Is Iron Zuu training the next Crossfit?

Apparently, you can burn 1000 calories in one session – and 1000 more over the 24 hours after. The only question is, are you up for the challenge?

Photo: iStock

It’s been hailed the ‘next Crossfit’ and certainly, there are similarities between the two “strength and conditioning programs” but at Iron Zuu’s core – no pun intended – is something much simpler than its high intensity circuits and bodyweight exercises: breathing.

The burgeoning fitness hybrid, created by Australian fitness export Nathan Helberg, fuses cardio, resistance training, heavy weight-lifting with bespoke animal movements – like ‘frog squats’ and ‘snake slithers’ – in grueling group training sessions that seek to work out the whole body.

Originally, it was created for athletes and military trainees, “but because Iron Zuu repeats specific movements designed to break breathing rhythms, it allows the heart rate to climb,” says Helberg, who says that the sweaty group sessions can benefit anyone – whether you’re up for your next challenge… or simply your first.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re world champion in another sport – or simply starting out – the physiological effects of this training style can benefit everyone,” says Helberg.

But what, exactly does it involve?

“Iron Zuu classes are a 50-50 mix of free weights intermixed with movements,” says Helberg, including:

• Dumbbell techniques that promote a natural range of motion.

• Lean muscle building and fat burning

• A combination of ‘primal exercises’ – like “pushing, pulling, bending, twisting, squatting and lunging, per Virgin Active Gyms, where you can actually do these classes – which mobilise your joints, prevent injury, and strengthen your cardio endurance, ligaments and tendons at once. Take note though: these are designed to exhaust you – the goal is to work you to your maximum capacity, says Helberg, so you are building your strength up, constantly.

Helberg also specifies that the technique is rooted in the “movement precedes equipment” philosophy, as this increases strength and torches excess weight – fast.

“Expect to burn over 1000 calories during the workout and another 1000 calories over the next 24-hour period after,” says Helberg.

“This is because the Iron Zuu blend is designed to target different energy systems.”

Not to mention, feed in to your animal instincts.

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fitness | body+soul