Finding the motivation to work out can be tough — especially when you do the same old routine every time you go to the gym. Looking for alternatives can also be difficult when there are new, trendy ways to exercise popping up every day. If you’re ready to change things up, we’ve got you covered. We broke down a variety of classes that are both fun and beneficial to your health. Get ready to sweat!
Although not entirely new, SoulCycle is the current craze among avid exercisers (especially those who love to bike). This indoor cycling workout class combines dancing, sprinting, climbing and much more. Not only do you use the stationary bike for the full 45-minute class, but oftentimes, you will also use hand weights for a full body workout.
Before you sign up, you should know that this class can be a little pricey. Each regular single-class is $34, along with a mandatory $3 shoe rental. If you decide to try it out, make sure to use light weights your first time, like 1-pound or 2-pounds.
Chelsea, a senior from the University of Chicago, has been doing SoulCycle for over two years and still loves it. “I don’t even feel like I’m working out because it’s so fun,” she says. “There’s such a good vibe in the room because everyone around you is energetic and enjoying their time as well.”
2. Pure Barre
This ballet-inspired workout will work your entire body, but specifically targets your hips, thighs, butt, abs and arms. The main highlight of Pure Barre is that you hold onto a ballet barre while you’re doing different exercises. For example, you might be doing knee raises, a variety of Pilates moves, balancing or seated poses while holding using the barre. Each class is approximately 55 minutes, and while it is a great way to burn calories, Pure Barre is also meant to clear your mind similar to meditation.
“I didn’t understand anything my first class,” Brooke, a senior at New York University, says. “But that’s okay! The instructor was super helpful, and after a few classes, I got used to everything.”
The price for a Pure Barre class is about the same as one for SoulCycle, at $33 per class. However, if you buy a group of classes, such as five or 10, the price for each class goes down. When you show up for class, it’s important that you don’t wear shorts or expose your midriff, as you will supposedly see faster results in flexibility wearing pants, leggings, or capris and a longer shirt. Additionally, you need “sticky socks” like the ones shown here.
3. SURFSET Fitness
SURFSET is pretty much what it sounds like: surfing but without water. This exercise simulates an actual surfing experience with a stationary board, focusing on burning fat, working your core and building muscle. There are four different classes with different specialties: “Balance” is yoga-inspired, “Burn” uses high intensity intervals, “Build” focuses on strength training and “Blend” combines all of these aspects. Each of these classes are difficult in different ways, so you can see which is best for you.
The price of a SURFSET class depends on where it’s located, as the cost varies for different studios. Usually, though, it comes out to be around $35.
Nora, a sophomore at the City College of San Francisco, didn’t know what to expect before going into one of the SURFSET classes. “I thought it sounded fun, so I forced myself to give it a try,” Nora says. After her first class, she continued going back. “It was so unique, and I liked that,” she says.
This full-body workout uses something that you might find a little peculiar — drumsticks. POUND allows you to dance and drum along to music, all the while using interval peaks and fat burning sequences. The simulated drumming involves “Ripstix,” which are twice the weight of a standard drumstick and slightly shorter. Each class is 45 minutes, and by the time you’re finished, you’re supposed to have done 15,000 reps, 30 extended interval peaks and over 70 techniques.
If you can't make it to a studio, the company actually offers online classes so you can do the workout at home! Becca, a sophomore at Ohio State University, loved going to POUND classes during the school year, but when she returned to Kansas for the summer, there were no studios that offered it. “I started the online classes, and they were just as beneficial as actually going,” she says.
Cost per class really varies with POUND; however, the “Backstage” program provides healthy recipes, monthly challenges and a variety of discounts and giveaways.
5. Bikram Yoga
Similar to Hot Yoga, Bikram yoga is done in a heated, humid studio. However, this certain type is longer and uses different postures. The class is a routine because it uses the same 26 postures each time, ranging from the Eagle Pose to Full Locust, and two different breathing exercises.
Bikram yoga is worth the try because of the amount of calories burned during one class, which can range anywhere from 500 to 1000. As far as price goes, most studios offer monthly packages. Additionally, rather than paying for a single class, you pay for a single week — which is usually only $25 for 7 days. Most packages also include a mat and towels.
Before your first class, make sure to hydrate throughout the day. You’ll also want to light clothing, such as shorts and a tank top. During class, don’t be afraid to take breaks. Since it’s your first time, it’s perfectly fine to sit down a couple of times if you’re feeling weary.
If you’re looking to really get in shape, CrossFit is perfect for you. This core strength and conditioning program attempts to optimize anything from stamina to power to coordination. Crossfit abandons traditional machines and focuses on movement, like pull-ups instead of the typical curl.
As is often the case, prices for CrossFit classes vary. Typically, gyms and studios will offer “Drop-in Rates,” which involve one or two classes for only $15. Packages with five or 10 classes range from $50-$100.
Kate, a sophomore at Colorado State University, started CrossFit in an effort to lose some of the weight she gained during her freshman year. “I’m not going to lie, it was hard,” she says. “But I’m so glad I went. The class pushed me to try my hardest.”
This group exercise class uses rowing machines to give a total-body workout. Rather than creating a competition between class-goers, instructors encourage everyone to row in sync to work as a team, just like they would if they were actually rowing on water. While your lower body does most of the work, you will still feel it in your abs, arms and back.
You don’t have to be experienced to try this class because it’s designed for first-time rowers. Additionally, a lot of places offer your first class as free! After that, each class is about $20 unless you get a package.
“I really liked my indoor rowing class because I was in control of my workout,” Sara, a junior at Kansas State University, says. “It’s up to you how much you push or pull on the machine, which makes you feel more comfortable if you’ve never done it before.”
There are no excuses left for a boring old workout. If you try any of these different classes, you’re guaranteed to burn a lot of calories all the while having fun!