UPDATED JUL 14, 2020
Somehow, our worst enemies have become our greatest allies. The dreaded treadmill, rower, and burpees are now part of everyone’s new-favorite workout: high-intensity interval training. Check out these studios for the best HIIT workouts (that we love to hate).
If you’re looking for a power hour unlike anything you’ve experienced before, this community-focused studio in Logan Circle is your place. The weekly workout split is predetermined, meaning you’ll focus on a different body part every day, all you have to do is show up ready for a challenge. Classes are divided into groups, where you rotate between stations—sometimes working individually, and other times as a team—to complete a set number of exercises in a certain amount of time. Sound confusing? Don’t worry. The studio pairs anyone new with OG members who will help and cheer you on along the way.
Enter the red room at Dupont Circle (and Clarendon by the end of 2019!) for 50 minutes of “the best workout in the world.” If you’ve been living under a rock—hey, we don’t judge—this bootcamp class will have you rotating between running crazy-fast speeds on a treadmill and pumping heavy iron on the floor. This change in pace and push creates one of the most efficient afterburns for your body post workout. Although this sweat sesh is intense, we promise it’s for everyone — instructors will scale each class to fit your fitness level.
Turn the lights down low and the music up high — this neon-lit studio specializes in 45-minute classes that will leave you breathless (think the dance floor on Friday night)! SWEAT DC in Park View builds your strength, cardio, and core to powerful beats all while motivational coaches push you to your limit. Get ready for all the rope slams and one-legged burpees you can handle. The good news: you won't have to go it alone because everyone’s in it together here, meaning you’ll not only work your entire body, but grow stronger as a community.
While BASH is just one of many boxing-inspired studios making a punch in the city, it’s definitely one of our favorites! Put on your gloves and prepare to jab-cross your way to a high heart rate through a series of interval-focused exercises. From combo moves on the bag (you don’t have to memorize them) to free weights and floor work, this studio in Rosslyn and in Ballston is all about non-stop sweat. You’ll get your muscles burning during timed rounds and work your entire body—think Barry’s, but for boxing—all in just 45 minutes.
HIIT is all about heart rate, and OTF wants you to know yours. You’ll start class by putting on a heart rate monitor, and then get to work on earning points by getting in the Orange Zone (84-91% of your max heart rate). From treadmill blocks to all-out rowing, the variety of cardio each class delivers will keep you coming back week after week. Then there’s the floor work, with free weights, steppers, and even a TRX, expect the unexpected here — no two workouts will ever be the same!
In case the name doesn’t give it away, you’ll only find HIIT workouts at this local gym in the Manhattan Laundry and The Wharf. Rediscover your inner athlete during a 55-minute power session that’ll tone your entire body as you move from treadmill and rowing sprints to resistance training and back again. Don’t be afraid to push yourself and go heavy, either — the small class sizes make it feel like a one-on-one personal training session and the instructors will be right there with you every step of the way. Just don’t be surprised if you have trouble getting out of bed the next day.
This functional fitness studio just keeps on growing and we are here for it! But in case you haven’t heard of F45, it’s a 45-minute workout from Australia built to challenge and change you and chances are there’s one by your place. Classes differ every day of the week, alternating between strength and endurance, but either way, they’ll have you moving from station to station, working with equipment you might be too shy to try at the gym (read: battle ropes, boxes for jumps, and sleds). Push yourself hard during timed drills and you’ll learn to savor those sweet, but short, rest periods.
You have to be a member of this boutique gym in order to take a class, but we promise it’s worth the price tag. With six locations around the DMV, you’ll have your pick of hardcore classes like VIDA HIIT, Spin & Sculpt, and Xtreme. Give 110% of your max effort for short amounts of time, and you’ll be rewarded with (even shorter) recovery periods. Yes, it’s tough but when it’s all over, you’ll have an uplifting community waiting with sweaty high-fives and encouragement. Plus, access to a spa, Pilates classes, an on-site fuel bar, and a sauna doesn't hurt!
You have three choices when it comes to working up a sweat at this Arlington and H Street studio: go for the Momentum, Anaerobic, or Durability class. We suggest basing your choice on the kind of workout you want and the type of energy you have — each varies its work-to-rest ratios, from 1:1 to 3:1. Whatever you choose, though, you can expect to test your speed, athleticism, and endurance with powerful plyometrics and time under tension moves. Come here if you’re looking to see just how HIIT can totally transform your fitness journey. If you put in the work, MADabolic promises you’ll see the results.
Want to be better, faster, stronger? Then get yourself over to this U Street staple for a strength and conditioning class set to heart-pumping music and LED lights. You’ll put the pedal to the metal during every workout because cycling is the main form of cardio here. And to build those muscles, you’ll pick up free weights and use suspension training. All this adds up to an ever-changing workout targeting different areas of the body on different days, all planned by the experts at SweatBox. Even better, the trainers at this fast-paced studio will keep you motivated all the way through with an unwavering and undeniable energy!
Four, 15-minute intervals — that’s all you need to work up a killer sweat at Shred415 in Sterling. Book a spot in one of their all-levels classes and you’ll alternate between cardio drills on the treadmill and strength and conditioning on the floor. And unlike many studios that push you to complete fatigue (hey, that’s not always a good thing), Shred415’s approach sets it apart. Here, you can expect trainers that support you and meet you where you’re at, allowing you to take each class at your own speed. After all, it’s the HIIT format that will really keep your body burning long after the workout is done.
Turn the lights down low and the music up high — this neon-lit studio specializes in 45-minute classes that will leave you breathless (think the dance floor on Friday night)! SWEAT DC in Park View builds your strength, cardio, and core to powerful beats all while motivational coaches push you to your limit. Get ready for rope slams and one-legged burpees, but don’t worry — everyone’s in it together here. Through dynamic HIIT exercises, you’ll not only work your entire body, but grow stronger as a community.
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