305 Fitness: Everything to Know About The Dance Workout

People in vibrant clothes enjoy a fitness class

@305fitness / Unsplash

If dancing to pounding beats spun by your favorite electronic DJ is what your workout dreams are made of, then signing up for a 305 Fitness class should be on your to-do list. Launched in 2016 in New York by a club enthusiast and with an investor list that includes international mega-DJ Tiesto himself, the workout method quickly spread across the world. There are now three flagship studios and classes available both online and in-person in nearly every major city in just five short years. 

Meet the Expert

  • Jenn Hicks is a New York City-based instructor at 305 Fitness.

What Is 305 Fitness?

Jenn Hicks, instructor, 305 Fitness, explains that 305 Fitness is more of a movement than just any old fitness class, with a mission to “empower people to move through the world more boldly and joyously.” Classes are nonstop, infusing dance cardio with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and toning, resulting in a total body workout.  

The workout feels like more of a night at a Miami club than a workout class, with a live DJ spinning the tunes and an instructor collaborating throughout. “Not even the instructor knows what the DJ will play next,” reveals Hicks. The class starts with dance cardio, followed by a body part-focused toning session, HIIT workout moves with a grand finale focused on more dancing. 

Type of Class: Dance Cardio with HIIT Intervals and Toning 

305 Fitness doesn’t fall into one workout genre because it is basically a three-part workout. You will reap major cardio benefits from the dance component while including blasting calories and burning fat. HIIT effectively builds muscle and blasts calories, while toning will help you firm up.

Best For: High-Calorie Burn

Ultimately, while there are many benefits of a 305 class, major calorie burn might incentivize you the most. Per the 305 website, you can burn up to 500 calories during a 45-minute workout. 

What to Expect During an X Class

Rachelle Maguire, Instructor, 305 Fitness, explains that class starts with a cardio warm-up before breaking into a follow-along choreographed section. She explains that there are "Fiver favorites"—popular dance routines that people love the most incorporated into many classes. However, because every class incorporates a live DJ, "no two classes will ever be the same." The initial dance party is followed by a body part-focused toning section (some classes will incorporate equipment while others will rely only on body weight), then ends with more dancing and a final stretch. No equipment is needed, and each class runs 30 to 45 minutes.

She also notes that while your first class may be intimidating, especially if you are not an experienced dancer, you will catch on quickly. "While you may see new moves taking your first 305 class, they become quickly familiar, and next thing you'll know, you're doing them in your sleep,” she promises. 

Benefits of a 305 Fitness Class

  • Weight Loss: Because 305 is a mixture of cardio, HIIT, and strength-building exercises, weight loss is inevitable, Hicks promises. “While 305 as a brand never alludes to calorie counting, weight loss, or a need to fit ANY mold, from a personal standpoint, I lost 20 pounds in 8 months of taking class 4 times a week and not changing my diet,” she says. In fact, just doing 30 minutes of HIIT burns 25-30 percent more calories than weight training, running, and biking, per one study.
  • Improved Quality of Life: One 2020 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that dance classes can effectively improve the overall quality of life, helping with everything from social, mental, and physical health to vitality. 
  • Toning and Strengthening: 305 allots a sufficient amount of time for toning exercises, and the workouts can help strengthen your glutes, calves, core, and upper body. 
  • A Sense of Community: 305 Fitness is a very inclusive workout, promoting a sense of community and acceptance, and the “movement” aspect of 305 draws many of its devotes. “305 is a vortex of wonderful, creative, good-hearted people, and you'll make friends for life,” maintains Maguire. 
  • Confidence Boosting: 305 Fitness focuses on empowering people via fitness, which can help improve confidence and mental health. “That feeling carries with you outside of those studio walls. It's not about where you want to be; it's celebrating where you are now!” says Maguire. 
  • Improved Cardiovascular Health: Dancing is a great form of cardio. A June 2016 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that moderate-intensity dancing boasts more benefits than walking regarding cardio health and can cut your risk of dying from heart disease.

Safety/Injury Considerations

305 is a high impact and HIIT class, both of which have their own set of safety considerations. However, you can modify the workout. “Talk to the instructor at the beginning of class to flag any limitations, and we'll find the best way for you to move,” suggests Maguire. 

At-Home vs. In-Studio

305 Fitness is offered in studio settings, outdoors, and also in the comfort of your own home via 305 At Home. “At-Home and In-Studio have the same movements, instructors, and DJs you'll see in the studio, but the song selection differs,” Maguire explains. New subscribers get seven days free. After the trial period, a subscription costs $29 a month. Still, if that is cost-prohibitive for various reasons listed on their website, they offer discounted pricing for $14.50 per month. 

However, because peers physically surround you during In-Studio, the sense of community is stronger. As for pricing, it varies by location—anywhere from around $20 to $34 per class. However, they do have package options, making each class more cost-effective.

305 vs. Zumba

Zumba, the OG, Latin-inspired dance workout that has been around for several decades, is very similar to 305 in terms of cardiovascular benefits. However, the biggest difference between the two is that Zumba focuses on cardio, while 305 also incorporates toning and HIIT. 

What to Wear to a 305 Fitness Class

You can wear whatever you are comfortable in and able to move around freely to a 305 class. "Class requires comfortable sneakers and an outfit that makes you feel your most confident," suggests Maguire.

The Takeaway

305 Fitness is a great workout option that can boost your physical fitness and help with a personal exploration of self-expression, confidence, and health. “Yes, you burn a ton of calories, but you also shed any external expectations and tune into what you already have that makes you beautiful and sexy,” reminds Maguire.

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