Aspen Club head trainer Dirk Schultz
In a town obsessed with fitness, locals and visitors are constantly on the hunt for the latest fitness craze. As an oft-harried editor, time is of the essence, so when I decided to sign up for my first half-marathon, which I recently ran in Moab (March 16), I needed something that would whip me into gear, and fast.
Enter the Aspen Club and Spa’s HI2T Director and Head Trainer Dirk Schultz and TRX Rip Trainer FounderBill Fabrocini and their leading workout craze, HI2T, short for High Intensity Interval Training. I started a three-day-a-week routine in February at the dedicated HI2T gym, surrounded by top trainers and inspirational wall décor (“Nothing changes if nothing changes!” and “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.) Following an assessment and foundation class, the first week is decidedly challenging, as is the entire program; Schultz’s regime calls for an initial shock to the body. Originally designed as a six-week program (though the program can certainly be continued for longer, as most dedicated clients will attest), hour-long classes feature intense, anaerobic, lung-busting intervals followed by quick recovery periods.
Yes, you’ll be sore, but you’ll quickly feel yourself gaining strength. (And those skinny jeans will look great.) I got to know several of my regular classmates—policemen, a film director, local athletes, and more—as we’d joke about the “torture chamber,” but it was quickly evident, given everyone’s dedication to making class, that I wasn’t the only one reaping the benefits. As a host of talented trainers pushed us past our perceived limits, sweat and pain was shared and muscles were gained.
After seven weeks additional measurements were taken, and I had lost four percent body fat. Though the scale didn’t reflect a huge loss, the muscle mass gained made up for it. In fact, in prepping for the race I became so hooked on the HI2T high that I ended up cross-training more than running, as 30 degrees and snowy weather wasn’t exactly the ideal outdoor lure, particularly if it was a powder day on the mountain. But no matter, because come race day I was shocked at how strong I felt during my run. I’d listened to runner friends that advised to go out slow and finish strong, and by mile 8 that all-important runner’s high kicked in. And after a second dose of Honey Stinger goo, which made me feel like wonder woman, I finished with power and pride. Perhaps most important, I’d do another big run, which means HI2T certainly did it’s job, as I also pushed my legs and mind to do theirs. HI2T is offered several times daily at the Aspen Club & Spa; 1450 Crystal Lake Road, 970-925-8900