I read a lot of blogs. Right now I have my Feedly down to 40 subscriptions, but I always find myself adding new blogs to read. Sometimes I forget that a reader might come across my blog through a Google search. Some people (more like most people!) might not read other healthy living, food, fitness, running blogs like I do.
Since running specifically has not been my main focus in the past few months, I thought I should write about my current obsession… group fitness classes! My friend Sondra @ Reclaimed Gardening has been curious about group fitness classes, so she inspired this post!
I’ll admit, I’m partial to Les Mills classes. If I could have a dream job, it might be catching a plane to New Zealand and working for this company. I haven’t tried all of their classes, but it is my goal to get to them all. My current gym teaches almost all of their classes and they are amazing. They spend tons of money on scientific research and have the best music. Classes are choreographed, so they will always be consistent among various gyms. Below is a little preview video of all the Les Mills classes offered in 80 countries!
When I go to classes, I bring a yoga mat (most gyms will have a mat for you, but I get sweaty and want my own!). I also bring a water bottle and sometimes a sweat towel (for spin class!). That’s really all you need!
Here are the Les Mills classes I’ve taken…
BODYPUMP is my #1 obsession. I got certified to teach in May, and I have been on cloud 9 ever since! This class uses weights (mostly a barbell) to condition all of your major muscle groups in one hour. If you are a beginner, you should go light on your weights so you can focus on your form and get more familiar with the class. You always have the option of putting down your weights and stretching it out! Instructors are always there to help you with your weight selections for each track. A 1 hour BODYPUMP class always goes in the same order: 1. Warm up, 2. Squats, 3. Chest, 4. Back, 5. Triceps, 6. Biceps, 7. Lunges, 8. Shoulders, 9. Core, 10. Cool-down/stretch. Come to a class and get prepared to be addicted!!
CXWORX is my 2nd favorite class! This is a newer class (around for 2-3 years) and it is always a good challenge! CXWORX forcuses on core training in a 30 minute class. You use a resistance band and a single weight plate for some of the tracks. I do have my eye set on this class for a second certification to eventually teach. I am thinking I might go to a training next spring. There are always modifications for this class, but it can be intense. There are 6 tracks and the 2nd is always the most intense! Think lots of hovers/planks to work your core muscles hard!
BODYCOMBAT is an hour martial arts cardio class. I just started taking this class this summer and it is really great. I didn’t think I would be into martial arts-style workouts, but I am really getting into it! The more I go, the harder I push myself and the more calories I burn!
BODYATTACK is an hour sports-inspired cardio workout. This class is tough, but there area always modifications. The instructor will show multiple ways of doing a move, such as a step to step side, adding a bounce or even harder adding jumping. The more familiar you get, the harder you can push yourself. I think this class is amazing and my friend Steph got me to try it out. It is still a newer class at my gym, so it isn’t on the regular schedule. I’m hoping to fit this in more often because I really enjoy it, and like it a little more than combat.
RPM is a 45 minute indoor cycling workout, or also known as a “spin class”. I had tried a regular spin class many times before and I wasn’t a fan. I’m not sure what it was, but it just wasn’t for me. At my new gym, they offer only Les Mills RPM and talk about a difference!! I LOVE IT!!! It has great music, it is choreographed and it is tough! I love my new gym because they have a separate spin room with the bikes already set up. They also dim the lights for class. At first I had no idea why they would do this, but it lets you feel less self-conscious. When I am pushing myself, sweating like crazy and making ugly faces I know the dimmed lights let me hide a bit I think spin is an excellent beginner class. You are on a bike and you can pick the back row. The only person that will see you is the instructor. You put in the effort, you get a workout. If you are newer to fitness, you can take it easy and get used to the class.
I still need to try BODYSTEP (a step aerobics class) and the brand new GRIT classes.
A few of our gym’s instructors just got certified to teach GRIT, so I will be able to try it out soon. It looks intense, but I’m excited for it. I mentioned in a previous post that they got the new Les Mills SMARTbars for this class and they look so pretty. Can a barbell look pretty? I guess to me they can!
If you are still worried about going to a class at the gym, google it! You can find tons of information on the internet about classes. Tons of people blog about their experiences taking and teaching these classes. You can also find tons of videos on YouTube that can give you a better idea of how a class will be. I’ve also pinned lots of videos on my Pinterest that you can look at too! There are other classes besides Les Mills (gasp!) at gyms you can always try out too!
Do you take group classes at the gym? What do you like??