With the new year in full swing, we hit the streets in search of Atlanta’s top fat-burning workouts. During the calorie-burning hunt, we discovered that each studio brings its own energy to exercising. Whether you’re looking for small group training or a one-on-one session, each program is strategically designed to help you reach your fitness goals. And with the assistance of hard-core (and super hot!) trainers, getting fit is all the more intriguing. Here’s where we suggest you head to get yourself in top form.
3655 Roswell Road, Ste. 222 • (404) 435-1094
Additional locations at:
996 Virginia Ave. • (404) 435-8501
230 Hammond Drive, Ste. 388 • (678) 709-5210
855 Emory Point Drive, Ste. C120 • (404) 435-8501
When Tara Joiner decided to open Pink Barre two years ago, the 42-year-old mother of three wanted to create a brand that would benefit the community in which she lives. “It changed my body. It changed what I thought strength training was for women,” Tara says. Her 55-minute Barre Classic class includes bits and pieces of Pilates, yoga and isometric strength training. “It uses isometric contractions where you fatigue the muscle and then you stretch it out. You get length and toning — it really changes the composition of your muscles,” she says. As we gear up for spring, Tara encourages women to give Pink Barre a try. “It’s really social. There’s a lot of camaraderie that develops,” she says. “Get a buddy and have someone hold you accountable.”
Try This At Home: Wide Second Plié on Relevé
“This opens up the hips,” says Allise Raad, lead instructor at Pink Barre in Buckhead. “The biggest form key is to make sure that your knees track right over your heels and right in line with your big toe. That way, you won’t feel it in your knees, but you’ll feel it in the thighs. The other tip is to make sure that you have your hips tucked under, keeping a flat back and pulling your belly button to your spine. Shoulders, hips and heels are all in one line.”
280 Elizabeth St. • (678) 539-1220
Additional locations at:
5192 Avalon Blvd. • (770) 282-3073
1065 Peachtree St. NE • (404) 720-5000
Open since October 2015, the Elizabeth Street location is buzzing with the cool kids who want a total body workout. Studio director Alexandria Stubbs recommends her 60-minute Core Fusion Barre class for the best in fat burning. “This class has everything you need. We do weights and core, thigh, and glute work, plus you get your heart rate up just by focusing on forming an alignment in all of the exercises,” Alexandria says. “Whatever shape you’re in, it will completely change the shape of your body.” Gym rats can expect to burn up to 700 calories in here. “But it’s also good for every single level, whether you’ve never taken a barre class before or you’ve been taking a barre class for 10 years. It’s going to continue to challenge you. It’s going to push you in ways you never thought you could be pushed,” she says.
Try This At Home: Parallel Thigh
“I love parallel for your thighs,” Alexandria says. “Thighs, ankles and feet touch — everything becomes just one beautiful line. You lift your heels all the way up, roll onto the balls of the feet, keep your abdominals in and just start to bend your knees. Everything must stay in line. Find your posture. You can do this at your kitchen countertop. You’re completely shaping the legs and toning your thighs completely.”
107 West Paces Ferry Road, Ste. 100 • (404) 467-0602
Fitness trainer to the stars Tammy Stokes brought her No Excuses Workouts to Atlanta 25 years ago. Her popular 60-minute West Coast Interval class combines cardio and body sculpting for those who are in need of a dynamic, interval-based workout. “You never stop moving. You’re working your full body for that whole hour,” Tammy says. “There are different levels of intensity, and the heart rate stays up the whole time. Most people are used to training where they’ll run on a treadmill and then they’ll lift some weights. You have to understand that this class is like running on a treadmill and lifting weights at the same time. When you have full body movement and full body execution, you’re burning a ton of calories,” Tammy says. “And once you leave class, your body stays in fat-burning mode and that afterburn effect goes on and on.”
Not quite ready for spring? Tammy can get you there. “It’s an everyday commitment. It’s not seasonal. Be dedicated to your health. If people focus on health, not weight loss, but truly commit to being healthy, you’ll feel really good,” she says. “You’ve got to move at least five days a week — it doesn’t have to be as intense as this. Watch your diet, and you will see amazing results.”
Try This At Home: Squat
“One of my favorites includes the squat where you jump your legs apart and you push from the chest because you’ve got that full body muscle recruitment, and you’ve got a good enough heart rate intensity,” Tammy says. “What I love about this workout is that it trains the body authentically.”
100 6th Street, Suite 120 • (678) 701-0619
4600 Roswell Road, Ste. B130, Atlanta • (404) 841-5430
For a complete rundown on what your fitness status is right now, BLAST (Balanced Level of Aerobic/Anaerobic and Strength Training) offers its clients a chance to receive a detailed report, which includes your heart rate training zones, cardio prescription, fitness assessment results (think push-ups, sit-ups, flexibility) and more. “The heart of our BLAST Profile is metabolic testing, which leads into heart rate training, which is all about training efficiently for your goals. We help you learn how to teach your body to burn fat better,” says Stephen Phillips, assistant profile program director.
Once you’ve completed the BLAST Profile Classic (although not mandatory for membership, it is highly recommended), step into an hour-long BLAST Full Body class. Although each session is different, you’ll be sure to put in varying levels of intensity on the treadmill before moving to the floor to do push-ups, planks, bicep curls and more. “This is why the BP Classic is beneficial. You’ll be able to see how your body responds over a range of intensity, from easy to moderate to challenging,” Stephen says. So when you’re in class, depending on which workout (fat-burning or high-intensity) you’re doing, you’ll know exactly what you need to target because the BP Classic spells it all out for you. It’s truly a golden gift from the gym gods.
Try This At Home: Stationary Lunge
“[A stationary lunge] really challenges the muscles that support your lower body all day long. It helps strengthen all those major joints that we put stress on,” Stephen says. “If someone wanted to start with something simple, this would be a fantastic way to begin.”
1700 Defoor Ave. NW • (678) 264-8025
You can learn a lot from a trainer who once weighed 275 pounds … and eventually lost almost a third of that weight. For Josh Jarmin, he’s living proof that his “blueprint” can work for you. As co-owner of Blueprint Fitness (alongside brothers Shane and Jeremiah), Josh knows the human anatomy well. “I like sharing my blueprint with people because I’d made every diet and training mistake you can imagine,” Josh says. “There are certain rules that work for most people, and considering I’ve gone through everything, I’ve seen what can work and what usually doesn’t work, as well.”
His Small Group class, which is ideal for fat burning, includes kettlebell training, suspension work, bodyweight exercises, powerlifting, mobility and more. Here’s how it works: Up to four people are assigned to one trainer, who has the ability to adjust the program nine different ways. “This system that I’ve designed focuses on getting you stronger while improving moving capabilities. As you get stronger, you build muscle and can burn more fat obviously, but you can also make the workouts harder on yourself with more advanced movements. So because there’s a steady progression system with the kettlebells we use, people know when they’re getting better and stronger,” he says. “It’s usually around the six-month mark we notice a quantum leap in what happens to people’s bodies because at that point, they know what they’re doing, their movement issues are fixed, they are eating much better and their skills on using the kettlebell have improved drastically. Once all that happens, the workouts are far more effective.” You have to stick with it though. “It’s one of those things where you have to be patient. It does happen. It’s just not a quick-fix type scheme,” Josh says.
Try This At Home: Russian Kettlebell Swing
“I recommend doing the kettlebell swing, but only if you know how to do it correctly. A lot of trainers don’t teach it the right way. They are not practitioners; we are,” Josh says. “The kettlebell swings help to improve hip power and leg strength, burn fat, give you a great cardio workout, and build upper back, arm and grip strength.”
500 Amsterdam Ave. • (404) 885-1499
After spending one hour with Sonya McMillan, you’ll want to spend a lifetime with her. Don’t let the 5-foot, 2-and-a-half-inch, 132-pound frame fool you. Not only is Sonya an International Sports Sciences Association certified personal trainer, but she is also a competitive CrossFitter, powerlifter and weightlifter. We hit the ground running in our session at Urban Body Fitness. From jumping jacks to plyometrics to lunging with weights, there’s never a dull moment. Her advice for getting the body you want when the weather warms up? “You have to be consistent in whatever you do. Just do simple things. It doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out workout; it can be 10 minutes, but you have to do it intensely,” she says. “Whether it’s hiking or doing stadiums, just move and be consistent. And always do it with a friend, family member or a trainer who will keep you accountable.”
Try This At Home: Weighted Lateral Lunge into Weighted Curtsy Lunge with Bicep Curl
“It’s a compound movement, and you have a lot of moving parts. You have your biceps, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, adductors and abductors all being worked on at once,” Sonya says.
Sweating yet? Try a fitness class, get some alone time on the elliptical or just take a walk during your lunch break. The point is to keep moving and stay committed to those healthy living resolutions!