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    Cardio and strength training come together in a new no-impact workout

    MBLead3If YOU know Anjali Sareen (co-founder and Stott Pilates instructor trainer at The Zone), you will know that she constantly updates and modifies her game plan to keep you on top of your game. And so, a little apprehensively, we set off to try her latest, High Intensity & Core Challenge (HICC) – a combination of functional fitness, core training and athletic conditioning in an all-round, no-impact session.

    Work the core
    The new workout, Sareen explains,  belongs to the Integrated Total Body Training category. “The focus of this training is on using added resistance or loads that are lighter (than weights used in conventional strength training), while challenging the body through varied planes of movement or directions. This helps to achieve a more integrated level of strength and fitness that is more relevant to our daily lives,” she tells us. And so, we began our warm up for the HICC program. Starting with neck and shoulder rolls, squats and lunges, our muscles were nicely loosened up for  the next set of more intense exercises.

    Using equipment such as stability cushions and medicine balls, we performed planks, squats, twists and even a bit of ball bouncing with the medicine balls. Sareen also worked in a bit of upper and lower body tubing, free weights and spring-based resistance machine exercises, gradually upping the intensity and pace as we progressed through the hour-long class.

    Fighting fit
    While we were pleased with our performance not having collapsed midway as Sareen anticipated, we were glad for her tid-bits of MBLead7advice while working out. And under her watchful eye, one wrong move would be singled out and corrected — a comforting thought for beginners especially. And while we soldier on, Sareen assures us that we would feel energised after the challenge, not exhausted. “The underlying emphasis is core strength and strong core engagements that allow for challenging moves. Plus, increased resistance or plyometrics. Control is key and that minimises any risk of stress or injury,” she says, elaborating, “which is why we have participants of varied fitness levels and ages who enjoy the challenge of these classes that leave them strong and energized.”

    Energy levels
    The classes are a mix of cardio and strength gains, core emphasis, athletic training for power, speed, agility and balance that is ideal for sports enthusiasts from golfers to runners. The added equipment allows for increasing challenge by increasing load through the workouts, beyond working with only one’s body weight. And while you might feel worn out in the early session, we found, that in time, balance, stability, power, agility and speed only gets better – a fantastic feeling to go home with each day.
    And if you perform well enough, you’ll even be treated to a steaming cup of filter coffee at the darshini next door!

    Rs. 6,000+ for eight sessions upwards. At 80 Feet Road, 4th Block, Koramangala. Details: 25529366

    — Aakanksha Devi

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