Everyone wants to stay in shape, and sometimes forcing yourself to turn up to the gym or fitness studio offers a little more motivation than just pulling on your running shoes for a home workout – after all, if you’re already there, you may as well give it your all, right? The problem is, after a while, the same old routine starts to get stale, no matter how much you loved it to begin with. Have you been going to the same spin class for months on end? Did you hop onto the Zumba train when it started to pick up steam, but are just plain old tired of doing the same moves week after week? Or is your problem merely that you’ve been doing circuits of all the cardio machines and want a little something different to spice up your fitness routine. Whatever your reason, sometimes it can be incredibly refreshing to take a new workout class.
However, lest you think it’s all aerobics and boring old group circuits, it’s definitely not. There are countless extremely unique fitness classes on the market that have people turning up week after week. We all like a little excitement in our fitness routine, and adjusting to new exercises and types of working out can be extremely beneficial to both our motivation and our bodies.
If you could dream it up, there’s probably a class somewhere in the world delivering it – trust us. Here’s 15 of the craziest workout classes that you might not have heard of before.
15 50 “Shapes” of Grey
That’s right – the obsession with the erotic 50 Shades of Grey series has transcended the world of smutty fiction and entered the gym with the 50 “Shapes” of Grey class. Kristen James, a trainer in New York, decided to capitalize on the book’s popularity and create a series of fitness moves that’ll help strengthen your core so you can do everything that Anastasia Steele did in the book. For example, “the sexy scissor” and “the seductive squat.” We can’t help but feel like it’d be a little embarrassing to do erotica-inspired moves in a room full of strangers, but hey – at least you wouldn’t be bored!
14 Stiletto Fitness
Where can you find a class that encourages you to trade in sensible, supportive running shoes for sexy, sky-high stiletto heels? Vegas, baby! A sultry workout class started in Vegas has been making its way around America as more women want to tap into their inner sex kitten during their fitness classes. Pole dancing class, move aside – it’s all about the stilettos now. This class is basically exactly what it sounds like – you slip into your favorite stilettos and work it out. Now, your new choice in footwear might not have much impact on your upper body, but every woman who has rocked stilettos knows that your legs and glutes get a good workout just walking in them, let alone exercising.
13 Air Conditioning
No, we’re not talking about the cool breeze that constantly blows through your gym in an effort to curb all the sweaty gym bunnies. When we say air conditioning, we’re talking about a fun new class you might not have heard of. In San Francisco, a trampoline center called House of Air offers workout classes conducted on trampolines. That’s right – you can tone your core and legs by bouncing, hopping, flipping, and just having fun on a trampoline. All that bouncing definitely works all your muscles, so we have no doubt that this class would be the perfect way to get a good workout while also indulging in a bit of nostalgia for your trampoline-jumping inner child.
12 Glee Singa-thon
Do you know all the character on popular series Glee? When it aired, did you frequently find yourself singing along to the tunes alongside the characters? Well, if you’re looking to combine your love of Glee with your desire to get in shape, you’re in luck – Crunch Fitness has just the thing for you. The innovative studio is known for its unusual workouts, and this class is no different. In the Glee Singa-thon class, you get a great dance workout by following along to choreographed moves, all to the sweet sounds of the series’ soundtrack. And also, according to the Crunch website, singing is not optional, so you’ll be workout out your vocal chords as well. Come on – you know you want to feel like you stepped into an episode of Glee.
A lot of trendy new workouts try to tap into things we loved to do as children, and for good reason – working out can be difficult and strenuous, so why not at least try to have fun? This class, which you can attend if you’re in the Los Angeles area, centers on hula hooping. It might seem like an easy workout, but you can allegedly burn anywhere from 400 to 600 calories in an hour with the strenuous hooping moves – about the same as you’d burn jogging, and it’s way more fun than jogging. Plus, if you’re a celeb junkie, you might just spot a famous face – apparently Zooey Deschanel, Jason Mraz, and Michelle Obama have popped into this hooping class before.
10 Anti-Gravity Yoga
For those of us who aren’t regular yogis, even the basic moves can be overwhelming. If you’re looking to try something different while still stretching out your muscles in those signature yoga poses, look to this class created by aerial performer Christopher Harrison. The Anti-Gravity Yoga class combines moves inspired by yoga, Pilates, calisthenics, and aerial acrobatics – and they’re all performed in a strange hammock-type tool that allows you to swing and flip around as needed. It might take a little getting used to, but it seems like it’d be an absolutely killer workout. Plus, come on – unless you’re a yogi who swears by the relaxation, the same old sun salutations can get boring after a while.
9 Ganja Yoga
You know the look of relaxation and bliss that you can spot after that final “Namaste” in your yoga class? Usually it’s just because of the endorphins and tough workout that everyone has undertaken. Then again, you could be in a Ganja yoga class. That’s right – in Toronto, a fitness studio offers a “cannabis-assisted” yoga class where participants share a little something special before moving through their yoga poses. Naturally, membership is exclusive – they don’t want just anyone walking off the street claiming to want to participate in the class when they just want a little bit of the green stuff. Well, it’d probably take the pain out of some of those tricky moves, that’s for sure!
8 Body Gospel
The company behind fitness DVD programs like P90X and Turbo Jam have another class that you can take in the comfort of your own home – but this one has a slightly different tone. A holier one, if we may. We’re talking about Body Gospel, a “faith-based” workout that combines the high-energy aerobic moves of the company’s other successful programs with gospel tunes. To up the faith quotient, the fitness instructor Donna Richardson even starts each workout off with a prayer. Now, we know it might not be for everyone – but hey, if you’re someone with a rock solid belief in God, it might be just the program to help you get those rock solid abs.
7 Twerk It Out
You thought that twerking was a thing of the past, that you had managed to escape Miley Cyrus’ signature move? Well, the former dance craze might be out of the public eye – but that’s just because it moves into the gym! A studio in London by the name of Gymbox offers a Twerk It Out class that basically involves… twerking. Or, if we’re going to get specific, it involves low-impact aerobic conditioning moves paired with some sexy dance choreography. Ladies, you no longer need to twerk in the privacy of your own home – slip on your sexiest leggings and shake it. You’re just working on your fitness, after all – no one can judge you. (Right?)
6 Vikings and Valkyries
Everyone wants to feel like a badass when they’re working out, and many people enjoy the motivation delivered through a few harsh barks – that’s why boot camps are so popular in the fitness world. However, this class takes things to an entirely different level. The Norse-inspired class takes place outdoors (obviously – like Vikings would be in your community gym?) in Shoreditch, a neighbourhood in London. Class participants lift barrels, pull anvils, swing ropes, play competitive tug of war, and basically just work it out like the Vikings did. Hey – in any depictions of them, those Vikings look pretty ripped, so we’ll give it a try if we’re ever in the area.
Have you ever been enjoying the water in a swimming pool, perhaps doing a few laps, and thought – if only there were some bikes in here? No? Well, apparently someone did, because the fitness world is abuzz with Hydrofit classes. Born in New York and now a trend internationally in cities like London, this class involves spinning (that ultra-high intensity form of stationary cycling) while you’re in a miniature swimming pool. I mean, it kind of makes sense – the water would offer a ton of resistance without much impact. While you might need to find a few classes that help you engage your arms to make sure your physique is balanced, Hydrofit would probably give you killer legs.
4 Beyonce Workshop
Okay, whoever is running Frame gyms in the U.K., we want to know how you’ve managed to satisfy our fitness dream of feeling like Queen B. That’s right – Frame offers a gruelling two hour Beyonce Workshop that involves learning those crazy dance moves and basically strutting your stuff around the gym, Beyonce-style, for two hours. Have you seen that girl on stage? If you take this class, you’re going to work your butt off, and probably sweat your butt off, but let’s be serious – you would love every minute of it. When you leave the building, even though your muscles will be killing you, you know you’ll be doing the Crazy In Love strut. It’s going to happen.
3 Naked Yoga
Okay, everyone has the right to workout however they want, and however they’re comfortable, but… this class makes us cringe a little bit. A studio in New York called Bold & Naked offers yoga classes that are conducted entirely in the nude. I mean, we don’t even want to see our best friends or significant others naked in such strange angles, let alone complete strangers. If you want to figure out whether your yoga pants are truly hindering your downward dog and aren’t totally down for baring it all, don’t worry – they also offer private sessions (although, somehow, that might be even weirder?)
2 New York Jedi
Star Wars fans, this is your moment to shine. Thanks to founder Flynn Michael and his team of instructors, you can take Jedi classes in New York City. That’s right – you can literally work out with a lightsaber. The actual class – a challenging two hour experience – involves things like martial arts moves, fight choreography from movies, and more. We have no doubt that they can deliver a good workout, and let’s be honest – every move would be infinitely more fun to do whilst swinging a light saber around. You can work on toning up while feeling like you stepped into a sci fi movie.
Do you remember those strange boots that came onto the market ages ago that resembled ski boots with bizarre springs on the bottom? Well, dig them out of your closet if you ever ended up purchasing them – they’re now at the center of a new fitness class. The Kangoo class is a 45 minute cardiovascular workout that includes dance moves, running, and jumping around a studio, enjoying a mixture of pop and house music, all the while with your Kangoo boots on your feet. Apparently, the class is designed to work your legs, glutes, core – basically everything you want firmed up – in a way that’s far lower impact than jumping around with regular shoes.