There are many different varieties of exercise classes at various gyms up and down the country and I get asked frequently which classes people should go to at their gym or health club, to lose weight. Well, this post is to give my opinion on what classes I recommend and why.
I shall start with Legs, Bums and Tums. This class is designed to tone the lower part of your body and also your abdominal region. Whilst you will certainly ache from this class and you will get some benefits from going to it, I would only recommend this class to extremely unfit people who are just beginning exercise or returning to it. It is low intensity and it won’t get you dropping decent amounts of body fat/weight that most people who attend want to achieve. Fat loss rating: 3/10
Next up is a firm favourite at the gym I work in. I had my reservations on Spin initially when I started teaching it, purely on the basis that high intensity cardio on its own won’t provide people with significant weight loss, unless they have vast amounts to lose. It certainly won’t get you that six pack you’re after either, as there is no resistance against all the major muscle groups. However, Spin will improve your fitness levels significantly, as it did with me and it will also condition your legs. Since teaching Spin, I have found myself feeling much fitter, I have ran a 10k race and recovered within 24 hours, whereas normally I would struggle with DOMS (muscular soreness) for a couple of days. The best thing I find about Spin, is you can work to your own intensity. So, if you ever come out of a Spin class and don’t feel you have worked hard enough, then you need to turn your resistance up. Fat loss rating: 6/10
Body Pump. In terms of Fat Loss I think this class is a good class, probably one of the best available at the gym. To drop fat we need to provide resistance against the muscles, to break them down and rebuild them. This is why people who lift weights get the best results. However, with Body Pump I have huge problems with the safety of the class. When Personal Training clients, I can often spend an hour teaching the movements, such as a squat or an overhead press. When squatting, it is essential to keep your back straight, the knees must not travel further forward than your toes, your backside must travel out and down, chest out, shoulders back, your thighs should be parallel to the ground, feet shoulder width apart at the heels. So as you can see, there are lots of things to consider when just performing that movement alone. Body Pump has you performing lots of these movements and there is no way that one or two instructors can teach the movements, or correct form throughout a class consistently enough to make it a good class. It will help you drop fat, but it will also provide muscular imbalances and pain and in my opinion would easily be the class you could injure yourself in. Fat Loss rating however: 8/10
Attack/Combat/Dance/Step. These classes I think are more about fun than fat loss. People can go to these classes, get a choreographed routine done for them, at high intensity which they enjoy. If someone is significantly overweight or doesn’t do any exercise, then they will certainly drop weight here. People who already exercise can improve their fitness levels, but they won’t get the improvements that they want in their physique. Fat loss rating 7/10
If you mix these classes, lift weights too then you will start to see results. Simple as that.
If you want serious results, then you need to pay attention to your nutrition. What we believe and are told is good for you and what is actually good, are two very different things. Quite simply put, you cannot train off a bad diet. Its not possible. I used to think it was, but I know from experience that it is not!