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David Kirsch introduces 30-minute workouts


David Kirsch
David Kirsch trains Heidi Klum and other celebs.

Trainer-to-the-stars David Kirsch just introduced workouts you’re going to love—they’re half as long as most of the fitness classes you’re used to.

The new 30-minute training sessions (with one of the trainers from Kirsch’s talented team) are meant to maximize calorie burning and strengthening while minimizing out-of-office time.

It’s an approach many workouts are moving towards, with the popularity of high-intensity interval training and lots of emerging research showing more time at the gym doesn’t always equal more benefit. For New Yorkers, of course, it’s all about an extra block of time to combat email deluges.

“For years, clients have asked for a shorter workout to fit into their packed schedules. Most of them are so busy, carving out a half hour to work out is a victory,” says Kirsch. “I wanted to create a high-impact workout to give my clients the most out of the time they could spare.”

So what can you fit into just half an hour? Kirsch uses combination exercises, so that you make the most of every minute. Think working your triceps, back, and shoulders by pulling a resistance band down while doing lunges. Or kettlebell sumo squats that fire up your glutes and upper body muscles simultaneously.

The one thing you won’t get here is a big cardio burst. (You can hop on a treadmill for 3o minutes on another day for that.) That’s not true, however, of a lot of the other super-short methods on the market. Many are full-body workouts that involve pushing yourself to a cardiovascular and muscular point of exhaustion simultaneously.

Rowing machines lend themselves to this approach, with Equinox’s Shockwave and the soon-to-open Throwback Fitness, both of which keep class to 30 minutes. And intense interval-based CrossFit WODs (Workouts of the Day) are also often remarkably short for the power they pack in.

The concern, of course, is that no matter the workout, people may feel cheated after such a short span of time. (At Kirsch’s gym, you only save $20 by opting for the 30-, instead of 60-minute, format.) I asked my trainer, Ben Sweeney, about this as I warmed up. He smirked. “Oh, don’t you worry. You’re not going to feel cheated once we’re done.”

A very short time later, covered in sweat, muscles exhausted, I agreed. —Lisa Elaine Held

$100 per session (with a required $250 consultation and $125 monthly membership fee), Madison Square Club, 210 Fifth Avenue, between 25th and 26th Sts., Flatiron/NoMad, www.davidkirschwellness.com