POSTED ON June 11th, 2019 By

As the creator of a dance fitness format, I’ve noticed something about fitness enthusiasts. Many are either slaying their strength training goals in the weight room or crushing their cardio workouts. I rarely meet people who place an importance on both strength training and cardio.

It seems that many don’t understand that both are necessary for optimal health. The two types of workouts offer different things: strength training is encouraged to build muscle mass and optimize calorie burn duration, whereas a cardio dance class focuses on having fun while promoting cardiovascular endurance.


Let’s examine some of the things people say when it comes to why they prefer one method of exercise over another. I’m a dance fitness instructor, so I’m going to focus on what I’ve heard from my students. People who love dance classes don’t necessarily love strength training because it’s not as fun as dance cardio class. It’s boring, it can be intimidating and it may not provide that endorphin high or feeling of camaraderie a group fitness class provides.


On the flip side, people who love strength training may like the idea of a cardio dance class, but assume that they’re not going to get the calorie burn necessary to achieve optimal results. Or perhaps they won’t achieve the cut look they desire.

There are biases and assumptions from both groups of people, and those biases and assumptions aren’t helping anyone meet their fitness goals!


There’s also the reputation that’s been associated with dance fitness. It’s unfortunate the bad wrap that cardio dance classes have gotten, especially from millennials. It’s pretty obvious at the gym, when you walk into the group exercise room and the median age is 52. It’s just not cool, right? Turn around and check out the weight room to find people usually under the age of 40 throwing weights around trying to build that bodybuilder physique! Definitely two different vibes!


As for me, I prefer taking a cardio dance class over strength training. One is definitely more fun than the other! I try to find the balance in both. To be honest, it’s not fun or easy, but I try. I realize the importance of strength training and the benefit it has on my body, but I also know my soul and my heart appreciate a good gyration and booty bounce.


I’m here to tell you that you can incorporate both strength training AND your favorite dance class in your fitness plan! How? You can achieve this with your favorite music!

Obviously, music is the key ingredient to a dance class. Finding the right songs with the proper BPM (beats per minute) can really help motivate you in the gym. It works for me! My suggestion for all you dance lovers that don’t do strength training outside of dance class is to create a strength training workout around a motivating playlist!


Here’s an example of what I do on a day I’m working out my chest and triceps. I first decide on the five different strength training exercises for those muscle groups. For every exercise, choose a song. For example, I would pick, “All I Do is Win,” by DJ Khaled, to do the tricep extensions exercise. The BPM on this song is just the right speed so that each extension would match the beat of the song.

The goal is to work out to the rhythm of the song. It’s the same feeling as dancing, just more controlled. This song is the perfect length to perform the three required sets for each of the five exercises. This formula would then be repeated for each exercise, with a different song for each exercise, of course.


Hopefully this gym hack will help you dance fitness enthusiasts find a better balance between your time on the dance floor versus your time in the weight room. Feel free to give this a try and let me know in the comments below how it worked out for you! If you need suggestions for songs, please see our Spotify page!


As far as you gym rats are concerned, I suggest trying a PlyoJam class. Dancers love PlyoJam yet the class is designed for those that also have never taken a dance class in their life. The music in a PlyoJam class is contemporary and most likely up your alley. We promise this ain’t your mama’s fitness class at the YMCA. The combination of the plyometrics and Hip Hop dance moves will help you achieve the calorie burn you desire!

I hope I’ve done my job in letting you all know that strength training and dance cardio can coexist! In fact, it should! You no longer need to be an either or person! You are free to, and most definitely should, engage in both forms of exercise!

See you in class!

About Jason Layden

Jason Layden, creator of PlyoJam®, is one of the top dance fitness instructors in Los Angeles. He has a huge following and is gaining traction quickly in the national fitness scene. His new workout craze incorporates plyometrics along with hot dance steps that will tone your body and demolish calories. PlyoJam is expressive, creative, and fulfilling because you are moving your body in ways you feel compelled to do when you hear that beat ... It’s where that primal urge collides with modern moves to give you a workout with an advantage - an intense calorie burn to match your endorphins high!

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