If you’re like me, the idea of attending an hour-long cardio class sounds like the most unappealing thing ever, especially if that cardio is taking place on a treadmill. But, what if that treadmill work was split in half and blended with strength training as well?
Shred 415, founded in 2011 by Bonnie Micheli and Tracy Roemer, offers hour-long classes split into four 15-minute intervals. Half of the class begins on treadmills and the other half starts at their bench station on the floor for strength training. Once the 15 minutes are up, the groups swap places for an effective cross-training workout.
I recently had the opportunity to try a Shred class for myself at the newly opened Red Bank studio. Like any new fitness class, I was a bit nervous to try the new training format. But, the staff behind the desk at Red Bank and the instructor leading class were incredibly friendly and welcoming which immediately put me at ease.
Once class started, the lights went dark and upbeat music [mostly remixes of today’s Top Hits] flooded the speakers. Believe me when I say the atmosphere alone was enough to make me feel like a badass 😉 So, by the end of the workout, after I watched my body complete each intense strength and cardio move, the endorphins were spiking and I felt SO good.
What I love most about Shred, though, is their motto, “We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all fitness.” This is clearly reflected in both the strength and cardio portions of class. For the strength section, each station has a wide range of dumbbells, from five pounds to 15 pounds. The easy accessibility of different sized weights allows each individual to choose a weight they are comfortable with, rather than simply following whatever the instructor is using.
This mission is also seen in the cardio portion when the instructor encourages everyone to start at a pace they are comfortable with [walkers: two to three, runners: four to five]. Right away, everyone has set a base pace that they feel confident with, so that when they increase it throughout class they won’t be taking on more than they can handle. Throughout the transitions, the coach also offers options for increase of pace. For example, they will say, “Increase pace by 0.1 to 0.5]. As a result, the more experienced runners can challenge themselves effectively while new runners can ease into it.
If the thought of cross-training is intimidating to you and you’ve never worked with weights before [or, if the idea of 15 straight minutes of cardio seems like a lot], Shred 415 is still for you! The best part of the cardio sections is that the 15 minutes are broken down even further into only one- to two-minute intervals with walking in between. Plus, thanks to the overall format of the class, just when you think you can’t run another step, you’re finished!
Similarly, the strength sections are broken down into a handful of moves like squats, bicep curls and burpees. Each move is performed for a set amount of time [30 seconds to one minute] rather than a number of reps. Because of this, everyone can work at their own pace without the pressure of needing to complete the same amount of reps as the person next to them.
Overall, I LOVED my Shred 415 experience and I can’t wait to get back into the studio again soon!