The 30-minute way to maximum fitness

Fareham Leisure Centre have been one of the first to offer the new Grit series programme.''Pictured is: The Grit Plyo session taking place on Friday morning at Fareham Leisure Centre.''Picture: Sarah Standing (13410-7496)
Fareham Leisure Centre have been one of the first to offer the new Grit series programme.''Pictured is: The Grit Plyo session taking place on Friday morning at Fareham Leisure Centre.''Picture: Sarah Standing (13410-7496)
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The full-on fitness blast that has been grabbing the country by the abs, biceps and calves is now available as a regular class.

High Intensity Interval Training has been used by personal trainers for years but is now being offered as a 30-minute group exercise session.

HIIT alternates periods of short intensive exercise with more moderate recovery periods, although these ‘rest’ moments are usually very brief and might seem energetic enough to some.

‘It is pretty intense and some people might be thinking ‘‘is this the recovery time?’’, says Luke Sweeney, fitness manager at Fareham Leisure Centre.

‘But the great thing about it is that you’re in a group so people tend to keep each other going. And even doing the best you can in a class like this is going to do you some good.’

The short explosion of exercise has been gathering pace in the fitness world and is now attracting legions of squatting, jumping and lunging fans.

The half-hour HIIT classes, developed by the Les Mills fitness company, are known appropriately as GRIT and are designed with busy people in mind.

‘A lot of people are heading in this direction. They want to come in and do a high quality blitz and then get out as quickly as they can,’ says Luke.

There are three different types of GRIT class – plyo, strength and cardio. Participants use weights and fast, dynamic moves likes jumps, squats and lunges.

Plyo and strength classes have been offered at Fareham Leisure Centre since January and the cardio version launches in April.

GRIT Strength uses weights and benches and blasts all major muscle groups.

Instructors say it puts the metabolism into overdrive and burns fat for hours after the workout.

Plyo works on the principles of plyometrics – exercises based around having muscles exert maximum force in as short a time as possible. This one is thought to be extremely beneficial for athletes.

Cardio is great for blitzing calories and again helps burn fat for hours afterwards.

Devotees say the key to getting through a first GRIT class is willpower.

Anyone who wants to give it a try – or tentatively find out more – can visit Everyone Active, which runs Fareham Leisure Centre, at everyoneactive.com. Or call the leisure centre on (01329) 233652.