With so many different fitness classes to choose from, finding the right routine can be a challenge. So how do you pick the workout class that’s right for you? Try starting with your goal and working backward. Ask yourself: why do I want to start a fitness routine? Based on your answer, here are the best fitness classes to help you achieve your fitness goals.
If you want to build muscle:
Strength training is the number one way to build muscle, but if weight lifting classes intimidate you, there are plenty of other fitness class options to help you achieve similar results.
For those brand new to strength training, barre classes use lighter weights (between 2-5 pounds) and high repetitions to build strength in the stabilizing muscles that other classes might ignore.
Ready for some heavier weights? Boxing classes often incorporate a strength training component or opt for a studio like BFT to keep your focus on the weight floor for the full class.
If dumbbells don’t appeal to you, pilates is a perfect option for toning your muscles and strengthening your core through resistance training.
If you want to lose weight:
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is the most effective exercise for burning calories and promoting weight loss. Alternating between periods of high-intensity activity and brief rest periods, HIIT workouts are no joke—and neither are their calorie-torching results.
Interval training isn’t limited to one style of workout. The best cycling, rowing, running, boxing, dancing, and barre studios offer HIIT-style training classes. Pick a favorite or mix it up—you’re sure to work up a sweat no matter what.
Remember: weight loss is much more about your diet than it is about the type of exercise you choose. Almost any fitness class can aid in weight loss by burning calories and improving your body composition. If high-intensity workouts aren’t for you, incorporating any style of exercise into your routine will still help you reach your weight loss goals.
If you want to increase your flexibility:
Flexibility is about a lot more than doing the splits or touching your toes. By increasing your joint mobility, you’ll move better and feel better in everyday life.
Stretching and yoga classes are obvious choices for increasing your flexibility, but Pilates is a great option, too, incorporating plenty of active stretching to lengthen your muscles.
If you want a full-body workout:
Want to work your body head to toe? You have tons of options for getting it done.
Rowing works your legs, core, and upper body, providing a full-body workout with plenty of cardio and strength benefits. The same goes for cycling—although the bike lends itself primarily to cardio and lower body work, most Cyclebar classes incorporate an upper-body section for a well-rounded workout.
Boxing is an intense exercise for your upper body and core, but staying on your toes as you throw punches will leave your calves sore the next day, too. Add in the strength training sections that the best boxing classes incorporate and your whole body will be KO’ed.
Some strength training classes may focus solely on the upper body or lower body, but others will train both. And just because you’re not in a traditional cardio class doesn’t mean your heart won’t be pumping—trust us.
Pilates and barre classes are good lower-intensity options for full-body training. Classes are often split into sections focusing on the lower body, upper body, and core, ensuring every muscle gets the workout it deserves.
If you’re in it for the mental health benefits:
Any and all movement is beneficial for your mental health, but we won’t pretend that boxing puts us in the same state of mind as restorative yoga does. If you’re looking to center yourself and relax during your workout, yoga, pilates, barre, and stretching are great options. Craving an endorphin rush? Choose something more high-intensity like boxing, cycling, rowing, or running. Try out a variety of fitness classes to find what puts you in the right headspace—it’s different for everyone!
The bottom line:
The best fitness class for you is the one you’ll actually go to consistently. If you’re easily bored with repetition, try a fitness subscription like XPASS to help you diversify your workouts and keep yourself motivated as you achieve your fitness goals