I am addicted to fitness. From CrossFit to HIIT classes I love em' all. Anything that gets me moving and tests my personal limits makes me happy. I'm in love with the burn and the "I'm gonna die feeling." You get the picture.
Recently I decided to test how popular fitness classes stack up. Which classes burn the most calories? And what class delivers peak heart rates and step counts? Here's what you need to know.
5 Different Fitness Classes, 5 Different Results
Before I share the stats, remember this: we're all looking for different results form our workouts. Some want to lose weight. Others want to improve cardio endurance or tone muscles. Heck, some people just want to stay sane, and there's nothing wrong with that! This test was simply to satisfy my need to know the numbers on which class delivered the best overall fitness value. Here's how they stacked up:
- Circuit Training. First up, circuit training. This class is a mix of cardio, bodyweight exercises, and free weights. The day of the test it included box jumps, rope whips, sled pulls, and wall balls. These push yourself-to-the-limit exercises delivered 1,637 steps, 280 calories, and an average HR* of 111 BPM.
- HIIT Cardio and Abs. This is one of my favorite weekly classes. Taught in a TABATA style format, I always leave exhausted and drenched (success in my book). From mountain climbers and air squats, to high knees, and skaters, this class isn't for the faint of heart. At the end of the hour I had logged 2,892 steps, 379 calories, and maintained an average HR of 123 BPM. Not too shabby!
- Spin and Tone. Another of my personal favorites. Spin and tone includes segments of both time on the bike, cranking out sprints and uphill climbs, and TABATA style weight training. The 60 minutes flew by. Stats on this workout are a little flawed in my opinion, as the Fitbit Alta HR isn't great at measuring spinning. I've learned to trust HR over steps when calculating value. Even so, I still eked out 1,222 steps, 381 calories, and and average HR of 131 BPM.
- Bootcamp. The bootcamp class exercises vary greatly. For this particular class weight training was the focus. Picture farmer walks, burpees, sled pulls, and kettlebell swings. Steps logged were 1,347, 269 calories, and average HR of 113 BPM.
- Cardio Kickboxing. Clearly, I saved the best for last. This class is made up of cardio kickboxing moves and TABATA style toning (8 mins of cardio, 1 min rest, 4 mins TABATA toning). The instructor is my favorite trainer and she's a beast (a quality everyone wants in their trainer, right?). There are few breaks and you're expected to go all out. The result? 5,557 steps, 642 calories, and an average HR of 139 BPM. I even maintained peak HR zone of 162+ BPM for a whopping 12 minutes. Hello, calorie burn!
The test was fun (just look at the smile at the end of a class). Yes, an exercise's value is not always equated well in numbers. For example: Crossfitters log some of the lowest step counts during their WODs and are among the fittest people on earth. Still, it's nice to compare the data. Needless to say, the cardio kickboxing class will become a regular in my planner.
*my resting HR is 54
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