Why are Group Fitness Classes so awesome? Because everything’s better in a group, right?
When it comes to achieving body composition goals, individualized programming is the best way to go. But that doesn’t mean that group fitness classes can’t fit into our regular routines.
There is no shortage to the benefits of group fitness:
- Accountability – ever find yourself literally rearranging your schedule because you can’t miss your favorite Zumba class?
- Community – there’s a reason love and belonging are included in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. We as humans crave community and being a part of something so lively and energetic and it does wonders for our mental health.
- Motivation – how many times have you upped the weight on your barbell in BODYPUMP purely because your back-row friend increased his or her weight, and you felt inspired to do the same?
- Variety – sometimes it’s easy for us to get bored in our routine, and with classes ranging from Barre to P90X, there is always something new and different to try out. Not to mention, our body can get used to the same workout over and over again which diminishes results, so throwing in new challenges can help us achieve our goals.
- Cost effective – it would be great if we could all afford personal training three times a week, but the reality is that’s not always in the budget for everyone. While it’s generalized for a wide demographic, group fitness still provides structure in a more wallet friendly manner.
- Fun – because it is, and those who say it’s not CLEARLY have never been.
A well-developed fitness routine typically involves 3 things: strength training, cardio, and flexibility/mobility. Already hitting a 3x/week strength training program? BODYFLOW or yoga will help loosen up those tight muscles and prevent injury.
Are you a runner? Drop into a LES MILLS SPRINT class for some serious HIIT training, which will improve speed and endurance. And check out this article from LES MILLS about the benefits of CXWORX for runners.
So what if you’ve never been to a group fitness class, but want to try it out because you are looking for all of the above values?
Here are a few tips to alleviate the “newbie jitters” so you can rock your first group ex class like a champ:
- Read the description of the class – have a rough idea of the class focus before walking into it by checking out the descriptions here. Better yet, go next level and check out some YouTube videos of the classes to get an even better idea.
- Get there early – group exercise classes are typically on a strict timetable, so Instructors are likely to start right on the dot. Arrive 10 minutes early to talk to the Instructor about what equipment is needed and what to expect during the first class.
- Pick the ideal spot – while it may be tempting, avoid standing in the back as that’s where it’s hardest to see the instructor. Find a spot somewhere in the middle where you’ll feel more comfortable than being in the front row but can still see the front of the room.
- Take it easy – one of the best ways to try something new is to take baby steps. Start with taking ½ of a class, and then adding on a few minutes each week to build up to a whole class. Just let the instructor know you’ll be leaving early so they don’t worry that you’re leaving class for a medical emergency. Oh, and always err on the conservative side when choosing weight selections – better to master form and hit the reps before adding the challenge of the weight.
- Be friendly with the people around you – most group fitness classes aren’t nearly as clique-y as people tend to think they are. And most attendees LOVE when new participants join in on something, they are so passionate about themselves. Let the people around you help you out with any equipment changes or other nuances of the class.
Routine is important in achieving our goals, but the only way we’ll stick to our routine is by enjoying it. Find a way to incorporate your favorite class into your repertoire and the motivation to stay committed becomes much easier, leading to consistent efforts which will bring on the long-term results.