Battle ropes are some of the pieces of equipment Kim Ross will be using with participants in High-Intensity Interval Training

Battle ropes are some of the pieces of equipment Kim Ross will be using with participants in High-Intensity Interval Training

Active Life with video: New fitness program aims to burn Christmas calories

NANAIMO – High-intensity interval training helps speed metabolism, build muscle.

NANAIMO residents looking to burn calories as part of their new year’s resolution may want to take a shot at City of Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Environment department’s HIIT program.

The drop-in only exercise class will see participants engaging in circuit exercises enhancing strength, cardiovascular and core with equipment such as kettlebells, slam balls and battle ropes.

“It’s high-intensity interval training, so rather than going into the gym and spending long hours in the gym or doing long durations of cardiovascular training, you do a short period of high intense exercise, so 80 to 95 per cent of your heart rate, followed by active rest,” said Kim Ross, HIIT instructor.

Ross has 140 exercises that she can incorporate and likes to think “out of the box.” If fitness isn’t fun, it isn’t going to be something people stick with, she said.

“Rather than just doing, say a pushup, I might work people up to where they can do pushups on the BOSU (ball), if they can do them on the BOSU incorporating the core work, then we’ll take them up on one foot. If they can do that kind of thing, then we can continue to progress what they can do,” Ross said.

The class is geared toward those between the ages of 18 and 60 and is for any fitness level.

“Anybody can work their way up to it, so it is a class where if you had injury points … that would trump the exercise, but I’ll always give them variations. That being said, it is a moderate-level to advance-level class, so someone who has never done fitness may want to work up to a class’s intensity.

“If they’re newer, but fairly active in fitness, then we would modify or show modifications that they can do as they do the class,” said Ross.

She said the benefits are huge and the results are impressive.

“When you’re working in this kind of class, you are keeping your heart rate elevated and what they’ve found is that doing HIIT training speeds up your metabolism, so what you’ll find is you’re burning more … fat for fuel while you’re building muscle,” said Ross. “So in not long at all, you’re seeing results of muscle strength, muscle endurance and lean body.”

Classes take place at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre until mid-March on Mondays from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. and 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. and Wednesdays 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Please see the activity guide available under the parks and recreation tab at