Staying in shape can be a challenge, especially with how busy our lives can get. That's why I decided to try out a Lifetime Fitness GTX class to see how it compares to other fitness classes I've taken before.
GTX appealed to me because it's offered at my gym over 6 times a day, making it really convenient to be able to find a class I could get to.
Before I had kids I loved Orangetheory Fitness studio workouts so I was really excited to see that Life Time was beginning to offer a similar style workout.
In this blog post, I'll be sharing all the details of my experience with the class - from how it's structured and how it compares to other fitness classes, to the specific gear you'll need to bring along.
GTX classes at Life Time are designed to provide a full body workout that combines strength training and cardiovascular exercises.
The goal is to push your body to its limits in a fun and engaging way, all while burning calories and building muscle.
This high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout has become increasingly popular due to its effectiveness and efficiency. It's amazing how many calories you can burn in only 60 minutes!
What is a Lifetime GTX Class?
Okay, so first things first - what is the GTX class all about? Essentially, it's a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) group training program that's meant to help you build strength and endurance.
GTX stands for Group Training Xtreme, and is LifeTime's updated version of their bootcamp class.
The classes are run by certified Life Time personal trainers so they're able to help with form and give recommendations for modifications if needed.
The class instructors guide you through exercises, all while providing motivation to keep you pushing through. The class is a mixture of cardio and strength training exercises, which definitely kept things interesting for me.
The class is split with half the time on cardio and half the time doing strength training with dumbbells, kettlebells, and resistance bands.
The cardio part of the workout is usually done on the treadmill, however they also do have options to complete it on a rower or a bike. They also do offer recommendations on how to use the treadmill for power walking instead of running.
The goal of GTX is to hit certain heart rate zones during the class. On the cardio portion, the instructor will call out how long you should spend in each zone - with zone 1 being the recovery zone and zone 5 being your highest maximum heart rate.
What to Bring
The nice thing about taking a group class at LifeTime Fitness is that they have pretty much everything you need. When you book in the app you'll see what they recommend, but generally you need to bring a water bottle and be dressed appropriately with comfortable workout clothes and sneakers.
I would recommend wearing more of a cardio sneaker than a strength training one because you will be doing half the class on the treadmill. Strength shoes can be uncomfortable for running.
They'll provide towels, yoga mats, and any other equipment you'll need for the workout.
GTX does have a heart rate focus so it's recommended to bring a heart rate monitor but it's not necessary.
The software for GTX to display your zones on the screen work with almost every heart rate montior, including Apple Watch and Gamin.
It's optional to do this, but can be a really fun way to keep track of your progress throughout the class.
GTX Class Experience
When you attend a class, you'll get to choose whether you start on a treadmill (or piece of cardio if you're doing the bike or rower option) or floor. It's first come first serve so if there's a spot you prefer.
I'd recommend getting there about 5 minutes early to make sure you're one of the first people in line.
During the class, the instructor will guide you through a warm-up both on the treadmill and the floor. Classes are broken down into 6 blocks - 3 on the treadmill and 3 on the floor .
The instructor will call out which zone you should be in during each block on the treadmill, and guide you through specific exercises on the floor.
Generally, the treadmill block will look like spending 2-3 minutes in a zone, then recovering for 1-2 minutes. This will repeat throughout the class with different zones and times. Each block of work can range from as short as 4 minutes to as long as 14 minutes.
On the floor, the instructor will tell you a few different moves to do to make a circuit. They'll demo all the moves and help walk you through the workout. Some example moves we've done:
- Bird Dogs
- Bicep Curls
- Goblet Squats
- Glute Bridges
They also write down the moves to do and the reps on a board so you can refer back to it at any point during the workout.
The whole workout is 60 minutes long and it goes by fast! I find that the switching between the floor and treadmill makes the class go by so quickly because you're constantly moving and changing things up.
After the class, you'll have a chance to cool down and stretch. The instructor will guide you through some stretches to help prevent any post-workout soreness.
They may also provide tips on how to improve your form for certain exercises.
LifeTime GTX Vs. Orangetheory
Before I joined Life Time Fitness, I was very into Orangetheory and using that workout as cross training for my running. But now that I have kids I need a gym with daycare (thank you Kids Academy!) so Lifetime is where I call my fitness home.
One of the biggest differences between Orangetheory and GTX is that Orangetheory has 3 rotations where GTX only has 2.
Orangetheory usually adds in a row section to their workouts, while GTX switches between the treadmill and floor.
Another difference is the technology used. Orangetheory uses a specific heart rate montior that needs to be purchased through OTF, while Lifetime allows you to bring almost any one. Their platform works will all the popular smartwatches like Apple Watch and Garmin so I find that to be more convenient.
In terms of workout, the biggest difference I've noticed is that GTX focuses the workouts on heart rate zones while OTF is more pace based.
Orangetheory instructors will tell you to go a certain pace for the works (you Base, Push and All Out) but at GTX it's more getting to the speed that gets your heart rate into the zone.
On the floor the moves are very similar between the two so I find it pretty comparable between the two gyms.
Orangetheory definietely wins in terms of atmosphere. The OTF studios are trendy and motivating, while GTX is more of a traditional gym setting with the GTX area off to the side of the regular gym.
Overall, both workouts are great options for getting in shape and improving your overall fitness. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and what works best for your individual goals and needs.
If you prefer more boutique style workouts, Orangetheory may be the way to go. If you're looking for a more general gym with a variety of class offerings - and childcare - Life Time might be a better choice.
GTX vs. LifeTime Alpha Classes
Another popular style of classes at Lifetime is the Alpha Classes. I find these classes most similar to CrossFit workouts , with a mix of high intensity interval training and strength training.
These classes are usually led by personal trainers or coaches and focus on functional movements that simulate everyday activities.
The main difference between GTX and Alpha Classes at Life Time is the use of equipment. While GTX has a specific set up with treadmills, rowers, and floor exercises, Alpha Classes utilize more traditional gym equipment like weights and barbells.
Additionally, Alpha Classes tend to have a larger focus on strength training, while GTX incorporates more cardio exercises.
The moves in Alpha I've found are more complex than GTX. There are a lot more exercises that require coordination and technique, so it's important to listen closely to the coaches and make sure you're doing the moves correctly to avoid injury.
The classes I took had a big focus on body weight pullups , which were definitely challenging but also a great way to build upper body strength.
Similar to GTX, Alpha Classes at Life Time offer a variety of workout formats including circuits, partner workouts, and team challenges. I've found that the classes are always different and keep me on my toes, making it harder for my body to plateau from the same routine.
If you're just starting out with working out I would recommend trying GTX first. It's a great way to ease into the high intensity workouts and get familiar with different movements without feeling overwhelmed.
Once you feel comfortable with that style of workout, then I would suggest trying an Alpha Class for a new challenge and to incorporate more strength training into your routine.
Is GTX a Good Workout?
In my experience, GTX is definitely a good workout. The combination of strength and cardio exercises, along with the high intensity intervals, make for a challenging and effective workout.
Plus, with the added motivation from the instructor and fellow classmates, it's easier to push yourself and get the most out of each session.
I like to get the most out of each workout and I find I get a good balance with GTX classes. I typically burn 400-500 calories a class based on my heart rate montior.
How much are Lifetime GTX Classes?
GTX and group training are included in certain Lifetime Memberships. If you have a Signature membership, you'll get unlimited access to GTX classes, as well as priority registration for regular studio classes like Warrior Sculpt, Barbell Strength, and Pilates Fusion.
Pricing for the Signature Membership pricing varies depending on your location, but generally varies from $150-$200 a person. To get the most accurate pricing, visit LifeTime's website and they can give you a membership quote.
In my area, Signature membership is $50 more a month than the base level membership. While it may seem expensive, the added cost is worth it if you plan on taking advantage of the variety of classes offered at Life Time, especially since they are unlimited.
The Signature Classes like GTX are offered more times a day than the regular group classes so they're more convenient to fit into your schedule.
If you're new to LifeTime, you'll get 3 complimentary signature classes with your membership so you can try out a class before committing.
GTX Class Tips and Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your GTX classes:
Arrive a few minutes early so you have time to start in the area you want.
Hydrate throughout the day leading up to your class, but avoid drinking too much water right before as it can be uncomfortable during high intensity movements.
Don't be intimidated by the equipment or moves. Your instructor will guide you through proper form and modifications can always be made for your fitness level. Everyone was a beginner at one point!
Push yourself, but listen to your body. It's important to challenge yourself, but don't push too hard and risk injury.
Have fun and enjoy the energy of the class! The music and motivation from others in the class can really enhance your workout experience.
More LifeTime Fitness Resources
If you have kids, you'll want to check out my LifeTime Fitness Kids Birthday Party review. It tells you how to book and what to expect during the party.
If you like working out with groups, I recommend checking out a Lifetime Group Fitness class. They offer different isntructor led classes like Pilates Fusion, Yoga, Barre, and HIIT.
Anoehr popular class is Ultra Fit. This class takes place on the GTX floor but is more mobility and agility focused.
Before siging up for a membership, here is what I wish I knew before I signed up for a membership.
Is a LifeTime membership even worth it? Here's my experience with my gym membership and if it's been worth the price tag.
Another fun class to try is the Life Time Fitness Pilates class. These are small group classes taught by a certified instructor on the Pilates reformer.