GETTING “WHIPPED!” INTO shape has never been as literal as in this class. The name refers not just to how you’ll feel after an hour, but also to what you did to get so sore.
» What It Is: Sending ripples down a thick rope seems like a simple motion — until you do it as fast as you can repeatedly. To keep it up, you need to squat, tighten your core and muster whatever power you can find in your arms and back. “Even people in incredible cardiovascular shape, their heart rate will skyrocket in 30 seconds,” says instructor Tara Taylor. So, although the ropes are the main attraction, students in her interval training class rotate through other exercise stations to prevent them from collapsing.
» Moves: One hand or two, one rope or two, straight ahead or in a figure eight — there are plenty of exhausting options. And in case you don’t get enough of a chance to grip and groan with them as you go through the circuit, right before the cooldown, Taylor lines everyone up to take turns for a rope sampler.
» Workout: Stations in the studio are split into two exercises each, like squat jumps and reverse crunches. Do one for 30 seconds, then the other, then repeat. “You can use heavier weights if you’re only going for 30 seconds,” Taylor promises.
So, how was Rob Kaighn, 41, feeling after a recent class? “Good, now that my heart’s not jumping out of my chest,” responds Kaighn, whose heart rate monitor reported he burned nearly 1,000 calories by the time he exited the exercise studio and grabbed a eucalyptus-scented towel. “There was no rest. I was active the whole time.”
» Crowd: The vibe reminds Jeanette O’Connor, 28, of a gym class — “that I’m paying to do,” she adds. It must be appealing to men and women of various ages and ability levels, who form a giant support group. “Most people don’t know each other, but by the end you’re cheering for everyone,” O’Connor says.
» Mondays at 6 p.m. at Equinox (8065 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, Va.). For more info, 703-790-6193.
Photo by Lawrence Luk for Express