Circa 2004 (are we dating ourselves?), the Beacon Hill Athletic Club on Cambridge Street was the only real fitness option on Beacon Hill. Well that place is gone, breathe a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, the new landlord, Zone5, isn’t much better. It’s not your fancy-pants globo gym so don’t expect Kiehl’s products and towel fluffing. It’s small, but is equipped with all of the necessary cardio equipment, dumbbells, and bodyweight tools one needs to get in a kick ass workout. But we didn’t go to Zone5 to work out alone (who does that anymore?). We came for the main attraction, the Team Training class: a high intensity interval training (HIIT) class with wearable heart rate monitors to make sure you are hitting the “fat burning zone”. As we all know, HIIT is the new fad and Zone5 tried to jump on the bandwagon. Sadly, when they jumped, they missed.
Our class workout consisted of 20 stations with 2 minutes at each and 1 minute to rotate. Each station consisted of variations of kettlebell swings, burpees, dips, ball slams, box jumps, sled pulls, pushups, and other bootcamp-esque exercises.
If you do some basic math, you will quickly see that we needed the entire 60 minutes to complete the workout, which didn’t leave much time for a warmup or cool down. Once it was underway, we found our biggest obstacle wasn’t getting through the actual workout but remembering what exercises we were to perform at each station. Let’s just say there was a lot of time spent looking around like a lost child. The class had all the makings for a good sweat session, but unfortunately, as our “state-of-the-art” heart rate monitors told us, we didn’t manage to stay in fat burning zone long enough to feel the burn.
Our class was taught by Manager Mike Farina, who upon first impression seemed to be a “nice” and “knowledgeable” guy. Unfortunately first impressions aren’t always right. Mike lacked the ability to give coaching cues and push us into the target heart rate zone; really, he lacked even a general passion for teaching. What we loved most about Mike was when we needed him to explain movements and coaching cues, we had to go searching for him only to find him doing dips or pullups on a machine nearby.
Zone5 is separated into 2 areas: the “gym” side and the group fitness room. The gym side, albeit small, makes good use of the space and houses cardio equipment and dumbbells for people who want to do their own thing. The group fitness room has a turf with ergs, bikes, kettlebells, and a bodyweight apparatus. The group fitness room is spacious, accommodating 20-25 people per class. The locker room is basic, no-frills, bare minimum: some old-school style lockers, 2 toilets, 2 showers, 2 sinks, and a tiny sauna in the women’s room. No products, no extras; we were not impressed.
3 Hancock Street, Boston, MA 02114 Beacon Hill HIIT $$$
Beacon Hill HIIT $$$
3 Hancock Street, Boston, MA 02114
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