Modern gyms don’t just have treadmills and dumbbells anymore. Now
gyms offer a variety of classes like boot camp, Pilates, spinning, and
the list goes on. Working out in a class setting will motivate you more
than if you were working out on your own — you feel more obligated to go
to every class, you work harder, and you push yourself more. If looking
at the list of classes your local gym offers overwhelms you, don’t walk
away. Here’s a quick guide to just some of these popular classes. Sign
up for something you’ve never done before. You’re likely to enjoy it and
stick with it!
— This is an exciting exercise that
brings the centuries-old Middle Eastern dance to the Western world.
Although movements emanate through the torso, many muscles groups are
used in order to create a beautiful dance that flows rhythmically. Your
abs, thighs, legs, biceps, glutes, and calves all work hard when you
belly dance. This is a form of exercise that will work with your natural
movements. You can easily burn a few hundred calories in an hour by
— Based on military-style training, boot
camps use circuit training to work core muscles and to burn serious
calories. Although many boot camps are held outdoors, more and more gyms
are offering this type of training within their own classrooms. Usually
done in four-week, 1-hour intervals, boot camps help increase your
cardio level, burn fat, and sculpt and tone muscle. Results from boot
camp training can often be seen in two weeks. Types of drills and
exercises you can expect: short-distance running, core training,
strength training, and hiking. You don’t need to be an athletic monster
to join a boot camp. These sessions are meant to be highly challenging
and motivational and not frustrating and humiliating. Since you’ll be in
a group setting, you’ll find inspiration from the other people around
you. Gear up your body for a mentally and physically rewarding and
unique way to get in shape.
Hip Hop Dancing
— You get your heart rate up by
moving your arms and feet to this form of street dancing. By dancing to
energetic music, your body will become more controlled, flexible, and
stronger. Most classes will include stretching, breaking down
choreography to the basics and then putting it all together and
conditioning. Since dancing is all about choreography, it’s easy to be
intimidated by the moves and feel lost in the class. This experience
happens with everyone who first starts taking these types of classes.
Find an area in the class where you can clearly see the instructor.
Don’t pay attention to what other people are doing until you get the
moves down. As you continue on in the class, your arms and feet will
move more smoothly and you’ll be burning fat along the way!
— This style infuses aspects of martial
arts and boxing for a total body workout that will have you sweating. By
strategically placing your hands or feet, you can take an opponent
down. This exercise helps you to lose weight as it increases your
flexibility and muscle strength. Through explosive arm movements like
jabs and uppercuts, and leg movements like kicks and sweeps, you can
create a lean body in no time. Be prepared to feel your muscles burn.
One hour of kickboxing can burn almost 500 calories.
— Created by Joseph Pilate, Pilates
transforms the way your body looks by creating a leaner, more toned body
that boasts stronger abs, legs, and arms. In Pilates you use a mat or
equipment to perform moves that help to elongate your body. You can
expect sculpted arms, a strong and muscular abdominal area, and a strong
back and chest. You may never have back pain again.
— It’s exactly what you think. Gain an
increase in self-awareness and self-confidence. Pole dancing will have
you moving in ways you never imagined your body could. Learn simple
breathing exercises and become comfortable with using a pole as a prop
for your dancing. Learn moves that will have you moving on the floor and
around the pole that will tighten and tone you from head to toe. You
will stretch muscles and engage in an aerobic exercise like nothing
you’ve ever experienced.
— An intense and stimulating form of
exercise that requires you to ride on stationary bikes while you listen
to lively music. Classes usually consist of a warm-up, a steady build-up
to sprints, up-hill challenges, and cool-downs. Through the amount of
pedaling and resistance you experience, expect to be sweating like
there’s no tomorrow. Burn about 600 calories in one hour and tone your
thighs — oh yes, the sweat is all worth it.
— Using an elevated platform, you
engage in a cardio workout to music that has you stepping up and down
from the platform. This is a form of low-impact aerobics that isn’t hard
on your joints and still burns calories and fat. Continued aerobic
exercise can lower cholesterol levels, raise your fitness level, control
your weight, and reduce body fat. Your overall cardiovascular health
— By using controlled breathing and movements,
you are using your body, mind, and spirit to achieve total awareness. An
ancient Indian practice, yoga promotes positive cardiovascular health,
lower blood pressure and heart rate, and better circulation. You will
also experience improved muscle tone, increased coordination, and
flexibility. Yoga is very spiritual and helps to relieve many of the
I’m this close to signing up for a four-week boot camp. If only it started a lot later in the day instead of 5:30 AM!