What is the LiHi workout? How is this fitness method used at BodyBurn By Ray?

By Rich Rowland, Dir. Fitness Operations

What is LiHi (we pronounce it lee-high) and how does BodyBurn class use this new strategy to get better results while getting people to move more frequently?

These days, more and more fitness professionals, exercise enthusiasts, and now the general population are familiar with the acronym H.I.I.T.  Pick up a fitness mag, or google the word 'workout,' and you will most certainly see this principle in your search.  The H.I.I.T. acronym stands for High Intensity Interval Training.  If you have been a knowledgable personal trainer for the last 20 years you were already using this principle with your clients but without the fancy acronym.  They were called high intensity circuits. Or just circuits.  You would see these workouts in a gym, a personal training studio, or at athletic facilities nationwide.  This principle is on hand in the form of bootcamp classes, team practices, or a multi-station workout for a small group or one on one session. 

Let’s be honest, if you are reading this blog, you have probably been involved in one of those, and if not, then here is a quick tutorial.  The H.I.I.T. principle is essentially exercising at a high intense pace for a short amount of time while alternating with a less intense time period and that sequence is repeated.  Think sprints on a treadmill, tabatas, or a timed circuit with lots of reps and little rest.  

The initial goal of these workouts was to combine elevated heart rates with strength training exercises to burn more calories in a short amount of time.  Are these workouts effective,? Oh yeah!  But, only effective when done correctly, within a program, and done safely.  Like any and everything we do in America, we had to take it to the extreme or next level.  We love doing that, don’t we?  These workouts were starting to get to the point where people were getting injured, completely exhausted, and their bodies were used to wipe up the floor.  You’ve seen this and people started buying in, and started documenting these workouts with pictures of near death.  People started coining their experiences, “the killer workout” and “I thought I was gonna die, it was the best workout eva!"  Seriously, who wants a near death experience to just look and feel good?  No Thanks! 

I have a baby boy on the way, and I want to be there for him, not have his mother tell him I hate this one killer workout!  For the most part, HIIT is an effective way to workout, but not very conducive for a daily regiment for most people.  Most people are just not able to recover and injuries can mount very easily.

So, this H.I.I.T. principle started to get the wheels turning for me and Ray.  After a year of revisions and searching out the most effective motor-less cardio pieces for our BodyBurn class, we came up with a concept that is allowing more people to achieve this high intensity with almost zero chance for injury and paired it with a monthly program that allows people to perform well in our workouts everyday.  We call it the LiHi workout and it stands for Low Impact, High Intensity.  We needed a principle that would be as effective as the HIIT principle but we needed it to be safer, allow any and all fitness levels to participate, and we needed it to be something anyone could do every damn day.  We also wanted it to be fun and user friendly.  So, welcome to the world of LiHi.

Let’s break it down.  Low Impact is really a fancy way of saying that one foot remains in contact with the ground or in contact with a surface.  And wouldn’t you know, we all use a low impact exercise everyday - walking!  Well some of us do, some of us even need to see how many steps we take.  When we refer to low impact in our principle, we are referring to the impact, pounding, or force on the joints to be minimal.  These types of exercises in BodyBurn allow any fitness level to successfully navigate through our class with little exercise history or knowledge, while reaping the benefits of a workout that has a very low risk of injury, with low impact on the joints, and is able to accommodate varying fitness levels.  Bluntly speaking, our class is safer, and reduces risk for injury drastically while delivering  a fun workout with real progress!  

On the flip side, high impact exercises can burn more calories but come with much more risk.  Let’s breakdown high intensity.  When we are referring to high intensity in this principle, we are referring to one’s personal intensity level, not their exercise history or knowledge of exercises, or how angry they look when they are doing another leg day!  I kid.  An example of high impact exercises would be, running.  High impact exercises come with an increased risk for joint problems, and an increased risk for injury to the ankles, knees, hips, and spine.  I don't know about you, but protecting my spine sounds like something I would want to do. 

These exercises typically cannot be performed on a daily basis by the average person with little exercise history.   Also, people performing these high impact exercises have typically been working out for extended period of time, thus making one’s workout history and frequency a sort of requirement to start performing these exercises, and that can be very discouraging to a first time participant.

Our signature class, BodyBurn, is changing the way people workout, their exercise knowledge, and their perception of what a safe, fun, and effective workout can do.  BodyBurn utilizes this LiHi workout principle with our 12 different motor-less cardio machines in class, which are all capable of low and high impact exercises, while incorporating 12 strength training exercises to pair with these machines to form what we call blocks.  Anyone can come into BodyBurn and perform with little, to no exercise history or knowledge, while taking the worry of injuring themselves out of the equation. 

These unique machines ditch the old concepts of boring cardio and introduce a member to self challenging timed exercises that elevate their heart rates while building strength.  That concept of blending elevated heart rates and increasing muscular endurance is exactly why people of all ages are getting leaner, dropping waist sizes, and losing body fat rapidly in our unique block method class that we appropriately named BodyBurn.  

The message here is simple ladies and gents. Our LiHi workout principle, mixed with our block method, and our amazing instructors give every and anyone the opportunity to train everyday without fear of injury, with little to no knowledge, with minimum exercise history, all while having FUN!  Our class comes in hot with a new program every month to promote growth, provide new mental and physical challenges, and to rival any one on one session both in price and results!  Whether you are 14, or 80  years old, you owe to yourself to come try a class on us!

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