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Originally published Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 5:16 AM

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Beat a workout slump with group classes

Group exercise classes are the perfect solution to overcoming an exercise slump, which can squash your fitness goals. Plus, there’s an array of classes out there to meet your every need — and mood.

Special to The Seattle Times

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Lack of motivation is your biggest exercise enemy, and if you find yourself starting to dread the same, stale workout, you’ve hit a slump.

This is dangerous territory. Slumps lead to missed workouts, lack of results and guilt. The quickest way to break a slump and get you looking forward to your workouts again is to try something new.

Group fitness is the perfect solution. Designed to accommodate all fitness levels, group fitness classes not only shake up your typical cardio/strength training routine but they are done in a fun, supportive group atmosphere that will actually leave you looking forward to your next workout.

There’s a reason the buddy system works: When there is someone else holding you accountable, you are less likely to flake. And the bigger the group, the more support, cheering you on and helping to push you when you feel like stopping. That kind of accountability gets you through the door, but it’s the fun, instructor-guided, results-focused workouts that will keep you coming back for more. With group fitness you are guaranteed a well designed, intense workout without any planning on your part: you just show up and put in the work.

Sure, you could try a run-of-the-mill yoga or spin class, but there are so many more options out there, you are bound to find something that speaks to you. Try one of these team-oriented fitness classes that will make you feel like one of the family.

If you’re looking to bust stress, try:

CKO Kickboxing (www.ckoseattle.com)

Take out all your aggressions and burn tons of calories at the same time. Even if you’ve never thrown a punch in your life, CKO sets you up with the basics and turns you loose on a heavy bag to go at your own pace. Instructors shout punch and kick combos, but your intensity is all your own. This workout will leave you exhausted in a pile of sweat, but feeling like you can take on the world.

If you have a short attention span, try:

Mash Up (www.basslinefitness.com)

If you find yourself struggling to complete even five minutes on any one piece of cardio equipment before you lose interest, Baseline Fitness’ Mash Up was made for you. This group cardio class gives you options: Between songs, switch from the spin bike to the arm crank machine or the treadmill, or stay put. It’s up to you. Music is highly motivating, and Bassline knows this, designing the intensity of the class around the beat of the songs, not numbers or machine displays. Matching the intensity of your workout to the intensity of the song creates a mind/body connection that can’t be beat.

If you are looking for a hard-core butt kicking, try:

Commando Fitness (www.mycommandofitness.com)

If you get a high off seeing how far you can push yourself, Commando Fitness can provide the ruler. Designed to mimic boot camp and P.T. done in the military, Commando is always done outside in local parks around Seattle rain or shine. It is always different to keep you and your body guessing. Through exhaustive physical activity, you’ll learn not only how to push yourself, but how to pull together with others to take on different tasks designed to test your boundaries from start to finish.

If you are looking for an added nutrition component, try:

Paleo Experience Bootcamp (www.facebook.com/paleoexperiencebootcamp)

Taught at Highline Athletic Club in Burien, this class focuses on living the entire Paleo lifestyle, as outlined in The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf, which, simply put, is eating foods that humans were designed to eat. In one hour, you’ll not only get a metabolic style workout focusing on fat-burning, muscle sculpting, strength and cardio, but you’ll have the opportunity to talk with your instructors, ask questions and have open discussions on how to move you closer to your goals.

That first group fitness may make you feel like the new kid in school, but remember, you are all there for the same reason: to get and stay healthy. So try something new, make some friends and have fun, because what’s the point of being healthy if you aren’t enjoying yourself?

Kelly Turner is a fitness expert and freelance writer. Reach her on Twitter: @KellyTurnerFit, and Instagram: @KellyTurner26

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