In the health and fitness world, everyone is always trying to cut corners and figure out how to get the results they want in the easiest, and quickest way possible. If this is your mindset, think again. Nothing in the fitness industry is easy. And if it is easy, it isn’t going to help you reach your goals and get you to that desired weight on the scale or look in the mirror.Lifestyle changes take time. They take effort every single day to ensure you are creating healthy habits and not just a quick fix that when you are finished you will resort right back to where you started.
So, what are the best fitness classes to lose weight?
People ask “which one burns more calories”, “how long do I need to do that every day to lose a pound”, “if I have a salad everyday will I lose weight”, “if I lift too much, or too heavy will I get bulky”, “What are the best exercises for weight loss?” these are all phrases we hear in the fitness industry. There is no cardio machine that burns more calories than the other, its’ about the time you put in and the energy you expend. We need to stop trying to “cut corners” and create the mindset that we WANT to be healthy and fit, and the results will follow.
The main reason people quit programs or fall off the wagon is because they lose motivation or no one is there to hold them accountable. This is why group fitness classes are on the rise. Not only do you have a personal trainer giving you the workout, but you have your peers working out alongside you to create the camaraderie and competition people thrive for to push themselves. When it comes to group workouts, there are some that burn more calories and fat than others. It is important to pick classes that challenge you and drive up your intensity to make sure you expend enough energy to burn body fat. Below are a few group classes that do just that…increase intensity and decrease body fat.
HIIT Can be one of the best fitness classes for weight loss
High intensity interval training has been the most common group fitness class for years. Each class is going to be a little different depending on the institute and trainer, but all will follow series of work to rest ratios for a period of time. Some may focus more on cardiovascular exercises and standing rest while others may use strength training and active rest. These can also depend on the clients’ fitness level. Some intervals use simpler movements and standing rest (more for beginners) while others use complex movements and cardiovascular active rest (more advanced). Both are going to build muscle while burning body fat. The science behind HIIT is simple, putting the body under stress and “overloading” the systems following it by bouts of rest allows the heart rate to fluctuate and kick-start enzyme activity. Increased enzyme activity increases fat oxidation and therefore burns calories. Another factor that aids in fat loss during HIIT is the increase in oxygen uptake after the workout (EPOC). This allows the body to use fat instead of carbohydrates as a substrate in energy production (Protein). Overall, HIIT puts the body under enough stress to shift systems from using dietary intake as energy to using stored fat, which therefore increases oxidation and we burn fat! Don’t be overwhelmed by the science, HIIT can be done by beginner and seasoned athletes, and has been proven to be the most effective type of training.
TRX Training is a perfect way to shred fat
Have you walked into a gym or fitness studio and saw yellow straps hanging from the ceiling and wondered what they are used for? These ladies and gents are TRX straps. TRX stands for Total body Resistance Exercise and create a great workout for everyone. They were created by United States Navy Seals so they could have the opportunity for a great workout wherever they traveled to. The science behind these straps is the pull of gravity and the use of suspension to put extra tension on the muscles that is not attainable using dumbbells or barbells. With this, muscle recruitment is increased during simple exercises like the row to stabilize and keep the body upright. The more muscles recruited, means a higher intensity workout which means more calories burned! The beauty behind these straps is that they are great for all skill levels. Each individual determines the difficulty of each movement by the placement of their feet. A more horizontal angle makes thing easier, and a more vertical angle makes things more difficult. The TRX create a great full body workout without even knowing how many muscles you are using. You will definitely wake up with sore muscles you didn’t even know you had and a new favorite piece of exercise equipment!
Why not add some stability while you lose some lbs?
You have probably heard of “pure barre” studios that are all over the country, but what is all the hype about? Barre is a form of isometric strength training that is derived from ballet but also uses techniques from yoga and pilates as well. There are several benefits of barre classes, but improving posture and lengthening muscles is the number one. Most people enter these classes hoping to achieve that “dancers body” because they don’t want to get “bulky” by lifting weights. Barre also helps to increase balance as well as flexibility and core strength. Classes can accommodated for all body types, and are a great option for those looking for low impact exercise as well as the companionship that comes from fitness classes. Based on science, the benefit of these classes is that they are low impact, which means great for those with joints prone to injury, while still getting your heart rate up there. The amount of stress put on the musculature has a large impact on energy output, and therefore calories burned, because the body is working so hard to keep you stable and therefore kicking in several muscle groups at once to hold the position. This is great for anyone looking to put on lean muscle mass and while burning fat and feeling someone feminine while doing it!
ZUMBA is a crowd favorite for killing calories
‘Ditch the Workout—Join the Party” is the slogan for all Zumba classes across the world! Millions of people participate in Zumba classes as their workout but it wasn’t until recently that a study was conducted to determine if it was actually a beneficial workout. After testing VO2 Max and following the heart rate of several subjects between the ages of 18-22 with heart rate monitors during a 50 minute Zumba class, it was determined that Zumba isn’t just a party. The study showed an average heart rate of 154bpm, which burns approximately 10 kcal per minute (Luettegen, Porcari and Foster). Another beneficial aspect of Zumba is the undulating of the heart rate during a class; this puts the body under stress and forces it to work in overdrive. Overall, it is now proven that Zumba is a great workout for anyone who wants lose a few extra pounds or even just burn a few calories while having some fun!
It is not necessarily how many calories you burn in a 1 hour fitness class, but more about how many you burn during the other 23 hours of the day; and this depends on the type of training and the intensity of the workout. Any group fitness class can be catered to your fitness goals, you just have to choose the style and trainer that’s right for you!