Corporate wellness is hot right now.
This guy knows it.
Red Ventures sets the health & wellness bar high with a growing, in-house team dedicated to our fitness program, an impressive slate of free workout classes, and a brand new, state-of-the-art fitness center, pictured here:
Not only can you use these facilities at ANY time of day or night – RV holds multiple fitness classes per day (yes, during the WORKday) that vary in intensity, targeted muscle groups and purpose. In the name of science (and to help RV employees navigate the best class options to help them meet their goals), I tried all seven RV fitness classes… and awarded each one a superlative based on my experience. Readers, take your marks.
1. Best High Intensity Classes: Red Conditioning & POWER
These two classes take the cake in my book. Although they’re named differently, they’ve got a lot in common. Not only are Red Conditioning and POWER strategically scheduled at times when participants are ready to burn off some energy (hello, Friday morning!), but they’re also filled with my favorite types of movement. Plus, there’s lots of overlap in terms of class structure – ranging from an E.M.O.M (every minute, on the minute) workout, to an AMRAP (as many rounds – or reps – as possible), to 3 x 8-minute blocks of high exertion. No matter which format you’re in for, expect to max out effort on sprints, biking, rowing, and “functional fitness” movements.
The primary difference is that Red Conditioning typically has longer workout blocks, 6-8 minutes of continuous work, while Power is a High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) class with built in rest.
2. Best Low Impact, High Intensity Class: Spin
Located in the RV3 Basement around the corner from the bowling alley, the spin room is equipped with ‘leader boards’ that show RPMs, “power” (a combination of RPMs and resistance), and calorie burn. In sum, the lights are out, the music is bumpin’, and your legs are burning. The best part of the workout (besides the awesome instructor, Carly Wheeler) is the end – we finish the class with 15 minutes of core exercises in the RV yoga studio.
3. Best for Those That Need A Little Accountability: Partner Conditioning
In this class, you’ll have equal time to rest as you are working…but don’t let that fool you. You and your partner will cover a lot of ground on treadmill sprints, assault bike calories (if you don’t know what an assault bike is, use your imagination), and rowing meters. There’s also typically a floor segment that includes full body movements like wall balls and burpees. The movement here will feel very similar to Red Conditioning – with the added bonus of some friendly competition.
4. Best Replica of a Boutique Fitness Class: Red Theory
Okay, we weren’t subtle with the name – but we didn’t intend to be. The franchised fitness boutique is famous for building a training program around E.P.O.C., excess post-exercise oxygen consumption – informally known as afterburn. The idea is that during high-intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.) you should spend most of the time above 80% of your max heart rate (the orange to red zone). If you do so, you’ll continue to burn calories at an accelerated rate for the next ~36 hours. Like all of RV’s high-intensity classes, participants are given a heart rate monitor to see where you’re at throughout the class. Look forward to treadmills, rowers, dumbbells, and TRX bands.
5. Best for that Summer Bod Class: Cardio & Core
Full transparency: this superlative did not come from me. Once a week I get to teach a class instead of taking one – so you’ll find me at the front of the Cardio & Core class on Thursday mornings. In the spirit of fairness and objectivity, I enlisted Tom Polak (an avid class-goer and fellow analyst) to provide feedback.
In the words of Tom himself: “Chiseled abs and the ability to effortlessly run out of the crashing waves are key to any successful beach trip. In this all-around class, you’ll work your core and your heartrate – it’s the perfect way to prepare for a long, hot, sandy summer.”
Seriously though, it’s a lot of abs.
6. Best for Muscle Burnout: Barre
Despite the minor panic attack you just had reading the word “burnout,” this class makes your muscles burn in the best way possible. It’s comparable to other barre classes in the Charlotte area, so you’ll get a full body workout through teeny-tiny movements at sky high rep counts. Word to the wise: don’t let the two-pound weights fool you – your arms, legs, and core will be shaking by the end of the class… if not for the next 24 hours.
7. Best Restorative Class: Yoga
I don’t consider myself a yogi, but this yoga class makes me want to become one. Longtime RV instructor Marilyn kicks off the class with a short reading or quote, providing a point of focus for the group throughout our yoga practice.
When I asked RV’s true yogi and UI designer, Lauren Kerwell, to describe the class, she hit the nail on the head:
“From a mixed-level vinyasa class to beginner-level classes, Marilyn’s yoga class offers something for everyone. Integral in building body confidence, flexibility, alignment, and core strength, you’ll also gain an increased awareness to the way your body moves, and what it needs that day, in that moment. As you progress, you’ll start to access breath-with-movement and a quiet, intentional, focused mind. Tuesdays and Thursdays will make you sweat if that’s what you’re going for, but if purely movement is your goal, you are the owner of your practice”.
I feel more present already.