Which Workout Class is Best for Your Fitness Goals?

Someone new to the gym experience eventually faces the extensive list of classes offered. If you’ve been running or lifting weights at home, a class frequently provides much-needed guidance and structure. Yet, when it comes to picking one that matches your goals, where do you start?

For Strength Training

If you’ve got the cardio down and want to do more along the lines of strength training, a yoga or barre class is a solid starter. For something more advanced, circuits or a body sculpting class presents something more strenuous.
In all, a good strengthen training class gets the entire body involved. Be it with lighter or heavy weights, routines address all muscle groups and should involve compound exercises.

For Cardio

If you can’t bear to keep running or find the treadmill boring, what you need is a class that gets the body moving and the heart rate up. These days, that could be:

  • Zumba or a similar dance class
  • Spinning
  • Step aerobics
  • Any “boot camp” option

Developing Leaner, Longer Muscles

Many women dread developing the bulky look that happens from intense strength training. As a result, some classes focus on building longer, leaner muscles. Barre or pilates allows you to train like a dancer through a combination of stabilizing, lifting, and lengthening exercises that work to naturally align the spine.

Losing Weight

The formula appears simple: Do a workout that burns the greatest amount of calories in the same amount of time. Yet, in terms of classes, what you want is something involving resistance, large movements, and exercises involving big movements, all while you increase breathing and reach close to the maximum heart rate. Some options may be:

  • Zumba
  • Spinning or indoor cycling
  • Rowing
  • Treadmills

Building and Toning Muscles

CrossFit is your best bet these days. The program, while seemingly intimidating, blends resistance training to build lean muscle mass.

However, if CrossFit isn’t an option (or if you’re looking for something less intense), aim to mix cardio with weight training – or find a class combining both.


Although you won’t lose as many calories, the goal here is to improve coordination and speed. To do this, experts recommend boxing, boot camp, or similar cardio-oriented workouts.

North Haven Health & Racquet offers an extensive group fitness class schedule. Explore all options to one that best matches your goals.