3 Calorie-Blasting Fitness Classes You Should Try

by | Updated: December 4th, 2016 | Read time: 3 minutes

You know you want to jump in there. Peering through the glass windows, you see twirling, kicking, stretching and…smiling? Those gym class participants are actually having fun, while you’re counting down the minutes until your snooze-worthy session on the treadmill comes to an end. So what’s stopping you? In addition to providing a break from the monotony of your usual workout routine, exercise classes are a great way to meet people, learn something new and burn a ton of calories in a short amount of time. Here are three to try, along with how to prepare for your first one.

3 Calorie-Blasting Fitness Classes You Should Try

Body Pump or fitness weight-conditioning class

  • Typically a 60-minute, active workout
  • Uses barbells to shape and tone your entire body
  • Involves low weights and high repetition
  • Depending on intensity level, you can burn an average of 600 calories per hour
  • Set to fun, upbeat music
  • Goal is to gain strength and add lean muscle
  • Exercises may include squats, bench presses, lunges and curls
  • Great if you’re new to strength training and don’t know where to start

Get ready:

  • Arrive early to set up your bench and weights
  • Bring your own mat (or you can use one of theirs)
  • Bring a water bottle and small towel

Kickboxing or combat class

  • Class times range from 30-60 minutes
  • Involves martial arts, without the contact
  • High-energy, action-packed workout
  • Calories burned can average over 700 per class
  • Incorporates tae kwon do, boxing, karate, kung fu and other forms of martial arts depending on the class
  • Great for beginners, as no experience in martial arts is necessary
  • Relieves stress through punching and kicking

Get ready:

  • Wear supportive workout shoes
  • Wear loose-fitting pants for ease in kicking
  • Fuel up with a preworkout supplement if energy is low before class
  • Bring a water bottle and small towel
  • Be ready to release stress and have fun!

Zumba or cardio dance fitness class

  • Typically a 60-minute, Latin dance-inspired class
  • Atmosphere is like a workout party!
  • Instructors usually will be extremely high energy and engage with you throughout the hour
  • Depending on intensity level, you can burn anywhere from 400 to 600 calories per hour
  • High and low impact options will be available
  • Dance routines are usually easy to follow
  • Expect to see people of all ages, sizes and shapes participating
  • Instructors often communicate through clapping, hand gestures and examples
  • There often will be a 30 to 60 second break between songs
  • Prepare to sweat a lot because of the continuous movement
  • If you get lost in the steps, just march in place and begin again

Get ready:

  • Wear clothing that’s easy to move in, breathable and comfortable
  • Supportive sneakers are very important (you’ll even find shoes designed just for Zumba classes because of all the lateral movements involved with the dancing)
  • Bring a water bottle and small towel
  • Wear a heart rate monitor or pedometer to see your workout results

Trainer tips:

  • Check out class descriptions at your gym to find one of these classes (they may use a different name but the concept is the same)
  • Come to your first class a little early to let the instructor know that you’re new.  Ask what to expect and an ideal place to stand so you can follow along with the class. Most classes tend to get crowded, so it’s always a good idea to arrive ahead of time.
  • Everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t expect to get everything right the first time (no one ever does!). Have fun and enjoy the new experience.