Get LIT: Will This Low-Impact Workout Be The Next Soulcycle?

"Was it sweat running down my face, or tears?"

via LIT Method

When I moved back to the West Coast from New York a few years ago, I was at a loss. Deeply immersed in the fitness scene in NYC, I assumed that LA would have similar workout offerings and I’d find my groove in no time.

I was wrong.

The yoga and Pilates communities in Los Angeles are amazing—but I craved cardio. And not just a class where you’d run on the treadmill for 30 minutes … I wanted something unique. Something inspiring. For months, I searched for a low-impact cardio class that wasn’t Soulcycle (you can only sit on a bike for so long, right?) but I couldn’t find anything that was exactly right. It threw off my workout game for a while, and I went from taking fitness classes twice a day to sweating solo. And honestly, I’d given up and moved on.

Enter LIT Method. The studio popped up on my radar a few months ago when it opened in the same strip mall as AIR Los Angeles (an aerial fitness studio). The website promised “low-impact cardio” that “couples rowing with our resistance band training system[, which] creates the perfect workout to tone, sculpt, and burn fat.” Big promises, right?

The creators

But when I sat down with the co-founders, Justin Norris and Taylor Gainor, my skepticism quickly faded.  “We were both personal trainers in Beverly Hills, and we kind of got this reputation for being the people to go to for rehabbing an injury,” explained Norris. “Osteopaths and surgeons were recommending clients to us. And we were getting a lot of people who got injured in workout classes.” The IRL couple used low-impact training methods like TRX bands, rowing machines, and resistance bands to whip clients back into shape. “Eventually, we had more clients than we had time for! People were begging us to open a studio, and so that’s how LIT was born,” said Gainor. Both Norris and Gainor assured me that even though the class was low-impact, that didn’t mean it would be low heart rate.

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The IRL couple used low-impact training methods like TRX bands, rowing machines, and resistance bands to whip clients back into shape. “Eventually, we had more clients than we had time for! People were begging us to open a studio, and so that’s how LIT was born,” said Gainor. Both Norris and Gainor assured me that even though the class was low-impact, that didn’t mean it would be low heart rate. “It’s a HIIT workout without the jumping, running, or weights—but you will sweat, and you’ll get a great, heart-pounding workout.” Alright, I thought to myself. Challenge accepted.

The workout

Unlike other popular boutique fitness classes that shove up to 60 people into a class, LIT is small and intimate. There are just 14 spots, and there are two trainers in every session to ensure that clients are completing exercises properly.

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Step inside the classroom and find you station, where you’re greeted by a rowing machine glowing with red light, two sets of resistance bands hanging from the ceiling, booty bands, and a TRX. This was the point where I kind of started to panic: Was this class going to be too hard for me?

The instructor started us on the rowers, where we performed basic row drills and sprints, and then added a little choreography to keep it fresh. From there, we moved to the TRX and did compound movements that fired up the glutes and shoulders. Yes, I was sweating. Like, a lot. We went back to the rower for an interval, and then grabbed the resistance bands for more arm and leg exercises. When I pretty much felt like my arms were about to fall off of my body, our trainer Jamie mercifully brought us down to the floor to rest. JK! He actually made us do planks for what felt like infinity—the only thing that got me through it was his epic Beyoncé mashup (which he generously shared with me after class! #blessed).

Was it sweat running down my face, or tears?  Honestly, who knows.

Was it sweat running down my face, or tears? Honestly, who knows. Thankfully the amazing playlist and the seriously good vibes in the studio kept me going. Finally, we got back on the rower for one last interval, and then we were done! Classes always finish with a quick myofascial release session on the foam roller, which feels so good on your tired muscles after the 50-minute workout.

The results

I consider myself to be in decent shape—I run almost daily and try to fit in some strength training at least a couple times a week. But as I lifted my water bottle to my lips after class, I could already feel my arm muscles quivering. If that’s not a good sign, I don’t know what is.

Honestly, I loved everything about this class: The music, the instructor, and the workout. The amazing energy in the room reminded me of my favorite aspects of Soulcycle—community, empowerment, and enthusiasm. Most importantly, it’s a great option for anyone who wants to get a serious full-body sweat session without damaging joints and tissues. So should you get LIT? Absolutely.

Sign up for a class here.