What Is 305 Fitness?

Three women dancing

Verywell / Theresa Chiechi

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What Is 305 Fitness?

305 Fitness was launched in New York City in 2016 by entrepreneur and dance-enthusiast Sadie Kurzban. The classes have a Miami dance club vibe to them. Well-known DJs like Tiesto (who is also reportedly an investor in the venture) and others provide a solid backdrop of beats to keep the energy high and the fun-factor consistent.

305 Fitness

305 Fitness is a dance-based workout known for the mantra "make sweat sexy." The program promotes body positivity with easy-to-follow, fun dance moves and encouragement from enthusiastic and supportive instructors.

Kurzban has said that she founded the program to teach people to talk to themselves with kindness and encouragement, to express joy, and to shed layers of shame.

Dancers and non-dancers alike can get a solid workout at 305 Fitness that includes both cardio and some strength training movement.

305 Fitness Overview

305 Fitness has 1,000 certified instructors worldwide teaching online, outdoors, in dance studios, and in gyms (where reopening is possible). The classes have an all-inclusive, dance-party feel with participants of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds.

Kurzban notes that the classes are open to anyone looking to challenge themselves, reach a fitness goal, or simply move their bodies more. She adds, however, that the classes are high-energy and fast-paced, so it may not be the best workout for those looking for a slower pace.

Format

Most classes are structured to provide a cardio dance segment, a strength segment, and then another dance cardio segment. You might do sports drills, conditioning exercises, and high-intensity interval training. Classes are usually 30 or 45 minutes long.

No equipment is required. But for those participants looking for an extra challenge, they recommend light weights. If you're worried about what to wear, don't stress. You can wear workout attire, street clothes, or whatever makes you comfortable.

Feel

The music and the vibe of 305 Fitness classes may be intimidating if you're not a regular on the club scene. But there is no experience required to do the workout and the dance moves are relatively easy to follow.

In fact, many of the moves are stylized versions of movements that have been done in aerobic dance studios for years, such as grapevines, v-steps, and ponies.

Choreography segments are relatively short so they seem manageable, and combinations are repeated frequently, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to nail it.

If you take a lot of dance-inspired workouts, one thing that you might notice about 305 instructors is their ability to cue movement so that there is no break in the pace of the workout.

Musical Phrasing

Instructors make excellent use of musical phrasing so that you always know when a change in direction or a change in movement is about to happen. They prepare participants for upcoming movement changes using both visual and verbal cues with plenty of notice so you never feel like you are tripping over yourself to catch up.

The workouts have a professional level to them even though they have a club-like feel.

Cost

Classes range in price based on location. In 2020, socially-distanced outdoor classes ranged in price from about $20 per class to around $30 per class.

Some classes are available for free on YouTube. You can also buy a subscription to get access to the full library of strength and cardio classes.

A one-year subscription costs $149.99, or you can subscribe monthly for $28.99 per month.

Calories Burned

The company makes certain claims about the number of calories you might burn during a class. The numbers seem high and may not be achievable for the typical home exerciser.

According to the 305 Fitness website, you can burn 500 calories or more during a 45-minute workout.

When asked about the number, Sadie notes that they have tracked energy expenditure. "We've done studies of customers using heart rate monitors in class and found that an average woman of 150 pounds burns 500-700 calories in a 305 session."

Of course, these were not formal, peer-reviewed, published studies as you might find in some exercise physiology publications. And while the numbers may reflect what participants experienced in certain classes, they are not entirely in line with numbers provided by well-known fitness organizations.

For instance, the American Council on Exercise reports that a 150-pound person would only burn about 357 calories when doing intense aerobic dance for 45 minutes. If the activity was moderate, that person would burn closer to 331 calories, and if casual, they would burn only about 255 calories.

In a very informal experiment conducted in preparation for this article, three exercisers took an online 305 Fitness class and burned an average of 8.6 calories per minute, which would equate to 387 calories in a 45-minute class.

There are a number of factors that can impact the number of calories that you burn during any physical activity. For instance, body size and intensity level will influence your energy expenditure. You can use a calorie calculator to estimate the number of calories you might burn during a typical workout.

Factors That Play a Role in Your Energy Expenditure

There a few different factors that can affect the number of calories you burn during a 305 Fitness class:

  • Your dance ability: If you can pick up the choreography quickly, you may be able to do the movements with greater intensity without stopping. On the other hand, some newer participants may occasionally have to stop to figure out a move. Stopping will cause your heart rate to slow down temporarily.
  • Body parts used: During a 305 Fitness class, you'll learn upper body and lower body movements. You are encouraged to do whatever makes you comfortable. For example, those who are newer to the classes might focus on getting the footwork down before adding arm movements. If you can do both the arm and leg movements, you are likely to burn more calories simply because you're using more of your body.
  • Your dance partner(s): If you are a person who responds to a group fitness environment, then you might burn more calories if you are in the studio or working out with friends at home. Sometimes, responding to the energy of others helps you to get into the groove and move with greater vigor. While there is limited scientific evidence comparing group exercise to solo exercise, at least one research study suggests that exercising with others imparts greater health benefits.

Health Benefits

While there aren't published studies investigating the health benefits specifically of 305 Fitness, there have been a wide number of studies investigating the health benefits of dance fitness classes in general.

Improved Quality of Life

A 2020 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health studied the effects of participation in dance fitness classes.

The study involved 65 sedentary women in their 30s and 40s who were randomly assigned to participate either in a dance fitness class (3 times per week/60 min per session), a dance-fitness class that also included functional training, or no activity class. The program lasted for 16 weeks, and researchers were looking to see if there were changes in the quality of life scores in the different groups.

At the end of the study, researchers found that those in the dance fitness group had higher scores related to:

  • Vitality
  • Physical role
  • Mental health
  • General health
  • Physical functioning
  • Social functioning

The women in the dance fitness/functional training group also had elevated quality of life scores, but the dance-fitness-only group had significantly higher vitality scores. Their findings were consistent with other studies that suggested that participation in dance fitness can help improve quality of life.

Provides Accessible Form of Physical Activity

A review published in the British Journal of General Practice pointed to the privatization of exercise as an issue that may play a role when considering that many of that country's citizens remain under-active. Many people either can't afford or choose not to pay "large sums of money" to belong to a private health club.

While that information was gathered outside of the U.S. the same issue still exists in America today. According to CDC data updated in 2019, only one in four adults and one in five high school students meet the recommended physical activity guidelines, and about 31 million adults aged 50 or older are inactive, meaning that they get no physical activity beyond that of daily living.

According to some reports, the average cost of a gym membership in the U.S. is nearly $700 per year.

The report's author suggested that widely available dance classes provide opportunities to meet physical activity guidelines and provide other advantages as well. Specifically, the author Zoe Bremer writes that "the best kinds of dancing to encourage people to take up are those which develop cooperation, either with a partner or within a set."

Bremer goes on to say that dance improves physical health by developing strength, suppleness, coordination, and balance in varying amounts, and "energetic" forms of dance provide excellent aerobic exercise.

"Dancing is also an excellent way to improve physical fitness and develop social skills, thereby improving mental health, and is something that can be taken up early in life and still provide plenty of entertainment well after retirement," says Bremer.

Zoe Bremer

Dancing is also an excellent way to improve physical fitness and develop social skills, thereby improving mental health, and is something that can be taken up early in life and still provide plenty of entertainment well after retirement.

— Zoe Bremer

Classes like those offered by 305 Fitness online, in studios, and in community environments do not require an expensive gym membership, and many of them are free. Participants can do the online classes at their convenience and in any environment that they choose.

Improved Physical and Mental Function

Several studies have compared the effectiveness of structured dance classes to other types of structured exercise programs on physical health outcome measures. One large research review evaluated 28 studies with a total sample size 1,276 participants. Study authors included studies where participation in the dance or other exercises program lasted at least four weeks.

The study authors' meta-analyses showed dance interventions significantly improved body composition, blood biomarkers, and musculoskeletal function.

Both dance fitness and other types of exercise improved cardiovascular function and self-perceived mobility.

Another study even showed that participation in dance training is better than other types of repetitive physical activity in improving brain plasticity in older adults.

How It Compares

There are other dance-inspired workouts that you might be tempted to try. Each has its own strengths, and no workout is necessarily better than the others. But each is slightly different.

Zumba

Zumba has been around since the mid-1990s. The format was founded by Alberto Perez, a Colombian dancer, so the workout typically has Latin-inspired dance moves. However, as the brand has grown and expanded, new instructors have brought their own styles to the workouts. Class prices vary by location but can be as low as $5 per session.

Similar to 305 Fitness, Zumba workouts tend to emphasize cardio over strength training, although the brand has branched out to provide other workout formats. In a traditional Zumba class, it is typical to learn one extended dance which you may work on for several classes. Whereas in a 305 Fitness class, you may learn several smaller movement blocks in a single class.

Also, Zumba instructors typically rely on visual cueing rather than verbal cueing. That is, in a Zumba class you watch and follow your instructor (although different instructors have different styles). In a 305 Fitness class, you're likely to get both visual and verbal cueing, which can be helpful if you are new to dance and need more instruction.

Jazzercise

Jazzercise is the world's largest dance fitness franchise company and probably the best-known brand—especially among women who are age 35 and older. The brand was founded in 1969 by Judi Sheppard Missett and gained widespread popularity in the 80s and 90s.

Originally the moves were based on jazz dance-style choreography for a cardio workout, but the brand has changed with the times and now offers current music, contemporary moves, and a wider range of classes such as HIIT, Pilates, strength-training, and other workout styles.

You might find Jazzercise classes in gyms, studios, schools, or in community centers. Prices range based on location and may be per-class or require a subscription. You can also stream Jazzercise classes online for $19.99 per month.

Barre Classes

Barre classes, like those offered in studios such as Pure Barre or The Bar Method, have exploded in popularity in recent years. But even though this workout is dance-based, there are not a lot of similarities in the workouts.

Barre workouts tend to focus on ballet-based movements, including exercises that improve flexibility, posture, and strength. While your heart-rate is likely to go up in a barre class, most would not describe it as a cardio workout.

You don't learn choreography, but rather do repetitions of plié variations, relevé, battement, and other modified ballet exercises.

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Article Sources
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