Curious about workout classes? I really enjoy them! I’ll try to add descriptions of the ones I’ve tried and what I got out of them. Want to know about a class you haven’t tried? If it’s available near me, I’ll try it out and let you know if it’s worth the cost.
Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with any of the brands that own these classes and do not endorse them or advise them for any weight loss plan. Consult with a doctor before beginning any diet or exercise plan.
I haven’t actually done plain ol’ Zumba, but I just can’t stop going to the Tone class! If you are unfamiliar, Zumba in general is typically an hour-long cardio class with latin-based dance moves (it’s not difficult to pick up) that truly gets your heart pumping. With Zumba Tone, add shake weights in each hand for most of the class and several arm exercises. It’s a great time and always puts me in the best mood! It is an excellent calorie burner (up to 1000/hr) and sweat-inducer with fun music and typically happy people.
Length: Typically 1 hour
Calories burned: “up to 1000” according to various web sources
Pros: So many! You’ll leave happy and flushed, sweaty and tired, but energized. It’s impossible to go to this class and leave unhappy.
Cons: You really will not look cute after this class. Allow time to shower or at least rinse off and touch up your makeup, or go at the end of the day when you don’t care what you look like.
How to get started: Just show up! There are so many people in the classes you’ll blend right in, and there are varying levels of capability, weight, and fitness. The instructors tend to give you different options of difficulty for certain moves. Stand somewhere you can see the instructor but won’t feel self-conscious for your first few times so you can maximize your workout.
Know before you go: Wear tennis shoes and either pants or shorts that will be comfortable when you’re super sweaty, and I recommend a tank top instead of a t-shirt (they get so hot). A lot of girls wear yoga pants due to some of the “dancy” nature of the moves… short shorts may be too revealing for some people’s comfort.
SPIN CLASSES & RPM
I am such a fan. I’ve taken a LOT of these in my time. I took my first spin class in Albany, NY when I lived up there for a summer performing as Maria in West Side Story and couldn’t stop going. The classes vary depending on the instructor which keeps it interesting, as well as the “brand” – for instance, if it is a Les Mills class (at a gym that offers things like BodyPump, BodyFlow, etc), the class will be called RPM and they will introduce new monthly workouts and goals. In general, I really like Les Mills classes because they keep it fresh and standardized. If it is not RPM, it is either endorsed by another company or is taught by (hopefully) a certified instructor and is probably called either “Cycle” or “Spin.” The classes can be any length, from 30 minutes to an 1.5 hrs, and tend to begin with a warm up and “climb” until the cooldown.
Length: 30, 45, 60 minutes, or more.
Calories burned: Absolutely depends on how much resistance and speed you use, but can be up to 1000.
Pros: Low impact! Great toning capability: you’ll feel it full body the next day. Buns, arms, core, legs… you’ll feel it! Also fabulous for endurance training and general cardio. You’ll leave sweaty and exhausted, but in a good way.
Cons: If your bike is adjusted incorrectly, it can be a rough class. Also, the wrong shorts can be a big mistake: chafing! Yikes. Wear bike shorts or pants.
How to get started: I would recommend starting with a shorter class, 30 or 45 minutes, to see how you like it. Be careful on the resistance the first time: you need to figure out how your endurance matches up to the class. I’d go easy until you figure out where you fit.
Know before you go: As I said above, wear bike shorts or pants (but pants may get hot). BRING A TOWEL TO COVER YOUR HANDLEBARS (you’ll sweat!) and A COUPLE BOTTLES OF WATER. They will give you water breaks and you really should take them – you’ll sweat a crazy amount. Also, show up early enough to get a bike, and also to ask the instructor to help you adjust your bike. This really is essential. Don’t be shy about asking – they’re happy to help and it is a different fit than the bike you ride down the street.