When it comes to exercise, it’s so easy to fall into a routine. Once you get used to a class you know and like, it’s tempting to keep signing up for the same one over and over again. However, this might not be the most effective way to work out. Not to mention, it can get boring quickly.
Instead of doing the same class day after day at your gym, trying something new will add a little variety — making your muscles work in different ways and giving you a more well-rounded routine. But knowing which class to sign up for can be a challenge, especially when there are lots of acronyms involved and mentions of equipment you’ve never used: It can be intimidating, to say the least.
The first step is the hardest — and that is simply knowing which class to sign up for. If you know what different classes entail, you will be less nervous about going for the first time. Who knows, you might try a new class and end up with a new favourite; it’s better to test it out and see for yourself.
If you’re stuck in the same old fitness rut with no idea where to go from here, keep reading for a breakdown of what different gym classes consist of so that you can find your perfect fit.
Just like it sounds, dance-based classes are rooted in dance. Usually involving some form of simple choreography and music, dance-based classes are perfect for anyone who wants to get their heart rate up and tone their muscles while doing so.
If you took dance lessons as a child, this might just reawaken your passion; and for those who have never danced before, it’s a fun excuse to get your body moving. Dance-based classes include barre, which is more grounded in ballet. If you want something a little more fast and lively, a Latin-inspired Zumba class might be a perfect choice.
Cardio classes are those that will get your heart rate up. These high energy classes are great for burning hundreds of calories in a session and benefit your overall heart health. Some cardio classes might include HIIT, which stands for high-intensity interval training.
This means that exercises will alternate between difficulty levels to get your heart rate up and down throughout the workout. One type of class that typically incorporates HIIT is boot camp, where exercises of different styles are alternated for a certain amount of time, often consisting of classic moves like pushups, crunches and squats.
Spin is another great cardio option, where an instructor guides a class on stationary bikes. Usually set to music, spin is a fun way to challenge yourself — especially if you already enjoy bike riding.
In strength training, the focus is building muscle. To complement cardio, strength training should be a part of everyone’s gym routine to help build and maintain muscle to help not only in the gym but also with posture and flexibility in everyday life as well.
Popular strength training classes include cross fit, which incorporates many different functional movements into one workout. Weightlifting classes are also strength-based, and many boxing classes also have a heavy strengthening component as well.
Yoga and Pilates
If you’re looking to get flexible and toned, yoga and pilates are both amazing additions to your current gym routine. With a focus on stability, balance, and core strength, yoga and pilates provide a great foundation for any fitness regimen.
There are many different variations of classes you can sign up for, from hot yoga to reformer pilates — so find one that works for you and give it a try. These classes are also great for connecting with your body in a more mindful way, and you’ll quickly begin to learn how to be more in tune with your movements.