Not everyone enjoys going to the gym to lift weights, some enjoy the classes that gyms have to offer. When I first start going to the gym I was scared to join the classes to begin with because I was scared of being the one to stand out. Not knowing what to do while everyone else can do the exercises flawlessly.
So rather than getting over my fear I hid away in the gym and kept myself to myself, I spent all my time on the rowing machine and the other resistance machines, doing the few exercises that I did know.
This obviously didn’t get me very far in terms of progress. I saw little improvement in my fitness, nor my body. But when I went through a tough breakup I found a new sense of confidence, you know how you get after a break up, you get a big FU attitude. So I went to a class, and I realised what I had been missing out on for that whole year.
Yes, I died, I came out and rang my mum saying to ring me back in 20 minutes to see if I’d got home safe and not just passed out on the road back. But I kept going back and improvement came not only in my fitness levels so I could keep up but I finally saw improvement in my body.
I was losing fat on my body so I finally started to see muscle definition, my thighs started to slim down and abs started to show. I honestly couldn’t recommend doing gym classes more, they changed the game for me. But doing only one isn’t going to cut it, you need a variety to target all parts of your body and of varying intensity because once your body gets used to that exercise and that weight you stop seeing improvement.
So what do you need to do to get that dream body.
Not all of these classes are as hyped as you see on the TV, not every instructor will have you dancing and screaming to the music while you’re cycling, but these cycling classes, or spin, are a great addition to your exercise programme.
Cycling will get you hitting the pedals fast and hard, varying the resistance on the peddles so it’ll be harder at times. But the point is it is activating your legs in every way possible and getting your stamina up. The more you do the better you’ll do not only at the class, but also in the gym generally. You’ll have a better tolerance for squats and deadlifts.
The only problem you’ll find with these classes are the bike seats, they aren’t the most comfortable. But half the time you’ll be up on your feet with your butt of the seat so I wouldn’t worry too much, just make sure not to fall back too hard on the seat.
A more tailored workout that targets those areas that most men and women dislike, it’s a great class to pair with a more overall body workout or upper body based class.
These classes are easier to start off with newcomers, as they’re relatively straight forward exercises but at a lower weight, however you do have to do a lot of repetitions…
I think it’s a good class, but they’re popular so be sure to get there early to secure a good spot in the studio.
3. Abs Training/ Core Stability
Make sure to squeeze a core or ab workout into your weekly programme to make sure you’re training all parts of your body.
Your core will be engaged with most of these classes so you’ll be working out your abs constantly, but it’s always good to just make sure you are hitting them directly. T
These classes are normally short; in my gym they are only 15 minutes long because abs don’t need an overly excessive plan. It’s best to work until exhaustion with abs, so be prepared to be in pain when you cough afterwards.
I think these are some of the best classes to get involved in your workout because it’ll have you doing a full body workout but in a fun environment so it doesn’t feel as exhausting.
In my experience pump or body attack classes get you using weights you are comfortable with and doing the exercises you’d normally find on the gym floor. Chest press, squats, Romanian deadlifts etc. But again the reps are high to make sure you are toning your body thoroughly.
The more reps you can handle in each exercise the better your results will be. Don’t worry about getting bulkly, none of these classes are going to bulk you up, they are just toning you up. And a pump class will hit all parts of your body, from biceps and triceps, to back and chest, and thighs and butt.
You may have heard of HITT being an amazing thing to include in your workouts, this is High Intensity Interval Training and it is basically working at a high intensity for a short period of time, say 20 seconds, with a 10 second break to recoup before doing another 20 seconds at high intensity.
This is a bitch when the exercise is burpees, no one likes doing those, especially not at a high speed.
Interval classes are great because it has you working hard, very hard, that you’ll leave dead. But you’ll see the results in your stamina and your body without a doubt.
A more fun and relaxed class for you try but one that will still tone your body up. It may also give you a few ideas on how to dance at clubs.
I found Zumba to be a nice break in a workout routine because it doesn’t feel like a workout, or at least a normal one where you are pressing weights above your head. You are there laughing with everyone else as you have to dance to Shakira and every other song that gets your hips moving.
I love using dancing as a way to exercise because you’re still being fit, you are still building your stamina while also toning your waist as you keep twisting and shaking. Just be sure to mix this class with some of the others if you want serious results because you won’t be pushing your body enough in a dance class to see serious results quickly.
Pilates isn’t offered by every gym but it’s worth going to if you want to target your core for a longer period of time. This is the only class, that contributes to improving your posture as well as helping to bring your muscles to the surface by reducing the layer of fat.
So if you struggle with posture like I do, I constantly have my mum telling me to stand up straight, try adding a Pilates class to your workout to challenge your body in a new way.
8. Boot Camp
This is like pump and all those other classes but at a higher intensity, so if you fancy a bit more of a challenge for your body and stamina then try one of these classes out. ]
You’ll be using battle ropes and possibly even flipping tyres, getting a proper army style training.
9. Water Workout
Water provides a good amount of resistance so any workout you do in the water will be toning you up as you move. So get in the water and start splashing about.
I know it’ll feel strange doing a workout in a swim suit or bikini rather than your sports bra and leggings but it’s a good way to tackle your body in a different way.
It’s also a better option for those people that struggle with stiff joints and pain in their knees, the water provides a certain aid to make your workout easier. But saying that, it doesn’t mean the pool is going to be filled with old people with stiff joints, classes are for all ages. It’s just a fun and different way to do a workout.
10. Box Fit
Lastly is the classic Box Fit, if you want to get some frustration out go and do a Box Fit class. From my experience with them you don’t actually get to beat anyone up, which is quite disappointing, but you get to punch and kick until you’ve gotten all that frustration out.
Box Fit is a great way to tone your arms because you’re using them in a different and active way rather than when you’re doing a chest press or bicep curl. It’s a good addition to make to your workout to make sure you’re covering all areas.