ZIFiT: Ready, Set, SWEAT

*This post is a continuation on my Body Transformation Journey.  If you want to read more, click here.*

Okay, so we know there are two major components to losing weight or transforming your body - diet and exercise.  Neither are particularly my strong suit.  Remember who you're talking to - the girl who proudly proclaims hot dogs and mac 'n' cheese as my favorite foods!  I also had the benefit of being a competitive cheerleader for the majority of my young adult life.  From the age of 14 to 24 I was either cheering or coaching cheerleaders, so that was plenty exercise to keep my metabolism fired up. Cheer allowed me to pretty much eat whatever I wanted.  Now that those days are gone, I'm on my own for fitness and nutrition and I'll admit I've floundered a bit.  I've had trouble finding an enjoyable program that works for me.  I've tried workout videos, self-guided programs, and all sorts of other ideas, but when those weren't giving me the results I wanted, I decided to take a chance, pony up the cash, and sign up for a new gym that opened around the corner from my house - ZIFiT Infrared Fitness.  

ZIFiT combines two key workout components - incline trainers and functional strength training. On top of these (and what sets it apart from the competition) is the use of infrared therapy, which has been scientifically designed to provide lots of additional benefits like anti-aging and faster post-workout recovery.  ZIFiT is a true interval based program that utilizes a heart rate monitor (via a strap you wear around your chest) to observe your heart rate during exercise.  Your heart rate monitor is run through the ZIFiT studio technology and your vitals and stats are projected onto large TVs that are placed throughout the workout studio.  Your individual box on the screen will light up different colors as you progress through five different heart rate zones:

  • Zone 1 (Blue): 50-60% of your max heart rate - Very Light Mobility
  • Zone 2 (Green):  61-70% of your max heart rate - Warm Up
  • Zone 3 (Yellow):  71-81% of your max heart rate - Difficult
  • Zone 4 (Red):  82-92% of your max heart rate - Strenuous
  • Zone 5 (Dark Red):  93-100% of your max heart rate - Feel the Burn!

The trainers at ZIFiT push you to focus on keeping yourself in Zones 3-5 during your workout.   These zones are known as your Heat Pace (Zone 3), your Fire Pace (Zone 4), and your Burn Pace (Zone 5).  Zones 4 & 5, the Fire and Burn zones, are the driving force behind achieving Excess Post-Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), or what's more commonly referred to as "after burn."  This basically means that if you spend 12-30 minutes of your hour workout in Zones 4 & 5 (Fire and Burn), your metabolism will increase significantly in the 24-36 hours post-workout. EPOC aids the body in burning fat long after you leave the studio.  HUGE plus for me!  Burning calories while I sleep, Netflix and shop?!  Yessss please!  

From stability and endurance-focused to straight up strength-building, every ZIFiT workout is different.  I revel in the variety which keeps me from getting bored and complacent.  The classes push me to perform new exercises I haven't done before, and I always feel comfortable and safe since they offer alternatives if the exercise bothers my twice-repaired knee.  My favorite block of the workout has to be the incline work on the treadmills, and boy do I sweat (more like *sparkle*) even when power-walking.  The weight exercises are challenging and varied, and while I don't love the rowing element, I know it's helping me torch calories.  Check out a few of the summaries of my recent workouts below.  These are great recaps I receive via email so I can track my progress, how much time I spent in each zone, and other helpful stats.  

If you're in a similar position as I am, and you're looking to get your health and life back on track - a tough, but worth-it type of workout regimen might be exactly what you need.  ZIFiT is just that for me and that's why I'm actually loving working out again!  If you want to learn more about ZIFiT, check out the links below, and remember - your first workout is free which is great to see if it's for you!

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Emily Essentially