Build a better body
Test your limits with these three fitness challenges
Story: Jennifer Bradley Franklin
These days, a one-size-fits-all approach to fitness fits, well, no one. So, we set out to find workouts tailored for different goals and personalities. Here are three of our favorite calorie torchers. Perhaps best of all: your first class is free, so you can test out what gets you to your workout happy place.
Functional Strength Training: Chaos Conditioning
What it is: As the name suggests, this interval fitness class is all about muscle confusion, which helps blast through plateaus. During these hour-long “complete chaos” classes, the trainer (often owner Jeff Baird) puts a maximum of 16 students through a series of eight-minute intervals on free weights, heavy ropes, TRX suspension straps, wooden treadmills, punching bags and Bosu balance balls, all designed to build strength and refine coordination. The unlimited package ($200 per month) lets motivated students push themselves with as many classes as it takes to feel and look their best.
Why we love it: These classes are super-challenging and fun, a difficult balance to strike. The glowing clock lets you know how long you’ve got on each round, so it helps keep you motivated to do your best. You can do anything for eight minutes, right?
Regulars say: “I wanted a workout program that made me feel good through increased energy and endurance, and a more toned and balanced body. [Chaos was] able to meet my needs. In a class of 12 people, there could be 12 different ideas in what people are looking for from the workout, and I would guess that Chaos is meeting the needs of all 12.” – Buckhead resident Richard Orrell-Jones
Cardio & Endurance: Orange Theory Fitness
What it is: This hour-long class in Sandy Springs (there’s also a new Buckhead studio) is aimed at increasing cardio, endurance and strength, through interval training with running, rowing and resistance. You can burn up to 1,000 calories per session and the brand claims that those attending three to five sessions per week can lose up to 3 to 5 pounds in the same time frame. You can tailor the workout to your level, whether you’re a power walker, jogger or runner, and the monthly unlimited class pack ($169) lets you do as many workouts as you like.
Why we love it: Wearing the provided Polar Cardio GX band and heart monitor lets you track your progress throughout class and the system automatically sends your workout summary via email. It’s motivating to get your heart rate up and score some “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption,” which means you’re burning calories for up to 24 hours post-workout.
Regulars say: “I’ve lost 30 pounds in seven months, which has been amazing. I attend five times a week and it’s changed my whole perspective. There were times when I wanted to quit, but I didn’t because of the encouragement and the trainers pushing me.” – Buckhead resident Wanda Ingram
Sculpting & Toning: FlyBarre
What it is: Tucked inside the Buckhead Flywheel studio, the 45-minute or hour-long FlyBarre class is designed to incorporate light resistance, core strengthening and dance moves (easy to master, even for the less-than-coordinated) to sculpt and lengthen muscles. During the FlyBarre Challenge ($550 for nonmembers) participants receive four weekly classes for six weeks; technique and nutrition seminars; weekly measurements; and a goodie bag packed with stylish workout wear and gift cards to local healthy vendors like dTox. You’ll plié, dance and plank your way to a better, more dancer-like body.
Why we love it: This workout is tough, but the time flies by, thanks to a strategically choreographed soundtrack of pop and throwback hit tunes. This writer saw results (sleeker, toned muscles) after just two weeks and eight sessions.
Regulars say: “I was an avid workout junkie—including Flywheel—before, but I lost 8.5 inches from my first challenge. It provided a great deal of accountability, which really helped me make workouts happen. Plus, the gift bag at the end is worth every bit of the pain!” – Buckhead resident Susan Stuart
325 East Paces Ferry Road, Unit 1
102 West Paces Ferry Road N.W.
Orange Theory Fitness
5975 Roswell Road
Senior Contributing Editor and Beauty Columnist at Simply Buckhead. Travel, Food and Design Writer and Author.