Do you hate cardio machines as much as me?

I love to work-out!  There’s nothing I love more!   As often as you can catch me in the gym or biking or swimming  in the Florida sun, it’s a rare occasion when you would find me on a cardio machine!  I find cardio machines the most boring exercise ever!  And with the awesome group fitness classes available, there’s no reason to be bored!  At least not me!   Group fitness classes elevate my heart more, work my muscles more and motivate me more.  I’d like to  share my 5 favorite group fitness classes.  I hope they are available at your gym.

My gym Lifestyle Family Fitness offers almost all Les Mills classes.  Les Mills offers a great variety of cardio-pumping fun, original choreography, high intensity interval training, and lots of weight training using your body-weight, bars, bands and balls.  I am going to list my favorite classes and I will comment on the effectiveness of each class for your particular goals.

1.) Body Step- Great all over body work-out and cardio

Body Step has always been my favorite, but the newest versions are a  revolution in fitness!  They combine great music and high intensity cardio coupled with high intensity interval training which includes burpees, jumping lunges, and weighted squat jumps.  There is a 7 minutes of high intensity interval training which pushes you to your absolute max and when you are totally exhausted and can barely breath it finishes up with one more high intensity weighted song.  Step always gives you plenty of leg work with squats and lunges and has  introduced some weight work  along with stomach work to top things off.

2.) Body Pump- An all-over body pump, great for muscle strength and endurance

I recently added body pump to my work-outs.  I used to pass on it because I felt high reps was not effective at building muscle and that  it would interfere with my heavier strength work-outs.  But I’ve become a total believer!  I really love this class.  Body pump offers a 5-6 minute blast of high reps to exhaustion on every body part and very little rest.  Body pump gives you not only a muscle pump but a cardio pump as well and will leave your muscles spent.  Not only has this class not interfered with my strength, I believe it has aided my heavier work-outs and improved my muscle endurance.  And while high reps is not thought to build muscle as much as lower reps, I think the beautiful buff bods of the body pump instructors tell another story.  And I love the variety it adds to strength training!

3.) Cardio Fusion- High Intensity Interval Training

Fusion is the best mix of high intensity cardio and muscle strengthening.  The class alternates between Body Attack and Body Pump.  Fusion is the best of both worlds-great for strength, endurance, and high intensity cardio and never fails to exhaust

4.) Body Attack- High Intensity Cardio to the Max!

Awesome cardio pump  with 45 minutes of insanely high intensity cardio with added upper body resistance exercises, leg resistance work and stomach work.  The newest versions offer crazy burpees, and plyo lunges and jump squats as well as an agility track that is athlete worthy.  A great  calorie burner!

5.) CXWorks- 30 minute core-training

This core-training class blasts you abs, legs, shoulder, chest and back in a way that focuses on core strength.  Part of the class relies on bands and part of the class relies on body resistance.  Be prepared to plank.  But the great thing about this class, is at 3o minutes, you know you can make it to the end!

6.) Sha-Bam-  Dance til you drop

Shabam is a great dance oriented class with great music and choreography that’s not so complicated you can’t follow.  A fun class that still works up a sweat.

7.) Body-Vive  Low impact cardio and all over strength with balls and band

Body Vive is 30 minuts low impact cardio and 30 minutes strength and core training with balls and bands.  a welcome  breather from the higher intensity cardio classes and the core and strength moves are similar to the CXWorks exercises.

So there you go.  I might do each  most of these classes once in a week period.  I love the variety, the music and the personality the instructors bring.  Plus working out with a group, you always push yourself to a level you would probably not on your own.  So try them out!  You’ll never go back to cardio machines again!