Tracking Pixel
Cardio FitnessGym FitnessIndoor CyclingYoga & Pilates

Fitness Class Breakdown

Published: 7/20/15

When it comes to taking fitness classes, most individuals select a course based on the activities they enjoy. For a full-body workout, though, you’ll need to consider the types of classes available, the muscle groups used in that class, as well as the duration and intensity of the workout. This will vary from one program to the next. Not all programs offer the same workout, of course. Below are some guidelines to help you in selecting group exercise or individual programs based on what each fitness class can truly offer your body.


Cardio Workouts

Types of Exercise Involved:

These courses off a wide range of exercises with the single goal of getting your heart rate up and maintaining it for as long as possible. The activities involved in cardio workouts will range from running to biking, and more.

Duration of the Workout: 45 to 60 minutes for ideal results; beginner programs are often shorter

Muscle Groups Worked: Cardio workouts place less attention on muscle improvement and more attention on increasing heart rate. Most often, though, programs will give you leg and arm improvement, while also working to burn fat from throughout the body.


Cycling Workouts

Types of Exercise Involved:

Cycling is simply bike riding, generally done on stationary bikes. However, these workouts are very intense, usually due to the different interval sessions involved (various speeds, body movements, and lengths of workouts).

Duration of the Workout: 30 minutes for beginners, up to 90 minutes for experts

Muscle Groups Worked: While it is a cardio exercise, cycling does deliver serious toning for the entire body – especially the legs, buttocks, and midsection. Programs differ, but some combine the use of twisting and standing, which supports leg muscle building.


Yoga Workouts

Types of Exercise Involved:

Yoga programs offer a variety of options, but generally involve significant stretching and bending to tone muscles while also building strength. It also includes breathing control, body posture changes, and meditation.

Duration of the Workout: 30 minutes to an hour is common for yoga workouts.

Muscle Groups Worked: Generally, yoga is a full-body workout – though some forms focus on specific areas. Core strengthening is one of the greatest benefits of yoga, as is toning of the major muscle groups of the trunk, legs, and arms.


Stability Ball Conditioning

Types of Exercise Involved:

Using an exercise ball, individuals will work their entire body in this strength and stability training program. The classes tend to be geared toward having fun and are more lighthearted than high-intensity workouts. They combine strength training with some cardio.

Duration of the Workout: Most stability ball conditioning lasts for 30 minutes.

Muscle Groups Worked: This is generally considered a full-body workout because it works on strengthening the core, improving cardiovascular fitness and conditioning, and overall body tone. It helps with improving tone and agility of all muscle groups in the trunk and improves balance.


Zumba Workouts

Types of Exercise Involved:

Zumba exists in several variations but they all tend to focus on high-intensity dancing designed to be enjoyable and cardio-intense. The goal here is to focus on the fun Latin music instead of the hard work the body is going through. As a dance class, it is high-energy and is ideal for those who need a full-body workout for strengthening and weight loss, but tend to be bored with traditional programs.

Duration of the Workout: Classes range from 30 minutes to an hour.

Muscle Groups Worked: The legs and trunk get an intense workout from Zumba, but because it is a cardiovascular-based program, it also offers key weight loss benefits. It works to burn calories, strengthen and train the body, and improve balance and stability.


Strength Training

Types of Exercise Involved:

Strength training focuses significantly on muscle building exercises such as weight lifting, through various forms and with a range of equipment.

Duration of the Workout: one hour or more

Muscle Groups Worked: Strength training targets specific muscle groups of the arms, legs, back, abs, and neck/shoulders. The goal is not to increase cardio function (though this generally does occur) but rather to improve muscle mass and toning.


*Types and Duration of these exercises represent averages but may vary.