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Cardiovascular Workouts + Weight Training

Take a Class

Within the gym, there are numerous ways to exercise aerobically. Before former martial arts standout Billy Blanks made Tae Bo a national exercise rage, the craze was spinning. Before that, there were step classes, and aerobic dance.

Some people look at these theme classes as gimmicky – and we suppose some of them are – but many are great ways to churn and burn in a group setting. The workouts can be quite demanding, but the group dynamic and pulsating music distracts you from the intensity of your effort. Even if you're highly motivated and work out diligently on your own, taking a class is a fun way to diversify your routine. If you're someone who needs to be motivated, these classes may be just what you need.

Following, we will discuss briefly the various forms of aerobic activities available in a majority of gyms.

Spinning Out

Spinning, which is done on an exercise bike, was developed in California by a character named Johnny G. Typically accompanied by loud funky tunes and sparkling and flashing lights, you stand and sit, spin fast and slow to the calls of your instructor. No one moves (at least not forward) but you get an incredible workout. Because each rider adjusts the tension on his/her own bike, spinning can accommodate a diverse group of participants.

In case you think that spinning is just for Jane Fonda types, here's an interesting case study. This past winter, rather than fighting the nasty New York winter, Jonathan and several of his cycling teammates regularly took spin classes with cyclist Kirk Whiteman, a former world champion sprinter whose thighs resemble oak trees. If their early season race results are any indication, those wintertime sweat-fests did the trick.


Excerpted from he Complete Idiot's Guide to Weight Training © 2003 by Deidre Johnson-Cane and Jonathan Cane. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide website or call 1-800-253-6476.

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