From high end spin classes to intense CrossFit-inspired programs, boutique fitness regimens are all the rage these days. We decided to send some BRO contributors out into the field to see what all the fuss is about.
One of the programs we opted to test was MADabolic Fitness Training in Asheville, North Carolina. What we found was an intense and effective interval training regimen built on work-to-rest ratios.
We sent fitness corespondent Brittney Wilkinson to experience the program first hand and have drawn from her feedback to bring you five of our biggest takeaways from our MADabolic Asheville experience.
1. It’s all in the name
First, there’s the acronym: M.A.D.
It stands for momentum, anaerobic and durability. Each week, MADabolic attendees cycle through workout days that focus on one of these three categories.
The movements in the momentum category feed off one another and are designed to promote athleticism. According to MADabolic, the primary goal of a momentum based interval is to maintain an athletic pace that will allow for a gradual build in intensity from cycle to cycle.
The anaerobic category is all about speed and power. During these workouts, the intensity is unique to each individual, but the pace, MADabolic says, should not be comfortable.
“This day requires maximum effort,” Brittney says. “They treat it kind of like a race day. It’s tough work, but the instructors are very attentive, informative, and knowledgable, which really helps.”The third workout category that MADabolic employs is the durability day. This consists of exercises that are mentally grueling and performed at an intentionally slower pace. Mechanics and form are paramount when working through these longer sustained efforts.
2. It’s PRIMAL.
MADabolic is largely based on the idea that people looking to get into prime shape should get in touch with their primal roots. This is done using movement patterns that were given to us at birth. MADabolic draws on your sense of natural athleticism, incorporating movements like jumping, hopping, pushing, planking and crawling.
“At first I felt a little silly preforming the primal exercises, but I quickly realized these movements were more natural and enjoyable than the more traditional exercises I’ve done in the past,” Brittney said after her first stint at MADabolic.
3. Speed and Power are Crucial
MADabolic places a lot of emphasis on developing an individual’s ability to move weighted objects with speed and power.
“When the focus of the workout turned to speed and power we used a tools such as medicine balls, kettlebells, battle ropes, and swinging clubs known as maces,” Brittney said. “It’s a totally non-traditional way of weight training, but it really works.”
4. Rotational Force is Key
According to MADabolic, the ability to generate force through rotation is a very important function in life and athletics, and the program uses boxing to incorporate this aspect of athleticism into its workouts.
“Hitting the heavy bags was a part of the workout that I really enjoyed,” Brittney said. “When doing this exercise, the instructors stressed that the point of impact be marked by intensity, while still making the action fluid and graceful.”
5. Teamwork and community are staples of the program.
According to Brittney, her biggest takeaway and the reason she will likely be returning to MADabolic, was the sense of teamwork and community that she came away with after completing her fitness challenge.
“It was such a great teamwork oriented environment,” she said. “The instructors are extremely welcoming to any and all fitness levels, and I never felt like I was in over my head or couldn’t relate to the fitness levels of other attendees. The MADabolic in Asheville even organizes fun events for members to attend outside of the gym.”