Low Impact, HIIT Training: Maximize your Results while Minimizing your Injuries

The mentality for many of us when it comes to the gym is how can I get the best results in the shortest, most efficient amount of time.  In our search for these results, we often go to the places that offer the highest calorie burn or the workout that looks the most intense and thus why HIIT(High Intensity Interval Training) is so popular.  As important as this is, it’s also crucial to consider the longevity of our body, our joints, and how we can sustain the highest level of fitness throughout our ENTIRE life.  

A common feature to most HIIT training programs is that they are high impact based ie. involving some form of running or jumping.  High impact training can produce great results but can often come with a higher chance of injury. Low impact training, on the other hand, can deliver the same great results with a lesser chance of chronic and acute injuries.

Different levels of impact defined:

  LOW - IMPACT -  involves activities where one foot is still on the ground or stable surface (ie. rowing and cycling)

LOW - IMPACT - involves activities where one foot is still on the ground or stable surface (ie. rowing and cycling)

HIGH - IMPACT - where both feet are off the ground at the same time (ie. running or jumping)



The concept of HIIT is a workout method that uses short intervals of high intensity exercise followed by periods of rest - when programmed properly, can deliver amazing results including improvement of strength, cardiovascular fitness, and reduction of body fat.  Popular workout methods such as Crossfit and traditional boot camps that incorporate HIIT training are known to deliver many of the benefits of HIIT training.   Coincidentally, almost all of these popular workout trends incorporate high impact training. High impact training typically involves repetitive movements of running, jumping and anything that puts a significant load on your joints over 2x your body weight.  High impact training does have its benefits, however when done in a group environment, can lead to a high occurrence of injury without sufficient 1on1 coaching.

Running, for example has been known as a form of exercise with a very high incidence of low body injuries.  This is not to say running is bad for you, but it is recommended to get personal coaching and planned progressions for optimal performance and to minimize injuries.

“Half of the running population gets injured in some way every year, and this estimate may very well be on the low side.”

Below is chart that indicates a generalized rate of injury to results from High to Low Impact Training:

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***Results - refer to most common results from HIIT training which include increase of cardiovascular fitness, increase in muscle strength/tone, and a decrease in body fat. Results and Rate of Injury may vary in different fitness settings.


Smarter training can help you stay at your peak longer

What’s the alternative?  When you look at a model such as low impact HIIT where you can still push the body without the high forces on the joints, you get similar if not better fitness results. This means receiving all the benefits of HIIT training with a lesser chance of injury. Low impact movements are generally characterized as having one foot on the ground or stable surface - movements such as squats, step-ups, rowing, cycling are all good examples of low impact movements.   More so, today’s life expectancy is higher than ever – we may not understand the longevity of our joints in our 20’s and 30’s but preservation is key.  By “training smarter” and using low impact in our programs, we can reduce the chances of injuries, maximize gains from training and be stronger for longer. 

Tim S. - Subject: Revive is Amazing!

Imagine how we felt when an email with the above subject line landed in our Inbox. There is nothing like being reminded that we ARE making a difference in people's lives. Here is what long term client Tim had to say about Revive... 

Hi Mike,

I've been meaning to write this email for a while now, just wanted to let you know what a change Revive has had on the quality of my life.

I've always been a very active individual, exercise has been a huge part of my life, always. I started working out in grade 8, and aside from a few short forced breaks due to injury, in those 30 years I have never had a stretch beyond 2-3 weeks, usually beach vacations, when I wasn't actively doing something in a 'gym' of some sort.

I began having difficulties once I started working in a office in my mid 20's. Starting with 4 years of really bad plantar fasciitis then into a ten year period of nagging hip issues that eventually culminated into two separate incidents of lower back disk herniation's. The summer of 2016 was a low point when I suffered fairly severe sciatica. 

Through all of that time, I have stayed active, but suffered through constant discomfort/pain and required regularly physio and chiro visits. 

Things took a dramatic change for me once starting at Revive in late 2016.  I haven't needed to go for treatment once since that time. 2017 has been my first pain free year, probably since I was 30, so nearly 15 years. Here's what my past 5 years were like in regards to the number and costs of physio/chiro visits.

Year      # Visits      Cost

2013       25              $3,217

2014       24              $2,721

2015       24              $2,635

2016       44              $3,556

2017       0                 $0

2018       0                 $0

Its been a long and challenging journey to get back to place where I can be comfortably active again. I wanted to give you, and everyone a Revive, a HUGE thanks, for all that you have done for me! It's been life changing.



December Member Feature: Shannon


Shannon has been a dedicated Reviver for the past 6 months and her story is an inspiring one.  Shannon is a fitness fanatic but suffered a devastating back injury that took her out of training for nearly a year. Since finding Revive, she's gotten back on her feet and is feeling strong again. 

Her journey started with some personal training at Revive to rehab her back where she then graduated to taking classes.  Our low impact, HIIT format was the perfect fit for Shannon as she could push herself without worrying about re-injury.  The rest is history...

Tell me about your journey in health and fitness - how and when did it begin? Were you always active? Or did you start later in life?

I started getting into fitness at the age of 20. I was pretty overweight in my late teens. I decided that i wanted to make a change so I joined a gym and my fitness journey began. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with it and I haven’t stopped since!

I heard you suffered an injury.  Could you tell us more about that and why you chose Revive?

I had a horrible back injury last winter. I had to stop all fitness, which is devastating to an active person.. I would drive past revive all the time and i was curious what it was all about. So I researched it and thought to myself, this place sounds amazing and is exactly this kind of training my body needs when I am able to move again. I stopped by finally in the summer and met Mike. I started with some one on one sessions with him just to regain some strength and correct movements that I had been doing incorrect. Mike was absolutely fantastic. after working with him it didn’t take long until he said the most exciting words to me “ I feel you are ready to do the revive classes” It was music to my ears and I have been coming ever since! I just absolutely LOVE it!!

Have you noticed any changes in your health, body, or mindset since you started coming to Revive?

Absolutely! I feel much stronger all over especially my core. I have realized that fitness does not have to be high impact and you don’t need to beat yourself up to get you into great shape. Revive to me is an all over challenging fitness regimen with loving kindness for your body. Its absolutely perfect and I am so happy that I found it!

What is your favourite exercise?

KB Cleans!

Least favourite?


Describe Revive in one word?


How often should I do HIIT?

A question commonly asked at Revive is how often should I come?  When it comes to HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) training, it's definitely no walk in the park.  This means we recommend spending 15 minutes or more in your yellow or red heart rate zones to reach a state of EPOC where you're burning extra calories after the classes is finished. Many other factors come into play such as your nutrition, sleep/rest, hydration and overall stress levels.  Even to our most faithful Reviver's, we recommend 1-2 days off per week so that your body can regenerate and get stronger.  On that note, we designed our classes to be low impact so that you can maximize your fitness, look your best, while lessening the risk of injury.  

Here is a summary of training outcomes in relation to workout frequency (per week)

1-2 classes:  Improved health and weight maintainence

3-4 classes:  Improved performance/fitness and weight loss

4-6 classes:  Peak performance

***For those doing 4+ classes/week, we recommend a time frame of 4-6 weeks of that frequency with a week of active rest after.

Other Factors to consider:

Rest/Sleep:  The more consistent(average 8 hours) and deeper your sleep, the faster your recover.  During sleep/rest is when muscles repair and you actually get stronger - without sufficient rest, over training is more likely to occur.

Nutrition:  You have to fuel your body properly not only to meet your fitness goals but to aid in the post workout recovery process.

Hydration:  Water is the foundation of our bodies.  Aim for at least 2 liters/day and 2.5 liters or more on days you train.

Stress:  Exercise is considered an eustress(good stress), however when too much exercise is combined with negative stress ie. emotional, it can have a negative effect on your metabolism and hormones. 

Body Composition Scanning: What the scale isn't telling you

When it comes to our health and personal goals, too often we go to the scale as a measurement of success and betterment.  Does less pounds always equal better health?  If I lose that nagging 10lbs will I feel better? and what exactly am I losing… muscle… fat… my mind?  I know working with many personal training clients over the years that numbers on a scale only tell a part of the story. In fact, I took a BIA (body composition) scan with BioScan recently using their Evolt 360 scanner and the results were interesting to say the least…

As presumed, I had a healthy weight, good lean muscle mass and overall, a positive fitness score.  What turned out to be a good wake up call was my visceral fat rating… I was almost at risk!  To you non-fitness buffs, visceral fat is the fat we carry in our mid-section or sometimes known as the muffin top... the technician was basically saying I had a dad-bod.  A high visceral fat rating is clinically proven to be one of the leading causes to many chronic health issues and cannot be measured on a scale.   Further to that, the kind woman doing my assessment explained the causes for high visceral fat are lack of sleep, poor nutrition and stress.  So of course, I had to agree to all 3 points as life has been a little tougher since the arrival of our second child.  Having done this scan, it reminded me of how little value we get from stepping on a scale.  Also, that exercise alone isn’t the solution.  So, before you get on that scale again ask yourself if you’re getting enough rest, eating mindfully and taking time for yourself. More so, make sure you track what type of weight you’re losing (or gaining) as you may be trading fat for muscle, and that’s not such a bad thing!

Here is some other useful information I received when doing a body composition measurement

Identify personal long term health risks

A BIA can show serious risks to your health like diabetes, hormonal imbalances, cardiovascular disease etc. that are affected by high fat stores and low muscle mass

Subcutaneous fat

This is the fat underneath your abdominal wall and surrounding some of your vital organs. High amounts lead to increased blood pressure, hormonal imbalance and impairs circulation.

Skeletal muscle mass

A high level of skeletal muscle mass can help with an increased metabolic rate, higher energy levels and increased strength

Fitness Age and Score

An indication of your body’s internal health age based on your individual scan results

Prescribed dietary guidelines 

BioScan’s technology can also prescribe caloric intake as well as macronutrient ratios

We are looking forward to introducing Body Composition scanning through BioScan as a new service for our clients, beginning with the challenge this Fall. It has certainly opened our eyes to strengths, weaknesses, and progress, and we know it will for you too!

For more information visit:  http://www.bioscancanada.ca/

September Member Feature: Natasha + Catherine


We have so many amazing couples and families who come to Revive together (or separately!) - it's always so inspiring to see family members setting great examples for each other and committing to a healthy lifestyle together!

This month we are featuring Natasha & Catherine, a mother-daughter duo who you would never guess could be mother and daughter, but who have been working out together 2-3 times/week since June! You may have even met Catherine's son/Natasha's brother Brad in the studio, too! We sat down with them to find out what inspires them.

Tell me about your journey in health and fitness - how and when did it begin? Were you always active? Or did you start later in life?

Natasha - I was super late to the game - I cut gym all the time because I hated it so much, and was cut from every team. I really seriously started working out in 2010 because my husband had really high cholesterol, so first we cleaned up our eating, and then we both started working out. We each lost 55 lbs, and I got hooked.
Editor’s note - anyone who has been in a class with Natasha knows that she is a total powerhouse! Hard to believe she wasn’t a natural in her youth!

Catherine - I was always more into sports, more of a tomboy growing up, in track and baseball teams, but never kept it up. Then life happened - I got married and had kids, and dealt with some major health issues. I couldn’t find my groove, and then Natasha brought me back to Revive in June and it got me hooked again.
Natasha: I actually thought you would drop dead in that first class!
Editor’s note: Catherine did not drop dead! She was back two days later and has been a regular, super-strong member and example ever since! 

Why is it important for you to be active, healthy, and mobile?

C: Well, Natasha inspires me. But as I get older, I see people even in their 60s and they look - well - old! As I get older, I want to be able to be healthy - for my husband, my kids, and my grandkids.
N: My dad had a heart attack, Mom had her sickness, everywhere around me were warning signs and examples. Healthier people just seem to stay healthier.

Have you noticed any changes in your health, body, or mindset since you started coming to Revive?

N: I joined in April, had been traveling and was ready for a change. I didn’t think I would like the format at first but I loved it - I got hooked!
C: I love the smallness of it, the boutiqueness of it, someone telling me what to do, the variety, and the teachers.
N: It’s amazing how varied the classes are - they don’t get old.

What is your favourite exercise?

N: Push-ups - I just feel so strong
C: Anything on TRX

Least favourite?

C: burpees
N: rowing

Best pump-up song?

N: Anything I can sing along to in my head - 80s is great! Nothing too angry.
C: Agreed - I love Michael Jackson!

Later this same, day, Natasha sent a follow-up email...

I wanted to say something today but I got all flustered and never mentioned it! One of the things that I love so much about Revive is all of the instructors. In all other gyms that I have attended, there is always at least one class that I never seem to make it to because for one reason or another, I do not like the instructor. Not the case at Revive! I have taken a class from every instructor there and have loved everyone. It is such a great group of knowledgeable, warm and energetic instructors (and the rest of the staff as well!). It really is a pleasure to come into the Studio. 

Thank you!


Thank YOU - Natasha & Catherine! You are a joy to have around and an inspiration to us all :) 

5 benefits of HIIT that you can't see in a mirror

HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts have been shown to be highly effective to get your bod in shape but did you know that they are also beneficial for your mind and body in ways that you can't see in a mirror? Check out these 5 benefits that you are getting when you get your HIIT on at Revive!

1) Improvements in aerobic and anaerobic fitness - Perhaps this goes without saying but HIIT is highly effective in improving both aerobic and anerobic (you know that breathless feeling you have in the red zone?) fitness. This is the good news, the bad news is that when we see this happening we are going to be reminding you to increase your FTW on the bike!

2) A healthier heart - HIIT training has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, decrease blood pressure and improve cholesterol profiles. 

3) Increase in insulin sensitivity - This is a good thing as low insulin sensitivity can lead to health problems like diabetes. Recent studies show that HIIT appears to be more effective than steady state exercise in its ability to reduce blood sugar levels.

4) The mind connection - During vigorous exercise, mood enhancing endorphins are released which not only make you feel great post workout but at a deeper level can reduce feelings of stress, anxiety & depression. Enhanced productivity and creativity are an extra bonus - you're welcome! 

5) Slow down the aging process - What? Recent research has shown that HIIT exercise boosts a cell's mitochondrial activity (remember your Bio 10)?! Your mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell and their activity typically declines with age which can lead to cell damage and dysfunction. HIIT has been shown to kickstart mitochondrial activity which could be one way to slow some signs of aging. 

There are many reasons beyond physical appearance for making exercise a part of your healthy lifestyle. Benefits from exercise in general, and HIIT in particular, go well beyond what you see in the mirror. So get out, be active, and do some good for your mind and body! 

Understanding Heart Rate Training

It’s been just over a month since we started bringing heart rate monitoring to all of our classes at Revive, and we are so excited about the measurable results that our clients are seeing! We’ve had incredible feedback, and we’ve also had a lot of questions, so we are answering some of the most common ones here, and now.

1. Why should I use a heart rate monitor?

To maximize results, get instant feedback and workout smarter.  For our HIIT classes, when you reach your yellow/red zones for 15 minutes or more, that promotes an effect called Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC.  EPOC refers to a post workout response where your metabolism is elevated and therefore you burn more calories at rest for up to 36 hours after your workout.  

2. What do the different colours mean?

Red = maximum (90-100% max heart rate)
Yellow = hard (80-90% max heart rate)
Green = moderate (70-80% max heart rate)
Blue = light (60-70% max heart rate)
Grey =  very light (less than 50% max heart rate)

3. How is my maximum heart rate calculated?

As a baseline measurement, your maximum heart rate (or MHR) is calculated as 220-your age. With that said, this is not a perfect science and your actual maximum heart rate may be higher or lower depending on genetics, fitness level, and body composition. Your Trainer can work with you over a few classes to adjust your maximum heart rate to ensure it is most accurate for you.

4. Why can’t I get into the red zone, even though I am working really hard?

Everyone’s training thresholds are different and it actually has nothing to do with your fitness level. John’s maximum threshold could be in yellow while Jane’s is in red… all at the same time, their perceived effort is the same.  

5. Do I want to be spending most of my time in the red zone?

No, we typically recommend doing 15 minutes or more in yellow and red combined.  However spending the whole class is not recommended and is not the purpose of HIIT training.  HIIT training is intended for you to work hard under certain time intervals followed by periods of recovery.  If you’re not recovering fast enough, take a few more minutes to get your heart rate down.

6. Why am I reaching 105% of my maximum heart rate?

The 220-age formula to measure max heart rate isn’t always accurate so you may go above 100% of your max HR which technically should never happen.  If you see this occur, please ask one of our Trainers to adjust for you.  

7. Why does my watch display a different calorie burn than the monitor?

Polar was the company that started heart rate training and provides leading edge technology with monitoring HR.  When it comes to chest strap vs watch, the chest strap is about 20% more accurate due to the placement right above your xiphoid process. Its response time to HR changes are also instantaneous vs watches which are often delayed and therefore make it difficult to accurately measure recovery.

8. Why is there so much difference in calorie burn when we all did the same class?

Total calories burned during class is measured through an algorithm that takes in consideration your sex, weight and age.  Basically, factors like the younger you are, the more you weigh and if you are a male would all boost your calories burned.


Keep an eye out for upcoming Fundamentals of Heart Rate classes where we will go through the purpose of HR training, complete a workout designed to explain the target zones, and help you understand which zones are right for you. And if you have any more questions about Heart Rate training in the meantime, please ask one of your Trainers or send us an email at contact@revivelifestylefitness.com

Stronger For Longer

Stronger for Longer

Your Goals - Our Purpose

It’s been an amazing ride these past 8 months and we can’t thank our members enough for being a part of the journey.  Through this time, I’m sure many of you have noticed some changes at Revive as we aim to serve you better. I can understand change isn’t always easy, but with change comes growth – In the end, our purpose is to make your goals a reality.  So, I’ve summed up some points below of our current brand promises along with some of the new additions to Revive as we hope to elevate your experience… keeping you Stronger for Longer.


Heart Rate Based Training

The use of heart rate monitors has always been a point of discussion within our team and our decision to implement them in all our classes came with two reasons:  To coach you better, and to optimize your workouts with evidence-based results.  Overtraining and stress are two major factors that can limit one’s performance and we hope with our coaching, you will understand how to reach your goals with a balanced approach.  The use of HR monitors serves as a way we can help our members understand how to train smarter and not (always) harder. 


Low Impact HIIT

This has been one of our main promises since day 1.  Why? 

1) Having worked almost 10 years in a physiotherapy clinic helped me understand the effects of chronic injuries and high impact stress on our joints.  Injuries from running are typically the #1 cause of chronic sport injuries seen by physiotherapists.  This is not to say running is bad for you, not in the least bit, but many people do too much of it too soon without getting proper training to run efficiently. 

Further, we’re all living longer these days - It’s predicted that by 2050 the average life expectancy will be 85. So, we’re all living longer but does that mean that our joints will last?  Not unless we take care of them now and learn to train smarter.  That’s our goal with low impact training - to let you push yourself now and well into your later years - to have your ideal lifestyle in and out of the gym.

2) HIIT serves as one of the most effective ways to maximize fitness and burn fat.  With our HR monitors, you can now monitor your intensity as we recommend achieving 15 minutes or more in the yellow and red zones combined during class.


Community and Connection

It’s been so great for our team to get to know our members and see you achieve amazing results with Revive.  As our relationships with you grow, we realize fitness is only part of our offering as our community grows stronger with you. You are the core of our business and we appreciate all your support.  Let’s keep the good times going and stay stronger for longer. 

Benefits of Low Impact HIIT Workouts

Get a great sweat while avoiding those nagging injuries.  Low Impact HIIT workouts are a growing trend that promote building you up and not breaking you down.  Below are some reasons to try a workout that's not only smarter for your body but is going to give you a good butt-kicking as well.

Helps shed weight and burn calories

Low impact does not mean low intensity.  HIIT workouts are scientifically proven to help you burn fat, improve metabolism and lose weight.

Stronger for longer

Our workouts are designed to save the joints so that you can stay active for life.

Good for every fitness level

Whether you’re just getting back into it, new to exercise or wanting a change, Low Impact HIIT may be the thing for you.  Our goal is to optimize fitness and minimize injuries.

Full Body, everything in under an hour

We give you a full body, strength and cardio workout in 55 minutes!

Changes daily

Our workouts change daily so your fitness doesn’t plateau.  This keeps your body guessing as we switch our fitness focuses week to week - keeping it fresh and fun.

5 Reasons to Cross-Train for Race Season

April is here and preparation for race season is in full swing. Whether you love marathon, obstacle or adventure races, cross-training will add huge value to your performance. Cross-training is a broad term that can include resistance training, mobility/stretching, and low impact endurance activities such as cycling and rowing. These activities combined with running not only boosts performance but considerably reduces the overuse injuries common to runners.


Here are the top 5 reasons to add a cross-strengthening program into your training plan:


1. Greater Performance

            Cross-training benefits running performance and allows for longer periods of training.  Because of the impact on your joints caused by running, few runners (especially beginners) can handle more than 6 hours of running/week without running into injury. By including low-impact endurance activities such as cycling and rowing, allows you to train twice the amount whilst improving your cardiovascular fitness.


2. Mobility

            Mobility refers to the overall range of motion a joint can move through. This is more than simply flexibility (muscle length) as it also refers to how well the nervous system controls the joint/muscle.  When you have trigger points(knots) in your muscles, your control of that muscle is inhibited and stretching won’t always help. So, in addition to your stretching program, try using a foam roller and release balls to get deeper into your muscles allowing for better mobility.           Look for a restorative class in your area that uses myofascial release or a good massage always helps!


3. Strength

The key to a great performance for any athlete or weekend warrior begins with strength. Back, core and hips are among the most common areas of the body that require proper strengthening when first starting a running program. These areas often take the brunt of the impact associated with running and produce the most explosive force(hips) during an activity. Building strength initially involves lighter weight and great attention to detail as proper technique is the priority. Finding a qualified trainer to help you build a solid strength foundation will not only improve your running, but aid in post-workout recovery and injury prevention.    


4.  Power

            A further benefit to strength training is improving power.  Power is your body’s ability to produce high amounts of force in short periods of time.  As a runner, by improving your power, you will also improve your stride length and efficiency thereby improving your running pace.  This can be done with HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts defined by short, intense bursts of activity followed by a rest interval. 


5. Injury Prevention

            Cross-training not only prepares the body for the rigors of running, but also for what happens after. Over 50% of overuse injuries runners experience relate to a weakness in the hips (gluts mainly) thereby affecting other structures down the chain in the lower limbs ie. knees/ankles.  By strengthening the hips, core and surrounding structures, you drastically decrease your chance of injury.  We recommend starting with 1-2 low impact endurance activities per week of about an hour such as cycling to lower the impact your joints experience.