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Testing UTrain: Big HIIT

Do the workouts really work?
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This pre-recorded YouTube workout left me sore. MAHIKA JAIN/THE VARSITY
This pre-recorded YouTube workout left me sore. MAHIKA JAIN/THE VARSITY

I am finally feeling back in the swing of things with classes and assignments full speed ahead. This week, I wanted a workout that matched my level of energy. The U of T Virtual Fitness Studio YouTube page now has 76 workouts available on demand, so I had lots to choose from. 

My roommate and I ended up choosing the January 7 “Big HIIT” recording, and we both recommend it to those looking to get back into training. I am writing this one day after the class, and wow, I am sore. 

The class is offered by U of T Sport & Recreation and has the same video structure as many of its other classes. There are two hosts: one who performs the movements and another who provides verbal instructions and guidance. The class is described as a “full-body boot camp-style circuit class [that] will have you feeling stronger, more confident, energized and happy.” 

Having done other UTrain high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes, I have to say that I was expecting a bit more cardio from this class. It was definitely more along the lines of a strength workout, and it made me sore despite the lack of cardio.

The class began with a warmup, including jumping jacks and various stretches. Each round had four exercises, and there were four rounds with a one-minute break after the second round. 

The first round was bottom-focused with squat walks, Romanian deadlifts on both legs, and squats. The second round focused on abs, containing bear crawls, a hollow-core hold, bear claw plank taps, and hollow-core rolls. 

I really liked switching up the related moves to give my abs a break. The third round was the most cardio-intensive and focused on legs and lunges. We finished the workout with front lunges, back lunges, lunge jumps, and shifting side lunges. 

This was the first UTrain workout I completed that did not have any background music, but my roommate and I just pulled out our own tunes, and it was nice to have control of the music. If you are looking for recommendations, we listened to “Tell Me You Love Me” by Galantis for some high-intensity excitement. 

Overall, while the live workouts are great for staying accountable, the UTrain YouTube playlists have so much to offer as well. Be sure to check them out!