When actress Nina Dobrev wanted to put her stamp on her favorite workout, Erin Maw was one of the fitness pros on hand to help make it happen. Here she explains what went into creating this tough HIIT workout – and how you can get the most from it.

As a key member of the LES MILLS GRIT team you’ve been involved in creating numerous HIIT workouts. What makes a good HIIT workout?

The best HIIT is challenging but fun – tough, but not unachievable. Diversity and lots of variation is also important, along with a degree of inclusivity and a real team feel. When the mix is just right you get an incredible workout where you are compelled to push yourself, and that’s what transforms your fitness.

Can you tell me about how you worked with Nina Dobrev to create her special edition release of LES MILLS GRIT Cardio?

In the early stages of the workout development I worked closely with Nina’s trainer Lissa Bankston. Lissa took me through all the moves that Nina really likes and we shaped the workout based on these. I worked with Les Mills Jnr to come up with the music, choosing some great indie tracks that fit with the interval-based format and really suit the moves. Lissa and Nina did the workout a number of times – making sure the end result was on par with what Nina enjoyed about LES MILLS GRIT™. Then it all came life when we met with Nina and the Reebok team during the filming in LA. It was fantastic to have her working out alongside us, knowing that she was doing all of her favorite moves.

What’s makes this special edition workout particularly challenging?

This workout combines simple movements in a really simple structure, so it will appeal to those who have never done this type of training before. But the simplicity doesn’t mean it’s easy. Because the moves are simple, you can do them really well from the start – so it’s actually a really hard workout. Many who’ve given it a go have said that it’s one of the toughest LES MILLS GRIT workouts they’ve done.

The good news is that every move has options, so it’s a workout that everyone can try. The structure is simple and the moves are not particularly complex. Where there are some more physically challenging moves there are also low impact alternatives.

So what type of moves should we expect? Anything to look out for?

There are plenty of tuck jumps and burpees in there, along with some other popular LES MILLS GRIT standards. Every move is tough, but they’ve all been shown to be really effective. I really like the on the beat challenge, this is where the music motivates you to really power through the reps.

Do you have any secret tips on how to get the most from this workout?

Whatever you do, don’t hold back, go as hard as you can from the start. If you get breathless and need to stop, that’s okay because it means you’re working really hard. When you’re absolutely smashed, fatigued and heavy breathing, and you push yourself through it, that’s when the magic happens – those are the reps that really count.

You have to be a little vulnerable and take your body to that place where you’ve got nothing left. You’re only going to get fitter by taking yourself to that vulnerable place – that’s what HIIT is all about.

Check out Nina Dobrev’s special edition LES MILLS GRIT workout here.

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