5 Calorie-Crushing Classes at Popular Fitness Chains Near You

by Brittany Risher
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5 Calorie-Crushing Classes at Popular Fitness Chains Near You

When you’re working to lose weight, you want to get the most from every workout. With so many group fitness class options at every gym and boutique studio, it can be hard to know which one will give you the most calorie bang for your sweat buck.

Check out the five classes below, offered throughout the U.S. Each is known to ignite your metabolism during and after the workout, so you get even more calorie-burning benefits. Try them out and burn, baby, burn.

BAR METHOD

Burn factor: 400 to 500 calories in 1 hour

If you’ve ever thought barre class was just ballet, think again. A reasonably fit, 125-pound woman burns about 400 calories in a typical beginner/intermediate Bar Method class, says the chain’s master instructor and trainer, Kiesha Ramey-Presner. That same woman will burn upwards of 500 calories in a more advanced format. And then add another 100 calories burned after class from the buildup of lactic acid.

How does it do all of this? The Bar Method format uses intervals — strength work followed by stretching — to spark your heart rate and then allow you to recover, Ramey-Presner explains. Though not as intense as HIIT, it works your heart in a similar manner to burn calories. “The classes also intensely target the quads within the first 20 minutes,” Ramey-Presner adds. “The quads are the largest muscle group in the body, and working them helps you burn calories more efficiently for the rest of the day.”

If you can’t bring yourself to the studio, check out this list of 5 Barre Moves You Can Do at Home.


READ MORE > WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW WHEN TRYING A NEW CLASS [INFOGRAPHIC]


SOULCYCLE

Burn factor: 500 to 700 calories in 45 minutes

There’s a reason this pack of skull-and-crossbones-wearing fanatics is so fit. Spend one class vigorously cycling and dancing on your bike and you’ll burn an average 500 to 700 calories.

Although every instructor formats his or her class differently, you can expect alternating between faster (often referred to as “double time”) and slower paces. Explains SoulCycle instructor Ryan Lewis: “This switch between a fast pace with a low resistance and a slow pace with a high resistance for a climb has a similar effect on your heart rate as HIIT training, ultimately allowing the body to maximize how many calories are burned.”

Learn more about spin bikes in our Spinning 101 infographic.

ORANGETHEORY FITNESS

Burn factor: 500 to 1,000 calories in 1 hour

Orangetheory Fitness uses heart-rate monitors to help you see which “zone” you are in, i.e. how hard you are working during class. The more you’re in the orange zone, the more you’ll burn during and after class — to the tune of 500–1,000 calories during class, and more for up to 36 hours, the chain claims.

The class is split up into intervals on the treadmill and rowing machine, and on the floor doing exercises with weights, bodyweight (pictured at top) and a TRX. You’ll hit every body part and get your cardio and strength done in one workout. For more background, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Orangetheory Fitness.

BARRY’S BOOTCAMP

Burn factor: Up to 1,000+ calories in 1 hour

Although each class focuses on a specific body area, the format for Barry’s stays the same: Half the time you’re on a treadmill, the other half you’re doing strength exercises on the floor with your bodyweight, dumbbells or a “booty band” exercise band. The treadmill is a mixed bag of sprints, hill climbs, hill sprints and even walking backward on the treadmill, and the instructors will encourage you to push yourself.

The chain claims its classes increase lean body mass, which can raise your resting metabolic rate by up to 15 percent. And that means more burn after you leave the studio. Check out our test run at Barry’s Bootcamp and see if it’s for you.

URBANKICKSASS AT CRUNCH FITNESS

Burn factor: Up to 700 calories in 45 minutes

Offered at Crunch locations nationwide, this dynamic, full-body class combines cardio kickboxing with high-intensity sports conditioning drills. You punch, kick, squat, sprint, lunge and more, and you’re sweating within minutes, says certified trainer Shane Barnard, creator of the class (and regular MyFitnessPal contributor).

“Combining punch and kick combinations with high-intensity interval training drills improves fat metabolism, increases functional strength and will increase your caloric after-burn,” she explains. It’s also nonstop movement, with options to make several exercises more challenging.


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  • Laura Abrams Pfeifauf

    Why isn’t Bar Method listed as an exercise on the MFP app?!?!?

  • Julie

    I am a healthy 47 yo female who exercises/jogs pretty regularly. I enjoyed orange theory for the month I was there. Unfortunately, during the last five minutes of class, I went into atrial fibrillation. Stayed in bad rhythm for 7 hours and earned myself an overnight stay in hospital, missing my daughters hs graduation. Because the extreme workout caused troponin to spill into my blood, I had to have an angiogram and echo. Thankfully, my heart was deemed to be perfectly normal but I was told by two cardiologists that having your heart rate up high for even a half hour is actually damaging to your heart. Who would have thought such a thing??? Not me! I was advised to not return. Instead, I’ll just stick to my gym and take it down a notch so that my body actually reaps benefits. Be very careful with HIIT! Orange is a bit competitive, and so am I, which may have been a bad mix for me.

    • Jennifer

      That’s very interesting. Did you have a previous heart condition? Two of our local cardiologists take classes regularly at the orange theory I go to. Also, the focus of orange theory is not to have your heart rate increased for 30 sustained minutes. The longest “push” on the treadmill is 3 minutes, and our coaches frequently remind us to take breaks on the weight floor when needed.