Whether you’re new to the gym or a regular expert, one of the key ways to stay motivated through your exercise regime is to spice it up at regular intervals. Changing what you do in the gym has many benefits: increased enjoyment, working on different muscles or to different goals, overcoming a plateau. And one of the best ways to change your gym routine is to attend scheduled fitness classes.
Classes can have a lot of benefits for gym bunnies. Perhaps you’ve been hitting the treadmill hard for weeks but you can’t shift those last few pounds, or you’re not making the desired muscle gain. A couple of fitness classes a week can help you over those last few hurdles, and besides, they’re great fun and can encourage you to work harder to keep up with the instructor. Gym classes can bring out the competitor in anyone.
We’ve all heard of Zumba Classes, the dance-based fitness workout. It fuses Latin dance moves with dance styles from around the world and loud, infectious bass-oriented music. The theory of Zumba is that you will be having so much fun you won’t realise how much exercise you are doing. Zumba claims to be able to burn up to 500 calories per hour – that’s some serious workout.
Keeping the energy high is a class such as Body Pump, which uses weights and resistance to burn fat and build muscle. Some ladies may be put off by the thought of building muscle, but they should remember that using barbells and weights does not automatically guarantee you a bodybuilding physique. In fact, regular weights workouts will help you become lean and powerful, not bulked up. Body Pump provides an all-over body workout and can burn anywhere from 400 to 600 calories per hour. All this with infectious rhythmic music to keep you motivated and keep you moving.
If you like your workout to be mental as well as physical and include a great stress-busting system, then Body Combat may be for you. This is a martial arts-based fitness class that not only teaches you some self-defence moves but puts you in great shape and allows you to punch and kick away all your aggression and stress. Don’t worry, you won’t be putting on a head guard and going toe to toe with your class-mates; Body Combat is strictly non-contact. That doesn’t stop you from burning up to 700 calories per hour, though.
And then, of course, there is Spin. The group cycling class that is well-known for being torture and yet highly addictive, Spin classes can burn up to a staggering 900 calories per hour as participants engage in a range of high-intensity exercises on the bike, including push ups on the bike handles, all whilst cycling at high speed and/or high resistance.
Gym classes are not all about speed and aggression, however. For the gym-goer who wants to focus on strength and flexibility, yoga classes are a great addition to their routine. Yoga comes in many different styles, much like dance or martial arts, but all of them focus on breath and balance. Yoga produces a strange combination of relaxation with invigoration and regular yoga practice can not only burn up to 200 calories per hour, but it can also have serious strength, flexibility and lean muscle-building benefits.
So, if your gym routine is getting a little stale or the thought of getting on that treadmill just no longer appeals, consider changing things up by attending gym classes instead or as well as your normal routine. You’ll soon find your enthusiasm returning.