First I tried hot yoga, then cycling classes and then barre classes. While these fitness fads were fun for a class or two, none of them seemed to float my boat.
In the fall of 2016, Kamps Fit, a HITT (high intensity interval training) workout studio opened near State Street. First reaction: just another overpriced workout class. A class full of treadmill and floor interval workouts seemed intriguing, but I didn’t think it was worth my hard-earned cash.
About a week ago, I was perusing through my social media newsfeeds and came across a tweet from Heidi Klum, where she called Madison’s Kamps a “must try.” If THE Heidi Klum thought this workout studio just five blocks away from me deserved a shout-out, I better go give it a try (call me a sucker for celebrity advertising). Feeling ambitious, I signed up for a total body workout class at 7:30 a.m. on a hump day.
Bursting with anticipation, I showed up about 20 minutes early, fully hydrated and not knowing what to expect. When I swung open the heavy wooden studio door, I was blinded for a minute by the electric green accents decorating the studio, and I thought I accidentally stepped into a trendy, spacious boutique. There were exclusive Kamps working clothes displayed on one wall and a chic smoothie bar on the other. If the phrase “Hit It Hard,” wasn’t painted on the wall in bold letters, I would’ve forgotten that I was there to sweat.
Instructor Connor Lieser emerged and energetically herded everyone into the dimly-lit workout room. Mirrors concealed all walls, treadmills lined the room facing the mirrors and the center of the room had perfectly lined benches. We were all instructed to pick a treadmill, a bench, a mat and a set of dumbbells. While still trying to process my new scenery that early in the morning, the rest of the participants had already gathered their equipment and were warming up on the treadmills.
Lieser verbally reminded everyone of the class structure; four cycles, each one with a treadmill interval portion and a floor (bench and dumbbell) portion, totaling a 50-minute class. A throwback Shaggy remix came through the speakers and everyone started running, (and I mean RUNNING for dear life) on the treadmills.
Although I was intimidated by all the knowledgeable regulars in the room, I let my mind focus on Lieser’s instructions while my body used an adrenaline rush to push itself through all of the treadmill intervals, weighted squats, heavy chest presses and oh-so-painful leg lifts. Five-minute spurts of treadmill intervals and exercises don’t seem like they would be too difficult—until you do them back-to-back for almost an hour straight.
I drank my entire water bottle within the first 20 minutes of the class, but I came out the other end heavily breathing and, thankfully, alive.
Even though hot yoga, cycling classes and barre classes may not be fads to you, they were fads to me. But Kamps HITT workout classes seem like they’re here to stay. Owners Sam and Ari Karl chose to open the first location in Madison and have plans to open many more locations across the U.S.
Heidi Klum, I now want to give you a shout-out for encouraging me to try Kamps. I officially jumped on the HITT workout bandwagon.
Kamps Fit 435 N Frances Street, Madison, WI 53703 (608)283-9724
Danae Luetkehans is a web editor at Madison Magazine.