Health & Lifestyle

Fitness Class Journey- Does the Perfect Class Exist?

A lot of people groan at the thought of exercise. We know from firsthand experience that most teens cringe at going out of the way to do physical activity over watching their beloved Netflix. And working out in an organized environment with other people staring you down? Ew.

Keep in mind that it’s important for you to know what kind of exerciser you are. No, there’s not a quiz or definite way to determine what fitness environment is for you other than your own personal preference. Do you prefer working out at home? Do you prefer working out alone (and do you feel as motivated)? Do you enjoy a group environment or perhaps one or two partners? Or do you prefer a class environment? Now we are by no means experts, but from our 15 year old experience, you’re much more likely to have a productive, efficient and fun workout when you actually enjoy the form in which you are doing it.

So if you hate a class environment, then you should first analyze why and whether or not you can even overlook these cons to find an enjoyable class for you. If you don’t like classes, is it because:
• You’re easily embarrassed when others are watching?
•You don’t think you’ll be able to keep up?
•You think they’re too repetitive?
•You prefer a personalized workout?
• Something else like price or location?

In most classes, you shouldn’t worry at all about being embarrassed or unable to keep up since you’ll likely be with others who feel the exact same way. You wont be in a class full of pros and you’re able to modify or alter the workout to fit your tastes. Group environments are great in motivating you to push yourself so we definitely encourage giving multiple classes more than one try. Don’t give up on your first try and give each class a fair chance.

We’ll break down the many classes we’ve tried at our gym and you can determine which one sounds like the right fit for you.

Body Pump

Do you enjoy weight training? Do you prefer building strength over cardio or have a personal goal of increasing your reps? The name sounds a bit ambiguous but this class is marketed as barbell workout for anyone looking to get lean, toned and fit – fast. You definitely won’t have to worry about heavy lifting since emphasis is placed on repetition while using light to moderate weights. It provides a full body workout with the intent of developing lean, athletic muscle using something known as the “rep effect.” According to the Les Mills Website, this is a proven formula that exhausts muscles using light weights, while performing high repetitions.

We’ve attended the 55-minute classes multiple times and can agree that this class offers a unique experience. We personally enjoy that the main focus is strength training over fast-paced cardio workouts and it seems to be gym favorite in our area. Beginners are not at all pushed to go beyond what they can bear and actually encouraged to use a safe, only mildly challenging weight. The average in the class is anywhere from 5 to 20 pounds and you can expect to burn around 560 calories.

You can expect squats, lunges, dead-lifts, clean and presses, side rotator raises, and tricep extensions. Closer to the end of the class, a intense core series is integrated with pushups, crunches, and a few other moves on the floor or bench top. We encourage you to arrive at least 5-10 minutes early so that you can set up your area with the appropriate weights and mat while allowing yourself time to properly warm-up with the time.

Each song typically focuses on a different body part and you leave the class feeling a little like a superhero. You feel stronger and most likely wont leave the class drenched in sweat.

Body Combat

Yes, this class sounds like what it is. The class consists of martial-arts inspired combat moves. They’re not overly challenging and their mainly kick boxing and boxing style. You punch and kick alot and the class is relatively fast paced.
This class offers a unique experience too though since you don’t need any prior martial arts knowledge. You don’t actually have to fight, which is always a win, and you get the intense workout boxers experience. You can also modify the workout and still get an amazing toning, strength, and cardio workout. The workout is pretty high energy and you can burn up to 740 calories, according to the Les Mills Website. You can learn moves from Karate, Taekwondo, Boxing, Muay Thai, Capoeira and Kung Fu. We left this class sweating pretty hard and definitely felt like we had burned a lot of calories. We coupled this class with body pump for a few weeks and they proved to be a perfect combination of working every part of your body and defining your core. We like both classes about the same and would definitely recommend if you’re not looking for a dance based fitness class.

BodyATTACK

This class is honestly about as intense as it sounds. It gives a sensation where your body parts are all being targeted and effectively attacked. We’ll be real with you though, you probably won’t want to start with this class if you’ve never done a fitness class before. Beginners have been warned but don’t be overly intimidated! As always you can modify the class and the instructor even suggests modifications. The class is very high intensity and offers the fastest way to achieve your calorie-deficit goal. You have to be willing to put in the work though.

There is a high emphasis on athletic movements and you can burn up to 730 calories. You can expect running, lunging and jumping with strength exercises such as push-ups and squats. The class is relatively repetitive but has slowly grown on us. Sometimes just watching others in the class is enough to motivate us or humor us from facial expressions.

10/10 would recommend for athletes and those looking to build cardiovascular strength.

Body Flow

What a peaceful name right? This class is definitely one of the lower-intensity options with a focus on Yoga and Flexibility moves. Maintaining the positions actually proved to be a bit more challenging than we expected so don’t go in expecting this class to be an easy, slow paced pass. It’s low impact so it is actually suitable for most ages and body sizes. The atmosphere is a lot different from other classes with dim lights, mildly softer speech, and yoga mats.

As always you will workout to music and work on strengthening your whole body. Tai Chi and Pilate moves are integrated into the fitness routine as well, making this class perfect for toning. We really enjoyed the slower atmosphere but have to admit that this class doesn’t offer the quickest method to weight-loss if that’s your goal. The focus is not on burning calories and works more on calming the mind. You don’t actually have to meditate though which is a pro for some people. This class is ideal for gymnasts and dancers.

Zumba

We have a good feeling that the name of this one precedes itself. We’ve been casually going to Zumba classes for years. Our mom became an instructor when we were around 7 years old so ever since we’ve been accustomed to the moves. It doesn’t hurt that everyone and their grandmas have heard about Zumba at some point as well.

This workout is actually pretty fun in our opinion but it’s also largely in the hands of your instructor. We pretty much go to the same class every Wednesday night because the Instructor has enjoyable moves that allow us to work up a decent sweat. We love how diverse these classes always are and can truly say that any body type or size can adjust the class appropriately for their needs. Your results from Zumba are honestly determined by how hard or soft you go. Some people throw their absolute all into the dance moves and others more just move to the pace. It’s hard to get too confused while dancing and you’ll likely learn the moves after a couple classes. The more dances you learn, the more enjoyable the class becomes.

There are no intense strength training or body weight moves in this class, making it an ideal cardio class. Just keep moving throughout the hour period and you’ll feel the calories burning off in no time. Perfect for the easily bored– Zumba classes are hardly repetitive. The choreography incorporates hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue and mambo. This makes this one of the only classes you’ll go to with Latin-inspired music.

MixxedFIT

This class doesn’t seem to be offered at as many gyms but is another amazing dance workout. Marketed as a new people inspired dance fitness format that incorporates explosive dance movements with boot camp inspired toning, its a nice alternative to complex workouts. That being said though, the class is still high intensity and offers as much or as little as you give it. This class helps tone as well and plays catchier music that you can get motivated with.

So which classes are you going to try or have you tried already? Let us know below by commenting and whether or not you enjoyed them!

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