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Thursday
May282015

5 Strength Training Classes You Should Try

 

Whether you’re in a fitness rut or you're looking to expand your strength training routine, consider a strength focused class for additional motivation, instruction and variety. 

 As a trainer, I’ve taught a wide variety of group fitness classes over ten years and can tell you that the social impact and group support can really help exercise adherence.

There have always been a wide variety of popular cardio classes, but I’ve seen the strength-focused classes very effective for many members, particularly those who benefit from a group format as they begin or build the strength training side of their fitness programs.

Although you can’t go wrong with any of the options Life Time offers, I'll highlight five classes to improve fitness and, in particular, strength training.

Try the first two classes to transition from cardio to resistance work. If you need more accountability and a competitive push and/or want to utilitize new technology, try the latter group personal training options.

Strictly Strength

This is a great basics course covering total body resistance training with core/abdominal work done before or after the lifting. It's an ideal class to attend if you’re new to resistance training and are a bit timid on the main fitness floor. In addition to being a great bridge from cardio to weight lifting, the muscle toning results can be impressive, especially during the first 3-4 months of taking the class.

Total Conditioning

Total Conditioning is a nice progression after you've taken a few Strictly Strength classes. It’s different and more challenging because there are cardio progressions added in. When it was designed, the idea was to progress from a strength move (a push-up, for example) to strength/cardio (progress the push-up to a traveling one) and then to a cardio/plyometric type move (burpee).

Using this format, every major muscle group is trained in the class. For best results, a heart rate monitor should be used, as intensity levels revolve around zones 1-3. I taught this class for many years, and it was always my largest class!

The next three classes are group personal training options. These are great classes for challenging your fitness levels because they not only encourage regular adherence but also create a somewhat competitive atmosphere that can help members experience better results.

Pilates Reformer Classes

Pilates Reformer classes are a great way to improve posture and offer a form of resistance training that may be more enjoyable than traditional forms of strength training for some people. While anyone can benefit from Pilates, it can be especially beneficial for those undergoing certain types of physical therapy (talk with your doctor and the class instructor before beginning) and for women who have had children (especially through a C-section), as it is a great way to neurologically re-educate the muscles of the core.

TEAM Tri

This option is fairly new to Life Time Fitness. Triathlons have become popular, and there are varying distances for people with different fitness levels to try. TEAM Tri is great for members who want to do their first triathlon as well as for seasoned veterans of these competitions.

The coach in TEAM Tri is experienced and can help teach the swimming, biking and running techniques as well as instruct members on the proper equipment. In addition to these benefits, with improved technology in heart rate monitors and metabolic testing, each participant can get individualized workouts even though it's a group class.

Alpha Training

With the advent of Crossfit, Life Time Fitness designed this similar program, which has been popular with members. The pros of Alpha/Crossfit include the group atmosphere, which improves adherence and continually challenges participants.

The advantage Alpha has over Crossfit is the use of technology (e.g. heart rate monitors, heart rate variability training and metabolic testing) for a more systematic approach to exercise selection and progression. Alpha classes are for members who crave the greatest fitness challenges and want to achieve optimal fitness performance.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Would you like more information on these or other Life Time classes? Talk with a fitness professional today.

In health, Corey Grenz, Personal Trainer

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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