wellness center workouts.

Published on February 7th, 2013

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The wellness center is great. Between the hot people working out and the smoothies at the juice bar, I see no reason to ever leave. Though an hour on the treadmill can be effective, it’s also dull. I stepped away from the cardio machines and weights and dropped into some of the group exercise classes offered for free at the wellness center. They all provided excellent workouts. Some were focused on increasing cardiovascular health while other classes are designed to develop muscle tone and strength. Depending on your level of fitness, you may not want to take  some of these sessions. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at all things gym related and I barely got through some of these classes. I’ve ranked the classes offered in the wellness center based on how fun, intense, difficult they are and how sore you feel the day after.

Cardio Kickboxing
This class is jam packed with high bpm pop beats that get you to jump, kick, punch and sweat really hard for an hour. One of my personal favorites, this class torches calories like no other and helps tighten leg and glute muscles. The classes tend to be a little fuller, so make sure you give yourself plenty of space; you don’t want to end up kicking the people around you.
Fun: 4/5, this rating is tied directly to the music being played, if you’re not feeling the instructor’s style, you won’t have the best time.
Intensity: 4/5, this class is hard and therefore best reserved for people who have an intermediate or higher level of fitness.
Difficulty: 3/5, If it’s your first time taking this class, it’s definitely going to be a bit harder to pick up the movements but once you get into the swing of things, you’ll get the hang of it.
Soreness: 2/5, you’ll definitely feel an ache in your core but you’ll get through the next day.

Super Sculpt
Super Sculpt is painful and excruciating but so worth it in the end. This class is a study in a variety of methods and exercises woven together for a head-to-toe workout. Make sure you avoid eating before class, pushing through this workout on a full stomach is definitely going to make you sick. It’s a tough class but you feel the results from it quickly, especially after the soreness wears off.
Fun: 2/5, this class isn’t going to let you forget that you’re exercising.
Intensity: 5/5, every single muscle in your body is going to be subjected to toning, strengthening and sculpting (natch).
Difficulty: 4/5, depending on the strength of your different muscle groups, some parts of this class are going to feel easy, while the rest is going to feel unreasonably hard.
Soreness: 5/5, I could barely walk to class the next day.

Zumba
Word of warning: this class fills up fast. For popular class times, instructors hand out tickets for entrance on a first come first serve basis. It’s definitely a testament to how enjoyable this class is. Instructors get you to dance and bop around and it’s a really enjoyable way to work cardio into your day.
Fun: 5/5, the music is good, the instructors know how to get you to have fun and it’s a great stress reliever.
Intensity: 1/5, it’s definitely a workout but you won’t struggle through it.
Difficulty: 3/5, it takes a certain level of coordination to pick up the moves.
Soreness: 0/5, there’s no next day soreness but you may experience a pleasant energy boost.

Gutts-N-Butts
Like the name says, this class hits the lower body hard. You’ll be put through a series of squats, lunges, and crunches among several other exercises. The workout is focused, targeted and you see results after only a couple classes.
Fun: 3/5, it gets a little dull repeating some of the exercise but there’s a lot of momentum carrying you through the class.
Intensity: 4/5, it’s a tough, long hour to get through.
Difficulty: 2/5, it gets hard to complete the reps toward the end of a set.
Soreness: 4/5, you will feel score in muscles you didn’t even know you had.

Core Conditioning
This half hour quickie session will help you get the abs and cutlines you’ve been craving. It’s a great addition to whatever you already do in the gym and it fits easily into a busy schedule.
Fun: 2/5, It’s a long ab workout, which is feels tedious.
Intensity: 4/5, you get a more or less intense workout, depending on your instructor.
Difficulty: 3/5, targeting the same muscles over and over, means you’ll struggle through the last few reps of each exercise.
Soreness: 4/5, your abs will definitely feel sore the next day.

Upper Body Sculpt
Much like Gutts-N-Butts focuses on the lower body, Upper Body Sculpt targets the muscle groups in the arms, chest and back for a comprehensive upper body workout. Personally, I have noodley, weak arms and little to no upper body strength, so this class was far more of a challenge for me than it may be for you.
Fun: 2/5, the instructors do their best to keep the class hyped and excited and but it’s hard to feel like your having fun through a battery of push-ups.
Intensity: 4/5, you’ll definitely get some quality strength training.
Difficulty: 5/5, very hard, but that’s mostly based on the fact that I’m pretty weak.
Soreness: 5/5, I may have struggled to lift a fork the next day.

TRX Circuit
You may have seen the TRX suspension cables when walking by the multipurpose room upstairs. They may look scary but the workout they help deliver, is crazy fun. Class sizes are limited to twenty, which allows for a lot of contact with the instructor and more room to move around in. Plus, anything embarrassing you do will be restricted to a small crowd.
Fun: 5/5, the TRX class is completely different from any other fitness class offered at any gym. Working with the suspension cables is exciting and helps target muscles in a completely different way.
Intensity: 5/5, your muscles are activated in entirely new and different ways, which makes for a session that torches plenty of calories and builds total body strength.
Difficulty: 4/5, the class is hard but the instructor teaches you exactly how to get the best workout.
Soreness: 5/5, every fiber of my being was screaming in pain the next day.

Class schedules can be found here.

Will you be trying any of these wellness center workouts soon?

words_shivani aluru. photo_courtesy of university of miami wellness center.