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Hi-Energy & Cardio

By: Mike Kiely BA (hons) - Updated: 2 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
Strength And Conditioning High Energy

Take a look at the curriculum on offer at your gym. There will probably be a bewildering amount of choice. So which classes are the right ones for you by providing the results that you desire.

All class programmes will offer some amount in terms of cardiovascular fitness i.e. the efficiency of the heart and the arteries. Some more than others obviously depending upon the amount of work that your body is being asked to do, but at the very least they will be a lot more beneficial than simply sitting there thinking about exercising but never building up the determination to do something about it. Top of the list for a cardiovascular workout have to be the high-energy classes that combine music with vigorous routines to achieve maximum calorie burn. This could mean Step, Spinning or one or more of a combination of Body Attack, Body Pump, and Body Combat. Some programmes may include high-impact moves and a certain level of agility. As a result they are unlikely to be practical or indeed suit the requirements of groups such as children, pregnant women and senior citizens. One discipline that will get the heart racing for older individuals is Senior Circuits, where resistance work targets both muscle tone and breathing efficiency.

Toning and Efficiency of Muscles

Senior Circuits also fit into the category of strength and conditioning. The same is true of Aqua Aerobics. Here the accent is on repetitions in order to improve toning and the efficiency of the muscles. Sequences don’t rely on individuals being able to lift a set amount of weight and the moves tend to be low-impact in nature. This means that a range of age groups can benefit from the class, including those who may be suffering from joint problems.

What about the holistic approach? Well, by definition this means paying attention to the whole self, so it is as much about what is going on inside your head as in your heart. So not only will you achieve better muscle tone but your breathing will be improved, leading to a calmer, perhaps even a more spiritual, self. The disciplines in this category will include Tai Chi and Pilates. They are essentially gentle in nature, so we’re talking low impact and no loud music. Who is going to benefit? Well, senior citizens, children and pregnant women spring to mind most obviously, but what about those stressed out house husbands and wives, and busy executives. For them, too, a vigorous assault on body and mind may not be what they are after; by contrast, a holistic class will provide them with all they need either before the day begins or to wind down in the evening and promote more restful sleep.

Pumping the Adrenalin

Any of these categories can be followed in isolation or mixed up to offer the advantages that each may offer you. Your mood on a particular day may be more suited to burning calories and pumping the adrenalin in a Spinning session; another day may require a gentler, reflective approach – in that case, head for the Tai Chi or Pilates studio.

The important thing is that all these classes will be beneficial, both physically and mentally. Once you are on the move and have got a taste for the brighter, healthier self that you’ve become, then you’ll have plenty of options moving forward into the next stage of your development.

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