I think a lot of people, myself included, get into ruts at the gym because we tend to do the same workouts every time we exercise. Instead of mixing up workouts, we end up only running on the treadmill or only lifting weights. We tend to not have the time to mix up the workout with some cardio and weight training.

The lack of combining weight training and cardio slows down progress but with a Healthworks BURN class you can amp up the workout and see results. BURN classes are small group workout sessions with an emphasis on interval cardio and strength training. (Definition). Fortunately, for each new member at Healthworks, they receive a complimentary BURN session.

This past week I tried out Jakki’s BURN Baby, BURN class that is offered Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. in Cambridge. A personal trainer and Ride instructor, Jakki exudes energy and inspiration, so I was excited to train with her. Here’s a look at the one-hour work out we completed.

To start the workout, Jakki had us do a light warm up on the treadmill getting the heart pumping and blood flowing.

Then we started a speed drill on the same incline of about 1.0. For BURN classes and many other Healthworks workouts, your personal Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE), on a scale of one to ten, sets the tone of your work out. On a treadmill, a three is usually a light jog/recovery pace and a nine or ten is a full out sprint. For the sprint workout, we worked on sprint intervals, staying at the same interval but slowly building up to the sprint.

We then got off the treadmill and started work on stability balls. Lying with our backs on the ball and our legs pulled out creating a tabletop, we did an alternating chest press with ten-pound weights. After completing a set of reps for 30 seconds, we flipped over onto the ball and got into plank position. First we held the plank for 30 seconds, and then we made circles with our elbows while staying in plank. (This is really hard but really good!) Alternate 30 seconds each making circles clockwise and then counterclockwise.

After completing the exercises on the ball we got and did ten burpees. These are challenging yet fun exercises. First you jump up with your hands in the air. When you land you put your hands to the floor by your feet. With your weight forward on your hands, jump your feet back and then forward and stand back up. From here you repeat the exercise jumping.

Following the burpees, we did squats with smart bells. For a minute, we squatted down with the bell between our legs and then pulled the bell up to chin level.

Then we repeated the entire circuit (whew!)

After the strength circuit we hopped back on the treadmill and worked on hills. To do this we kept the speed consistent and worked on building up the incline to the top of the hill every 60 seconds. We ran this segment for about ten minutes.

When we finished the hills, we started working on core strength with the stability ball. Lying on a mat we lifted the stability ball up into the air at a 45-degree angle. Then to mix it up we repeated the exercise with one leg lifted in the air and then alternated after 15- 20 reps. To finish we stretched our legs and arms out while lying with our backs on the mat. With the stability ball in our hands, we lifted our arms and legs into the air meeting above our bellies and moved the ball from our hands to our legs and then lowered back to the beginning position. To finish the rep we brought our legs (with the stability ball) and our arms back together and passed the ball back to our hands. We completed the core workout by doing 10-12 reps of this exercise.

After this workout, I could really feel the “BURN.” (Pun intended, hehe) It definitely shook me out of my normal treadmill routine and worked muscles I had forgotten even existed. I’ve also learned a new set of moves to try when I am working out on my own so that I don’t get into the same rut.

If you want to mix up your workout routine, ask your Healthworks front desk to sign you up for your complimentary class.


Do you have a favorite BURN class that I should try?