“Listen to your body” — you’ve probably been on the receiving end of this piece of advice at one point or another in your health and fitness journey. It’s intended to help you notice how you’re feeling and gauge what your body (and mind) are up for on any given day. This includes listening to your body’s cues and tuning into your feelings and energy levels before choosing a workout.
Depending on many factors, you may be in the mood for a high-impact, high-intensity exercises that are going to raise your drive or more gentle, mindful movements that allow you to wind down.
There are benefits to all types of exercise, and many experts suggest balancing your routine with a mix of types and effort levels. To decide which fitness class is right for you on any given day, take some time to check in with yourself: How do you feel? What do your body and mind need? Once you have your answer, take a look below to find a Life Time class that best suits your mood.
I’m in the mood for energy and heat.
Classes to try: Warrior Sculpt or FIRE HIIT Yoga
Warrior Sculpt blends traditional yoga, strength, and cardio for a high-energy, full-body workout.
“Warrior Sculpt is a beautiful mix of movements that will leave you feeling sweaty and fulfilled,” says Emma Graves, signature group training coach and studio performer at Life Time in Chicago, Ill. “In most clubs, it’s a heated class, and we also focus on building heat from within your body through breath and movement. It’s likely you’ll hear someone (or many people) let out a spontaneous ‘woo!’ during class because we turn the energy all the way up! Plus, moving with the rhythm of our breath and each other helps us become more present.”
FIRE HIIT is an innovative blend of yoga with high-intensity cardio — fueled by motivating music in a heated studio. “FIRE HIIT Yoga is going to give you a feel-good endorphin rush while training your mind to persevere in any situation,” says Tory Schaefer, director of class education and yoga for Life Time. “It’s the perfect combination of cardio intervals and the energizing ease of yoga poses.”
I’m in the mood for positive power.
Class to try: Barbell Strength
Taking on a challenge and pushing your abilities can help you feel powerful. Barbell Strength is a foundational class in which you’ll learn the basics of weight training and continue to build strength.
“They say knowledge is power, and you will learn a lot in Barbell Strength,” says Graves. “As you transition between muscle groups during a Barbell Strength class, the instructor will show you how to do each upcoming exercise, suggest weights to use, and offer other helpful tidbits. Then, you can confidently take on each exercise, crush your workout, and leave feeling strong and successful — and powerful. This class is a great option for everyone, whether you’re new to lifting weights, an experienced athlete looking to level-up, or anywhere in-between.”
I’m in the mood for exhilarating endorphins.
Classes to try: AMP, EDG, or PWR Cycle
Need a pick-me-up? Cycle classes get your heart pumping and help your body release feel-good endorphins so you can leave class feeling more positive than before.
“There’s nothing quite like the endorphin high you feel in a cycle class,” says Graves. “I teach AMP Cycle, and at the beginning of every class, the lights dim and the music turns up, and you feel connected to everyone around you as you ride to the beat of the music together. This class includes fun, creative movement (kind of like dancing on a bike) and allows you to connect with and tune in to the music.”
EDG Cycle can be a good option for those who get a mental boost from seeing their exercise data, with the class using heart-rate zones and other targeted metrics to inform your ride. PWR Cycle is aimed at cyclists and endurance athletes who get feel-good energy from hitting their next PR.
I’m in the mood for stability and balance.
Classes to try: EnBarre or LifeBarre
Barre classes are a hybrid of ballet, Pilates, and yoga-inspired moves to promote stability and balance.
“In barre, we focus on big, fast-twitch muscles and full-range-of-motion movements that promote functional strength and mobility,” says Danica Osborne, CPT, Dynamic Personal Trainer and certified barre instructor at Life Time in Warrenville, Ill. “We also explore small-range-of-motion exercises, recruiting slow-twitch muscles and isolating muscle groups to promote balance and endurance. With a focus on core stability and posture throughout the class, you’ll leave feeling strengthened, stretched, and challenged from head to toe. Anyone can benefit from barre classes to reduce their risk of injury, maintain or increase bone density, and promote joint health.”
I’m in the mood to tap into my inner champion.
Classes to try: Strike or Ringside
Martial-arts- and boxing-inspired moves can relieve stress and help you channel the victory within. “Strike is a mixed-martial-arts-inspired, high-intensity cardio workout,” says Iliana Romero, general manager and studio performer at Life Time City Centre in Houston, Texas. “It incorporates kicks, punches, elbow strikes, sprawls, round-house kicks, and so much more. It is fierce and gritty and will challenge both your mind and body. It’s also a great experience if you enjoy choreographed movements and connecting with others in class as you move together.
“Ringside is both a cardio and resistance-circuit workout,” Romero explains. “It consists of boxing movements like hooks, jabs, rib shots, bobbing, and weaving — all mixed in with circuit and conditioning exercises. The boxing segment is slower paced, and the sequences are simple to follow. The strength-training segment allows you to work at your own pace.”
I’m in the mood to let go of my stress.
Class to try: SURRENDER Yoga
SURRENDER is a slow, meditative yoga practice with long-held poses to promote mindfulness and self-compassion. “We live in a world where we typically give and do a lot,” says Schaefer. “In SURRENDER, it’s time to simply receive and be! By slowing down and staying in passive poses, you receive the benefits of increased mobility in your body while cultivating peace in your mind.”
I’m in the mood to steady my body and mind.
Classes to try: FLOW, ROOT, or SOL Yoga
Yoga is all about tuning into your body and mind. These guided classes are also designed to help you build strength, restore flexibility, and feel more grounded.
“ROOT yoga is all about slowing down and feeling the magic of your body,” says Schaefer. “You’ll work on creating greater stability in your joints and gaining a greater appreciation of your self-worth.
“In FLOW, you’ll explore what it means to celebrate yourself through the empowerment and freedom of moving your body,” Schaefer continues. “In life we can often feel lost: lost in love, lost in what we are supposed to do. By moving into a state of flow, your mind releases the need to know and eases into a state of simply being.
“If you’re looking for a way to check in with yourself, SOL provides the perfect opportunity,” Schaefer adds. “With familiar poses each time, this class is your steady foundation for your yoga practice and observing the shifts in your body and mind.”