Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Step-up to fitness:

A study of energy expenditure and muscle activation in group fitness classes has found which type of class is the most beneficial.
By Motherpedia
Date: December 12 2013
Tags: exercise,
Editor Rating:

More than four million Australians regularly undertake aerobics, fitness or gym workouts, making group fitness the second most popular physical recreational activity after walking.That popularity translates to an expected $1.2 billion in revenue in 2013, but gym-goers have been largely on their own when it comes to deciding which class gives the best ‘bang for their buck’.

But a study by Dr James Wickham of the School of Biomedical Sciences at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Orange has the answer.

The study measured the muscle activity, heart-rate, and caloric expenditure of 10 volunteers as they each took a Step, Ride, or Power (aerobic weights) class.

“Our goal was to determine which group fitness class burned the most calories, which generated the highest heart rates, and also to determine the muscle activation levels for core, upper limb, and lower limb muscles.”

Dr Wickham found the Step class burnt significantly more calories overall than the Ride and Power class.

“If your goal was to burn calories and to lose weight you should consider a Step class as it burned the most absolute calories of the three classes. But on a calories per minute basis, there was no difference between the Ride and Step classes,” he said.

“Average heart rates for the Step and Ride class were also very close, while the calories burned and heart rates for the Power class were significantly lower.”

Dr Wickham said the research, which for the first time quantifies the muscle activity and the intensity of these classes, will allow people to make more informed choices about which class is right for their personal fitness goals.

“Higher levels of intensity were recorded during Step and Ride classes which would lead to higher levels of aerobic fitness than if you just relied on the Power class as a workout,” he said.

“The Power class was the most effective in eliciting upper limb muscle activation, particularly for the biceps, deltoid, forearm muscles, and trapezius and, of the three classes, either Step or Power should be selected for core muscle activation.”

So … what’s stopping you?

Share This Tweet This Email To Friend
Related Articles
35 years on from the original anti-obesity campaign, not much…
Read more
Take a mindful walk to refresh and renew body and…
Read more
Combining brief bouts of moderate exercise is good for you.
Read more
Get the most out of time at a swimming pool,…
Read more
Cry babies

Dry your eyes!
The newest additions are on their way from the Babies who cry real tears!


Latest Tech Used In Shipping Containers
Read how the shipping industry has revolutionised

Motherpedia cover-2

Win 1 set of a 4-book hardcover illustrated boxed set
Barbara Murray’s new 4-book Sound Stories is perfect for parents and educators and could assist with NAPLAN results

Motherpedia cover (4)

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest Australia
Get ready for this celebration!

Motherpedia cover-4

A Fortnight of Foodie Experiences at East Village
A taste of East Village. What's in it for me?

Globber my too fix up cover

We Try: Globber My TOO Fix Up
A scooter that grows with your child

Throw a winning cricket pitch

3 Steps to a Winning Backyard Cricket Pitch
Ex-Adelaide Oval legend curator Les Burdett shares his tips for getting your backyard cricket pitch test match ready this summer

A bike that follows your kids life cycle - motherpedia - cover

A Bike That Follows Your Kids Life Cycle
Check out the Bunzi 2-in-1 gradual balance bike!

Moonlight lifestyle

Moonlight Cinema to bring…
Moonlight Cinema announces brand new Western Sydney venue

Screen shot 2019-11-26 at 8.29.12 am

Your Magical Christmas Wonderland…
Adventure park is about to light up the night sky with its "Christmas Festival of Lights"

Screen shot 2019-11-21 at 11.11.36 am

The Preston Market Gets…
It's time to feel pumped up for the holiday season!


Bunnings team members get…
Help raise funds by buying a snag or donating at your local store.