Friday, November 1, 2013

Body sculpt or step aerobics...which one is best for you?

Jamie is currently working on obtaining her group fitness instructor certification so I knew she would be the perfect person to review a few group exercise classes.  They can be intimidating, and there are so many it can be hard to know what is just right for you.  Jamie is also a newly pregnant lady fitting exercise into her 9 months of pregnancy!  GO JAMIE!  If you get to meet Jamie, make her your friend, you will never regret it (I have been lucky to be a friend for 6 years).  I know you will love this review and get out to try one of these classes.

BODY SCULPT AND STEP AEROBICS


I am a huge fan of group exercise. If you are like me, I get a little self conscious when it comes to exercising or trying new movements or weight machines for the first time, and the thought of having a one on one session with a personal trainer watching my every move intimidates me. Group Fitness classes give me so much more peace of mind. Now you may think, “Wait a minute. You are saying instead of having ONE trainer watch your every not-so-graceful movements/form, you’d rather have an entire class do the same?” Trust me when I say, no one is looking at anybody but themselves in that gigantic mirror and/or the instructor up front, especially if they are new to the class or it’s the first day of class, in which case, everybody is new! All participants are sure to be at different levels and just looking for something to spice up their workout and/or try something new, just like you!

 If you are considering a group fitness class, but not sure what to take or where to start I will share a couple that I, myself, have tried and have fallen in love with! The first is Body Sculpt. If you are looking for something dynamic and challenging, this is a great class! Body Sculpt combines dynamic weightlifting at a cardio rate to give you a fun and efficient workout. I love Body Sculpt because it uses a variety of equipment. From hand weights to resistance bands, bosu balls to step blocks, body bars to stability balls and everything in-between. Body Sculpt gives you such an array of equipment and exercises, you are sure to never be bored. Another reason why Body Sculpt is not only fun, but also a great workout is that it is all about efficiency. The goal is to work as many muscle groups as possible. The more muscles you can use, the more fat you burn AND muscle you build at the same time! You’ll do things like tricep dips with a squat or planks with a leg lift. Plus it’s all at a cardio pace. If you are starting to get nervous at the task at hand with a Body Sculpt class, don’t! Like I said before, everyone is at a different level and there are lots of breaks and transitions throughout the allotted time. Also if you start the class at the very beginning and stick with it the workload slowly increases and your body will be able to keep up. 

The second class that I really enjoyed is Step Aerobics. Excuse me if I sound a little outdated, but hear me out. Step Aerobics is an amazing cardio workout. Disclaimer: You will sweat… A LOT.  I didn’t believe it myself when my sister invited me to try her step class she was teaching at her university recreation center. However, I quickly changed my tune after that first class. I don’t think I had ever sweated so much in my life! Step Aerobics is a series of movements of stepping up and down on a portable block. You may choose how high or low you wish to have your step, obviously, the higher your step, the more intense your workout. The beat of the music increases speed as the class progresses. My reasoning for liking this class is because it was a nice break from running on a treadmill or using an elliptical machine and a little less mind numbing. It has an element of dance and some jumps and leaps, and as the class progresses, so does the intensity. You learn more complex moves and “routines”, if you will. Also some step classes will combine some core and arm workouts using your step block as well; which is great for someone who is looking for that “all inclusive class”. 

If you haven’t been to a group fitness class and your current gym or rec. center offers them, I strongly encourage you to give them a try. Most gyms have the two classes I just described, plus a plethora of other class that are just as worthy to try! Those two are my main favorites/go to’s. I have also tried Spinning, Yoga and pilates, and yes they all, as well, have my stamp of approval. Get a girlfriend or two together and try a group class. You’ll be sure to get a challenging and enjoyable workout and if you stick with it, you will see some positive results! 

-Thanks Jamie!  Love your insight on the classes!

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