There are plenty of reasons why we hit the gym every week: to gain strength, to connect with our bodies, even to de-stress.
But if your main goal is weight loss, it's important to know that there are a few workouts that just aren't best suited for helping you shed the pounds.
While these regimens may be among our favorites for those other workout perks (trust us, we're not giving up our weekly yoga sesh anytime soon), it turns out that there are other ways you should be spending your time to see weight loss results sooner.
Here are the workouts you should avoid if your main goal is losing weight.
We love the calm that comes from an hour of getting our yoga on, but if you're not seeing that time reflected in your waistline, you're not alone.
As certified personal trainer John Rowley, International Sports Science Association director of wellness and founder of UX3 Nutrition, told PopSugar, yoga "has a lot of benefits, but losing weight is not one of them". That's because yoga focuses on toning individual muscle groups, and weight loss is best achieved through engaging as many muscle groups at once as possible to stimulate the metabolism.
And according to SHAPE, "one of the more surprising findings detailed in The Science of Yoga is that yoga actually decreases your metabolism."
Not great news for your weight goals.
Rowley has some strong words for you Crossfitters out there: "CrossFit is number one on the hit list. The risk-to-results ratio just isn't there."
While anecdotal evidence has pointed to this in the past, it's still striking to hear a personal trainer reject such a popular workout.
But there's an interesting reason why Rowley advises newcomers to stay away: "The way the exercises are done is very dangerous, especially for someone not in tip-top shape," he says, which means that there's a higher chance of newbies getting injured since their muscle strength isn't where it needs to be from the get-go.
SoulCycle (or any indoor cycling):
While SoulCycle and similar cycling classes may be ultra-trendy at the moment, Rowley has some reservations about using them for weight loss.
"The rooms can get too hot, the movements can be too aggressive for some, and any vigorous exercise will make you hungry," he says, echoing his sentiments about Crossfit.
His concern stems from the fact that those who are new to the workout circuit will injure themselves by going from zero to sixty in a cycling class, which in turn will set their weight loss journey back a few steps. For seasoned pros, cycling can be great, but it's still not a top pick for those embarking on a weight loss mission.
A controversial take that's gaining steam, cardio had long been thought of as the be-all and end-all of weight loss, but now has been relegated to the myth list.
"Cardio will help burn calories but can often make you hungry, leading to excessive calorie-consuming after workouts," says Rowley, but that's only the half of it. Cardio without strength training can actually lead to muscle loss and a slowed metabolism—exactly what you want to avoid for weight loss.
Instead of focusing all your time on cardio, try doing a quick 10-minute cardio warmup to get your heart rate up before you move onto strength training. How does strength training equate to a higher metabolism? One word: muscle.
"Muscle is constantly being broken down, recreated, and synthesized, and all these processes require energy. The more muscle you have, the more energy it takes for this process," as Michaela Devries-Aboud, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist at McMaster University told SELF.
Believe it or not, strength training may be your quickest ticket to shedding pounds.