Losing weight is hard–and keeping it off can be even harder. Between busy schedules, the tempting convenience of food delivery services, and an overwhelming amount of conflicting information about what diets or exercises you should follow, the stressful nature of weight loss can sometimes make it feel like more trouble than it’s worth.
Luckily, there’s strength in numbers, and the right group fitness class can mean the difference between frustration and success. In this article, we’ll burn through the myths surrounding weight loss, give tips on how to boost your chances of success, and outline our choices for the best workout classes to lose weight.
Why Traditional Diet Culture Doesn’t Work
From large-scale studies to reports by Harvard University, more and more experts are coming to the conclusion that traditional diets simply do not work–at least not beyond the short term. Results of these studies showed that even when people do lose weight on these diets, the vast majority regain most or all of that weight within twelve months.
What’s to blame for this rubber-banding, you ask? Causes vary, but most nutrition experts say that an unhealthy focus on burning calories or restricting certain foods–rather than trying to build an overall healthier relationship with food and exercise–sets dieters up to struggle from day one.
In terms of fitness, viewing a gym membership as a temporary method of weight loss rather than part of lifelong health can also prevent long-term improvements. Luckily, diet and gym culture is evolving, and new, better options exist to tackle weight loss and other fitness-related goals.
How to Re-Think Weight Loss
In the 21st century, experts have learned that successful, healthy weight loss works by using long-term behavioral changes to improve a person’s relationship with food and exercise. For nutrition, this means less calorie counting and more of a focus on well-balanced meals built from whole foods and lean proteins.
With exercise, this shift in perspective is even more profound. While previous generations pushed endless, monotonous hours on the treadmill, new weight loss programs recognize that the real goal is weight management. This means sustainable, long-term lifestyle adjustments and finding fitness activities you actually enjoy.
One of the most powerful ways to combine fun and working out is a good exercise class like those offered at Crunch Fitness. By joining up with a group of like-minded individuals in a fun, no judgment environment, you can stop viewing weight loss as something you need to do and instead make it something you want to do. That way, you’re more likely to reach–and maintain–your ideal body weight for the rest of your life.
Our Favorite Fitness Classes for Weight Loss
When it comes to making fitness a fun, consistent part of your life, few things are more effective than finding workout classes you enjoy. Regardless of whether you want to burn calories, build muscles, or improve your overall fitness, the guidance and community spirit of a well-run class can help you achieve your goals much more quickly and efficiently than going it alone.
Still, we know that different people prefer different styles of gym classes. If you’re interested in trying a class for weight loss, consider some of the following:
While most people associate losing weight with a cardio workout, the truth is that strength-based resistance training can sometimes do an even better job of burning fat in the long run. This is due to the fact that lean muscle needs more calories than most other types of tissue: the more muscle you have, the more calories you naturally burn throughout the day.
So, when you build muscle through lifting weights and other strength training, you also increase your caloric maintenance or the number of calories your body needs to maintain its state. By doing this, you can eat more of the foods you love while still maintaining a calorie deficit.
For members who prefer something other than traditional weightlifting, our Pilates and boot camp classes use bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats to provide a super-effective strength-building program.
If you want to burn the most calories possible, HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is one of the most effective ways to get your heart racing, burn fat, and build practical strength throughout your entire body.
More challenging than some other types of classes, high-intensity training can also help you build confidence by showing you that you’re capable of far more than you expect.
Since they were first introduced to the world in the early 1990s, spin classes have quickly become one of the most popular ways to burn calories and improve overall health. While indoor cycling provides an impressive aerobic workout, the motivational atmosphere of a good spin class is what really sets them apart from other group classes.
At Crunch, we offer various spin classes for members of all fitness levels. From our music-based Rhythm to our more competitive Ride, each of these classes will boost your heart rate with fast-paced workouts guided by an expert instructor.
For music and dance lovers, a group dance class is a great way to burn calories while doing something you enjoy. Unlike miles on the rowing machine or treadmill, a dance class engages your mind just as much as your body. Additionally, our classes use fat-burning choreography to work your hip muscles, tone your legs, and build awesome core strength. Even better, you might learn a few new dance moves along the way!
If you want to kick-start your cardio and have fun doing it, try our Zumba or member-favorite Retro-Robics classes with a free class trial the next time you stop in.
When most people think of yoga, they think of stress relief, meditation, and flexibility. And, while yoga does offer those benefits, it can also be one of the best low-impact classes for weight loss. As your instructor guides you through poses and holds, you build full-body strength and sturdy, lean muscles. This, in turn, promotes a gentler, more consistent kind of cardio–but no less effective.
For members who want to turn things up a notch, a hot yoga class does just that, with a heated studio designed to get your heart pumping and the sweat flowing.
How to Decide Which Class Is Best
Even if a class promises to get you to your ideal body weight, it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t stick with it. That’s why, no matter what anyone else tells you, the best classes for weight loss are the ones that you enjoy.
Paired with healthy eating habits, any type of regular exercise will offer results. So, instead of choosing a group fitness class based on the type of exercise, consider choosing based on other factors such as instruction style, music choices, and community. If you still aren’t sure which class might be right for you, use our free class trial to test out the most interesting.
And, as always, members can ask one of our instructors or personal trainers for advice on classes. Crunch Fitness dedicates itself to a no judgment environment, which means you can come to us at any time with any question, and we’ll be there to help.
Crunch’s group fitness classes promote a culture of fun with no judgments. It’s an environment for all types of individuals with various goals. Find a Crunch gym near you to try our free trial membership, or join Crunch now. Your goals are made to be crushed. With Crunch, you’ll have the tools, resources, and support to make it happen.