A workout guide to barre, yoga, pilates, spin, boxing and HIIT — results, benefits and who it is most suited for

A workout guide to barre, yoga, pilates, spin, boxing and HIIT — results, benefits and who it is most suited for

Breaking it down

Text: Janice Sim

Forget the stiffling state of fitness, the landscape has made headway in enslaving classes that we have grown used to. Mention the names of barre, boxing, HIIT, spin, yoga and pilates; each worthy and relevant of its own cult following and physical trainers. Mayhap there's more renowned fitness categories to come our way, but for now our city is happily sated with the array and variation of classes. But how are the overall results different, and why should we prefer one to the other? We checked in with Michael HcHugh, group fitness manager of Pure Fitness Singapore for the answers. Here's the comprehensive guide every novice and veteran needs before heading to your next ClassPass session.


Best suited for: People trying to find a break from the hustle and bustle of life, and wanting to feel balanced again both mentally and physically.

Desired outcome: Greater flexibility and strength, and a reduced risk of injury. Stress reduction and the feeling of being more in touch with mind, breath and body.

How often should you do it: Make it part of healthy balance of different exercise activities.

How to maximise every session: Yoga is not about the performance, but about being real and acknowledging the present state of being.

A different workout to complement: Pilates is another great way to understand and correct conscious movement patterns, flexibility and core strength.

Pure Yoga


Best suited for: Anyone wanting to create great muscle tone and increased stamina, while lifting the heart rates. The focus of barre classes is more on functional training, utilising components of pilates, which is a departure from ballet and dance style classes. 

Desired outcome: Toning and increased stamina

How often should you do it: Make it part of healthy balance of different exercise activities.

to maximise every session: Push through the burn — you'll love yourself later for it. 

A different workout to complement: It's always good to help muscles recover faster with workouts self-myofascial release and keep the body flexible to prevent injuries with complementing workouts like pilates or yoga. You can also improve your stamina in barre with good cardio and fitness workouts like HIIT or cycle sprinting, while strengthening your core.

Barre lab


Best suited for: Anyone looking to burn calories and improve their cardiovascular fitness, and often appeals to anyone with a fighter in them they want to unleash.  

Desired outcome: You will lose weight, improve your cardiovascular fitness and stamina, tone up, let off some steam and feel empowered.

How often should you do it: Make it part of healthy balance of different exercise activities.

How to maximise every session: Get in the zone and imagine you're fighting a fight you can't afford to lose.

A different workout to complement: Workouts like self-myofascial release will help to relief and recover the muscles being used. Do some extra core training so kicks and punches have greater power. Adding some resistance training will add strengths to your movement.  

Still Boxing


Best suited for: Someone with a good level of fitness and good movement, and for people who want to accelerate their fitness. Also great for time-starved individuals looking to maximise time in the gym, and those looking to be part of a group with little competition as motivation. Do note that there are different kinds of HIIT, but they all work towards the same goal of maximizing effort in a short period of time. 

Desired outcome: Leaner, strong body, and increased performance. Massive changes in body composition and a real feeling of achievement. 

How often should you do it: Limit HIIT sessions to only two to three times a week with adequate recovery in between. 

How to maximise every session: The rest is just as important as the work phase. Rest the best you can and give everything you've got when you're in the work zone. Your time is going to be precious.

A different workout to complement: Self-myofascial release to make sure muscles recover, flexibly is maintained, and to avoid injuries. Core training to make sure you work from your powerhouse and that your back is safe. Pilates for a good understanding of how to move your body efficiently and with control.

HIIT Workout


Best suited for: Overall cycling is one of the best weight loss workouts and is really low impact cardio so that it doesn't place strain on the joints. It's also great for newcomers to group classes as minimal coordination is required. Plus, cycling with a group is much more enjoyable than on your own. 

Desired outcome: Weight loss, improved cardiovascular fitness, and elevated energy levels.

How often should you do it: Combine this with other forms of training during the week. 

How to maximise every session: Ride to the music! Let the beat take over your body and you might just go somewhere you never thought you could.  

A different workout to complement: Self-myofascial release, yoga, pilates and stretching to prevent dangerous shortening of the hamstrings. It is worthwhile to do some upper body training for balanced muscle tone. Other forms of cardio and HIIT classes will only improve your cycling fitness. 

ABsolute Cycle


Best suited for: Anyone rehabilitating, but also helps to prevent injuries. It can be practiced by a beginner or challenge even the fittest participant looking to better understand and correct body movements. Alignment, lengthening and strengthening are all associated benefits.

Desired outcome: Better movement and control over your movement and a feeling of moving more effortlessly. Better flexibility and potentially less pain from injuries. A stronger core.

How often should you do it: Consistency is key, so making this a regular part of your training will ensure noticeable results.

How to maximise every session: Maximise your breath to facilitate every movement. Focus on quality movement  

A different workout to complement: Other core classes will help to build your core strength. Other types of training like cardio should be part of a balanced fitness schedule. 

Absolute You

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