Expert advice

Dean Piazza: fitness expert

A former Australian triathlon champion, Dean is the Founder of, an award-winning online fitness website. ASK ME A QUESTION

How effective are gym classes for weight loss?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
"My favourite Les Mills classes, to get the best work-out results, are a combination of Spin, Pump and Pilates."


I'm trying to lose weight and have been doing Les Mills classes at my gym (mostly because I need to be locked in a room with someone telling me what to do in order to exercise). I was wondering if these are an effective way to lose weight, and how many sessions per week should I be aiming to do? I try to mix it up with doing different classes. I just want to make sure that I'm on the right track with group fitness, or should I try and motivate myself to get inside the actual gym?


Les Mills classes are great as they are well organised, high energy and have good, well-trained instructors and they are now the leading group exercise classes used worldwide by gyms and fitness centres.

If you rely on the group motivation, then classes are what will work for you so you are on the right track! You have the instructor motivating you and your classmates inspiring you but to get good results in terms of fitness and weight loss, mix up the style of classes each week as different classes focus on different objectives, such as building muscle, burning fat, developing flexibility or core strength, etc.

My favourite Les Mills classes, to get the best work-out results, are a combination of Spin, Pump and Pilates but plan your sessions around what you enjoy and what your goals are. I would aim for a maximum of five classes per week and then add in the additional walking and cardio below. You still need to do easy cardio work-outs too. So, before or after (or both) a class, add in 10 to 15 minutes on your favourite cardio machine as a warm-up or warm-down. It's also an easy way to burn a few more kilojoules.

Don't forget good nutrition is also vital to maximise your fitness and weight-loss results, so see a nutritionist or look in larger bookshops in the health and fitness section for more ideas on healthy eating.

Dean Piazza — your online personal trainer

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