Whether you're a gym junkie or not even a member of a gym, you can still enjoy a fitness class from time to time.
I understand that not everyone is into exercising with other people around, but really, no one is looking at you analysing every bead of sweat that may start falling down your nose.
I like classes because you normally end up doing exercises you normally wouldn't attempt, thus broadening your exercise horizons and moving outside the square a bit. I also think you push yourself harder in a class than just working out in the cardio and weights areas of a gym.
Effort rating: 9/10
Entails using bars with weights that you have chosen and doing repetition after repetition of mainly arm and leg work (lunges, squats, bicep curls etc). Free weights are also used. Pros: full body strength workout, muscle building, can choose weights. Cons: other participants can see how little you have on your bar, muscle soreness occurs the next day (usually).
Effort rating 7/10
Spin, to me, is the ol' faithful gym class. Not really varying, you're always on a bike, pedalling, just with varying degrees of resistance. Pros: You know what you're getting into, it's relatively easy with no tricky moves, people can't see how much resistance you actually have on your bike. Cons: Kind of boring.
Effort rating: 7/10
I have only done zumba a few times, so I'm no expert. It involves a vague interpretation of dancing and lots of hip movements. Pros: it's a bit of fun, good for all age groups, you're not likely to be sore the next day. Cons: I didn't feel like it was a great workout and there are some tricky moves.
Effort rating: 8.5/10
Circuit classes consist of doing a certain exercise (eg starjumps, sit ups, push ups) or using a certain piece of equipment (cross trainer, bike etc) for a set amount of time, usually not for very long, and then everyone moves onto the next station. Pros: you usually get a good full body workout from the really varying stations, you get a bit of a break between stations (although not a very big break). Cons: It's likely that a push up or 10 will be required of you...
Effort rating: 6.5 / 10
I'm probably being a bit harsh on step with the effort rating, but I really didn't find it that challenging (although I climb the stairs a lot). It involves having a step board in front of you (which you can adjust the height of) and stepping up and down, mainly. There are a few other movements thrown in for good measure. Pros: works the butt muscles and the routines can be quite fun. Cons: Not too challenging.
I can't actually comment on this because I've been too scared to go to a body balance class, as I'm lacking in the balance department, but I will challenge myself to go one day!
Many more coming up though; CX30, pilates, boot camp, Bikram yoga... I've actually done more than I thought now that I'm writing it all down.