Before you read about Best Gym Classes for Weight Loss please take note of this important warning:
But you clicked here, so you already knew that! You’re ready to get pumping, build up a sweat and burn off some pounds, so where do you start? Gyms can be intimidating at the best of times and whilst gym staff are extremely knowledgeable and supportive they might not have all the information, or knowledge, about what type of gym class is best for you and your goals.
Step forward our detailed article about the best gym workouts for you! Here you’ll find everything you need to know about class type, intensity and calories burned, and other physical benefits!
And whilst a consistent, regular exercise programme of 3 or more finesses classes per week will pay untold dividends, it’s important that any fitness regime you embark on is part of a wider plan. Like any other vehicle, your body needs to be fuelled correctly. And you must make the necessary changes to your Lifestyle and Diet in order to fully benefit from your new exercise regime.
But what does this actually mean in terms of what you eat and how much? Well it’s a really simple equation called a calorie deficit: you must eat fewer calories (food) than you burn (exercise). This calorie deficit means your body will use fat resources to make up the difference, resulting in weight loss.
But don’t despair! when you build exercise into your daily routine, the calorie burning will happen on a consistent, daily basis and this goal easily becomes reality. Remember to try everything to see what works for you and once you’ve settled on a class you enjoy, stick with it! In no time at all you’ll be a Gym Class Superstar!
Best Gym Classes for Weight Loss
Class Type: Aerobics
Classes: Zumba, Body Step, Bootybarre
Calories Burned: Up to 620 Calories Per Hour
These classes are high energy workouts that cater to all fitness levels. They are a great introduction to the gym class environment and a great way to lose weight. Body Step uses a gym block to increase the intensity of the exercise whilst Zumba is a dance based workout ‘mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party.’
Bootybarre also includes elements of dance and they describe it as ‘a fun, energetic, workout that fuses techniques from Dance, Pilates, and Yoga that will tone, define and chisel the whole body. bootybarre is the perfect combination of strength and flexibility with an added cardiovascular element utilizing the barre’ (the bar around the perimeter of a studio that ballet dancers traditionally work with).
According to Les Mills, you will benefit by:
- Burning lots of calories for a leaner body
- Improving your strength and core conditioning work
- Raising overall fitness levels
- Improvements in your coordination
- Improvements to your bone health and density
- Increased heart and lung capacity
Class Type: Cardio
Classes: Body Combat, Body Attack, Bootcamp
Calories Burned: Up to 700 Calories Per Hour
Body Combat is a high-energy martial-arts inspired workout that is totally non-contact with no complex moves to master. ‘A LES MILLS™ instructor will challenge you to up the intensity and motivate you to make the most of every round.’
Les Mills describes Body Attack ‘is a high-energy fitness class with moves that cater for total beginners to total addicts. Body Attack combines athletic movements like running, lunging and jumping with strength exercises such as push-ups and squats.’
And at Barry’s Bootcamp workouts are ‘designed for efficiency. The intervals and strength training combinations are proven to lean and tone your body.’
According to the experts at Mayo Clinic the benefits of cardio exercise to your body will help you:
- Keep excess pounds at bay
- Increase stamina and reduced fatigue
- Ward off viral illnesses
- Activate your immune system in a good way
- Reduce your health risks
- Reduce the risk of many conditions, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, stroke and certain types of cancer.
- Help decrease the risk of osteoporosis
- Manage chronic conditions
- Help lower blood pressure and control blood sugar
- Strengthen your heart
- Keep your arteries clear
- Boosts your high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good,” cholesterol, and lowers your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad,” cholesterol
- Boost your mood
- Ease the gloominess of depression, reduce the tension associated with anxiety and promote relaxation
- Stay active and independent as you age
- Keep your muscles strong
- Keeps your mind sharp
and last but not least, and most important of all, it may help you…
Class Type: Cycle
Classes: Spinning, Cycling, Indoor Group Cycling
Calories Burned: Up to 800 Calories Per Hour
Cycling Weekly describes spin classes as ‘a high intensity cycling workout that generally takes place on a stationary machine with a heavy, weighted flywheel that is linked to the pedals. The result is a fixed gear bike (like a track bike) – your legs are constantly moving and you have to apply pressure to slow them down.’ This means a high intensity cardio workout that will get you sweating!!
Spin classes also allow you to change the intensity of your workout by adapting the dial on the bike. This means the class is open to all fitness levels and a pro-athlete can train alongside a complete beginner. Spin classes may be called Cycling, Or Indoor Cycling, but regardless of the name, branding or trademark they are all essentially small variations of the original premise: studio cycling to get fit!
Class Type: Mat Based: Strength
Classes: Ashtanga Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Power Yoga
Calories Burned: Up to 550 Calories Per Hour
Ashtanga, Vinayasa and Power Yoga are some of the most vigorous, calorie burning mat based exercises you can do. Ashtanga is a rigorous form of yoga that always performs the exact same poses in the exact same order, so you have to be prepared for a very routine focussed class. This can be difficult for some people who like variation but if you can bring your focus into the moment and still your mind then your body will reap the calorie-burning benefits, not to mention extra strength and flexibility. It is similar to vinyasa yoga, as both styles link’s every movement to a breath. Ashtanga however is a hot, sweaty, physically demanding practice.
The key characteristic of a Vinyasa class is the element of flow. It is a dynamic, flowing form of yoga where the poses (asanas) are connected to the breath. Therefore Vinyasa practice can be movement intensive and students transition through their Asanas. Whilst Vinyasa classes have similarities to Astanga they are less formulaic and it is generally up to the teacher to set the tone of the class. This means intensity can vary and makes Vinyasa a could option for those who prefer variety over routine.
Power Yoga has its roots based in Ashtanga Yoga, but can vary from class to class, depending on the teacher. As with Ashtanga there is a quick pace to the class and you will work up a sweat. It will help you build your strength and energise your body.
For a more complete guide on other Yoga Styles check out or comprehensive post here.
And hundreds of studies on the benefits of Yoga have been conducted to explore the potential benefits of this ancient practice.
Yoga has been found to reduce fatigue, improve general health and regulate cortisol. Studies have also explored Yoga’s ability to alleviate anxiety and depression as well as numerous physical benefits beyond increased strength and fitness. According to the American Association of Osteopathic Is the physical benefits of Yoga can include:
- Increased flexibility
- Increased muscle strength and tone
- Improved respiration, energy and vitality
- Maintaining a balanced metabolism
- Weight reduction
- Cardio and circulatory health
- Improved athletic performance
- Protection from injury
This data is underscored by thousands of anecdotal reports from real people who have experienced life-changing results from practicing yoga on a regular basis.
Katie Holmes over at Outwittrade.com has researched and compiled some of these reports into this huge list, which gives a wide range of experiences from people who have changed their lives through yoga. There’s nothing more inspirational then reading about the challenges people have overcome through participation in a regular yoga class.
Class Type: Pool Based
Calories Burned: Up to 750 Calories Per Hour
Swimming is unquestionably one of the best exercises you can take up. With little to no impact on joints its suitable for people of all ages and all fitness levels. Swimming utilises the whole body, so you are effectively engaging more muscles than you would be by running alone. Your core is stabilised to keep you straight in the water, whilst your legs and arms must be in constant motion in order to propel you forward.
This constant movement helps to improve your flexibility and provides you with a full body workout. You can burn a whopping 750 calories per hour, depending on what stroke you use (and how long you can swim for!) But any amount of swimming will work to improve your general well-being, de-stress and relax you helping to improve sleep and reduce anxiety and depression.
If you don’t know how to swim contact your local centre and enrol in a course – never go into a pool alone.
And there are benefits to exercising in water that are unique to swimming and swimming alone. There is evidence that swimmers live longer and that it can help older people to stay fit, physically and mentally.
According to the latest research published by Swim England, in a major new report, children who take part in swimming lessons regularly develop physical, cognitive and social skills quicker than those who do not.
The study even found that Swimming can reduce death by 28 percent.
Other findings from the report also included:
- The unique properties of water which make swimming perfect for people of all ages to exercise, particularly those with injuries, impairments, long term health conditions, or those who struggle to exercise on land.
- evidence that swimmers live longer, that regular swimming helps older people stay mentally and physically fit, and participation in swimming lessons can help children to develop physical, cognitive and social skills quicker.
- Swimming has a positive impact on a range of physical and mental health conditions including obesity, cancer, cerebral palsy, and pulmonary disease.
- Aquatic activity not only helps develop aerobic fitness, but is also good for the development of strength and balance
- the contribution of swimming to support the healthy development of children, and how this can contribute to their physical, mental and social skills.
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