Top 3 Toughest Cardio Classes

Its pretty much safe to say that I am addicted to group fitness classes. There is something about working out in a group of people, with the encouragement of a talented trainer, that pushes me to work harder than I ever would on my own.

In the summer of 2014 I officially cancelled my gym membership and signed up for ClassPass, which provides members access to the majority of fitness studios in Boston, as well as most other major US cities. Off the top of my head, the only two Boston studios that I can think of that are not currently on Class Pass are BSpoke and SoulCycle…(so sad!). But luckily, the rest are on there 🙂

Unlimited access to the studios in Boston has provided me with the opportunity to try a wide variety of studios, gyms, bootcamps and also, instructors. Here is a breakdown of my top 3 TOUGHEST workouts, along with the instructors that teach them. If you’re looking to challenge your body, push the limits of your endurance, and tear some muscle fiber (the good way that results in change) – these classes will do it!

Core Fusion Cardio at Exhale Spa
, taught by Dani Incropera

Core Fusion Cardio follows a very specific routine of cardio-infused yoga poses. Once new instructors nail the basic class routine, they are then free to incorporate their own exercises, making the class more unique to the instructor. I was actually in the first Core Fusion class that Dani taught on her own 3 years ago (you would have never known she was a new instructor – she was good from the start.) Since then, her class has become by far the toughest class at Exhale (in my opinion). She incorporates intense cardio intervals, yoga, and weights into a fat torching routine. Be prepared to sweat!

*PS – Dani is also a newly minted Soul Cycle instructor. I cannot wait to take her class and see what she brings to the cycling studio.


Exhale Spa


Barrys Bootcamp, taught by co-owner Brian Weller

In Barry’s Bootcamp, participants move from treadmill to floor work. A typical class is 15 min on the treadmill, 15 floor (x2). The running portion of the class is over-the-top tough, thanks to intervals of prolonged inclined sprints, side shuffling, and backwards running (yup – you might end up running backwards on the treadmill in this class, hands free!) Floor is then a combo of heavy weights, ball and body work. The instructors are all excellent at Boston’s Barrys location, however owner Brian Weller’s class has been my most challenging experience so far! Plus, his sarcastic and comedic personality will keep you well entertained while you work.


Barry’s Bootcamp


Fusion, taught by studio director Rob Wood at BFX

BFX is one of Boston’s new fitness studios, located on Boylston Street in the Back Bay (there other studios are located in NYC.)  I have been taking BFX once a week or so since they opened their doors, and quickly realized that their Fusion class is no joke. Fusion is 8 minutes on the bike, 8 minutes on the floor…repeated for an hour. The bike portion of the class is similar to Flywheel, in which the instructor calls out a specific RPM and power level to hit, which makes this portion of class much more challenging than a regular cycling class. Floor work is comprised of TRX, squats with weight sand bags and discs, burpees, and more. Rob will push you to work extremely hard, but also smart. As a trainer, he takes the time to correct your form and speed so that you are getting the most out of each movement. I strongly recommend this class!

*I also have taken this class when Cassie teaches – she is very good as well.

Boston’s BFX Studio

At the end of the day, it goes without saying that you’ll get what you put into the class! However, if you need a little extra push – or are looking to just try something new, these classes and instructors are fantastic.





1 Comment

  1. Dani March 24, 2016 / 3:10 am


    Thank you for mentioning me in the Top 3 Toughest Cardio Classes! If you ever want to come to my SoulCycle class send me a FB message and you and a friend or group of friends can be my guests!!!

    Sorry for the delay in just seeing this!

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