Dallas Blacklaw is a worker. A head down, nose to the grindstone hard worker.
With that determination he has carved himself a path in the fitness industry within this vast land, Australia.
He has truly found his niche, led by his passion for all things health and fitness – and especially group fitness, where he’s spent years getting his hands dirty, working at the highest international level in two fitness programs for Les Mills, as well as at a national level for a third program. Not only that but he’s also a local, community-minded manager of a fitness facility in his home town on Australia’s Sunshine Coast.
Over the last few years, Dallas’ real strength emerged as a leader of all things HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Les Mills SPRINT and GRIT are the programs he heads in Australia, and he does this leading from the front, appearing in two international Les Mills SPRINT educational DVDs and 2 RPM DVDs.
Dallas describes HIIT as being “as beneficial as it is simple – an opportunity to absolutely test your individual fitness in real time, with the benefit of some excellent fitness gains”.
He empowers his members to find their limits in order to self-assess and self-measure. He is also a believer in allowing his participants – who range from competitive athletes to people getting back to exercise to shed some excess body fat – to make their HIIT experience as serious or as fun as they like, and he sees his job as a HIIT coach as one of engagement, information sharing, educating and motivating.
HIIT mass appeal
When HIIT on a bike is mentioned, his eyes light up. As much as HIIT can be done within many different spaces, using any number of fitness tools – from body weight to rowers, treadmills, kettlebells, slam balls, battle ropes, plyo boxes, barbells and the like – it is the use of an indoor cycle in his chosen program, Les Mills Sprint, that he believes will give this form of training a broader, more mass appeal. This is, he says, thanks to the minimal impact of riding a cycle when compared to the high demands placed on the body with any repetitive impact, as well as through any exercises in which movement patterns can suffer as fatigue grows.
The reward for Dallas, as a Les Mills Sprint Coach, come with the victories his participants experience when they begin to reach levels of intensity on the bike that they could only have dreamed about at the start of their fitness journey.
The physical benefits of Les Mills Sprint are well documented, including improved leg strength, body fat composition and cardiovascular health markers. From Dallas’ experience, another benefit is a boost in people’s confidence and ability to take more control over their own health and fitness.
How about technology
When asked about technology, Dallas notes that heart rate tracking is a powerful tool for a good number of his members. In addition, tracking energy expenditure is viewed positively – a good tool once members leave the gym, allowing them to later reflect on how they performed.
Technologies that can showcase data – like a rider’s power and heart rate on a screen – is something Dallas also sees as an evolving part of the way HIIT will be delivered. “Watch this space!” he adds.
Get the best you can
In asking Dallas for any advice on what makes a great HIIT space, he is quick to note that great equipment makes a huge difference. From flooring to racks to kettle bells to bikes, you need to get the best you can.
This is especially the case when it comes to bikes, he says, with more power and load and wattage being applied to cycles than ever before. Bikes need to be strong. Don’t compromise. It is only through providing high quality equipment that you can help your members get the most out of every HIIT session they do.
He finishes with this comment: “HIIT rarely gets easier, but you will most definitely get stronger, leaner and be more mentally aware of your physical capabilities.
“Oh, and remember to have fun as you HIIT!”