HIIT training with Charise Baker provides full body workout


Nathan Kwapisz/NW

HIIT! – Charise Baker hosts a high-intensity interval training session each week, which is a great way to get in shape and have some fun.

Nathan Kwapisz

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is a workout based around forty-second, high intensity segments followed by twenty seconds of well-earned rest. The workout consists of full body movements for core and recovery. The class is also a great supplement with instructor Charise Baker’s other group exercise activity, Pilates.

“Big organizations such as early Olympic trainers do research and then instructors just start modifying it,” Baker said. “Sometimes they call it Tabata. You’ll see longer Tabata classes, shorter ones, everyone’s different.”

Baker described some of the origins of HIIT and how it came to be used. Some of the classes are more intense than others with there being anywhere from 10 to 50 intervals depending on the instructor and what the participant is looking for in their workout.

Kylee Kuntze, a business management major, enjoys the challenge and motivation the class gives her, as well as the joyous environment created by Baker. Kuntze’s favorite moments in the class are when Baker and other fitness instructor Lynn Mestnik are teaching together and tell stories of their past while poking fun at each other.

Kuntze has also been inspired to try and teach her own fitness classes after attending the ones at Northern.

“I would actually teach,” Kuntze said. “I’ve reached out to Charise just to talk about getting training and a certification.”

Kuntze started going to the classes last year and has continued to attend classes throughout the year. Kuntze enjoys many aspects that the HIIT class offers and hopes to attend until graduation.

“It makes the kids motivated. It makes it fun for them. I always say you don’t have to be the best at a sport to be a coach,” Baker said. “That’s the way I feel as you get older, I know I can keep up a little, but I know I can be a good coach and a motivator.”

Baker tells her students stories of her life because it is fun and keeps them engaged while continuing to create her welcoming coaching environment.

“Stay fit, stay healthy. I really want the people to realize it doesn’t matter your size, it’s if you’re healthy,” Baker said. “You know, back in my day, it was all about being like a pencil and now it’s just about being strong and happy.”

The benefits Baker receives for teaching all the classes she does are staying fit and teaching how to be happy with your body when you are healthy.

“If I didn’t have this, I wouldn’t be a good mom and wouldn’t have been a good mom,” Baker said. “I wouldn’t be a good wife. I wouldn’t be a good friend.”

Interested student can show up to the PEIF on Tuesdays at 4:45 and check in or go to the Northern Michigan University Rec Sports website to sign up today.