songs meant to be the most challenging part of class. We ride the bell curve down the backside with another toner and a cool down. BAM!
“There’s multiple times and locations that we can catch a class so it’s convenient. I sometimes meet my girlfriends that I grew up with and we have accountability to each other.” said Mia Eichhorn.
There are a few things I’ve noticed about this group. First, they really like each other. Studies have shown that people who workout with a partner or a group, are more likely to continue their exercise routine. Maybe High Fitness is a gateway-workout. A way to suck people into living a healthier life without them knowing they’re working for it. Sommer and I decide after class that we are all for a gateway workout.
Second, they woohoo A LOT. Sometimes the woohoo is even a part of the choreography. I woohoo shamelessly and I’m pretty sure I caught Sommer screaming out a few too.
Finally, it’s fun! We are not pushing the hard stuff. We are not building muscle with heavy weights or mind strength through a long run. But, we are moving. We are laughing and sweating and smiling.
“I’ve never danced before and I feel like I’m dancing but my endurance has improved. My cardio is better, I feel stronger and I feel like I’m getting more slender,” said Amy Heasley.
There are over 20 High Fitness instructors in the Central Valley that often run their own business. Many of them rent space from a dance studio, karate class or school. There are some class times and locations posted on the High Fitness website HERE. We found it easiest to search Instagram. If you need help finding the right class, send us a message HERE and we’ll set you up.
“I take one to two classes per week since December and my endurance has improved significantly.” said Amber Von Flue “When you first come to class you may feel a little awkward and out of place but I never watch anybody else. Even if you feel ridiculous, noone is paying attention.”
Bring water and a towel, wear high support tennis shoes and warm up your woohoo’s. Most classes you do not need to sign up for in advance and the first time is free. After that, it’s around $6 per class depending on your instructor.
Do you want to do a Valley Sweat Life Second Take with us?
Sign up HERE for High In The Park, a High Fitness community class.
May 5 at 9am in the Art of Life Healing Garden at Woodward Park.