Featured Fitness Expert: Kate Havlicek, Fitness Teacher at Exhale NoMad NYC

In our hectic 2020 lives, we are constantly in search of ways to make our day-to-day routine more efficient and balanced. When it comes to building an effective and consistent fitness routine, it’s important to prioritize workouts that are both attainable and challenging at the same time. Luckily for us, one of the top rising trends in the fitness industry allows us to fit in shorter, highly effective workouts…so we can really do it all.

Hybrid workouts are on the rise as a dynamic combination of more than one modality, all in one class. Fitting in more variety in a shorter amount of time might just be the ultimate recipe for success. To learn more about hybrid fitness and how we should go about trying it, we sat down with one of our lead teachers at Exhale NoMad NYC, Kate Havlicek. Let’s talk hybrid!

What is Hybrid Fitness?
I like to think of Hybrid fitness as a combination of different styles, as well as a combination of different outcomes or results that you’re trying to produce. A lot of people tend to have certain perceptions about what cardio training will do, or what strength training will do, and I think hybrid fitness evolves in order to help people achieve more than one goal within whatever workout they’re choosing to do.

Part of the reason why hybrid workouts are such a hot trend in the industry, is that people are always looking for the most effective and efficient ways of exercising. Specifically, in a city like New York where everyone is bustling and busy, the convenience of a hybrid workout is music to our ears.

What kind of results (mental or physical) can I expect from hybrid workouts?
Physically, there is a lot to gain from a hybrid workout. I have always stood by the notion that variety is the best thing for a person’s fitness routine in order to strengthen and recover in the best possible way. You’re likely to see the best results when you’re mixing it up and keeping your body guessing! We all know that there is a lot to gain physically from exercising and working out, but it’s important to remember that fitness is a lifetime investment. This means that it becomes more and more important as life goes on in order for your body to adapt to changes and prevent injuries.

Hybrid fitness can definitely benefit us mentally as well. Having a balanced routine and experiencing different techniques is a great way to make working out more enjoyable and exciting. At the same time, being able to challenge yourself mentally and to try different things will inevitably spread into your life outside of fitness and will give you that extra sense of adventure to help you remain a well-rounded, and open person. It holds more power than a lot of people think.

Can I take a hybrid class at Exhale?
Absolutely! Barre + Cardio which is a combination of two very different workouts. They’re not blended together, they’re separated. The cardio portion of class is a lot of isotonic work like kickboxing, which is high energy, fast paced and on the more intense side of the spectrum. You’ll be sweating, your heart rate will definitely be up, and you’ll be feeling those endorphins flowing releasing.

Once you get to the barre portion of the class, we switch gears to more isotonic movements. Our barre classes are low impact. This means that there is no jumping and not a lot of cardiovascular activity, even though your heart rate will still be raised. This part of the class contains fewer explosive movements and you’re training your body in a way where you focus on holding a certain position and working in these small controlled movements. So, within one hour, you’re getting a huge range of different kinds of exercises and physical challenges. Similarly, in our HIIT (high intensity interval training) classes, you shift through stations and exercises while using a variety of props that will each challenge your body in different ways all in a relatively short period of time. Not to mention – it’s fast paced and fun! These hybrid classes at Exhale are both effective and efficient at the same time, all while giving your body the variety it craves.

Our newest hybrid workouts on the schedule are HIIT + Recovery and Barre + Recovery. These classes begin with 30 – 45 minutes of sculpting and strengthening — and ends with 15 minutes of myofascial release and stretching — leaving you recovered and ready for your next workout. 

How should I prepare/recover from a hybrid workout?
I love to encourage people, whether preparing or recovering from a workout, to engage in myofascial release (foam rolling). It’s one of the best ways to keep your muscles limber and prevent injuries. You can foam roll before, or after your workout. I personally like to do both!

Mental preparation for a hybrid workout really depends on where you are in your own personal fitness journey. If you’re a little trepidatious about going into a hybrid fitness class for the first time, the absolute best thing to do is to check your ego at the door. It’s so important to not worry about what anyone else is doing, and to solely focus on yourself and your own personal goals. Everyone in the class is there to do something for themselves. Whether it’s to escape the stress of daily life, or to work towards a physical goal, everyone who walks into the studio is showing up for themselves. Remember to always tune out the noise and be open.

How often should I start incorporating hybrid workouts into my workouts?
Specifically, if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, I would encourage you not to go overboard and load yourself up with too many classes all at once. Start small, maybe two classes your first week and then space them out accordingly. Give yourself that time to recover, both mentally and physically. If you’re sore, grab your foam roller and gently stretch it out. If you have questions about those things, ask your teacher! We’re always here to give you tips and guidance at any time to help you along your wellbeing journey!