Toned-down Tone-ups

Fed up with too-intense classes and sadistic instructors, Brigid Sweeney seeks Boston’s least-torturous (but effective) workouts.

wedding workouts

Photograph by Adam Brown/Getty Images

Cheer Fit @ Life In Synergy Studios

Taught by Bruins “Ice Girl” Tanya Croteau—looking the part in a sparkly tank—Cheer Fit runs through an entire cheerleading sequence. A nondancer, I’m clueless on the technical terms, but there’s lots of aggressive prancing, imaginary pompom throwing, and hair tossing. The ever-peppy Croteau is encouraging but not patronizing, and after 45 minutes of learning the steps, we perform the whole routine to Flo Rida’s “Right Round.”

One caveat: Cheer Fit requires everybody to be on the same page, since participants usually link arms and perform high kicks—a great core workout—in unison for 15 minutes. But I’m surrounded by two quasi–professionals and one rhythmically gifted coworker. Mercifully, Croteau lets us go solo; she doesn’t want anyone falling over. (Despite the precaution, my coworker does bite it—from laughing so hard at me.) Still, the invigorating feeling of trying something new prevails. As it turns out, attempting to not look like an idiot is a good way to break a sweat. Mondays, 7 p.m., and Wednesdays, 8 p.m., 867 Boylston St., Boston, 617-867-6500,

Party Spin @ Revolution Fitness

Anyone who’s taken a spin class knows the music is terrible—typically a trance-club mix that only enhances the misery of pedaling feverishly up fake mountains. So I have high hopes for Jesse Tarantino’s class, which advertises a great soundtrack. Given the name, I’m imagining a stationary-bike version of High School Musical, with gleeful riders bursting into song. Instead, I receive a typical spin session set to Britney and Nelly Furtado. And yet, Party Spin is worth the ride. Tarantino is friendly and energetic, and—most important—not a screamer. He also lets the group vote on songs. (Juice Newton’s “Queen of Hearts” emerges improbably victorious over Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies.”)

As he guides us through hills and sprints, the hour speeds by significantly faster than my old cycling workout. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30 p.m., 209 Columbus Ave., Boston, 617-536-3006,

PowerNap+ @ Equinox Back Bay  

Lunchtime workouts seem like a good idea—until you’re racing back to the office with wet hair and a Zone Bar. Equinox’s new PowerNap+ combines a half  hour of yoga with a 15-minute nap, leaving participants refreshed and ready to scoot back to the office sans shower. While the class doesn’t exactly torch calories, the rapid series of downward dogs and cobra poses does send much-needed blood to my overstressed brain. The moves aren’t unduly challenging, so I’m able to focus on my breathing instead of twisting into a contorted position. I can’t quite fall asleep to the muffled sound of slamming weights and whirring ellipticals, but lying in corpse pose in the middle of the day feels weirdly indulgent. (And a bit like I’m at an adult day care center.) I walk out limber and deeply relaxed. Thursdays, 12:30 p.m., 131    Dartmouth St., Boston, 617-578-8918,