Health & Wellness | Fitness

Work Out 101

Fitness classes explained for first-timers


For a small state, Rhode Island puts up some big numbers. With more gyms and fitness classes than Italians statewide, there are dozens of ways to stay in shape all year long. There’s a workout for everyone, and here are 15 worth getting out of bed for.

Training for Life
If you can squat 687 pounds but can’t sprint into the bathroom to hide your chocolate bar from your kids, what’s the point? Get your functional fitness maxed out at Manic Training, where they’ve coined their philosophy to get you “Ready for Life.” Training sessions use full body workouts and compound movements that utilize free weights, med balls, sandbags, kettlebells, Airdyne bikes, Ski Ergs, rowers, sleds and more, to keep you chasing candy bars without passing out. 3377 South County Trail, East Greenwich. 401-884-1300. 466 Main Street, Wakefield. 401-741-5106,

No Butts, No Glory

The times, they are a-changin’. While we once tried to Jane Fonda our apple bottoms right off our bodies, we’re now trying to Jennifer Lopez them back on. Regardless of size preference, we can shift their shape in Luxe Fitness’ Butts and Gutts class. Spend 30 minutes in an intense lower body workout to tone those stubborn spots and keep your bottom relevant. 55 Village Square Drive Suite 1, Wakefield. 401-792-9800. 116 Granite Street, Westerly. 401-596-9400,

Get Moving
Sometimes we’re so focused on building the muscles that gives us the best Flex Friday selfie that we forget about the ones that keep us from falling over. The mind-body connection for everyday movement is critical to our athletic capabilities, and Laid Back Fitness, RI’s only MovNat (short for Move Naturally) affiliate, covers the bases with their Natural Movement class. You’ll practice lifting/carrying, crawling, climbing, jumping, balancing, running, throwing/catching and tumbling skills to become more physically competent. In other words, you’ll be able to run and take a Flex Friday selfie at the same time. 2800 Post Road, Warwick. 401-871-8436,

Happy Hour
Bellying up to the bar(re) has never been more encouraged. Except, this social engagement won’t leave you with a hangover. Pure Barre, an isometric workout that includes elements of ballet, weight training and pilates, is a fast and effective way to tone your entire body. No tips required, but be sure to bring your Friday night flair. 2000 Chapel View Boulevard Suite #125, Cranston. 401-944-0411. 1000 Division Street #16 East Greenwich. 401-944-0411,

Gloves Off

Christina Rondeau can pack a punch as one of little Rhody’s highly decorated female martial arts badasses, but her gym programs cover more than gloves and bags. Jump start your weight loss with her Biggest Loser Package, which includes 12 weeks of fitness classes, personal trainer sessions, weigh ins, measurements, nutrition tips and guidance. The improved you will leave a mark. 12 Sunnyside Avenue, Johnston. 401-272-5425,

Just Row With It
Ride it back. Pull it hard. Stroke it steady. I’m talking about an incredible workout on the rower, of course. 426 Fitness offers a super unique class, Shockwave, which is a high-intensity, gut-busting interval class that combines strength training with short bursts of calorie-torching pulls on the WaterRower for an overall body sculpting workout. 426 Metacom Avenue, Warren. 401-247-7440,

Shake your Buti
Translating to “Curing something hidden below the surface,” Buti digs deep to bring your inner female prowess out in this sweaty and satisfying form of high-energy tribal dance, power yoga and plyometrics. For one hour, transform from the inside out with other kick-ass women during this dim-lit, soulful (and did I mention sweaty?) journey at The Lighthouse Yoga + Pilates. 5 Coventry Shoppers Park, Coventry. 401-285-0903,

Spartan Up
Sometimes just getting through the first two hours of the day (with or without children) feels like an obstacle course of the utmost challenge, but train with the pros to take your maneuvering skills to the next level with an Obstacle Course Fit class at Unleashed. Certified in Spartan Group X, coach Kevin will help you face your fears and mental blocks in this heart-pumping circuit-style workout that mimics most branded OCRs around today. For an added bonus, you’ll be able show your kids up on the monkey bars at the park. That’s called a parenting win. 5 Soule Street, Warwick. 401-732-0010,

Strap In
When an ex-Navy SEAL designs a piece of training equipment, you know you’re probably going to swear once or twice (and maybe at him) before the workout is over. Used by people at all fitness levels, TRX suspension straps work with your bodyweight while leveraging gravity to perform hundreds of stabilizing exercises, and PE Fitness has just the class for you. Not only does it strengthen and tighten your muscles, but also builds endurance, firms up your core and gives you one hell of a cardio workout. 1005 Main Street Unit 8138B, Pawtucket. 401-742-9490,

Grit and Bear It
If you have 30 minutes to spend on scrolling the morning’s memes of Instagram, you have 30 minutes to sweat your ass off with some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) at Forecourt Racquet and Fitness Club. Jump into the latest of their LesMils classes – The Grit Series – designed to improve strength and cardio, increase speed, build lean muscle and get you performing like an athlete. 44 Cray Street, Cumberland. 401-333-4480,

Stretch Your Limbs
You may spend time in an office with a trickling waterfall and a soft couch to work through your control issues, but walk into a Pilates studio and onto a mat, tower reformer, Wunda chair or spine corrector and take charge without consequence. RI Pilates Studio’s Equipment Trio class will tone muscle without bulk, strengthen your core, increase flexibility, improve posture and unite your body and mind. 622 George Washington Highway, Lincoln. 401-335-3099,

Rep it Out

The first rule of Crossfit is that you tell everyone you do Crossfit. I can say this and get away with it (kind of) because I secretly want to be a Crossfitter. Step into this focused group session atmosphere and develop power and athleticism in a program of multiple training modalities – from Olympic lifting and conditioning to functional movements and powerlifting – all of which are scalable to your fitness levels. Check out Post Road Crossfit to get started with basic fundamentals and skills. And then post it on Facebook. 6669 Post Road, North Kingstown. 401-398-8990,

Swing for the Sweat
Cast iron can serve up a lot more than warm, buttery cornbread. (Although, it would be okay to stop there sometimes.) When formed into “cannonballs with handles,” kettlebells give you a serious total-body weight training routine. In Epic Hybrid’s Tone and Power class, run through numerous kettlebell exercises to develop strength and keep your heart rate sky high. 200 Allens Avenue Unit 4A, Providence. 401-487-9577,

Battle of One

You can’t get through a day without reading an inspirational quote somewhere about being your own competition in life. Whoever penned the thought definitely had Tri-Force MMA’s Training for Warriors class in mind. This hour-long group circuit class tests your personal limits to their max, with timed exercises that were originally created for some of the best combat athletes in the world. Practice speed training, strength training, endurance and flexibility work in a motivational atmosphere that will leave you ready to take on the world. Or, at least survive the walk to the car. 179 Conant Street, Pawtucket. 401-640-8743,

Red Light, Green Light

Have you ever heard a story told by a child and wondered how long it would be before he or she got to the end of it? That’s how Tabata is. Except, instead of listening in pain, you’re sweating in pain as the timer slowly counts down to the small reprieve between endurance and strength intervals. The Fitness Factory’s Tabata Tuesdays turns up the dial with a different workout each week, including fun (and nonstop) movements like burpees, squats, weight work, lunges and more. 2051 Smith Street, North Providence. 401-400-2013,

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