Popular Gym Classes 101: A No BS Guide To Working Out

Trying out a group gym class is a great way to stay motivated and to ease yourself into the routine of working out, that's if you manage to demystify exactly what it is you've signed up for in the first place.

Body Combat, Body Pump? Yeah, we’re gonna need instructions with that lingo. We’ve decoded some of the most popular gym classes and what they entail so you can have all the gear AND the idea. Whether you want a stress-reliever or a quick burst of cardio, here’s your workout 101.

Body Combat:

If you’ve had a bad day, this is the ideal way to burn off some steam!

An empowering group cardio workout that combines a mix of martial arts and draws on a wide array of disciplines including Karate, Taekwondo, Tai Chi, Muay Thai and Boxing. Great for endurance training, conditioning, coordination, muscle toning and agility, it’s a good all-rounder for working the whole bod.

The first class is always confusing but give it a chance, it takes a couple of goes to get your head around some of the moves and repetitions but once you’ve got it, you’ll love how strong it makes your body feel. Get ready to strike, punch, kick and kata your way through calories, around 740 to be precise. Up yours cheesecake bloat!

Why we love it: you’ll feel like an absolute warrior when you’re giving it some on that studio floor!

Need to know: there’s a lot of hand-eye coordination but have faith, you’ve got this.

Vibe Cycle:

Like spin but with MOVES like Jagger. Vibe is an energetic indoor cycling class that blends high-intensity cardio with muscular strength training and choreography. Bopping along on a bicycle for gains? We’re obviously down for that.

Why we love it: it’s just you and a bike, no faffing around with equipment necessary.

Need to know: The playlist makes it or breaks it. Oh, and we can’t put this any other way but it might take a few times for your vajeen to get on board with that saddle. Persevere dear friends, she’ll build up a resilience in no time.

Body Pump:

Cardio-phobes, this is for you! This barbell-lead class sculpts, tones and strengthens your whole bod with squats, presses, lunges, lifts and curls all to the rhythm of a killer playlist.

Fear not girls, you won’t be Hulking out of your top anytime soon – this class is all about low weight loads and high repetitions to shape and tone your muscles rather than building you a set of bulging biceps.

Why we love it: it’s a fun and energetic total body workout.

Need to know: you have to change your barbell weights between exercises so there’s a bit of admin involved. Grab a few different weights before you start and place them to the side of your workout station to make life easier.


High-Intensity Interval Training is nothing new but when it’s abbreviated like that, it sounds like something we’d need to show our GP.

Designed to fire up your metabolism, HIIT combines quick bursts of intense activity lasting for 30-60 seconds at peak ability (90% of a person’s maximum heart rate), followed by low-intensity recovery periods. A typical HIIT session lasts for around 30 minutes, making it the perfect workout to squeeze into your lunch hour.

Why we love it: you get your workout done and dusted in less than an hour. Bish, bash, bosh!

Need to know: you can’t coast your way through it comfortably. It’s a pretty gruelling, balls-to-the-wall workout since you only get short bursts of rest before you’re onto the next interval but your endorphins will be pumped when you reach that finish line. Power on, fam.

Bodybalance / Bodyflow

Blending elements of Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates, Body Balance leaves your mind and body feeling centred and calm. The class incorporates a series of holistic stretches, flowing moves and controlled breathing techniques all set to some plinky-plonky zen tunes.

Why we love it: it’s particularly good for relieving stress. Add it to your self-care list asap!

Need to know: you / your neighbour might get a bit farty up in there. It happens to the best of us.

Hatha Yoga:

Hatha translates as sun (ha) and moon (tha) and is designed to balance and calm your body, mind and spirit in preparation for meditation. If you’re new to Yoga, Hatha is a great place to start as it’s the gentle, slower-paced practice.

Why we love it: it’s great for winding down before bed and relaxing a busy mind.

Need to know: you probably won’t break a sweat but you’ll certainly leave the class feeling taller and looser.

Vinyasa Yoga:

Not as hot as ‘Hot Yoga’ but sweatier than Hatha since it’s a continuous sequence of movement. Still with us? Vinyasa Yoga concentrates on the flow of movement, connecting one posture to the next using breath.

Why we love it: its dance-like, uninterrupted flow of poses keeps things fun even though you’re still getting a solid sweaty workout.

Need to know: if you find your mind wandering in Hatha yoga, Vinyasa could be for you. The continuous movements focus your mind, helping you to stay present in the session. The only ‘rest’ you’ll get is during downward dog.

We headed to Fitnesshub Plus to shoot these images, check them out here.

What’s your favourite way to work out?