These days it seems like, with every new week, there’s some new ‘fad’ group fitness trend you’ve just GOT to try. If you’re the sort of person who sees a solo trip to the gym as a special kind of torture, but still want to feel the burn, listen up – we’re separating the fad from the functional, so you can find your fit (pun intended).
For the committed…
If we’re talking about fad fitness, we’re obviously going to start with F45. Your best friend, barista, hairdresser and mother-in-law are all completely obsessed, so we’ll forgive you for being a teeny tiny bit sick of hearing about it. But here’s the thing – it’s totally worth the hype. With a huge range of 45-minute classes focusing on resistance and cardio, personalised advice from expert trainers, and sessions running from around 5am-7pm week days plus a few sessions on Saturday and Sunday mornings, you’re pretty much guaranteed to fall in love with the format. So much so, that the $60/week price point probably won’t seem so steep after all – going four times a week makes each session just $15. Compare that to the same number of sessions with a personal trainer and you’ll have sufficient ammo to convert the next person who is willing to listen to you gush about your newfound love for F45.
According to CrossFit’s website, it’s a fitness regimen made up of “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity”. But we’ve got it on good authority that it’s much, much more than that. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert CrossFitter (is that a word?) you will get a tonne out of the structured 60-minute sessions that include weightlifting and other strength training, cardio and more, where you’re working out with others who will push you further than you thought possible. The expert trainers recommend 4-5 sessions per week to get the most out of your roughly $65/week membership, but true CrossFit junkies will know that it’s easy to find commitment and motivation – particularly with the option to compete in CrossFit comps locally and even on an international level (via online scoring) from the comfort of your local ‘box’.
Keen to take things down a notch and find a workout that’s as relaxing as it is effective? Sorry, reformer Pilates is not for you. Atop a ‘carriage’ held in place by springs of varying strengths, you will push, pull, lift and squeeze your way to a leaner physique and feel muscles you never even knew you had. Designed to strengthen and lengthen, reformer Pilates builds upon traditional Pilates techniques and throws in weights, rings, balls and pulleys for good measure.
Always envied the long, lean muscles of ballerinas, but not willing to commit to a lifetime of rigorous training? Barre classes just might be your calling. Inspired by ballet, yoga and Pilates, Barre is a fitness regime in and of itself that will leave you feeling balanced, flexible and strong. Aleenta Barre at Mermaid Waters offers a range of different Barre classes led by their attentive and experienced ‘Barre Tenders’, who focus on particular skills and muscle groups, from Barre Burn to Barre F.I.T, with a bit of yoga sprinkled in between.
When Phillip Mills created his first exercise-to-music group class, Pump, in 1990, he had no idea it would be the start of an international empire. Now, around 6 million people participate in Les Mills’ classes every week, at 15,000 gyms across 75 countries. With more than a dozen class formats focusing on everything from dance and weight training to cycling and yoga, the Les Mills brand has worked hard to ensure that their classes are diverse and accessible.
For the casual…
If the hardest thing about running 5km is finding the personal motivation to keep going, parkrun is your sport. This free event takes place every Saturday at 7am across hundreds of locations, so be sure to check www.parkrun.com.au to find your nearest spot. With hundreds of other runners, you will weave your way through pleasant parkland surroundings at your own pace. All you need to bring is yourself, some water and a good attitude – experienced parkrunners will tell you that the positive atmosphere makes the run so much easier.
No Lights No Lycra
Ever wanted to go into a pitch-black room, dance your heart out for an hour and call it exercise? So did Heidi Barrett and Alice Glenn. That’s why they created No Lights No Lycra, the group fitness phenomenon that has seen local gyms, community halls and RSL clubs across the world switch off the lights and blast up-beat tunes a few times a week for eager locals. You can find your nearest NLNL on the website, or you can open one yourself! Head to www.nolightsnolycra.com.
Active and Healthy Parks
Is there any better fitness than free fitness? We think not. Local councils are getting on board the ‘active and healthy’ train and providing tons of free activities to get involved in. The program gives new meaning to ‘everything under the sun’, with classes for all ages and abilities hosted outside in some of our most beautiful local parks. There are hundreds of different locations, so take to Google to find your local one.