This routine from the Gold's Gym Fitness Institute will get your body streamlined for that swimsuit just in time for the Fourth of July.Click here for more
Need to cram for an A+ body because you played hooky from the gym all winter? At Gold's Gym, school is in session! Our trainers and instructors will teach you how to get fit fast.
We spoke with Gold's Gym's Carrie Kepple, director of group exercise, and Terra Yeske, director of fitness, about three ways you can get a degree in hotness.
Homeroom: Group Exercise
Want to fit four years' worth of higher fitness education into one 60-minute session? Group exercise classes provide that comprehensive experience: "You get a full-body workout, and you burn the most calories and have fun while you're doing it," Kepple says.
Better yet, when going to the gym is fun, you're more likely to stick with it over time. "You forget for a while the actual work you're doing," Kepple explains. "You get connected with the exercise because you're engaged with your instructor, the people around you and the music."
Which group exercise class is right for you? Here are the top "courses" offered at Gold's.
If your goal is to increase your overall fitness level, then cardio classes are the way to go. You'll burn tons of calories and improve your heart health, stamina and strength with fun, fast-paced interval training.
Do you dream of having a long, lean figure and excellent flexibility? Check out yoga and Pilates. These classes will strengthen and lengthen your muscles, and the calm pace and fluid movements can help relieve the stress of your day.
Want to burn major calories? You'll work off between 600 and 800 calories during a cycling class — not to mention increasing your cardiovascular endurance and building leg strength and stamina.
Looking for high-intensity exercise that really kicks butt? Mixed martial arts are a powerful full-body workout, allowing you to completely unleash in class.
Kepple recommends classes for people of all fitness levels, especially those just starting out or returning to the gym after a long hiatus. You'll get the motivation, accountability and structure that's often missing from solo exercise, and chances are you'll end up working harder in class than you would on your own. "Your instructor is going to push you to do five more reps, to push for 10 seconds longer," she says.
Private Tutoring: Personal Training
To make the grade in the shortest amount of time, it pays to go to the pros. A personal trainer can teach you how to work harder and smarter at the gym, helping to maximize your results while optimizing your time there. You'll get a personalized workout designed specifically to match your needs — plus, your trainer is going to push you in ways you couldn't yourself.
"At every session, your workout will change based on how you, the client, are progressing," Yeske says. Your trainer will be able to pinpoint and manage your specific goals as they evolve. "Whether you're looking to lose weight, tone up, increase your lean body mass, get motivated or get started for the first time, a personal trainer will be able to design a customized workout plan for you that will help you accomplish your goals."
Want to get the most out of your personal training session? Yeske says communication with your trainer is key. Let him know how well your body recovered, which exercises are your favorites and the motivation you need to keep on track.
Study Group: Group Personal Training
If a one-on-one sweat fest is not in your budget this summer, consider group training with friends, family members or co-workers, or join a pre-existing personal training group. You'll not only get the benefits of working out with a pro, at a fraction of the price, you'll have the added motivational aspects of group exercise.
"You'll bond with others who share your goals and relationship with exercise, so you don't have to go through your journey alone," Yeske says.
That sense of teamwork isn't the only benefit of group personal training: The more people who participate, the more diverse the exercises can be. "It can be indoors or outdoors, which leads to adventure — and new and exciting exercises you wouldn't do in one-on-one training," Yeske says.
Ace Your Subjects
Carrie Kepple shares her tips for getting the most out of any group exercise class.
Be prepared. Arrive at class early, bring a towel and a water bottle, and wear a good pair of sneakers and comfortable clothing that you can move easily in. If you're new to a class, introduce yourself to the instructor, and tell him or her if you have any injuries or medical conditions that could affect how you exercise.
Get a good spot. If possible, stand at the front of the class, making sure you have a good view of the instructor. And if you have questions, stick around after class to ask them.
Work out for you. During class, the instructor may show you how to modify the exercises to make them easier or more challenging. Do the version that you're more comfortable with.
Take a break. Weight-lifting classes should not be taken two days in a row. Leave a cardio day or rest day in between — and try to add some yoga to the mix. "Yoga and stretching are important for the longevity of your muscles and will help you stay free of injury over time," Kepple says.
Make a commitment. Go to at least three sessions of a new class before you decide whether it's for you. By the third class you'll have become familiar with the movements and exercises. And at that point, Kepple says, "it's all about fine-tuning and perfecting the exercises done in each class to maximize your results."
Stay for stretching. Don't bail as soon as the heart-pumping action ends. "You'll burn more calories post-workout if you allow yourself time to stretch," Kepple says.