Which Workout is Right For You

School’s back in session, and whether or not you’re heading to a lecture hall, it’s hard to not get caught up in the back-to-school energy this time of year. The shift in seasons and routines makes fall the perfect time to start a new fitness routine, but the number of options for where to break a sweat can feel overwhelming, so we got the lowdown on three distinct workout styles from a few fitness gurus. Read on to discover your new favorite workout.

The Class: Rhythm-Based Indoor Cycling
The Expert: Kristin Watson, Founder/CEO pūrvelo, Charlottesville, Auburn, and Chapel Hill

What it is: Pūrvelo is a rhythm-based indoor cycling studio that uses the beat of music to drive momentum in the class and the energy from the riders to create an epic bike experience. Throw in some light hand weights with a splash of choreography and you have a total body workout in 45 minutes.

What it does: Physiologically, indoor cycle can strengthen the heart, improve cardiorespiratory endurance, lower blood pressure, and increase metabolism. Add to that an increase in muscular endurance, strength, and power. This whole body-and-mind experience offers riders a respite from everyday stresses, but it can also increase lean body mass and decrease body fat.

The overall experience: Riders enter class, which is much like a sanctuary, with lights low and candles lit. The music and energy from the other riders drives the class, as the instructor guides everyone through the workout, offering pointers on how to customize the experience and words of encouragement.

Why try it: This cardio-focused workout is low-impact and customizable, so participants can adjust their level of intensity and degree of resistance to match their goals and abilities. The dark room makes it perfect for first-timers, and it’s a fun social activity with friends. Indoor cycling is perfect for those recovering from high-impact exercise injuries and is a great overall stress reducer.

The Class: Baptiste Yoga
The Expert: Libby Ramsey, Owner, Dancing Dogs Yoga, and Certified Baptiste Power Yoga Instructor, Greensboro, North Carolina

What it is:  Baptiste Power Yoga is an invigorating, challenging, and flowing form of vinyasa yoga that is a full-body, low-impact, high-results workout. Every class is all levels, providing an opportunity for every student to work at his/her own personal edge and continue learning and growing. You will sweat, be challenged, and realize your possibility both on your yoga mat and in your life off of your yoga mat!

What it does: In 45-60 minute classes you strengthen and lengthen your muscles, detoxify from the inside out, torch calories, and clear your mind.

The overall experience: The setting of an all-levels, come-as-you-are community that is connected and supportive is something that sets a Baptiste Power Yoga experience apart. Every class is a “Journey Into Power,” from integration into your body, through a flowing series of poses, balancing work, core and back-bending work, deep stretches, restorative poses, and then a 3-minute resting pose. It leaves you feeling invigorated and mentally ready to take on your day.

Why try it: Many students enjoy the health benefits of yoga—strength, flexibility, weight loss, decreased stress, increased energy and vitality, and improved athletic performance. They’ll get all of this and more as the practice of challenging physical yoga comes along with a message of empowerment, connection, positivity, acceptance, and growth.

The class: Pilates Megaformer
The expert: Dani Rubin, owner of Pilates Blast in Red Bank, New Jersey

What it is: Megaformer is the newest kid on the fitness block, but there’s no doubt that it’s here to stay. The high-intensity, low-impact of a Megaformer workout creates the unique circumstances for your body to burn the most calories in the least amount of time, not to mention the “afterburn” that takes place in the hours following a Mega class. The design of the Megaformer creates a non-stop endurance and stamina-challenging workout that’s geared toward newbies and fitness gurus alike.

What it does: There are five basic foundations of physical fitness, and Megaformer hits them all—not just in every class, but in every move—including cardio-respiratory endurance, muscle strength, muscle endurance, body composition, and flexibility. Like all pilates, it focuses on alignment, core strength, and the mind-body connection.

The overall experience: With only nine participants in any class, the intimate environment allows instructors to lead clients through the full experience and make necessary adjustments to form. A high-energy playlist keeps clients moving and motivated for the entire 40-minute class.

Why try it: Megaformer classes feature highly-trained instructors that tailor every session to their client’s needs, whether that’s a butt-kicking or hand-holding. These classes are great to take with a pal, and you’re likely to make a friend or two in the process. Participants will be challenged to the limit and leave with a stronger body and serious feeling of accomplishment.

Pūrvelo is featured in The Scout Guide CharlottesvilleDancing Dogs Yoga is featured in The Scout Guide Triad: Greensboro, Winston-Salem & High PointPilates Blast is featured in The Scout Guide Two Rivers & The Shore. Find a Scouted workout studio near you in The Scout Guide Directory.