When Billy Blanks put Tae Bo on the map in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, every gym realized they had to offer at least 16 kickboxing classes. Then, people started watching Tae Bo for entertainment and we realized the whole thing was stupid. Goodbye, Kickboxing.

Then, word got out about spinning – a fancy name for riding a stationary bike along with a bunch of other people riding stationary bikes at varying speeds. It can be a good workout if done correctly, but the fad passed. It was cool for a while. Then it wasn’t.

Then, we moved into Zumba. We may still be there. “Why workout when you can dance and flail your arms around,” Zumba supporters argue. People will later find out that mildly dancing for a half hour might not be as great a workout as it’s touted to be.

So, what can you do if you’re disenchanted with kickboxing, spinning, Zumba and all the like? Check out these suggestions for fitness classes that aren’t lame.

  • Krav Maga or Self Defense: Nothing says “I mean business” like martial arts with Israeli, Czechoslovakian and Hungarian roots. Krav Maga is a self-defense system that relies on efficiency, brutality and counter-attacks. In short, it’s intense. Most Krav Maga teachers require students to work out beforehand and learn to defend themselves in spite of mental and physical exhaustion. Not only are Krav Maga and other forms of self-defense a great workout, but is also a must for women. Sure, you’re already aware of ways to stay safe in your home town, you may have already invested in home security Indianapolis or other cities, you probably stay with a group when going out, etc., etc. But, knowing how to defend yourself if you really have to is absolutely priceless. While all of your girlfriends are laughing and swinging their arms and hips to spicy beats at Zumba, you’ll be learning Israeli battle tactics and hand to hand combat. Win.
  • Dance That Isn’t Zumba: Zumba and other forms of marginally taxing dance classes aside, dancing can really be a good workout. Dancers that actually do real dance for a living or as a serious hobby are extremely fit. Going to one 30-minute Zumba class a week, however, won’t get the job done. If you’re serious about dancing your way into better shape, sign up for a beginner’s class at an actual dance studio, instead of a gym. Dance studios will have classes more often, for longer periods of time and will be much more strenuous than bopping around to faux Latin music with a room full of strangers. Dancing also usually requires training outside of class, meaning that you’ll be in the gym getting in shape to go get in shape. That’s the real deal.
  • Pole Fitness: No, pole fitness is not a joke. Also, pole fitness should not be confused with pole dancing. Places that specialize in pole fitness will have a well-designed workout that tones and strengthens your upper and lower body. It’s an excellent strength workout and is fun to do. The classes are usually pretty long, meaning that you’re in it for the long haul. Thankfully, it’s becoming more and more popular, and less and less associated with pole dancing. Give pole fitness a try and ask your arms a few days later if it’s still a joke.

The next time you’re looking to diversify your workouts, give these suggestions a try. You’ll be surprised how much fun you can have getting in an amazing workout, instead of just floundering around a gymnasium to music for a half hour.

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