We all need a jumpstart to our exercise routine from time to time to keep the enthusiasm going and a completely new workout could be just the thing to get you motivated.
New ways of moving your body and working up a sweat pop up all the time. There’s always something different to try if you’re a little bored with your routine. Below are six exercise classes you might not have tried yet that are worth a go.
Don’t underestimate the social side of group exercise: joining a class and coming into contact with a whole new bunch of crazy fitness fanatics could reignite your love of exercise all over again. You may find something you like and want to stick to – but try something new once or twice a year. The main thing is to do something.
Buti is a class that has emerged from Los Angeles – where else? It must work if those celebrity bodies are anything to go by. There is no doubt that Buti will keep you engaged, as it combines tribal dance moves with yoga and strength training.
Not only does Buti provide a cardio workout that is second to none, it also sculpts the body’s muscles. What’s not to love? A Buti class runs for about 75 minutes, and trust me, you’ll know you’ve been in one.
You don’t need to be a ballet dancer to join a barre class. All you need to be able to do to participate is hold on to the barre. (If you don’t know what that is, it’s the rail attached to a giant mirror that ballet dancers hold on to when they practise.)
The class, usually a mixture of ballet moves with yoga and pilates poses, is made up of low impact but high intensity movements. You’ll leave it feeling that you have had a great whole-body workout. Three or four classes a week will deliver results quickly, and seeing those results will give you a new dose of motivation like nothing else. (Read: High50 try Barrecore, London.)
If you’re in a hurry to get results and want to burn 1,000 calories in an hour, Barry’s Bootcamp is for you. Be warned, though, this exercise class brings the ‘intensity’ to high-intensity, high-impact fitness routines.
Each class takes place in a dedicated, club-like setting with lights, strobes and music blasting through speakers that will make you want to get physical. The trainer takes participants through the 60-minute class by alternating exercises, some on a treadmill and some on the floor.
It’s known as HIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), with some of these moves lasting for five minutes and others for as long as 30. Your muscles and metabolism will never be the same – should you survive.
Find a class UK classes are in London NW1 and EC2, or you can buy a DVD and do it at home. Visit Barry’s Bootcamp.
Vinyasa Flow and Ashtanga Yoga
Many people don’t realise how much of a physical workout a yoga class can be. True yogis disdain the notion of using yoga to get a better body – and of course yoga is a path to calm, peace and enlightenment – but it nevertheless does include bodily exercise, and certain forms of yoga can be one shape-shifting (literally) type of movement.
There are enough types of yoga nowadays to fill a book and it can be confusing, but most of them are just variations of Hatha yoga. For the physically demanding type, that develops physical fitness, strength and stamina, you want to find an Ashtanga or Vinyasa Flow class. (Vinyasa simply means a series of yoga postures linked together, synchronised with the breath, rather than resting in between; Ashtanga is similar but with a fixed, more disciplined sequence of postures.)
A plain old Hatha yoga class can be very physical too, with challenging, flowing sequences of movement, but check that it’s a level 2 or 3 class, or speak to the studio staff before you book. Read the health benefits of yoga.
It’s also known as body conditioning, but be warned, this class makes boot camp look like a walk in a pretty park. Those who have done it, though, love it and keep going back for more. It’s a class that intersperses sprinting with kettle bell moves and walking lunges.
The first goal to reach is to work with weights that are ten per cent of your total body weight. Once you reach that goal, you move on to the next, keeping you motivated and challenged to continue exercising.
A love of mud and a desire to push yourself to the limits are needed to participate in a Tough Mudder challenge. It’s made up of a ten to 12-mile obstacle course, and focuses on team-building and camaraderie. The obstacle course is extremely tough and the training you will undertake to ensure that you can complete a Tough Mudder challenge will get you in the best shape of your life.
It is also the exercise for you if you are looking for a mental workout: Tough Mudder is as much about mental grit as it is about physical stamina.