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Three side-by-side images of individuals taking three different strength fitness classes.

Build muscle. Maximize your metabolism. Strengthen your bones. Improve your posture. Experts tout these among the many benefits of strength training for both the body and mind, and many maintain that it’s one of the most effective types of exercise for better health, longevity, and weight management.

Life Time offers a variety of strength training opportunities, including the many studio classes you’ll find on the schedule each day. These are particularly useful options for those who are newer to strength training, want to add variety to their routine, or feed off the energy of a community environment.

“Within Life Time’s strength classes, there is space for everyone to get a challenging yet fun workout,” says Emma Graves (@emmagravey), studio master trainer and Dynamic Personal Trainer at Life Time River North at One Chicago in Illinois. “Each brand of classes within our strength-training category is strategically structured to meet you where you’re at while increasing your strength and raising you to the next level.”

Not sure which strength classes are right for you? We’re breaking down each Life Time strength studio class to help you find the ones that best match your goals and preferences. Life Time strength classes are bucketed into three different categories: LIFT, SHRED, and MAXOUT.


LIFT classes focus on foundational strength and muscular endurance. “It’s a great place to start or revisit in order to build a strong base for strength training,” says Graves. “We keep it simple and stable in these classes and continue to guide you, so you know what’s coming next.”

LIFT Barbell Strength

Strengthen your body while focusing on proper form for basic weight-lifting moves.

What to expect: You’ll use a barbell throughout class to efficiently target all major muscle groups. Move through squats, lunges, chest and overhead presses, triceps dips, bicep curls, and more. The movements are synced to the beat of the music, with each new song introducing a new muscle group, allowing you to find your groove. You’ll leave class feeling stronger and more confident.

Equipment: Barbell, dumbbells, mat, bench

Length: 45 or 60 minutes

LIFT Strictly Strength

Focus solely on strength and skip the cardio as you work through all major muscle groups. 

What to expect: As the name suggests, this class is all about building muscle. Featuring a series of moderate-resistance, high-rep moves, it puts your full-body strength and endurance to the test. The goal for each class is to lift a little heavier and to feel a little stronger than before.

Equipment: Barbell, dumbbells, gliding discs, weighted bars, resistance bands, mat, bench

Length: 45 or 60 minutes


SHRED classes feature simple, yet effective strength-training exercises mixed with athletic cardio drills to condition your cardiovascular system and muscular endurance. “SHRED is also very welcoming and inclusive for all fitness levels,” says Graves. “We move at our individual paces through each interval, so the intensity can be easily adjusted.”


An easy-to-follow, results-driven strength workout with a mix of heart-pumping cardio.

What to expect: This is the only class within this category because it’s so focused and effective. SHRED is a circuit-style workout comprised of one-minute exercise sets that target your upper body, lower body, and core. While the focus is strength, you’ll rev up your heart rate with one-minute athletic cardio drills after completing the muscle-burning strength sets. SHRED offers scalability to meet your needs, meaning this class is for everyone from beginners to experienced athletes.

Equipment: Dumbbells, barbell, kettlebells, resistance bands, mat, bench

Length: 45 minutes


MAXOUT classes introduce heavier weights and intense metabolic conditioning. “The goal is to build lean muscles and level up your strength-training abilities,” says Graves.

MAXOUT Upper Body

Build upper-body and core strength through resistance training.

What to expect: This class prioritizes strengthening and toning the muscles in your chest, back, shoulders, arms, and abs. Feel your muscles burn with heavy weights and high-energy sets before finishing off with a quick round of metabolic conditioning.

Equipment: Dumbbells, kettlebells, barbell, resistance bands

Length: 45 or 60 minutes

MAXOUT Lower Body

Stabilize and strengthen your lower body through functional movements.

What to expect: MAXOUT Lower Body is your powerful “leg day” workout. You’ll lift heavy and push your limits while conquering squats, lunges, deadlifts, and more. All the movements are focused on building strength and endurance in your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. You’ll finish class with a high-energy challenge to build your aerobic capacity.

Equipment: Dumbbells, kettlebells, barbell, resistance bands, gliding discs

Length: 45 or 60 minutes


A full-body, heavy-lifting class to challenge every muscle group.

What to expect: MAXOUT Mashup is a 50/50 blend of MAXOUT Upper Body and MAXOUT Lower Body. From squats to overhead presses, no muscle gets left behind. You’ll finish class with a round of high-energy metabolic conditioning that challenges your aerobic capacity.

Equipment: Dumbbells, kettlebells, barbell, resistance bands

Length: 60 minutes


Go beyond crunches to unlock a stronger core and better posture.

What to expect: In this class, you’ll spend time performing a wide variety of core exercises — including neutral, flexion, extension, and rotational core movements — that target every area of your core. At the end of each class, there’s a MAXOUT Core challenge.

Equipment: Dumbbells, kettlebells, weighted bar, gliding discs, mat

Length: 30 or 45 minutes

Explore all the strength class options at your club — as well as the schedule for live stream classes — on the Life Time app.

Emily Ewen

Emily Ewen is a senior writer and content editor at Life Time.

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