When it comes to losing weight, a combination of good nutrition and diet along with exercise is the key to success. Joining a gym can be a great way to commit to a regular exercise routine, and many people find that the group training classes offered at gyms can be fun and motivational. If weight loss is your goal, then some classes are certainly better than others to consider trying. Let’s look at four of the best (and most fun!).
More than just a trendy new way to workout, getting involved in a spinning class can really kick-start your weight loss efforts through a combination of factors. Your instructor will lead you through a variety of different races that simulate those you might do on the open road - uphill, sprints, long distance - to the background of upbeat music. But powering through each track is more than just about getting sweaty and increasing your heart rate. Spinning will also help to strengthen your hip muscles, hamstrings, glutes and quads, and the stronger these large muscles are, the easier it is for your body to burn fat. It is also estimated that you will burn between 600 - 800 calories in one high intensity class.
The short sprint workouts that you do in a spinning class are known to effectively increase levels of human growth hormone, which will assist in boosting lean muscle and burning fat. This form of interval training (where you do spurts of activity and rest) increases your body’s metabolism, so you keep burning fat even after the class!
The Bar Method
This class provides a tough yet effective workout that was designed by a former dancer, and combines using your body weight, balancing, and light weights to sculpt your muscles to be long, lean and toned like that of a dancer. While the exercises are focussed on muscle sculpting, they also offer an aerobic workout through short bursts of energy.
Each Bar Method class offers a challenging one hour total body workout, beginning with a warmup using free or light weights and push-ups, followed by exercises focussing on the legs and butt and utilising the bar to stretch and balance through each repetition. You will then move onto abdominal work which also uses the bar and a mat. The class will end with stretching to set the muscles.
Dancers are known for their fit, toned, and lean bodies, and working out in a similar way to that of a dancer is a sure sign that this class is effective for getting a lighter body.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
If you are trying to lose weight, definitely give HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) a go. These short, 25 minute classes are super effective and follow a tried and tested formula that your instructor will lead you through. You will complete a circuit that typically involves doing 2 minutes of walking, 2 minutes of jogging, and then 1 minute of running as fast as you can, and completing five similar cycles without a break.
Each time you perform 25 minutes of HIIT your endurance improves and you step it up a level so that each time you take the class you become faster and stronger. This kind of interval training helps to burn calories during the class and also improves your metabolism so that you continue to burn calories throughout the day.
Zumba has taken off in recent years and is a fun and effective workout based around Latin inspired dance. It does not require any prior dance experience, as the instructor will lead you through the dance routine that goes with each song, repeating the moves for you to simply follow along. The quick-beat Latin music means that the dance moves are also fast paced.
The reason Zumba is so fun is because there is no pressure to get it right, you just join in the best you can for each song. The main focus is on fun - moving your body, swinging your hips and enjoying the music. By doing Zumba, it helps to tone all the muscles in your body, while at the same time providing a cardio workout that helps to energise and burn significant calories.
The best thing about all these classes is that they will help you to not only lose weight, but have fun at the same time. You are more likely to stick to it and make it a regular part of your routine. So be adventurous and in the week ahead try a new class at your gym!