I discovered 305 Fitness just a few weeks before sweating in a packed room with strangers was declared a health risk.
Before the pandemic, taking a class at 305 was like packing all the best parts of clubbing into a 45-minute time slot: a live DJ spinning fresh beats, a room full of party people in cute workout outfits, a fun instructor teaching easy-to-follow moves that made me feel like Beyoncé, and instead of leaving feeling like I needed pizza and a bed stat, I walked out the door with the best cardio high I ever felt.
So many things were hard to say goodbye to in March 2020, but discovering 305 Fitness only to have it taken away from me so soon was difficult to process. So when I found out that 305 was offering a free seven-day trial for 305 At Home, I had to give it a try.
The basics: Cost and equipment
A subscription to 305 At Home costs $28.99 per month — less than a dollar a day. In addition to access to all of 305's on-demand workouts, you'll also have the opportunity to join live classes, which happen sporadically throughout the month.
I took one class during my trial that incorporated optional hand weights for the toning portion of the workout, but you can still do the moves without them. A yoga mat will likely make you more comfortable for the stretching and toning floor moves, but if you wanted to be minimalistic about this workout, you could get it done without any equipment besides a screen (on IOS, Android or Apple TV).
What the workout entails
The 305 At Home platform itself is easy to navigate: you can browse by the newest workouts, the length of the workout or by instructor. All the dance cardio workouts live in one section, with plenty to choose from in the "more than dance" section, depending on what kind of challenge you're looking for. Examples include PWR & HIIT, a high-intensity workout available in 10, 15 or 30-minute intervals; Tone It Up, which focuses on short 5-10 minute workouts targeting specific body parts; a section for low-impact workouts (in case your downstairs neighbors are tired of hearing your at-home workout shenanigans); and a section for stretching. There's even a section that recommends classes for you based on what you've chosen in the past, including a beginner class that breaks down the workout at an easy-to-follow pace.
The signature 305 Fitness cardio dance workouts are either 30 or 45 minutes long and consist of a quick warm-up, a dance cardio section, a brief toning section that focuses on a different body part each class (abs, ass, arms, legs, etc.), a sprint that incorporates high-intensity moves, like high knees, jump squats, etc., then more dance cardio and a cool down. Expect to shake your butt, strike a pose and add your personal flair to the movements — your instructor will insist! And the sooner you give in and let go, the more fun you'll have.
Expect to shake your butt, strike a pose and add your personal flair to the movements ... the sooner you give in and let go, the more fun you'll have.
My experience working out with 305 At Home
Before 305 At Home, I hadn't been able to motivate myself to work out for longer than 30 minutes at a time. Hoping to replicate the in-person 305 workouts I had loved, I chose a signature 45-minute cardio dance class that incorporated abs for the toning section.
I've become used to turning on workouts that start with an instructor talking in monotone, so when a 30-second 305 At Home hype video filled my screen, I was surprised, but into it. It set the tone for the rest of the workout. I was excited to see an in-house DJ spinning virtually as my instructor welcomed me to class and got down to business with a fun warm-up that had the same familiar backbeat as the in-person classes I had loved.
I'm not going to lie, my dance moves were rusty. But thankfully, the sequences were repeated often enough that I got the moves down by the end of each section. During a few sections, I was given creative freedom to strike a pose or "work it," which I took full advantage of since no one was there to judge (except my cat). For those familiar with dance moves, expect to see pivots, box steps, grapevines and pas de bourrée incorporated throughout the workout. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry, your instructor will break it down for you.
The workout itself flew by, and suddenly we were on the toning section, where we did a sequence of ab movements like sit-ups, Russian twists and V-ups. The sprint section was next, which involved high knees, jumping jacks and jump squats that I tried to do as lightly as possible without making too much noise. The workout concluded with a final series of dance cardio and a brief stretch. By the end, I was high on cardio again.
Throughout the trial, I dabbled in the new sections offered but kept coming back to that signature 45-minute workout. I was surprised at how sore I was from just jumping around my studio apartment, keeping up with the instructor and making the moves my own.
What I liked about the workout
One of the things I remember appreciating about 305's in-person classes was that they always felt different. Sure, classes follow a similar structure depending and the dance moves tend to reappear in a variety of iterations across workouts, but this is the only virtual workout I've come across where you're not just doing a series of burpees, squats, push-ups and other workout moves in certain intervals. 305 At Home truly feels like you're just having fun in your living room — and breaking a sweat in the process.
Having taken the classes in person (in New York City no less, where I'd find myself dancing alongside the likes of Broadway-level dancers), I came into the at-home version of the workout trying to manage my expectations. Of course, there's nothing like being in a room with a live DJ or feeding off the energy of people dancing alongside you. But if you're looking to break up the monotony of working out at home and try something different and a whole lot more fun, 305 At Home is a welcome change.
The level of energy that 305 instructors bring to the table has been a hallmark of this workout and that still comes through virtually. Though I struggled to push myself as hard as I would during an in-person class where I'd be keeping up with a group, I did find it freeing to strike whatever pose I wanted without overthinking — and finally try to get this whole twerking thing down without an audience.
What I didn't like about the workout
Something that's always been up for debate about this workout is whether or not you'd enjoy it if you weren't a "dancer." As someone who took dance classes from a young age until college, I'm probably not the best person to answer this. But I will say that doing this workout at home allows a true judgment-free place to experiment, practice the moves and get them down if it's something you're interested in trying. You do, however, need to be willing to work past the learning curve.
One major challenge I hit was lack of space. You can do this workout and keep your overall movements small, but it was a conscious effort to be spatially aware of the things I could potentially knock over as I was traveling left and right for certain moves. I live on the ground floor of my apartment complex, but I could also see this workout getting pretty annoying if you have neighbors below you.
I would recommend this workout to:
- Anyone looking for a workout that doesn't feel like a workout
- People with a decent amount of space to work with (and chill neighbors)
- Those who want to feel like Beyoncé for 45 minutes
- Anyone who loves to dance (or is interested in learning how)
- Those who could use a fun break from their normal workout routine