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My First HIIT Class!

I taught my first HIIT class! Every Saturday there’s an hour-long HIIT class from 9-10am. We have a rotating instructor schedule so the class format is always changing based on who’s teaching it. For those who don’t know…

  • H – High
  • I – Intensity
  • I – Interval
  • T – Training

Now, an hour is QUITE a long time for a HIIT class. A good HIIT workout can you leave you exhausted after just 30 minutes. I thought I had seen another instructor shorten their cycling class (another rotating instructor schedule) to 45 minutes so I thought I’d do the same. Now, it’s been almost a year since I went to that class so I’m probably not remembering that correctly. Anyway, I pushed and wiggled my way into the HIIT rotation schedule and my director finally agreed!

And then she told me I had to keep it to the full hour.

This was pretty much my reaction:

Yep. In instances like this, when I’m in doubt, I smile and fake it. I was freaking out a bit on the inside, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. Let’s face it, the longer the class, the more the money. And then being able to do that intense of a class for a whole hour?? Yeah, I was happy and super nervous.

Well Saturday came around and BAM! I nailed it! I was really wanting to do a PIIT class but, as you know, that’s a paid-for program so that would be a big no-no. Stealing is a bad thing. But they gave me permission to make it my own. PIIT wouldn’t have worked for an entire hour anyway.

I kept with the intervals of cardio and strength training moves but obviously did more with it. I can’t work the lower body for an hour at that intensity. What about the rest of the body? Nope. Not happening.

My HIIT plan:

8 moves in a round alternating cardio and strengthening. 6 rounds total: 2 rounds for legs // arms // core. 45s for each move with a break between each move and each round. Warm-up in the beginning and Stretching at the end. In an added attempt to change it from PIIT, I made sure the moves I used were moves you’d find in other classes/workouts.

I didn’t bother timing the breaks. Just long enough for me to show the next move and then enough time to get some water between rounds. My students came in a bit late so I had to cut up the 2 rounds of core to stay in our 1-hr time frame. Stretching still knocked us over but there was no class after ours so it was okay.

After class I was all…

I definitely want to do that again! Turns out my hubby was really anxious too. I had told him it would be a difficult class (I was right, it was) so he was worried for me. Now we’re both proud I can kick people’s butts without killing myself in the process.

Next time I’ll do 30s each move to accommodate for any longer breaks that might accidentally happen (or students arriving late) so I don’t have to cut into the rounds of core. I’ll also do harder core moves (cardio moves that incorporate the core more) because my core wasn’t sore or tired at all. My arms were pretty darn pooped though. I may incorporate weights sometime in the future too. I like body weight moves but we’ll see.


Potential New Class

As you know, I’m currently experimenting with PIIT28. The experiment is to change all cardio moves from high to low impact and see how it goes. Not a huge experiment, it’s true, but this will give me an idea if the program is still doable by people who have bad knees or if it’s a waste of money. Honestly, it can never be a “waste” of money per se if it succeeds in getting you moving and it’s going to make you fitter no matter how you modify the cardio.

A squat is still a squat even if you don’t add in a jump.

My butt can attest to that.

But, you know, if someone pays for a program that’s both cardio and strength training, they’re going to want both. So far, I can say with all sincerity that, despite changing all jumps to their low/no impact counterparts, I’m still getting my cardio in. Granted, I could do with a bit more cardio, but by the end I’m sweating and my muscles are tired. Not exhausted, but a good degree of tired. The following day my legs are sore. It feels good. I mean, it hurts but it feels like I’m working hard.

Doing this program made me kinda curious (okay, very extremely like totally excited kind of curious) about the idea of teaching it as a class. So I spoke with both my boss and the people in charge of PIIT28 to see if it would be doable at my gym and legal etc. I’m glad I did speak with the PIIT28 people because I love what Cassey Ho has done and I don’t want to accidentally steal her hard work.

I broached the PIIT28 people with my class idea etc and also asked if they had considered creating a certification for people to teach actual PIIT. Here was their answer:

Hi Kathryn,
We have not developed a PIIT28 group fitness class certification, but it is something that we hope to do in the future.
If you were to teach a class like this we would ask that you do not brand it as PIIT28 or PIIT since those are trademarked titles.

Thank you for reaching out to us about this and we are hopeful to one day have a PIIT certification program which will allow you to use Cassey’s name, branding and choreography to help people reach their fitness goals.

All the best from The POP/PIIT28 Team!

My class idea was to keep a similar format of alt cardio/st moves but change the moves themselves so I wasn’t stealing Cassey’s workouts. I had toyed with the idea of promotional PIIT28 classes but they didn’t comment on that so I’m going to steer clear of it. Now my biggest brain buster is what would I call it? I can’t call it PIIT because, as they pointed out, it’s a trademarked title.

Cardio and Pilates…CarPit!

Yeah, I’m laughing. Makes me think of two things: 1) carpets and 2) the armpit of a car.

We’re low on Intermediate classes at my YMCA so maybe we can make a new class that combines lower intensity cardio and Pilates strength training. I wonder how difficult a class can get before it’s branded as an Advanced class. Maybe switching the cardio and strength training so there’s more ST and make the cardio moves more low impact?

Anyway, if anyone loves PIIT28 and was wondering about there ever being a certification to teach it or to go to live classes, then there’s your answer – they’re hoping to create a certification sometime in the future. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed! I, for one, would LOVE to teach it!


Click on above to buy PIIT28 1.0 program

YMCA Events + #UniqueYogis + POPFlex

What’s up what’s up what’s up in my world of fitness these days…

For the last 2 weeks I haven’t been able to go to that BodyPump class I was loving so much. Simple reason – my shoulder was and still is injured. I injured the rotator cuff in both shoulders several years back. Left was worse than the right but I gradually got over it. It took me a long time to regain the muscle that I lost during that period. However, one move in particular from one of the Upper Body tracks in my POP Pilates class aggravated my right shoulder again. I’m sure it didn’t help that I was also going heavy on the shoulder work in BodyPump and doing wide-armed push-ups every day for a challenge.

I’ve been trying to rest it when not teaching without much improvement until yesterday when it began to feel a bit better. For those of you with shoulder weakness or shoulder injuries, watch out for the Goal Post Puncher in POP Pilates. I’m not saying don’t do it, just take care. Keep with the slow version rather than the fast that the instructor will guide you through. All that up/down rotation is pretty rough.

Robot Arms is a very similar move in POP Pilates, but it’s done slower so it should be totally fine. However, if you do find that you feel a sharp pain instead of the “it burns so good” kind of pain, lower your arms to reduce the tension or stop entirely for a break.

My injury hasn’t affected my ability to lead the class though. I find I have more time to really guide people through the move. Because my own movements are slower, my students slow down and then they pay more attention to what their arms are doing.

This Saturday is the YMCA’s Frozen Turkey Trot. It’s a 5k. I’m not running but I have volunteered. I’ll be at a table handing out bags of marshmallows and cans of yams with another woman. We’ll be at North Shore Lake by the boat ramp.


click pic for registration form

I’m excited because this is the first time to volunteer to help in a 5k rather than running it. I’ve been wanting to help out at one of these events for some years now but always ran instead. Yay!

Next week the YMCA is closed for Thanksgiving (Thursday 24th) but there will be a special Black Friday schedule for those who want to work off all that turkey and mashed potatoes and ham. Four classes total though you’ll have to choose during the 2nd and 3rd ones because they’re at the same time. Mine’s last at 10:30am! It’ll be a special 45-minute class so I’ve worked hard to prepare something tough yet fun for everyone. I hope to see a lot of people there! *fingers crossed*


Just remember that there’s no childcare available so leave your kids with your spouse or, if they’re old enough, at home. If they’re really old enough, take them with you to class!

I also have another POP Pilates class on Tuesday at my normal time. It’ll be a normal 30-min Express class but I’ll be previewing some of the Black Friday tracks because…well…because it’s fun and I want to! Good news – the shoulder track should be a lot easier than the current one. Everyone breathe a sigh of relief.


Toe Stand

Last but not least, I’m currently in another IG challenge – #UniqueYogis

I was so excited when I held this pose for a second or two…before falling over. This was actually my 2nd picture. My face isn’t as funny excited as the first time but I was still excited to be able to do it a 2nd time. I couldn’t do it on the other side because my little toe hasn’t healed from when it attacked the bathroom door. Standing balance is still easy but this was too much.

The challenge has a few hosts and lots of sponsors. I prefer it that way honestly. The hosts are an awesome group of ladies if you want to check out their IG accounts.


@doroteasworld @lucewithlove @fitwithlena13 @pielattesandpilates

@pranamat @libretea @bodybymeeu @prana @inspiredbystephanierose @truelifefitnessapparel @la.forma @dharmabumsactive

Lastly, Blogilates has come out with their newest planner for 2017! I just got mine in the mail today and it’s beautiful!!! It also feels really sturdy and the pages and front/back covers feel like good quality. This year the planner will cover the entire year and has spots to write in not only fitness and meals but most everything else you might need a planner for in your regular day-to-day life.


click the pic to go to the POPFlex site

POPFlex has also started a Rewards Program for all members. It’s free to become a member so you can hop on over to start. Each member gets 250 points just for activating an account. After that you get a personal link that you can use to advertise POPFlex. Each time a person makes a first-time purchase through your link, you get points. You also get points for every $1 you spend on POPFlex, the accessories sold there, and on the POP Pilates tops. Get a certain amount of points and you get free clothes! Go check it out for yourself! I’m, of course, using my link in the hopes of getting some points.


Click on the above banner to go to POPFlex

That’s it for me on the fitness front! Enjoy your November!


Classes Galore + Training

I’ve been pretty quiet here because I’ve been concentrating on being prepared for my POP Pilates classes and I was too busy stressing about my class numbers. They’ve been pretty low but that’s to be expected when a brand new class comes out and it isn’t advertised. As of last week, though, the class is being advertised in other classes.

Last week was difficult. My schedule was as follows:

  • Monday – Labor Day – Y Closed
  • Tuesday – POP Pilates: 30 min
  • Wednesday – Body Pump: 1 hr (student), Total Body Toning: 45 min (sub)
  • Thursday – POP Pilates: 30 min
  • Friday – Body Pump: 1hr (student), Total Body Toning: 45 min (sub)

At the start of the week I was all,


The end of the week was a different story…


I cut out the cycling class I was wanting to incorporate into my schedule to take it easy on my knees because Cycling was also Wed/Fri. I subbed yesterday for Total Body as well but after a restful weekend my body was ready for action again.

Subbing went well. I put in a 45-minute version of POP Pilates. I know there are only 2 official versions – a 30-min and a 55-min – but I used my best judgement and I thought it turned out pretty good. I added in The Hundreds, Obliques, and Back Work in their respective positions. A second round of cardio wasn’t an option as that class doesn’t do cardio. It worked out really well. Next time I do that, I may take out Hundreds and stick in Abs & Thighs though as our legs don’t get all that much work overall.

We’ll see what happens when it happens.

Numbers increased last week. We’ll see if they hold steady or perhaps increase a little more.

As for the Training section of my post, my husband and I were talking about running because I had recently read an article about a woman I used to work with – Brianne Lippoldt. She’s a professional runner and is beyond awesome at it. The fact that Brianne started running later in life and was getting better and better with age sparked my husband’s interest. He said I could be the same way and start running again. While I have no delusions about my running skills and have no desire to be a professional runner (my knees would probably never handle it), he had a point.

I thought my knees were shot before and that my running days were over but I’ve started training my legs again and trying to get the muscles around the knees stronger. Slowly though so the backs don’t get injured again. He also mentioned that he was curious about doing a 10k race. I suggested he try a 5k first because of his back and then told him about the Frozen Turkey Trot I had read about the day before in an e-mail from the Y. He jumped at the idea of all of us running together in that race. I was surprised because he’s never wanted to run a race with me before. At one point I practically begged him to run with me but no. He always used his back as an excuse against it. It’s a good excuse as he does have chronic back pain. Pain that could probably be remedied if he strengthened his core muscles but whatever.

one couple man woman exercising workout aerobic fitness posture full length silouhette on studio isolated on white background

So this weekend we were super psyched about running a 5k together. He even agreed to put me in charge of his strength training regime and guide him in POP Pilates workouts. All of that ended Monday. Of course. While I was a good little girl and ran for 30 minutes before teaching a 45-minute POP class, he skipped his very first day of training. I’ll let it slide it though because, while his shoes are fine enough for walking, they’re not running shoes. He talked to a guy at his work who runs a lot and the guy suggested a couple places to go to get a good but cheap pair of running shoes.

Rather than let him waste his first day, I made my husband do some ab work. Even then, it was pretty light but he’s just starting and he said he felt awful the whole day, like he was getting sick, and that his back hurt so I took it easy on him. He still complained it was hard. It’ll get easier the longer he does it. In a week or two if he’s kept up with everything, maybe I’ll throw the POP 4 Ab Challenge at him and see if he can take it. I’ll even do it with him as encouragement.

one caucasian couple man woman personal trainer coach exercising tossing fitness ball silhouette studio isolated on white background