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Contributed by Guest Blogger

Lisa Jameson, BS, CPT

Indoor Cycling

The concept:  Get sweaty with a group cardio workout experience where you pedal through climbs, sprints and other types of intervals and challenges to high energy music. There are lots of cycling studios popping up all over the place dedicated to the party on the bike type of workout.  Often there are musical themes for the workout and incorporation of upper body movements on the bike using light weights.  Some studios really work to make you feel special by leaving you inspirational messages and giving you a nice cold lavender scented cloth at the end as part of a refreshing cool down.

Most beneficial for: Clients who have a baseline of cardiovascular endurance. Cycling studios can be an intimidating environment to walk into.  Some workout confidence is needed. The room is dark with fit and intense people on the bikes. The skinny seats, bike adjustments and clipping into the pedals of the bikes can also scare people away.  If you have seen the movie “I Feel Pretty” it gives the perspective from someone who has never been to a cycling class before. To soften the harshness, typically the instructor and staff are super enthusiastic and helpful with making a newcomer feel comfortable and successful.  Also, each participant controls their individual resistance during the workout.  Clients who have a hard time pushing themselves doing their own cardio workouts may also benefit. The variety and energetic music offered in these classes helps push people beyond their normal limits.

Cost/equipment needed: Most studios provide cycling shoes to rent and a sweat towel but if you love the class you may prefer to bring your own.  Padded bike shorts can help with providing some comfort in the saddle. You can find affordable shorts starting around $20 and indoor cycling shoes around $50 on amazon. The classes themselves typically cost between $15- $25 per class for a drop-in rate but packages and bundles are offered to reduce the average cost of each class.  Most commercial gyms offer cycling as part of the regular membership and may be a less intimidating entry into the cycling world. Reservations may be required as bikes are limited.

TRX Classes

The concept: TRX suspension trainers allow you to use your bodyweight as resistance making it easy to increase or decrease resistance by simply adjusting your body position. The core muscles are utilized throughout the 100’s of exercises that can be performed using the suspension straps. TRX exercises can be used to improve strength, flexibility, balance and core stability.  There are a variety of TRX classes offered: strength, cardio, HIIT and boot camp styles. For TRX classes, the suspension trainers are usually anchored from the wall, ceiling or from a TRX unit. Push ups, rows, biceps curls, pikes, and hamstring curls are just some of the basic exercises that you may perform in a TRX class.

Most beneficial for: All fitness levels. Because the suspension trainers are easy to adjust most people can use them and have a great workout regardless of fitness level.  Classes tend to be smaller and participants usually experience more guidance and individualized attention from the instructor. Clients looking for a more athletic strength type of workout instead of a bodybuilding style may enjoy this type of workout.

Cost/equipment needed:  TRX classes can cost anywhere from $9 to $23 per class.  They are offered in boutique studios as well as commercial fitness centers. The TRX suspension trainers are supplied so you only need to bring yourself in a workout outfit that is fitted (in case you do pikes or another exercise causing loose clothing could get in the way) and sneakers!

Surf Fitness Classes

The concept:  Surf Inspired workout classes using SurfSET boards (that were once featured on Shark Tank.) These boards are custom made surfboards on top of inflated balls that mimic the feel of real life surfing.  The instability of the board challenges your core like nothing else. These classes are typically fun and more laid back since there is a lot of room for error. You may use the surfboard as an apparatus to do yoga postures on or you may use it as an actual surfboard as the instructor guides you through surfing a wave.

Most beneficial for:  Clients who want a core challenge and who aren’t afraid to be off balance.  Also, those who like adventure and play in their workouts and are open to imperfection and those who participate in water sports.

Cost/equipment needed:  The SurfSET boards are provided and you perform the class in bare feet so not much is needed except your water, sweat towel and your imagination!  Classes are typically held in boutique studios although the boards take up a lot of space and can be difficult to store. Expect to pay about $20 for a drop in rate although packages, bundles and unlimited class passes are offered to decrease the class cost.

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