As a member of David Lloyd Clubs, Michelle Heaton is a regular on the gym equipment, as well as in a number of different classes, including Blaze. She first came into the spotlight as a member of the pop group Liberty X and has since gone on to have a successful television career, as well as qualifying as a personal trainer. As an avid fitness fan, Michelle spends a large amount of time working out – in-between juggling work and looking after her two kids. A huge enthusiast of HIIT workouts, we were curious to find out more about Michelle’s specific exercise routine, and what it is she loves about this fast-paced way of working out.
Firstly, what is HIIT?
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training technique in which you give 100% effort in quick, intense bursts of exercise. This is followed by short recovery periods of low-intensity work, or no activity at all. It can be done both aerobically with cardio, and anaerobically with weights.
Michelle Dand, Head of Fitness Products and Programming at David Lloyd Clubs, comments on the science behind HIIT training and its benefits in a simple, easy-to-grasp way:
- “HIIT effectively increases EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption). This means it raises your metabolic rate, resulting in more calories being burned for the 24-36 hours after your workout.
- HIIT is good for your heart. Over time, HIIT sessions are able to increase the flexibility and elasticity of arteries and veins more effectively than continuous aerobic exercise is able to.
- It elevates your ability to uptake oxygen, building your overall aerobic capacity and meaning you can run further and faster for longer.”
To learn more about HIIT and its multiple benefits, read our blog post covering everything you need to know.
A conversation with Michelle Heaton
What is it that you enjoy about HIIT and what are some of your favourite HIIT-based workouts?
I enjoy the fact I can get in and blast out loads of calories. They are short and intense, so I really focus all my energy when I am doing HIIT and give it 100%. I love some bodyweight/ dumbbell workouts as I feel I can push myself really hard and like the results I see.
What motivates you to keep going during an intense HIIT class and how do you feel afterwards?
My main motivation is the more calories I burn, the more calories I can eat/drink! I like to have balance in my life and I always feel amazing after a good HIIT class. I feel proud of myself for pushing as hard as I can.
How does HIIT compare to other classes you do?
HIIT is very hard, but I like the short intensity bursts and the focus it takes when I’m in the class. Other classes like Pilates challenge me in a very different way, working different muscles, so I feel they complement each other well.
How often will you do a HIIT class?
I aim to do a class 2-3 times a week alongside some Pilates. I do like pushing myself and the mix of cardio and strength training is the way I like to train, so I am excited by it.
What are your thoughts on Blaze?
I really like it. I like that there are three zones, so I can keep moving in between the zones – before I know it, the class is over! It’s a great calorie burn and it’s great seeing all the heart rates on the screen, so you can see how hard you are pushing yourself.
How does it compare to other HIIT classes you’ve done?
It’s definitely the most enjoyable I’ve done – with the music and the atmosphere inside the room you can feel the energy and excitement as the class starts. When the lights go low, its go time! Having your heart rate visible makes it better than any other HIIT class I have done. It’s also always great to throw some punches and get any frustration out.
Why is exercise so important to you?
I enjoy the benefits of it and the feeling that goes along with it. I do like my wine and my food, so it’s important that I balance this out. The feeling I get from a good workout really helps me deal with the stress of work and being a working mum.