I Tried Five Workout Classes So You Don’t Have To

Over the past week, I tried five workout classes and I’m here to tell you what worked, what didn’t, and what I learned about myself along the way. But first, I want to share a little bit about my own fitness journey to better explain what the experience was like.

Growing up I was always active in sports, but after high school it became challenging to have a consistent fitness routine in college. During quarantine last year, with commitments on hold and needing a way to cope with the unknowns of the pandemic, running became a staple for me. But as life slowly retuned to “normal” this year, so did my old habits. I try to work out as much as I can, but sometimes life seems to get in the way. So in an effort to spice up my fitness routine, I decided to think outside the box and try something new.

I have always wanted to try a variety of workouts, but in the past I was nervous about being in a foreign environment and meeting new people. Trying new things (especially workouts), can be intimidating. I never thought I would have tried five workout classes in just over a week, but I did it (with the help of Red Leaf Pre-Workout of course!).

Getting out of my comfort-zone was one of the best things to come from the experience. While this guide will give you basic info about the different workouts I tried, the best way to know what you like best is to go out and try it!

Summit Fitness – CrossFit

Class Length: 1 hour

Total Calories: 670 cal

What makes it special: The Environment

Photo before Summit Fitness Class

Not only was Summit Fitness the first class I attended, but it was also the one I was most anxious about beforehand. I had heard how intense CrossFit was and quite honestly, I did not think I would be able make it through a workout.

Was Summit Fitness intense? Yes.

Was it fun? Yes.

Would I recommend it? Definitely.

Shane, the coach, walked my friend Sydney and I through what was expected at the beginning of the workout and continued to guide us throughout the entire class. While there were moves that were outside my comfort zone (like the wall stand pictured), Shane also made sure to give modifications and help Sydney, and I adapt the workout for us.

The environment was what made Summit so special. Not only did the coaches go out of their way to make Sydney and I feel welcome, but other Summit members went out of their way to welcome us, cheering us on during and after the workout.

If you are looking to get in better cardio shape while building muscle, CrossFit is for you! Sydney and I attended a more cardio-heavy day, but I still felt like my legs, arms and abs got a good workout. Even if you are apprehensive like I was, the uplifting environment makes the challenging workout seem doable.

Sydney and Francie after CrossFit

Lifetime Fitness: Barbell Strength – Gym Group Fitness Class 

Class Length: 1 hour

Total Calories: 455 cal 

What makes it special: Convenience

Before Barbell Strength

Barbell strength was unlike any workout class I had taken in the past. This hour-long workout was a great cardio and strength combination and definitely took me outside of my comfort zone.

Lifetime Fitness, like many gyms, offers a wide-variety of workout classes. My friend, Kaitlyn, swears by barbell strength so I knew I had to try it. Of all of the classes I tried, barbell strength placed the greatest emphasis on strength, giving me a full body workout that left me sore for days! This class was a bit more fast paced than the other classes, but is sure to give you a good burn.

The class takes you through a variety of movements and combinations to the beat of different songs, working each of the main muscle groups along the way. The main piece of equipment used was a barbell with weight plates, which allows you the flexibility of choosing the correct weight for you, depending on the movement.

I would recommend this class to anyone who is hoping to gain muscle. While you do not NEED lifting experience, having a solid base of understanding will help you get an even better workout. Overall, the main strength of this Lifetime class is its convenience. Classes are included in the Lifetime membership, so this is a great option for someone interested in using the gym to workout on their own, while also having supplemental classes.

Gym Workout – Seeing Stars Challenge/ Legs

Workout Length: 40 Min

Total Calories: 388 cal 

What makes it special: How personalized it is! 

Before Seeing Stars Challenge

For this workout, we completed the Seeing Stars Challenge workout and some leg exercises after. Kaitlyn completed the advanced version, I completed intermediate and Sydney did beginner. Doing this allowed us to work at our own pace. Afterwards,Kaitlyn led Sydney and I through one of her leg day workouts.

The best part of this workout was going through it at my own pace, and having someone who knows me guide the workout.

Having someone who knows you is one of the best parts about personal training.  There are many wonderful online and in-person personal trainers, like our friend Jacqueline Sobotka. Personal training is a great option because of how personalized it is, your trainer knows you, so they can push you to work your hardest!

After seeing stars challenge


F45 West Carmel– Functional 45

Class Length: 45 Min

Total Calories: 388 cal 

What makes it special: How Quickly the time passes.

Before F45

The day Sydney and I attended F45 was a circuit cardio day. The class was high energy with a variety of movements and stations. F45 reminded me of some of the strength aspects of Orange Theory, but time seemed to fly by in this class.

I was pretty sore after the workouts from the days prior, so I was concerned time in the class would feel like it was dragging on forever. It was quite the opposite, however! Time flew by and I still got a solid workout in.

Each day at F45 is set up in a different way, so this is a great option for people looking for variety in their workout routine. Like Summit, the people at F45 were super welcoming towards Sydney and I and encouraged us throughout the workout!

After F45


Cycle Bar Trader’s Point – Spin

Class Length: 45 Min

Total Calories: 547 cal 

What makes it special: The Energy! Before Cycle Bar

The 6 am ride at Cycle Bar was no joke! Normally I workout in the afternoon or evening, but I figured waking up early for my last class would be a fun extra challenge. Having my friends, Alexa and Claire join me made the early way up call more manageable.

The energy from the instructor and the playlist were a great way to start the day off strong. After the class I felt especially accomplished that I tried five workout classes in just over a week!

Cycle Bar was a great way to end this week-long journey! I would recommend this class to music lovers. While you are definitely feeling the burn, the music and instructor drive the class. Even though Cycle Bar was challenging, the energy everyone brought to the table made this class a must try!

After Cycle bar

I tried five workout classes in just over a week, but I gained so much more out of the experience.

Getting out of my comfort zone made me more confident in my fitness and left me feeling accomplished. While it is easy to continue to do workouts you are familiar with, you might be surprised by how much you enjoy trying something new.

This experience reminded me of the importance of support systems throughout your life and fitness journey. I could not have done this without my friends. From attending classes with me to encouraging me get out of my comfort zone, my friends made this experience everything and more.

Not everyone has the same support system so know that Red Leaf is committed to walking alongside you on your journey of building a healthier lifestyle.