After the first few weeks at a gym, you may find yourself hearing loud music or seeing a row of sweat drenched people poor out of a small room. As you finish your last 5 minutes on the treadmill you find yourself saying, “That looks/sounds like more fun.” But, when you muster up the courage to go to the class you feel left out. Everyone seems to know each other, you’re obviously the noobie. Maybe you even get discouraged because you walked into the advanced step class and you didn’t even know what step was to begin with. Relax, we have broken down some of the common classes and explained what fitness level is best suited to take them. But, you ultimately will have to get to know your instructors–they’re the determining factor for intensity.
Kickboxing: Dynamic cardio using both kicking and punching. Boxing clubs and gyms are very popular. So, kickboxing class styles truly vary. At full gyms, they tend to be more aerobic based, no bags included. If you don’t like step or dance, this class will be a bit of a challenge. However, if you go the more intense route at an actual boxing club you will be hitting and kicking an actual bag. As one gym states, it will push your cardio endurance while also toning and strengthening. Beware, hand wraps and gloves are a must!
Pilates: Generally pilates classes are for everyone. Toning is the main goal of this class: you want to elongate your muscles. Long and lean is the motto of this class. It uses body weight resistance, so don’t worry about bulking up with weights.
Yoga: Read the description of this one very carefully. These classes are generally broken down by both style and level. Stay away from power yoga if you are a beginner. Those are for intense and dedicated poses. To find a style that suits your fitness goals, check out our guide here.
TNT or Toning: Any fitness level can take these classes. They are taught in groups, but they focus on individual progressions. You pick your weight and determine how much you can lift. Most of these classes are equipment based and use weights, dumbbells, bars, etc. For the most part, these are strength and toning classes. However, the instructor may teach at a pace that could qualify it as cardio–if they don’t already include some cardio intervals. Again, go at your own pace to make this class adjust to you–do a lighter weight, but faster reps for a heart boost.
Bootcamp: No matter which way you slice and dice this class, it’s going to be a shock to your system. Bootcamps combine cardio and strength training meant to reflect a more functional fitness approach. These moves were meant to whip Army boys and girls into shape–so imagine the obstacles that await you. If you want to join this class, do so at the very beginning. This way, you progress with the class. If you hop in mid-year or session, you may find yourself stumbling over your feet to keep up, but I still recommend you try it going at your own pace.