This week a group of friends and I gave ZIFit a try at their Allen Park, Michigan location. Here’s the run down on my experience-
What is it? A heart-rate interval-based workout combining cardio and strength training under infrared lights.
Claims– Not only is interval training a great workout, but raising one’s heart rate into the Fire and Burn zones promotes Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). EPOC allows the body to continue burning fats and carbohydrates for up to 36 hours after the exercise session. Infrared therapy helps with detoxification and pain relief.
The Experience– A 60-minute, instructor-led group fitness class during which participants alternate between treadmill walking/jogging/running, indoor rowing, and full-body strength training. Use of heart rate monitors allow participants to monitor their workout intensity as displayed on large screens. The instructor provides direction on exercise technique and interval intensity.
Eqipment and Cost-– ZIFit offers monthly and class packages, upwards of $15/class. Participants are required to use a ZIFit heart rate monitor which costs $50. Additional offerings for purchase include infrared sauna sessions.
The Verdict- ZIFit is a fun and high-intensity interval workout that provides both cardiovascular and resistance training. Heart rate monitoring allows participants to safely alternate between various levels of intensity, so as to prevent overtraining. Appropriate for most anyone who was previous exercise experience and a base level of fitness. Research supports interval training for cardiovascular fitness and EPOC, however it is much less conclusive for the benefits of infrared therapy.
I enjoyed my ZIFit class however I do not foresee myself becoming a regular participant. For one, the membership and heart rate monitor fees are beyond my budget. Secondly, I remain a skeptic of infrared therapy based on the lack of research support. While I did enjoy the group training environment and instructor’s guidance, I’m already highly motivated to exercise. With a little creativity, I can create a cardio and strength interval workout at home or my regular gym and use my Garmin heart rate monitor to track intensity.
For more information on ZIFit- http://www.ZIFitInfaredFitness.com