Is the Fitwall the future of functional fitness?
Many self-limiting exercises lend themselves to being performed outdoors. If that isn’t an option for you in the dead of winter, there are facilities that allow for movement-based training inside. Fitwall—a new gym in La Jolla, CA, that plans to expand nationwide in 2014—utilizes a 3-by-7-foot wall with hand rungs and steps. Clients jump, pull, push, and climb it. “The wall increases the load on your muscles and their time under tension,” or the length of time they spend working during a set, says Clifton Harski, the trainer who creates all of the programming for Fitwall. Workouts use a high-intensity interval training template, with multijoint movements (think squats and rows) done mainly on the wall, plus resistance-band and body-weight drills. They cycle through three full-body workouts a month; progress is measured by heart rate and density, or doing more total reps within a given time limit. “The Fitwall does [self-limiting exercise training] quite possibly better than anyone else and reminds us that high intensity does not have to mean high risk of injury,” says Joe DiStefano, co-founder of Spartan Race’s SGX certification, which prepares trainers to coach people for Spartan Races.
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