Which workout class should you try?

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Brinda Ambal

Motivational sayings on the walls of Rowhouse’s studio boost you through your workout.

Did you somehow manage to get through the first two weeks of 2020 keeping your resolution? Are you starting to tire? These four workout classes around St. Louis will help keep things sweaty. Read on and then take the quiz to find out which one you should try.

Rowhouse

A clean, white theme greets you as you walk into Rowhouse’s first Missouri location in Sunset Hills. Boat-themed clothing and wall decals imply that teamwork and replicating the sport of rowing are high on the list of priorities.

You should arrive around 20 minutes early to your first class. Rowhouse tradition dictates that newbies get the big lockers–a sweet gesture. Following your coach into the erg room, dim but backlit by color-changing mood lights, you will be walked through the steps of the stroke. Boring as it may be, you will soon wish you spent more time walking before you find yourself running.

We tried the “Full Row” class, which gives you a shot at more meters than all of Rowhouse’s other classes. Over two intervals of rowing on the rowing machine, split by some guided fluid stretching, your legs will burn as your coach yells motivational sayings about teamwork and visualization triggers about racing in shells. It might be hard to get into the mindset though, because, from my experience, Rowhouse tends to attract an older crowd.

Marketed as a low impact workout alternative, Rowhouse especially attracts those who’ve had knee or hip injuries or might be a bit older. However, members are very kind and cheerful. Bring a group of friends and party it up to the pumping music. Don’t worry about inevitably dripping sweat through— lucky for you, Rowhouse provides complimentary sweat towels.

TITLE Boxing

As soon as you walk in, the gym is a bit intimidating. Hype music is pumping over the speakers and the red and black theme is simultaneously jarring and invigorating. At your first class, you have to buy your own set of hand wraps at $11 per pair. This is however a blessing in disguise: they get sweatier than you would think.

Your coach will come over and wrap your hands for you, walking you through the steps. You instantly feel a lot more comfortable and at home than when you walked in. You can then put on your gloves, which TITLE lets you borrow free of charge for your first class, and head over to a bag with your coach to learn the basic punches and optional kicks that will be used during the workout. 

As class starts, a dynamic warmup will ease you into the first round. For each round, you will perform a series of three to seven movements consecutively for three minutes until the arena-style buzzer goes off. Three minutes may seem short now, but in the moment you’ll be seeing stars for the longest three minutes of your life. If you enjoy the toughing out intensity, this is the workout for you. Each of the eight rounds is followed by a one minute active rest period, during which your coach will lead you through more dynamic movements. When you are done with the eight rounds, you will partake in a fiery seven minute ab circuit. 

Effectively a full body workout, the next day you will loll around, arms dragging at your sides as you have no muscle left over to hold them up. But, the feeling of accomplishment makes it so worth it.

OrangeTheory

Forget leg day, arm day, and every day solely dedicated to the muscles in between. At an OrangeTheory Fitness class, it’s all about the heart. Upon signing in for your first class, which is always free, you receive a heart rate monitor that connects to television screens you can refer to during your workout. This is a crucial part of the OrangeTheory method, as the heart rate monitor tracks your effort by categorizing your heart rate in to colors: grey, blue, green, orange and red. For each minute you are in the orange or red zone, you earn a splat point. The goal is to obtain 12 splat points which is scientifically proven to enhance metabolism. These statistics are constantly displayed on the screen, which can be intimidating for some, but motivating for others. 

This seems like a lot of numbers and a lot of pressure, but once the music starts and the treadmills are on, you’re sure to reach the class’ goal. OrangeTheory classes are different each day, and vary in combination of sets on the treadmill and floor with weights and rowing machine, which ensures even the most faithful splat point earners experience a different workout each class. 

The treadmills are top-notch quality and have a comfortable bounce and easy mechanisms to adjust speed. There are interval options for walkers, joggers and runners, which is flexible for both ability and soreness levels. The floor is equipped with various weights, TRX, an ab-dolly and mats. The simple but effective circuits ensure improved strength as well as take-aways you can bring to the gym or your own home. OrangeTheory has water rowers which are utilized during each class, which provides smooth pulls and an effective challenge.

There are many OrangeTheory locations across the area which attract all members of the community, from middle-aged moms, older business people, teenagers and even a grandma or two. The flexible options and group environment make for an accomplishing and fun workout. 

CycleBar

Leave your training wheels at home, and prepare for an exciting and sweaty spin class at CycleBar. CycleBar locations offer many amenities, such as cycle shoes, snacks for before and after your workout, lockers and a complimentary water bottle. But when the class starts, the lights go down and music turns up. No matter the playlist, each class is led by passionate instructors, who guide each rider through various inclines, speeds and implementation of light weights. Effort can be tracked on the leaderboard which reports your RPM, mileage and watts. 

Spin classes are all about the music, and in addition to their classic classes, CycleBar offers specialty classes based upon a playlist made for specific artists such as Fall Out Boy and Rihanna or genres of music such as Throwback Thursday and MashUp Monday. These are great classes to attend with friends and motivate you to attend a class not only for a great workout, but to jam out to your favorite tunes. The music is also accompanied by flashing lights and exciting bass.

While cycling can potentially become boring after awhile of pedaling with nowhere to go, CycleBar ensures that all who drop in can be engaged by encouraging leaders who implement challenges, and a concert-like atmosphere which makes the hard work exhilarating. 

While working out at a gym on your own might have it’s own merits, it might be time to try a group workout class. Take the quiz below to see which one you should try!