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Choosing the best cardio class for you

Contrary to popular belief, cardio classes are not all the same. Each one of these classes at your local gym is created differently, making each of them unique in their own right. The educational and practical background of the instructor is an extremely important element in the creation of that instructor’s particular fitness class.

Some instructors, for example, have backgrounds in certain types of dance technique–jazz, hip-hop, Latin, and the like. Others are practitioners of calmer techniques, such as yoga or Pilate's. The instructor might incorporate these techniques into his/her cardio routine to add to the value of the class.

Cardio classes, however, are a hard and challenging workout, and can sometimes even cause minor pain. So, unless you've picked the right class for yourself, it will be hard for you to stick with a weekly cardio class if it isn't fun.

Thus, the best cardio classes are those that the exerciser enjoys, prompting him or her to stick with the program.

But what makes a cardio class "fun" per se? What brings you back to the class again and again, the next week and the week after?

“I love to attend new and challenging classes,” says Akram, who has been attending numerous cardio classes. “I like a class that pushes me to the extreme and allows me to lift weights while doing cardio. I hate attending slow and weight-free classes–they're not for me.”

While Akram might be a seasoned trainee in the gym room, he is still a beginner to the world of fitness classes. It is much better to begin your studio visit by attending slower classes and learning the basics before jumping into more difficult classes–both for your benefit and that of others.

You should take the time to learn what needs to be learned, then apply it to harder classes as you advance. This way, you give yourself the full range of benefits from the harder classes. Challenging cardio classes include elaborate movements that might cause you to fall onto someone around you, causing injury to yourself or others.

“The music brings me back every time!” says Nora, who dances to her own beat while performing the challenging cardio workout she likes. “When the instructor knows how to pick good music, I will attend the class and dance my heart out while doing the movements.”

Indeed, music plays a large part in perfecting a cardio class–not only the songs chosen by the instructor, but the music's tempo as well.

It’s well known that fitness music isn't created like studio music–it has a certain repetitive beat that the instructor can create his class around. The faster the beat, the more challenging the fitness class. The tempo is calculated for the instructor by the company producing the music, and the respective beats-per-minute (BPM) is usually presented on the cover of any fitness album.

So pick a fitness class that features the type of music you enjoy, but notice how fast the music is going–maybe it’s a little too fast for you.

Remember–there are two important elements to choosing the right fitness class: picking the right level of fitness class, and picking the fitness class that you consider the most fun. The best classes are those that suit the trainee in both these key ways.

In order for you to pick the right level of cardio class, it is better to talk to the instructor beforehand, since the instructor will be the only person who knows if the class suits you or not. Take the advice of the fitness instructor, and don’t allow pride to cause you injuries.

When an instructor tells you that this class might not be good for you, he/she isn't trying to fool you into leaving. Rather, they are trying to save you the expected injury or confusion caused by a class for which you are not ready.

Go on Youtube and find yourself some different styles of fitness class. Try to follow the videos online and see how you feel about them: Are they fun? Do you feel comfortable doing the movements? Do you like the kind of music they use?

When you find the kind of class you like, look for it on the fitness schedule of your local gym and give it a try. If it's to your liking, then you have finally found the right class for you.

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