Katherine Bensen is Head of Education and creator of Fitness First’s TUFF 16 class and has over 14 years experience in the fitness industry. Here, she tells Sport360° about one of the toughest classes in town.
“TUFF is a high intensity workout exclusively from the team at Fitness First that can burn up to 800 calories – it stands for The Ultimate Fitness Firster. TUFF combines exercise stations and equipment in a 60-minute class that will see people moving through three planes of motion with training that involves functional body weight, barbell and plate exercises.
“The class is designed to transform body and mind, and enables those taking part to increase lean muscle mass, develop cardiovascular efficiency and burn calories. My aim with each and every class is to help people to move better and ultimately lead a better life.
“Although it is one of our toughest classes (the clue is in the name), TUFF is by no means an intimidating class; it is a class that can be tailored to all fitness levels. In my classes, you can expect to see variations in the squat, lunge, and push up as well as boxing moves to elicit a peak in heart rate, aid weight loss and build muscle. It is a class designed to allow participants to work at their own level and is inclusive of all fitness levels.
“To get the most out of TUFF I encourage participants to monitor their heart rate live on screen using MyZone, Fitness First’s heart rate tracker, as the intensity of the class varies throughout the 8-10 tracks. Participants will reach peak heart rates of 80-90 per cent but also work in lower heart rate zones, whilst consistently improving strength and functional movements.
“I advise participants to be injury free and wear appropriate sportswear and footwear. Water is key to all exercise, not just TUFF, as it is vital to rehydrate during and after the class. Within the first hour, post-class, refuel and rehydrate to ensure the full benefits of the workout are reaped and recovery is done as quickly as possible.
“I recommend my clients attend a TUFF class two to three times per week to compliment other training and classes available. I use this advice myself as I teach a class once a week and attend another as it really compliments my other training.
“TUFF is like no other class out there as you will feel the effects of the HIIT training both immediately and post exercise. Rest assured you will leave feeling like you have had the best workout ever.”
What: TUFF fitness class
Where: Fitness First Gyms
When: Mornings, evenings, and weekends